The Republican Party is full of contradictions. As we know, they claim to be for “the rule of law”. They claim to support the Constitution. They claim to be all for the First Amendment. They always talk about “liberty”, “freedoms”, and “personal rights”. As we move toward the Republicans controlling the whole Congress in 2015, we are beginning to see just how disingenuous they really are about these claims.
Before the election I wrote that we had a choice between keeping our democracy or moving to an oligarchy. Most Americans didn’t believe me apparently. Only about 1 in 3 registered voters voted in the mid-term elections. That is probably the most pathetic turnout I have seen in my lifetime. As a result of those numbers, Republicans gained control of the Senate which gives them control of Congress. As a result, they have the ability to pass legislation that will seriously affect our freedom, liberty, and personal rights.
The Republicans have in their platform a “pro-life” stance. However, “pro-life” is a misnomer. They aren’t talking about life in general. They are only talking about whether or not a woman has the right to determine if she wants to continue with a pregnancy or not. If they were truly “pro-life” they would be against the death penalty. They would be all in favor of universal health care because there is nothing more “pro-life” than saving people from disease and death. But, they are not in favor of health care nor are they against the death penalty.
How can a party be “pro-life” and ignore the devastating effects of global warming? How can a party be “pro-life” and ignore the devastating effects of pollution to the health of our people? Yet, they continue to say global warming is a myth. They continue to fight against pollution control. They continue to fight against ensuring clean water for everyone.
If Republicans were truly interested in civil liberties, they would be all in favor of fixing our broken immigration system and not fighting any reforms. They would realize that deporting parents of U.S. Citizens because the parents are not citizens, goes against all of their “family value” rhetoric. But, since these people aren’t white, they don’t have the same “family values” as we do so they can be punished and their children government made orphans.
The incoming leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, is all in favor of passing a law that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. A similar bill passed the House in 2003. That bill was called the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Plan. That bill was based on the false pretense that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation. Of course science has debunked that notion, but as usual science doesn’t exist in the Republican brain so they can ignore it.
But don’t think that will be the end of their attacks. They are planning attacks on reproductive rights in general. Especially birth control. Their lame excuse is that they believe birth control pills should be available over the counter not as a prescription. Sounds very nice indeed. However, there are other factors that they fail to mention. The reason the want “over the counter” accessibility is so their money backers don’t have to provide birth control in health plans.
There is nothing in their articulation of this plan to keep the pill affordable for everyone. Nor, do they mention the fact that like other medications, it is necessary to monitor the health of the woman taking the pill for possible side effects. I guess that will be something else that won’t have to be covered in health plans.
On another front, since the courts have overwhelmed the right with their decisions that same-sex marriage should carry all of the same rights as heterosexual marriages and banning them is unconstitutional, there will certainly be legislation trying to rein in those nasty gay people and their marriages too.
See, they get away with all of this in the name of liberty! They cry that if someone wants to be in a same-sex marriage, those people are taking away the liberties of heterosexual marriages. They are forcing heterosexual marriages to fail because we all know the “gay agenda” is to make everyone in America gay. They try to use “tradition” as a means of proving they are right.
They are continuously saying that America was intended to be a Christian Nation and that secularists and atheists have forced us to abandon that intention of the Founding Fathers. One example they love to use are the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance. Most people do not remember or even realize that those words were added in 1954 during the Big Red Scare. They were not in the original pledge.
The Republicans, and especially the far right-wing of the party, still are living in those days. Communism is still the biggest bogey man hiding in the shadows. Fair tax plans where people pay their fair share based on income is Communism to them. Allowing people to have their own religious beliefs about abortion is Communism to them. Allowing people the same protections under the law in marriage regardless of sex is Communism to them. Enforcing the Separation of Church and State as provided for in the First Amendment is Communism to them.
But why would they continue to use the Red Scare to pass these anti-liberty pieces of legislation? Because their base are the people who lived through those times. I remember once in Chicago when I was in college a Republican Politician telling the audience that the difference between us and Communist Russia was our religious beliefs. As the joke of the day went, “Russia is a Communist country so they don’t believe in religion. That means they have seven days a week to plot our overthrow. While we here in America use the seventh day to go to church and pray they don’t come up with something.”
Our country has fought through upheavals before. We have fought very corrupt governments before. We have fought for civil rights before. But, as you can see, those fights do not stop. In order to keep our form of government, we must continue to fight for those rights.
As we move into the fanatics reign of power for the next two years, I only hope we can survive until the next election cycle. Maybe these two upcoming years will convince the American voters that their votes really do matter. Then they might actually turn out to get the fanatics out of office.