AIPIC is over, that three-day love-fest for Israeli domestic and foreign policy. And today, Paul Ryan is bragging up responses to his address to the AIPIC Conference Monday. Paul Ryan said in his address to AIPIC that “A confident America stands by its allies.” By “allies” what Ryan unequivocally means is Israel. Not Britain, not France, not any other American ally. Just Israel. Because only Israel, according to Republicans, should be able to set America’s foreign policy.
Ryan said at AIPIC,
“That is why my first overseas trip as speaker will be to return to Israel.
“And that is why I can pledge to you tonight that as long as I am speaker, I will not allow any legislation that divides our countries to come to the House floor.
“It is action and deeds that builds trust. And our friendship is too important—the dangers we face are too real—to let there be any misgivings between us.
“Like my House colleagues, I understand that America is not safer when we back away from Israel. America is safer when we stand with Israel. So if there’s one thing I want you to take away from tonight, it is this:
“My colleagues and I will do everything we can to strengthen our friendship—not just with words but with concrete achievements. No taking friends for granted. No leaving them in the lurch. A friend is a priority. And America’s leaders should act like it.”
Americans are wishing Ryan would let any legislation come before him for a vote. The GOP-run House under first Boehner and now Ryan has given ‘do nothing’ a whole new dimension of meaning.
What’s worse, the GOP’s Israel First policy reveals a party that stands by Israel, but not by its own citizens. Ryan says his first overseas trip would be to Israel. How about a more local venue, like Detroit? Or Ferguson? Or other hot spots created by repressive Red State regimes.
Ryan compared the Iran Deal to unspecified events in 1939, a misremembered reference to Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler. Not that we don’t see plenty of Republican appeasement at home – of Donald Trump’s fascist movement. Republican attempts to derail Trump are half-hearted at best, mainly because Trump is giving many Republican policies center stage. They can hardly attack Trump without attacking their own policies.
When Republicans do focus on domestic issues, it is issues surrounding their ‘culture war’ – gays and lesbians, equal pay for women, women’s reproductive rights, voting rights for minorities, and ‘religious freedom,’ in other words, the establishment of some bastardized form of Christianity as a state religion.
All these policies are designed to regulate – exactly what Republicans say government should not do. But it is corporations Republicans want to protect, not American citizens. People should be regulated – where and how they have sex, who they marry, whether they want to have children or not, who they pray to or if they pray at all. All these are of pressing concern to Republicans.
Safe drinking water, air we can breathe without choking, chemical-free food – things like this don’t matter. Access to affordable healthcare doesn’t matter. Taking care of fetuses once they’re born doesn’t matter. Giving our children a sound education doesn’t matter. It’s more important that those who speculate in charter schools find new opportunities to pocket public funding.
The Republican Party has turned its back on America. And even its support of Israel is a sham, as white Christian Republicans think very little of Jews and their religious freedoms. Age old Christian antisemitism is alive and well, and indeed, enjoying a renaissance in today’s Republican Party. Trump may be the most vocal expression of this trend, but he did not create it.
Donald Trump wants to round up 11 million “Mexicans” and dump them outside our borders and build a huge wall to keep more of them out. Ted Cruz wants to ghettoize Muslims, and all of them want to keep blacks ghettoized. They have attempted to delegitimize any political ideology, any religious belief not their own.
You won’t see any Republican elected official or candidate speaking before a forum addressing American issues. They created the problems we’re facing and they’re not about to start talking constructively about them now. Those who try are marginalized, and even so-called Republican moderates hold views that are appalling.
Ryan said at AIPIC that Israel has ‘no greater friend than America,’ but the American people have no greater enemy than the Republican Party. Ryan said at AIPIC that “A confident America stands by its allies.” It’s just a shame the GOP doesn’t stand by the American people. The GOP isn’t even confident enough to let Americans vote.
No. In a Republican America, America’s ally Israel may rank first, but the American people rank last.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.