It may be time to remind Republicans serving in public office that when they swear an oath to serve, it is to support the United States Constitution that serves all the people and the idea that America is a representative democracy; an idea Republicans despise with religious fervor. Republicans and their various conservative iterations claim that, although they are woefully ignorant of the nation’s founding document as the law of the land, they love the Constitution more than they love Ronald Reagan. However, there is a mountain of evidence that although they love the 2nd and 10th Amendments more than they love their god, bible, and corporations, they have absolutely no use for the rest of the Constitution.
A few Americans may be aware that Republicans hate the Constitution primarily because it forbids religious and corporate tyranny, but what they really hate is that the Constitution exists in the first place. In fact, since the people elected an African American as President, Republicans have stepped up their calls for a new Republican Constitution contrived by Republicans to serve Republicans and their masters in the religious and corporate world. Now, for the second time in five years, a Republican governor is calling for the United States Constitution, the one conservatives claim to love and cherish, and the conservative Supreme Court, to be nullified according to the whims of Republicans and their religious and corporate masters.
On Friday past, Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided it was his turn to make a stand against the U.S. Constitution, neuter the Supreme Court and the U.S. Congress, and create a Republican paradise where a minority rules America. Abbott, like all Republicans, truly believes the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s Framers were nasty tyrants because they created a secular representative democracy by including Article VI, Section 2 in the founding document; the simple clause that prevents America from fracturing into several separate fiefdoms.
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It is true that Abbott did not actually call the Founding Fathers nasty tyrants or bad men for including the “Supremacy Clause” in the U.S. Constitution, but he proposed a few nullification fixes that 155 years ago precipitated America’s deadliest war. Abbott’s proposals parrot the Confederacy’s deep hatred of the Constitution and America that have become the Republican Party’s defining traits today.
Mr. Abbott revealed his nine-point plan to remake the Constitution in the Koch-evangelical image, and along with the typical ‘balanced budget’ nonsense were two or three specific items that would spell the end of America’s representative democracy, and the beginning of Republican minority rule over Congress and the Supreme Court. Most of the nine conservative fixes ban federal legislation that Republicans hate, but two are particularly specific in legalizing Republican-state nullification.
For example, one of the Republican constitutional amendments “allows a two-thirds majority of states to veto any Supreme Court ruling they do not agree with.” Another similar amendment being reintroduced by Abbott allows “a two-thirds majority of states to abolish any federal law or regulation” they or their corporate or religious supporters don’t like.
Now, there is a reason Abbott came up with the two-thirds majority and it is because while Democrats, liberals, and progressives are sniping at each other and sitting home on election day because Barack Obama failed to deliver on promises he never ever made, Republicans have easily taken control of two-thirds of state legislatures and governorships. What is even more telling is that the 32 states Republicans control make up about 100 million Americans out of a population eclipsing 320 million.
For the arithmetic challenged, that means much less than one third of the population would have absolute control of the country and veto power over the President, Congress and the Supreme Court. Worse yet, those 100 million people in 30-something states do not all support Republican policies and would mean that much less than a third of the population would control the direction of the country; it is not what the Founding Fathers intended for America but Republicans could not care any less about the Founders than they do the Constitution or America’s once-renowned representative democracy.
Over the past seven years, especially the last four, Republicans have expressed great interest in eliminating much of the Constitution that prevents them from ruling like dictators. For example, there is little doubt Republicans, particularly religious Republicans, hate the 14th Amendment that prevents religious Republicans from legally discriminating against the non-compliant and non-believers. They also seriously hate the idea of birthright citizenship and want it abolished as much as they want equal rights under the law eliminated for anyone who is not a white Christian conservative male guaranteed to religiously vote for Republicans.
Republicans also detest the 17th Amendment that was arguably the last piece of the Constitution that actually brought America a little closer to being a representative democracy. Since Republicans have demonstrated they oppose democracy out of hand, they want to ban the people from electing representatives to serve in the United States’ Senate; they want Republicans to appoint Republicans to the Senate.
Their idea is not novel, but it is another attempt at tyranny because with Republicans controlling two-thirds of the states, eliminating the 17th Amendment would give a minority of the population a veto-proof Senate majority and complete control of the federal government. And, as a bonus for conservatives, it will wipe out any semblance of a representative democracy; something the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) openly support.
Actually, Republicans know the key to increasing their power over the entire nation is possible if they can just be done with vote-suppression and abolish the 15th Amendment; the amendment they hate with religious passion because it provides African Americans with the right to vote. Since African Americans are not like ignorant white trash conservatives, they do not vote against their self-interests which means they do not vote for Republicans.
With their conservative racists making up a majority on the Supreme Court, Republicans in the mostly Southern states have successfully chipped away at African Americans’ right to vote. It is not a stretch to imagine they are unwilling to wait patiently for the next time the conservative Court finds a means of completely banning people of color from voting, so a much-touted Republican constitutional convention would certainly include abolition of the 15th Amendment and the end of America’s fragile representative democracy.
It is apparent that after seven years with an African American man occupying the Oval Office, Republicans hate the U.S. Constitution as much as they hate the American people. That Texas Governor Greg Abbott is the latest Republican with the audacity to make a stand and call for deconstructing the Constitution is not stunning. Especially if it gives Republican-governed states authority to veto legally-passed federal laws, eliminate several constitutional amendments and clauses, and overrule decisions handed down by the Supreme Court that do not toe the evangelical, oil industry, and gun fanatics’ line.
This is not the first time since Americans chose an African American man as President that Republicans pursued the end of America by eliminating most of the nation’s founding document and law of the land, and it is certain they will never give up until they restructure America to fit their vision of an evangelical theocracy controlled by conservative ideology. The only thing preventing religious conservatives and corporate-owned Republicans from bringing about the end of America as the Founding Fathers intended is the U.S. Constitution; the founding document that Republicans hate as much as they hate America, its people, and particularly its representative democracy.
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.