Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree
A Retrospective Against GOP Revisionism
I hate to base an entire article on an ad hominem, but the GOP is proving to be such an manipulative, disingenuous, and petulent bunch that it’s virtually impossible to discuss their machinations without using terms like plot, un-American, and collusion. Any attempt to describe their politics without doing so renders the writer disingenuous as well. A good rule of thumb when trying to understand GOP motives, therefore, is to always remember that whatever they accuse their opponent of, is more often than not, exactly what they’re engaged in.
One of the founding fathers of conservative thought was Alexander Hamilton. He was an aristocrat who advocated that poor and middle-class Americans should be relegated to second-class citizenship, and the GOP has fully embraced his agenda. Hamilton said the following:
“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people…. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government.”
Debates of the Federalist Convention (May 14-September 17, 1787).
While Hamilton’s position was resoundingly rejected by the vast majority of the founding fathers – whose primary reason for coming to America in the first place was to get away from the European class system – there were many of Hamilton’s ilk who chose not to recognize the American ideal that “All men [and women] are created equal.” Then they were later joined by Southern Dixiecrats, or social bigots, who also rejected the ideal of human equality.
These are the people who currently run the modern day GOP – corporatists and social bigots who tend to believe that America belongs to them, and the rest of us are simply tolerated due to their “good will and Christian charity.” This is the primary reason that the Republican party’s platform is fiercely hostile to education (‘elitistism’), labor unions, and ‘big government.’ That’s also why they’re such strong advocates of state’s rights.
The corporatists within the GOP are hostile to education because they don’t want the “lower-class” social bigots within in their ranks to realize that they’re being duped into working against their own interests – like healthcare reform, for example. They’re hostile to organized labor and big government because both institutions also tend to protect the rights of the poor and middle class. And they’re strong advocates of state’s rights because the social bigots within their ranks blame big government for usurping the rights of the Southern states by ushering in integration and civil rights.
Thus, the GOP is a party that’s made up of oil and water. The corporatist agenda of those who control the party is diametrically opposed to the interests of their lower-class soldiers who they depend on to stay in power.
The corporatists, for example, want to import as many undocumented workers into the country as possible in order to lower the wages of the American middle class, while many of their socially bigoted soldiers don’t even want legal Hispanics in the country, much less undocumented.
So for many years, in order for the corporatists to make their extremely unpopular agenda palatable to the American people they have had to constantly engage in campaigns of disinformation, conflation, the ‘isms’ (convincing the people that anything that doesn’t cater to the rich and ‘wellborn’ constitutes the un-American‘evil of socialism’), and other divisive tactics that keep the American people engaged in knee-jerk emotionalism instead of logical thought.
Their tactics are clearly transparent. Take the term ‘Obamacare’ for example. The term was coined to keep those who hate that we have a Black president focused on Obama rather than the merits of the program. And the same is true of the term ‘Islamofascists’ the term was coined to promote endless war, and war profits, because it suggests that the war is not just about terrorists, but all Moslems.
If we carried that rationale to its logical conclusion we would have to condemn all Christians, since those who lynched Blacks in the South and committed genocide against Native Americans were of the Christian faith.
In my article, Ode to a Bleeding Heart , I point out how they used conflation to demonize liberalism:
“When you consider how methodically the conservatives went about mounting their assault on the liberal agenda you can’t help but recognize that it was a stroke of genius. Ironically, the conservatives took the Democratic Party’s strength and made it a political liability. First they took the party’s penchant for being concern with the plight of the downtrodden and coined phrases such as ‘bleeding heart liberals’ and ‘tax and spend Democrats.’ They then played on the frustration of the middle class by tying civil rights legislation, welfare, and crime into one neat bundle as the source of middle class woes; then they attributed all of these problems to what they called the Democrat’s tendency to be ‘bleeding heart liberals.’ Once the connection was made between minorities, welfare, crime, and the liberal agenda, it was just a matter of repeatedly hammering the message home.
“In addition, conservatives used such tactics as spitting out the word ‘liberal’ as though they were saying rapist. In that way they not only implanted a negative attitude toward liberalism in the mind of the voter, but it was said in such a way that the implication was made that it went without saying that all the negative stereotyping of liberalism was true. In other words, their attitude seems to suggest, ‘I could substantiate what I’m saying about liberals, but I don’t think it’s necessary since we all know what they’re like.’ And in the election that spawned the ‘Republican revolution’ the voters said, yes, we do.”
But now the GOP has come upon interesting times. Now, in order to finalize their ultimate objective – to transfer what’s left of the nation’s wealth to the rich, and lower the standard of living of the American middle class – they’re going to have to show their true colors like they’re currently doing in Wisconsin.
Injustice and hunger has a way of opening the people’s eyes. So it won’t be long before the people begin to see that the GOP, in collusion with the corporatists, purposely drove America into a ditch by using the Iraq war to ravage the treasury. They then sent our jobs overseas to purposely create high unemployment to restore the GOP to power, and to depress incoming tax revenue to give themselves an excuse to attack the poor and middle-class safety net.
The people are also going to ask themselves a couple of other questions: If the GOP is truly concerned about the national debt, why did they give a tax cut to the top 2% of the population that will add an additional $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years? And finally, why didn’t we hear a peep when congress voted themselves $93,000, over and above their salaries, in ‘petty cash?’
Religious bigotry: It’s not that I hate everyone who doesn’t look, think, and act like me – it’s just that God does.
Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, The Black Star News in New York, and a Staff writer for Veterans Today. He’s also the author of A Message From the Hood.