(c) 2011 by Barton Paul Levenson
The Republican Party is the party of evil.
Does that sound insane? Or at the very least, exaggerated? I'm quite serious. I've been thinking about this for years.
Now, granted, I'm a liberal Democrat. But I haven't always been. For some years I was a card-carrying Libertarian Party member. That was after I lost my affection for socialism during my college days.
But the GOP of 2011 is not the GOP of a generation ago. If Dick Nixon or Gerry Ford were to run for president today, they would be denounced as too liberal and could not get nominated. And don't even think about Ike. The modern right already hates his guts.
On every issue, the GOP sides with whatever will hurt people the most. Here are some examples. I know not every Republican holds every position here. But they're willing to vote for people who do.
|Israel||Let them keep the West Bank and Gaza forever. (1)|
|War||Good if waged under a Republican president (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Bush II), or to save the world from weapons of mass destruction, whether or not they exist.
Evil if waged under a Democratic president (Carter, Clinton, Obama), or to save people from genocide.
|Budget in surplus||Cut taxes to return the money to the people.|
|Budget in deficit||Cut taxes to stimulate the economy.|
|Child Labor Laws||Evil: Repeal them.|
|National Health Care||Evil: Don't let any form pass.|
|National Health Insurance||Evil: Don't let any form pass.|
|Occupational Safety and Health Regulations||Evil: Repeal them.|
|Slavery||Evil. Except in Saipan, then it's okay. And Lincoln was much more wrong to fight the Civil War than the south was for owning (and kidnapping, beating, torturing, raping, mutilating and murdering) slaves. Or in Central Africa, because the terrorist group known as the "Lord's Resistance Army" is "Christian."|
|Social Security and Medicare||Privatize them. (2)|
|Wage and Hour Laws||Evil: Repeal them.|
|Welfare, Food Stamps, Subsidized Housing or Rent, or any form of aid whatsoever for poor people||Evil: Eliminate it.|
|"Boot camps" for young criminals||Good: We need more. (3)|
|Capital punishment||Good: We need a lot more of it.|
|Drug use||Evil: Ban it. Unless you're a Fox News radio talk-show host. Then your addiction deserves sympathy.|
|Guns||It is an absolute right to own as many weapons as you want, of whatever type you want, even if you're psychotic or have a history of violence.|
|Habeas corpus||Evil: Siding with the criminals.|
|Immigration||Evil: Ban it.|
|Making sure innocent people aren't executed||Evil: Siding with the criminals.|
|Torturing prisoners||Good: Legalize it.|
|Warrants for wiretaps||Evil: Siding with the criminals.|
|Abortion||Genocide: Ban it. Unless it's forced on slaves in Saipan. Then it's okay.|
|Contraception||Evil: Ban it.|
|Gay Marriage||Evil: Ban it.|
|Gay Sex||Evil: Ban it.|
|Premarital Sex||Evil: Ban it.|
|Sex Education||Evil: Ban it. Unless it only talks about abstinence. (4)|
|The great age of the Earth and heavens||Not true. Scientists are liars.|
|The Big Bang||Not true. Scientists are liars.|
|Environmental Regulations||Evil: Repeal them.|
|Evolution, by natural selection or any other process||Not true. Scientists are liars.|
|Global Warming||Doesn't exist. Scientists are liars.|
|Ozone Depletion||Doesn't exist. Scientists are liars.|
|We're in the middle of Earth's sixth great mass extinction||Not true. Scientists are liars.|
(1) I am actually a strong supporter of Israel. I want to see Hamas and Hezbollah destroyed. I think anyone who uses suicide bombing as a tactic is doing the devil's work. I think some complaints about how Israel treats Palestinians are crocodile tears from terrorist sympathizers. But the GOP would let right-wing Israeli religious lunatics colonize a conquered territory, and that's wrong.
(2) To "privatize" Social Security and Medicare is to destroy them. Chile tried it and millions of old people lost everything when their stock market crashed. The GOP hates the New Deal with a bloody passion and has been trying to repeal the whole thing since the 1930s. Eisenhower, a moderate of the sort who would be hounded out of the GOP today, tried to reverse that position and was successful for a while.
(3) Studies show boot camp recidivism rates are HIGHER than other juvenile facilities.
(4) Studies show abstinence-only sex education results in HIGHER teen pregnancy rates, whereas teaching both abstinence and contraception results in LOWER rates.
Think I made up some of the above? That I exaggerated? Look again.
I am a born-again Christian, a sinner saved by God's grace, after I repented and believed. I firmly believe that the GOP is, in the end, doing the devil's work.
And I am someone who believes in the devil.
I will discuss here why I think of the GOP leadership as evil, over and above their support for evil positions. I want to stress two things:
1. These symptoms would indicate evil in anyone, even if all the policies they favored were wonderful. However good the cause, someone who acted like this would be evil and dangerous, as I believe the GOP leadership is.
2. I want to stress, again, that I am NOT here indicting the millions of honest Republican voters. I think of them as badly deceived, and I don't blame them for that. There has been a brilliant, well-coordinated propaganda campaign by the extreme GOP right in recent decades which has misled many Americans. I discuss this further below.
In M. Scott Peck's book, "People of the Lie" (1983), the late Christian psychiatrist argued for a psychiatric diagnosis of evil. Non-Christians overwhelmingly ignored or rejected the book, although Peck was careful to say the diagnosis did not have to depend on Christian theological criteria. In fact, on this subject, Peck was heavily influenced by his mentor, Erich Fromm, whose theology was Jewish and humanist.
Peck argued that the evil personality shows a pattern of constant deception; thus his title, "People of the Lie." He argued that the evil person's central problem is an absolute refusal to acknowledge responsibility or guilt. The evil person is so terrified of being held guilty for something--anything--that he sees every conflict as the other person's fault, or even the world's fault. This typically shows in an addiction to scapegoating. The evil person projects his own failings onto others, to deflect the possibility that someone might criticize him for it.Most people nowadays know Roger Ailes as president and CEO of Fox Broadcasting Network, which he has headed since it started in 1996. They may also know he was involved with the TV industry since 1962. They may not know he has been a major political strategist for far-right GOP political candidates since 1968, helping to elect presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Bush; or that he worked with Rush Limbaugh since 1991 and produced Limbaugh's radio show.
Ailes and his backer, Australian rightist Rupert Murdoch, are behind a whole stable of American talk-show hosts, all of whom promote an extreme-right agenda. In addition to Rush Limbaugh; Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck are all Ailes creations. All are devoted to lies and scapegoating.
Listen to any of their programs. They spend the majority of their time denouncing liberals for everything wrong with America. They embrace Jonah Goldberg's crackpot theory that liberalism is a form of fascism. They repeatedly call liberal politicians, and liberals collectively, Nazis, Fascists, Communists, Socialists, etc., with no reference to what the terms actually mean. To hear them tell it, if all the liberals would just vanish from the Earth, the world would suddenly become paradise.
When stuck for a fact, they have a simple and reliable tactic: They make one up. Here are some of the outright lies--provable lies, things that can be independently checked--that the Ailes stable has convinced millions of Americans are true.
|Taxes, especially federal taxes, just keep going up.||Federal taxes as a percent of GDP have declined for over ten years and are now lower than any time in the last 60 years.|
|Global warming is a liberal hoax to raise taxes and create one-world socialism.||Global warming is real, man-made, and the worst threat civilization has ever faced outside of nuclear war.|
|Al Gore promotes his theory of global warming to get rich and impose taxes and socialism.||Gore was born rich, and he devoted all the profits from his film to his non-profit climate organization. Anthropogenic global warming was discovered by Svante Arrhenius in 1896, generations before Gore was born.|
|Barack Obama is not Constitutionally eligible to be president, since he was born in Kenya, not the US.||President Obama was born in Hawaii and has the birth certificate to prove it.|
|Evolution is a false theory promoted by atheists who want to destroy morality.||Evolution is the central theory of biology, a theory of how some species descend from others. One of the discoverers of natural selection was Alfred Russel Wallace, a devout Anglican all his life.|
|Chlorine from volcanoes is much greater than that from CFCs, so CFCs can't harm the ozone layer.||Volcanic chlorine is water-soluble and rains out quickly. Chlorine in CFCs is insoluble and survives to be lofted into the stratosphere by turbulence.|
|Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government was involved in 9/11.||Though an evil, genocidal dictator, Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11.|
|We found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.||We didn't.|
|Mexican illegals are infected with leprosy and tuberculosis.||No more than any other people. And folks with leprosy and tuberculosis would find trekking north across the desert to get jobs at hard manual labor rather difficult.|
|Sex education promotes teen pregnancy.||It reduces it.|
|Woman who get abortions are likely to get breast cancer later in life.||No more than other women.|
|Condoms can't prevent AIDS.||They are very effective in stopping the spread of HIV.|
|Rachel Carson's ban on DDT killed millions of Africans by letting malaria spread out of control.||DDT was never banned in Africa. Countries like Sri Lanka that based their anti-malaria campaigns on DDT created resistant mosquito strains and made the problem worse.|
|President Obama's health insurance plan includes "Death Panels" to euthanize the elderly.||It does not. Those who ask for it can receive end-of-life counseling, which merely asks the patient if they want to refuse treatment in favor of hospice care. It must be entered voluntarily, and can't force anybody to do anything.|
|President Obama's first act in office will be to confiscate our guns.||In three years Obama has done nothing about gun control.|
|Democrats are adulterers--just look at John Edwards!||Politicians in all parties act like jerks. What do Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, and Rudy Giuliani have in common? They all left their wives to marry their girlfriends.|
There's no point in going on. You can find more by searching the internet. The Ailes team has spread so many thousands of lies in the past twenty years that I would run out of server space if I tried to list them all.
The GOP leadership are indeed "People of the Lie." They accuse liberals of doing everything they would like to do.
The future of America under GOP leadership is one in which corporations are free to do anything they can get away with, even if large numbers of people die as a result. It will increasingly become a police state, with harsher and harsher measures enacted against dissidents. Racism, sexism, and antigay discrimination will become increasingly respectable. The most extreme Christian fundamentalist sects will have increasing government power. And things will get worse until, not many decades from now, global warming brings about a year in which every harvest in the world fails, and advanced civilization collapses.
Is this the beginning of the Biblical Apocalypse? I'm no theologian. My guess would be not. Even if most of humanity is wiped out in this century--well, that's happened before, whether you believe in the Toba eruption of 75,000 years ago or Noah's Flood. Humanity will go on. We're just in for a really miserable time, a mass die-off, and perhaps thousands of years of barbarism. Civilization may rise again some day. As a species, we're pretty inventive. The problem is, we're pretty self-destructive, too.