Shut Up, Know Your Role, or Die – the GOP’s 2012 Platform

With all this talk about “special rights” the Republican Party likes to indulge in you have to ask yourself how they interpret a special right. They claim it is a right nobody else has, but of course what it really amounts to is claiming a right everybody else already has.

For example, heterosexuals don’t get fired for being heterosexual in any of our 50 states. Christians don’t get fired for being Christian. I have yet to hear of a person being fired because they are white and if being a heterosexual white evangelical Christian male is illegal anywhere it comes as news to me; though to hear them talk heterosexual white evangelical Christian males are on the endangered species list.

Funny how heterosexual white evangelical Christian males think they’re the only species who should be on that list.

But you can be fired if you are gay, lesbian, or transgender. It’s perfectly legal in over half our 50 states. So if heterosexuals can’t be fired but gays, lesbians, and transgenders can, how is it special rights to give members of the LGBTQ community the same rights everybody else already has? If heterosexuals can be married, how it is special rights to grant gays and lesbians the same privilege?

The only special rights are the rights of those who have more rights than everybody else. And that would be those heterosexual white evangelical Christian males.

And that’s just the way they like it.

You see, that was the status quo for the better part of our nation’s history. Woe betide anyone who was black, Jewish, Catholic, or Native American, or later Mexican, or female or later Irish or any of a number of other things that weren’t sufficiently WASP-ish.

People did not get to join the club of privilege without permission just like they can’t golf in a golf club without permission; “whites only” may be a thing of the past but conservatives cling tenaciously to “men only”. That’s why only men – not women – can talk about women’s vaginas in the legislature. Any women who dares mention her vagina – as Michigan state representative Lisa Brown recently found out – is instantly silenced.

Conservatism has always been very clear about who the undesirables are. It’s a good fit for religions based on the idea of being better than everybody else. It would be impossible for liberalism to have such a cozy relationship with religion, given liberalism’s focus on freedom and individual human rights, which is, after all, a very secular ideal.

LZ Granderson hits the nail on the head. Writing in an opinion piece for CNN, he talks about “the secret gay agenda.” The gay agenda is of course a conservative buzzword and it has strong emotional appeal in that it generates a high pucker factor among religious conservatives especially. But as Granderson points out, there is no mystery to the “gay agenda”:

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the gay agenda, but may not know what’s in it. Here’s what you do: Download a copy of the United States Constitution, read it. Everything the LGBT community wants is in there.

You could say the same for any repressed minority, ethnic, religious, or political. Everybody just wants the same rights – like the Constitution promises. Not just those heterosexual white evangelical Christian males.

That is a threat to long-standing privilege. Having spent over 200 years in a position of power they do not now want to let it go. It would be hard enough for any group, probably, but for a conservative far worse, since conservatism is all about the status quo.

As Granderson points out – as I’ve pointed out here myself – without the 13th and 19th Amendments, blacks and women would not be so much a part of our political landscape that Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton could aspire to be president. And it isn’t conservatism that was behind those amendments and its no surprise today that they are among those targeted for elimination by conservatives.

In today’s conservative parlance, freeing the slaves was granting them special rights. Nobody else was freed, after all. Granting women the voting franchise was another special right granted. To the warped conservative mind, anything that grants anybody rights that heterosexual white evangelical Christian males already possess is a special right.

Even when laws are passed that you would assume apply to everyone, like Stand Your Ground laws, they don’t really allow for black people to shoot anyone. That’s just white folks. Same as their “religious freedom” talk – it really only applies to Christians, not to Muslims or Pagans or atheists, and until recently, certainly not to Mormons.

It’s one thing to be conservative. You certainly have a right to support the status quo. There have always been people who did that, but its another thing entirely to legislate other viewpoints out of existence; to delegitimize those other viewpoints, as Republicans have done and are attempting to do with liberalism, using the Bible as a hammer of divine right to argue that only those heterosexual white evangelical Christian males are “real” Americans. That you have to be white, Christian and male, to hold the highest office in the land, and satisfy at least two of those requirements to hold any office at all.

It is no mystery why most blacks vote Democrat; it is no mystery why you don’t see blacks or women getting the support of the Republican Party when it comes to presidential elections. It’s tradition that blacks stick to the cotton fields or work as butlers to white folks, and for women to stay in the kitchen, take care of the babies and feed their men-folk while the men-folk take care of all the “decider” stuff. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld showed us all how good they are at that.

The fact that as Granderson points out, the 14th Amendment says “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” means nothing to the status quo and its defenders. Those uppity amendments (except for the 2nd and the 10th) don’t really apply, after all.

That those two amendments alone seem sacrosanct to the conservative mind. That sort of thinking and legislation like Stand Your Ground laws and the recently defeated Wife Beater bill in North Dakota comes only from conservatives, and it clearly shows that the conservative attitude is this: “We can do what we want; the rest of y’all just shut up and know your role. If you don’t like it, we can always shoot you.” But you may as well be shot because without healthcare, you’re going to die anyway. One way is just quicker than the other and we already know they’re more than willing to oblige.

Shut up. Know your role. Or die. That, in a nutshell, is the Republican platform for 2012.

12 Replies to “Shut Up, Know Your Role, or Die – the GOP’s 2012 Platform”

  1. I would ask all democrats to move insurance away from Aetna, according to the new release from CREW they are funneling your premiums to right wing candidates!~
    In secret of course to the tune of about 7 million this cycle.

  2. “…In today’s conservative parlance, freeing the slaves was granting them special rights. Nobody else was freed, after all. Granting women the voting franchise was another special right granted. To the warped conservative mind, anything that grants anybody rights that heterosexual white evangelical Christian males already possess is a special right…”

    A mere trick of their trade; if “granting” rights is a god-given “super-power” meant only for the Aryan nation of perfectly white souls, then taking away rights of anyone different equals your mother’s privileged saying of, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out!” It’s the same kind of double-whammy designed to keep “the other” in their place and preserve the toxic system known as multigenerational dysfunction…we’re supposed to keep playing the game for the sake of the game for people like David Duke??

    If you have the time, read Tim Wise’s writings.
    Tim has been fighting the good fight on this issue for a long, long time…

  3. My employer-based insurance is through Aetna. I don’t have the option of choosing a different company.

    It is just silly that insurance in this country is so strongly tied to employment when you consider the millions of people who are not employed.

  4. Thanks, Hrafnkell,

    This attitude has been very clear in the way the republicans have dealt with PBO. Mitch McConnell went so far as to say that if the president wants to get laws passed, all he has to do is do what the republicans tell him to do. Also, Grover Norquist said recently that America doesn’t need a thinking president in the WH–all we need is someone who will sign bills created by republicans into law. Romney is the perfect GOP candidate because he’ll do what both men require, without protest.

  5. Hraf, your summation of the conservative movement’s attitude that “We can do what we want; the rest of y’all just shut up and know your role” defines the right and no American can prove otherwise. It is fascism, pure and simple, and it spells the end of our pseudo-democracy…and this country.

  6. Enjoyable read. Must say, however, it really only applies to those with money and those with power (synonymously mutual) – white christian males of course. The rest of the Whites be damed.

    Think about it, with current legislation in at least 27 states, women as a group be damned. The nod of the head of racism still crashes down on immigrants, Blacks and others of color. Native Americans (the originals)regardless of their color are still on Reservation – a kind of “no-man’s-land”. The only children with rights are fetuses in the womb for once born are ignored by dominant society. Felons who have paid their debt to society are still doomed to second to third class citizenship with rights withheld by state laws. The poor who have representation which pays no attention them but do to their paymasters AND whose plight has been relegated to serfdom status by Corporatist American Congress.

    They’ve tossed at least 75% of Americans under the Bus of Shame as losers leaving only those with the most “toys” as the winner.

    So either we get up off our duffs and do something about this OR Shut Up, Know Your Role, or Die!- This land is not your land.

  7. Yes Majii you are correct.

    If you go to the MSNBC web page and click on THE LAST WORD BY Lawrence O’DONNELL look FOR Feb 14 broadcast date. Click on it and the first thumb is Grover Norquest basically telling us the Presidency will be NOTHING but a sock puppet for the right wing congress.

  8. This is a pretty bare-naked description of what Bob Altemyer calls the Double- High personality: the type who is simultaneously high in authoritarianism (you must obey the rules and punish those who don’t) and social-dominance-orientation (some people are inherently better than others and are therefore entitled to use every means possible to maintain and achieve dominance; the inferior others are not entitled to resist by even the most lawful and peaceful means). The Double High loves rigid rules…for others; they are very useful to his own designs to control them. He is, at the same time, an utter lickspittle and yes man to anyone who genuinely seems to be his superior (in position and ruthlessness) until he sees some flaw that entitles him to either openly supplant him or use him as a tool (the latter as Dick Cheney did with George W. Bush). The viciousness of these people is partly narcissistic rage and partly calculated terrorism. And in this case, the “inferior” groups are indeed already being legislatively punished for putting an “inferior” black man in the White House, but that is nothing compared to the punitive rage we can expect if they sweep.

    In Chile, prior to the Pinochet coup, Naomi Klein reports that the ominous grafitti, “Jakarta is Coming”, appeared on the walls of the capital. Let us hope we are not seeing, “Santiago is coming”.

  9. What I like here is people are actually complaining that Romney will do what the Republicans tell him to do and only that. Hmmm,well it seems to only be completely opposite of what your president is doing and that is, everything Democratically possible. He promised to reach across party lines and meet Republicans in the middle and help blah, blah, blah. He’s signed laws into policy behind closed doors, he’s done backdoor everything through his Obamacare policy and he’s actually had meetings with all other Democrats but closed door to Republicans. He’s lied about everything he said he’d do while campaigning except he would do more for the Homosexual party which he has done and enforced to the max. Only Democrats are allowed to lie, cheat, and spend more money than feasibly possible!

  10. Really? And to think the republicans had more than a year to read and understand Obamacare.

    Obama has reached across party lines, its the Boehner that says he will not use the word compromise.

    ALL presidents have meetings with their own party. did you just come to America yesterday?

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