Stars and Stripes Forever? The Republican Plot to Fracture America

An ideology that involves strong identification and great pride by a group of individuals with a nation is considered nationalism. Americans witnessed an outpouring of nationalism after the terror attacks on 9/11, and one can hardly forget George W. Bush addressing a joint session of Congress in November 2001 when he said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” and it turned out to be a warning to the American people that Republicans have used to divide a once unified nation.

Today the nation celebrates 236 years of existence as a sovereign nation, and instead of a United States of America, Republicans have created a divided populace based on the mantra “either you are with us, or you are un-American.” The divisive nature of “us against them” has pitted white Christians and wealthy industrialists against the rest of the country, and it has engendered a feeling of sadness and despair in the population that is not aligned with conservative ideology. Conservatives, for their part, harbor extreme hatred for Americans that fail to fall in line with the greedy theocratic Republican agenda and are responsible for preventing America from being truly exceptional. In fact, it is getting to the point where it is nearly impossible to find any point of pride in what America has become under assault from theocrats and plutocrats.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and although his words are considered an “immortal declaration” and possibly the grandest statement in American history, Republicans have worked tirelessly to legislate those words, and their meaning, out of existence. For Americans who were adults prior to 1981 when Ronald Reagan portrayed the government as the greatest threat to the American people, and that the less-fortunate were draining the nation’s resources, the steady march toward plutocracy is a cause for remorse and sadness that any sense of a collective conscience is extinct in America.

For the three years, Republicans attempted to restrict the majority of Americans from enjoying Jefferson’s unalienable rights, and they did so with resounding support from theocrats and industrialists alike.  According to Republicans, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is reserved for the wealthy and defined by religious extremists. The result is Americans around the country mourning the loss of community, shared sacrifice, and responsibility for oneself and their fellow Americans, and instead are witnessing the exaltation of the wealthy few and imposition of Christian laws on the entire population.

Republicans are wont to boast America’s exceptionalism as a source of pride, but under their anti-government and theocratic agenda, not only is America not exceptional, it is becoming a source of shame and ridicule for its treatment of an ever-expanding segment of the population that is not the wealthy elite or evangelical fanatics. This new paradigm is creating an environment of contempt for the poor, middle class, women, minorities, seniors and gays that harkens back to a time when landed gentry ruled unopposed and the church meted out punishment for breeches of their morality, and it portends the end of what was at one time the greatest nation on Earth. Those days are long gone and will probably never return.

It is incredibly sad that in America today, one political party has convinced their sycophants that it is acceptable for the richest country on Earth to deny healthcare to over 30-million Americans, block efforts to give all Americans a living wage job and security in their old age, and to discriminate against women, people of color, gays, and the poor. Christian conservatives have convinced their supporters that their bible supersedes the law of the land and that giving all of the nation’s assets to the wealthy and their corporations is how they achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One of the most oft-repeated questions from nearly every person this author interviews is; “why are Republicans taking what little I have left to give to the rich; do they not care about the rest of us?” The simple answer is no, they do not care. However, it is worse than just not caring, it is the support and contempt for Americans from other Americans and it has spread like a cancer throughout the conservative movement prompting supporters to vilify poor and middle class Americans who are the backbone of this country, and the “me first” attitude has morphed into a “me only” mindset inherent in the Libertarian movement.

Republicans have been so successful convincing their supporters they are “real Americans,” that a large segment of the population despises other Americans who oppose conservatives stripping away wealth to benefit the rich. It is certainly no source of pride that Republicans are openly working to destroy the government of the United States, or that their presidential candidate promises to dismantle large portions of the government to replace with for-profit corporations, or that cutting education, police, firefighters, and public sector employees to make room for more entitlements for the wealthy is a noble pursuit. What makes matters worse, is that Republicans use religion and racism to pit American against American to distract from their corporate agenda, and that their never-ending propaganda demeaning the opposition is driving right-wing extremists toward armed insurrection and a race war.

Attempting to find one reason to be proud of this country and celebrate America’s independence is an exercise in futility when a quarter of America’s children live in poverty, 50-million Americans barely survive on food stamps, and Veteran’s benefits are being cut to make room for the wealthy’s tax cuts. Instead of a communal outrage at the mistreatment of their fellow Americans, Republican supporters are clamoring for more drastic measures to punish the “takers” and reward the “makers” and it is shameful that Americans celebrate other Americans’ bad fortune.

The real source of shame is Republicans actively driving a wedge between Americans based on the skin color of the President. The class war has been raging for 31 years, but the culture war began in earnest in 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in as the President, and despite his heroic attempts to unify the nation, Republicans have successfully created an “us against them” mindset in a frighteningly large segment of the population for political expediency. The right’s use of terms such as tyranny, government intrusion, religious liberty, Marxism, and socialist takeover are meant to enrage and frighten Americans who have no idea what those terms signify, and they have had a measure of success inciting Americans against Americans based on political affiliation.

It is tragic that this country could be a shining light in the world instead of a pox on humanity. America achieved its “greatest country in the world” status through shared sacrifice, commitment to its values, and a sense of community that has morphed into a nation of paranoid jealousy, fear of change, and hatred for other Americans to the delight of Republicans and their neo-conservative followers who consider perpetual war, starving citizens, and religious extremism exceptional. What conservatives are remiss to acknowledge is that America’s greatest achievements were a collective effort involving all Americans, and as they divide, separate and alienate segments of the population to achieve their goal of a corporate theocracy, it appears that America’s greatness is nearing an end.

Happy Birthday America, you are a fractured nation and instead of pride, this author feels nothing but abject shame and sadness that the people of this once-great nation were swindled into believing that “if you are not with us (Republicans) you are un-American,” and not worthy of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.

8 Replies to “Stars and Stripes Forever? The Republican Plot to Fracture America”

  1. In 1965, we believed that by the Twenty-First Century, we would have either a just world, or a dead one. Un-Dead did not seem like an otion.

  2. Great article Rmuse…It’s really scary that a majority of the people have been brainwashed by the (G)rand (O)bstructionist (P)arty and don’t realize the dangers we would face and now is the time for a
    teathugliKKKan tsunami. We must save our country!

  3. I understand the article, but I have been taught that if I complain, or, in this case, point out the outright onslaught on the very foundations of this country, then I should also have a solution or solutions.
    There are more reasons that the GOP is succeeding in this attack then we are in stopping it. Fox news, Rush, O’Riley come to mind. An out of control Tea Party with elected officials whose agenda is the total dismantling of any social safety net programs and the privatization of most functions that are normally assigned to our local, state and federal agencies. The total lack of any compromise or responsibility to govern and the outright racism used to divide this country.
    What to do??
    Well, for starters, we should start a movement to find individuals that are willing to get elected to national office with the specific intent of getting this country back on it’s feet. To do this, they need to be able to stop the lobbyists from influencing the legislative process, stop it dead in its tracks, and reverse the legislative onslaught of deregulation now in place.
    Banks need to be strictly regulated, and they need to be broken up. Wall Street needs to be stopped from making money for monies sake. Banks need to go back to the business of investing in the future of this country’s infrastructure and capital projects. As of today, Banks are too big to fail based on the fact that they are in the business of making money for themselves, and screw the rest of us. That type of policy needs to be legislated out of existence by highly regulating the banks, breaking them up, sperating the bond and stock market operations, and putting into effect those laws that were signed out of existence during the Clinton presidency.
    I have so much more in the way of solutions to point out, but to close, I will say this:
    The GOP and the Democratics have successfully deregulated Wall Street with Wall Streets powerful lobbying machine, and that needs to be OUTLAWED!! We need people elected who are interested in the welfare of this country and its people, not their own agendas, and we need to get back to the basic that this article was all about…community. We must lose an “Us against them” attitude and become a “UNITED” nation again!!

  4. Great post. A sad fact is that today, the 236 birthday of the US, while physicists in Europe are announcing that after 100 years of research the discovery of one of the most fundamental matter-energy particles in the universe that gives us life and consciousness, almost half of Americans still believe that God is a hairy old white man who lives in the sky. Talk about counter-revolutionary.

    What is even more depressing is that these people believe in the concept of “Deus ex machina.” God from the machine that will come to save us in our hour of despair and need. Excuse me, all you ignorant semi-literate republicans, The universe is not a machine, it is a random place in which quantum fluctuations rule. And what about God? Is the Higgs Boson the God particle? Could there be several different kinds of Higgs Bosons? What? Maybe we need to become polytheistic?

    As science and scientific research shines as bright as the brightest star, The US is descending into the swamp of superstition and totalitarianism.

  5. Oh yeah, the god particle. Just wait until the fanatics catch on and unload Hell on the scientific community. They are bad enough assailing science before CERN’s announcement, it’s going to get ugly and thankfully, their god won’t help them. Conversely, no-one’s going to help us either. Bad times coming.

  6. It is called the Constitution of the United States of America. Those that violate their oath to defend it as representatives of the PEOPLE of America should be labeled traitors and ran off the hill. But most Americans have never read it or don’t understand it or it’s importance.

  7. “Un-Dead did not seem like an o[p]tion.”

    Why do you think that vampires and zombies are so popular?

    Speaking of the undead, Dracula has a couple of great lines in the 1930s movie.

    “To die, to be really dead, must be glorious…There are worse things awaiting Man than death.”

    Yes, Count, and one of those things is happening to the GOP.

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