As a country, the concept of community generally means that the intent, resources, and needs are common and define the identity of participants and their degree of cohesiveness. An integral part of community is centralized governance that serves all the people equally and it requires shared sacrifice that gives a population a cause to coalesce around to guarantee the needs of all the people are met. For the past 30 years, Republicans have portrayed the concept of government that meets the needs of all the people as overreaching and an intrusion into people’s personal lives, and they methodically attempted to eliminate government to replace it with a plutocracy to serve the needs of the wealthy.
The Republican “big government” mantra is a ruse to eliminate programs and agencies that serve all Americans, and throughout the Republican presidential primary all of the candidates have alluded to the various departments they will eradicate if they are elected. Their goal is not fiscal conservatism or reining in the nation’s deficit, but transferring tax dollars from education, programs for the poor, Social Security, Medicare, and consumer protection agencies to the wealthy as a reward for being successful. Indeed, the Republican frontrunners intend to dismantle as much of the government as possible and increase the nation’s debt with entitlements for the wealthy and corporations while they remove protections every American pays for whether they are employed or not.
It is unfathomable that presidential candidates are running on eliminating government agencies every American depends on, and yet they are unapologetic in their drive to institute libertarian principles founded on Randian ideology that government exists to fund the military, law enforcement and courts. In an interview, Willard Romney revealed that there are government agencies and programs he will eliminate if elected, but he refused to elaborate because he is afraid voters will not support his bid for the presidency. However, his endorsement of Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget portends that any program that does not enrich the wealthy is going to be drastically cut, privatized, or eliminated. Ryan, like Romney and Santorum, may claim to be Republicans and fiscal conservatives, but in truth they are hardline Libertarians with one goal in mind; reward the wealthy.
It is no coincidence that Paul Ryan’s budget reflects the Ayn Rand ideology that the poor are losers and the wealthy are winners who must be protected at all costs. The beginnings of the tea party was a protestation that President Obama was taking money from the virtuous and successful and giving it to the poor who were unemployed, uninsured, and bankrupt. This is the impetus behind Ryan’s budget and Romney’s grand economic plan. Their goal is not diminishing the gap between government expenses and revenue, but the Ayn Rand ideology that when “government punishes the strong (wealthy) to reward the weak (not wealthy), government collapses.” However, there is a problem with that philosophy because besides hurting the poor to enrich the wealthy, Ryan’s budget will accomplish the same results as the Bush-Republican economic policy.
The Bush-era policy of tax cuts for the wealthy, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Medicare prescription plan all increased the deficit. Ryan’s plan, and Romney’s as well, also includes repealing the financial reform bill and cutting taxes by 10% for the wealthiest 1%. It is class warfare of the highest order and it intends to punish the losers (poor) to reward the winners (wealthy) regardless if Republicans eliminate critical departments of education, EPA, and Commerce. There are immediate cuts to Medicaid, Pell Grants, food stamps, and low-income housing that reflects Ayn Rand’s ideology that capitalism and free enterprise unencumbered by regulatory agencies are crucial elements of rewarding the wealthy. It is an immoral ideology that informs the character of Republican philosophy and spells doom for all but the wealthiest Americans. Romney has asked the rhetorical question, “what kind of America do we aspire to” on several occasions, and his answer is represented in his views that slashing social programs and eliminating entire government agencies to reward the wealthy is not an America based on community, but on oligarchy.
Republicans have demonstrated their vision for America is “every man for himself” and the concept of community does not figure in their plans for this country. They have followed Ayn Rand’s basic tenet that “government is inherently negative” and it should exist to fund the military and law enforcement to protect the wealthy’s assets from the poor. The notion of no regulations, public schools and hospitals, Social Security, maintained roads, consumer protections, or Medicare has been championed by Republicans and it will leave this country in ruins. It is interesting that Libertarian ideology trumpets unrestricted free enterprise and capitalism as the Founding Fathers’ intention, but those words are not in the Constitution and if the founders thought free market capitalism was so crucial to the nation’s success, they would have iterated it throughout the Constitution.
The entire Republican ideology can be summed up in one phrase; “the virtue of selfishness and greed” and they are hell-bent on pursuing that simple premise by eliminating any government program, department, or agency that instills a sense of community and shared sacrifice. It is “a question of fundamental moral values as defined by our national traditions” and sense of community, or the virtues of greed, free market capitalism, and Republican libertarianism. If Americans examine their own core values, the choice is simple; our national community or Ryan and Romney’s Ayn Rand ideology of rewarding the wealthy while punishing the poor. Republicans have chosen to reject our national community.