In military parlance, a siege is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict with the intent of conquering, by attrition and sustained assaults, an enemy holding a static defensive position with no means of escape or chance of marshaling assistance from outside forces. Siege warfare can last months, and even years, but if the attackers are patient and keep up constant pressure, the final defeat of the besieged is swift and extremely violent as the attackers take out their rage on the vanquished for not surrendering at the start of the war. For thirty years, Republicans have besieged 98% of the population with constant, and sometimes, low-intensity conflict that is reaching fruition and threatens to usher in a swift and violent end for most Americans at the behest of corporate and theocratic factions.
It is no longer a question of how or why Republicans are imposing corporatism and theocratic laws on the American people, but when they will finally transform this once democratic nation into a fascist state under authority of plutocrats and theocrats. The bad news is that America is one election away from total dominance by the Koch brothers billionaire club and religious extremists on the verge of replacing the Constitution with the bible and Milton Freidman’s manifesto “Capitalism and Freedom.” In fact, in preparation for oligarchs and theocrats ascendance to unchallenged authority to reign over the people, Republicans are eliminating the last vestiges of democracy, economic independence, and freedom from religion as they openly oppose the Constitution in their final push toward fascism.
The truth is that Republicans have panted to destroy New Deal protections for 80 years, but it was during the Reagan administration they began their siege in earnest and started transferring the nation’s wealth to plutocrats in the banking and financial industry. It was also the era the religious right gained unfettered access to the halls of Congress that is culminating in a blatant push toward rule by religious edict. Over the past four years, Republicans have tapped into racial animus rampant in a large segment of the population to garner support to give inordinate power to corporations with assistance from the Koch-influenced Supreme Court that gave corporations power over free and fair elections. Events of the past few weeks revealed that Republicans have now abandoned any pretense of governing for the people, and they are blatantly advocating for theocracy and corporatocracy.
It can no longer be argued that Republicans are not deliberately creating poverty to make room for tax benefits for the rich. In North Carolina, Republicans increased poverty by becoming the first of many Republican states to eliminate unemployment benefits despite the state has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation. North Carolina Republicans also are amending the state constitution to permanently make it a “right to work” (for less) state to keep corporate profits high and worker wages at poverty level that is a trend in Republican-controlled states. The Republicans’ goal is not to encourage hiring, but to increase corporate profits and produce a population barely surviving on less-than subsistence wages.
In the U.S. Senate, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) called for abolishing the federal minimum wage as part of the New Deal abolitionist crusade, and is a complement to Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) legislation abolishing overtime pay to send more Americans into poverty. All of the Republican attempts at creating poverty are in conjunction with calls to cut social safety nets to fund greater tax advantages for corporations and the rich. Republicans have stopped touting their poverty-creating agenda as necessary to spur hiring because they sense victory in their siege against Americans and it is in no small part due to their voter-suppression tactics the conservative Supreme Court just ensured will advance unimpeded by federal law. All that remains for the High Court to do to finish the Republican siege against Americans, and the Constitution, is strike down the 1st Amendment’s Separation Clause
There was a time that even the hard-core evangelical wing of the Republican Party couched their theocracy ambitions in phony concern for family values, but they abandoned those tactics and have gone full-tilt for embracing religion as the law of the land to enforce harsh measures on gays and women. After the High Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a phalanx of Republican legislators stood boldly before the media and, one by one, condemned the rulings as outright opposition to the Christian bible. In Ohio and Texas, Republicans are attempting to ban abortion services on “sanctity of life” grounds, and protestors outside family planning clinics are not waving medical journals, but bibles as they see their Republican representatives advancing the idea that America is a theocracy, and not a democracy. One Texas legislator was so deluded that there is never a condition or reason for an abortion, even in case of rape, that he claimed rape kits are a form of abortion and it justified excluding rape as a legitimate reason for an abortion.
It was reported here on Friday that in Pennsylvania, a gay elected representative was barred from speaking on the floor of the Pennsylvania House because according to a conservative Christian Republican; he was a violation of god’s law. Republican Daryl Metcalfe (Butler) said without hesitation that “I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law.” The fanatical evangelical’s comments notwithstanding, it was the ease and audacity at which he silenced a fellow government representative on religious grounds that informs America is on the verge of a theocracy if it has not already been established in the shadows with valuable assistance from the corporatist wing of the Republican Party.
Some pundits claim there is no relationship between theocracy advocates and corporatist attempts to subvert democracy, but it is a marriage of convenience Republicans have made good use of over the past four years in particular. It is likely there is little the extremely wealthy and their corporations have in common with hard-core religious extremists, but Republicans take advantage of evangelicals’ passionate opposition to gay rights and women’s reproductive choice to garner support for candidates devoted to slashing social programs to fund tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and that is where the real danger lies. There is little doubt the most vocal evangelicals in Congress and the states are sincere in their attempt to rule by religion, and with funding from wealthy conservative groups whose only regard is grabbing wealth from all the people, the likelihood that a well-funded theocratic agenda giving free reign to oligarchs to plunder what is left of the people’s assets is the outcome Americans should fear most.
These assaults on Americans from religious extremists and corporatists in Republican ranks are in stark contrast to the will of the majority of Americans, and yet instead of backing off out of fear of electoral demise, they are increasing their efforts with brazen disregard as if there is no recompense from an angry electorate. That can only mean one of two things; they are convinced their voter suppression tactics will reap benefits in the next election, or they are intent on causing as much damage to the people and the nation as possible before they are voted into oblivion. Regardless their motivation, it is the people who will suffer and with little hope of outside assistance to defend their interests, the thirty year siege against the American people will reach fruition and they will indeed live in a nation ruled by a corporate theocracy
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.