For the past seven years President Barack Obama has delivered prescient State of the Union speeches that should appeal to the majority of Americans regardless of their party affiliation except for one small detail; he represents the federal government. Oh it is true that the majority of Americans depend on and benefit from the federal government whether or not they are intelligent enough to know or are willing to admit it, but a fair majority of the population is still mesmerized by the Reagan-Republican mantra that government is the one true source of all their misery. The Koch brothers and Republicans are aware that the way to win elections is demonizing government as much as they are aware that Americans are inherently stupid; not ignorant, but just dirt stupid and it transcends nearly all demographics. This is a simple fact that President Obama must have finally realized after five years of futility and it is reasonable to assume it is why he began exercising his executive authority on issues important to the majority of Americans they are loathe to admit.
Noted economist Paul Krugman wrote in his column on Monday that Republicans and their supporters are immune to reality and facts as much as they are prone to extremism. Krugman noted that despite 2014 being the hottest year on record, Republicans and suffering Americans still deny climate change exists. He also wrote that the Kansas trickle down experiment is a certifiable economic disaster and yet Brownback was re-elected by idiots in spite of his intent to eliminate taxation altogether; something the Koch Congress yearns to follow. He also cited the success of healthcare reform and the relief it has given many, many Americans suffering financial distress due to medical expenses; still Republicans want the ACA gone. To add to Krugman’s reality list, the nation’s infrastructure is literally crumbling under Americans and yet Republicans will not approve one penny for improvements because it is too costly; all the while handing the military over half the 2015 budget as well as calling for more unfunded tax cuts for the rich.
All of the nation’s ills; effects of climate change, poor wages, vanishing middle class, poverty, and broken infrastructure are issues that only a functioning government can address. The Kochs know this and Republicans do as well, which is why when government works all manner of conservatives are outraged. Why? Because they simply do not want government to work regardless how many successes it accomplishes for the general welfare of the people, the economy, or the nation’s continued prosperity. If Americans were not so inherently stupid, they would recognize that the issues plaguing them today are not due to the federal government, but because the Koch-Republicans conspire to make it not work and are intent on dismantling it. There is little doubt when they finally succeed, whether by decimating it through abolishing it piece by piece or by starving it into bankruptcy, even the die-hard conservative voters will realize they were punked by their heroes, but by then it will be too late.
To get a glimpse of what Republicans have in store for the nation, it is worth perusing the Koch brothers’ libertarian ‘wish list’ now that they control two-thirds of the government (Congress and the Supreme Court). Two years ago Senator Bernie Sanders released a list of the government programs and agencies the Kochs want abolished; not reformed or reduced, completely eliminated. They include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Postal Service, public education, all forms of taxation, workplace safety laws, Environmental Protection Agency, Transportation Department, minimum wages, Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Elections Commission, Department of Transportation, Food and Drug Administration, Veteran Affairs, Commerce Department, and the Consumer Protection Agency. They also demand that all roads, schools, prisons, waterways, and water delivery systems are handed over to privatization and administered by for-profit corporations. They, like their Republican cohorts, also demand that any government function that remotely aides or provides for the general welfare of the people, as required by the U.S. Constitution, be immediately discontinued. In other words, every anti-government Republican in Washington and the states is doing the will of the Kochs and it did not start because Americans elected an African American President; his race just gave the GOP and Kochs a racist segment of the population to oppose anything related to government with a Black man in the White House; even when the President’s proposals are supported by the majority of Americans.
If the people thought the past four years with Republicans controlling the House were fruitless, they can expect less over the next two years. Oh sure, the President proposes tax cuts to help America’s working families, two years of free college, and job-creating infrastructure improvements, but Republicans and the Kochs will not allow anything to go forward. Their plan includes attacks on women, Kansas-style tax cuts for the rich, significant cuts to social and domestic programs, and increased taxes on the poor, middle class, and the elderly; President Obama is unlikely to allow the Kochs to dismantle the government while he is in the White House. The result will be standoff after standoff and more outrage from conservatives. Their plan is to go to the courts with conservative activist judges for redress as well as sending high-paid lobbyists to state attorneys-general to thwart any progress at the state or federal level that might help the American people.
Many Democratic supporters are wont to say everything will change in 2016; that may well be the case, but in the interim the country will continue limping along without any investment in America or its people. At best the people can hope Republicans will avoid more fiscal cliffs, government shutdowns, and threats of a credit default, but if that is the best to hope for, it is a damn pathetic commentary on this nation and the people supporting Republicans. It is also sad that there are still substantial numbers of Americans who support dismantling the government and helped the Kochs’ $290 million install a Congress intent on, as Mitch McConnell pledged, “going after the federal government, all of it.”
For over thirty years Republicans have convinced a large segment of the population that their greatest enemy is the government and they rode that belief to control two-thirds of the government they want to destroy. It is true they have yearned to decimate the government for thirty years and have taken every possible step to make it fail, but now that the government with an African American President produced the world’s leading economy, over 11 million jobs, and GDP growth that is the envy of the world, Americans can expect a concerted effort to derail those successes to dismantle the government. A government the people would sorely miss if they were not so inherently stupid; something the Kochs and Republicans count on to achieve their vision of America without a government.
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.