Saturday, March 12, 2011

Observations on Politics 3.12

I was watching Rachel Maddow's special on state politics Thursday night and I just began to wonder where it all went wrong with the Republican Party, a party that still likes to call itself the party of Lincoln. I even made a few phone calls to my Dad and a prof I had at Penn State for some help. Staying away from 'moral' issues I took a quick look at Republican Presidents since World War II and came up with a few things.

Dwight Eisenhower was pretty much a status quo President but one who started the interstate highway system and warned the country of the coming military industrial complex. If only the country had listened to him the world could be so much different today. Richard Nixon is just a bitter pill to swallow. Arguably one of the worst Presidents in history he also created the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and signed the Clean Air Act. Noam Chomsky, of all people, once remarked (in the year 2000) that, in many respects, Nixon was "the last liberal president." Gerald Ford was basically a caretaker President who supported and signed the Equal Rights Amendment and opposed Roe vs. Wade.

Ronald Reagan is one I needed help with because it's hard to find anything personally bad about the man yet he did fire the air traffic controllers leading indirectly to Wisconsin today. So I called my Dad and asked him about Reagan. What he said intrigued me; he said Reagan was the only Republican he had ever voted for President and than just for his second term. He also said Reagan did something that needed to be done one ways or another. He made America believe in itself again. I guess you can't fault the man for that. George H. W. Bush seems like another caretaker President but he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act and reauthorized the Clean Air Act. His downfall is that he fathered an ass of a son who would gladly have torn up every constructive thing I have mentioned so far. Well except the highways I suppose, he just wouldn’t have payed for their upkeep.

Somehow things went terribly wrong in the years that followed the elder Bush and politics became war in this country. One has to look all the way back to Herbert Hoover to find a President as anti-middle class as George W. Bush and I can't stomach writing about him. During the sixteen years of the Clinton/Bush Presidencies the Republican Party morphed into the party of the haves against the have nots, the take from the poor and give to the rich, the reverse Robin Hoods. And now as I watch events in Wisconsin and other states, sadly now including my native Pennsylvania, I can think only one thing. This so called Democracy I'm watching is more the Democracy of the People's Republic of America than it is the United State of America.

As for my question, where did it go wrong? I have no clue but we better fix it soon before the America as we 'think' we know it comes to an end and we simply become the 23rd province of the People's Republic of China.

Audioslave - Seven Nation Army

3/13 update - After a few reactions to this I think some further explanation might be needed. The point I was trying to make was that at least since the Depression neither party has gravitated completely to the extreme left or right before. I was in no way praising Republican Presidents, if I had included social or ‘moral’ issues it would have been much uglier. The fact remains they did do those things and now most Republican officials don’t even put up the facade of caring about the average American. They seem to care more about who pays them the most than who actually pays their salary. I mentioned many of the things I did because they were enacted by Republican Presidents yet Republicans today would do away with all of them if they could.

I don’t know if this helps at all or just makes it all the more confusing. It was just the occasionally bewildered mind of one dark excruciatingly liberal lesbian looking at a party that has done good things in the past but now seems filled with hate, cares about no one but the wealthy, and whose god is the bronze Wall Street Bull in Bowling Green Park.