There is a different kind of politics going on in this country right now folks. It is not politics as usual. Sometimes in this country, and in various states, the Democrats take control and the Republicans whine and cry fowl. Sometimes, they even walk out so that the Democrats can’t vote. Sometimes, like now, it’s the other way around. But this time, it’s a little different.
The difference is that those in charge are not just Republicans; they are far-right social conservatives with a scary agenda. This time, it’s all about Americans losing their personal rights and freedoms. This time, those in charge want to strip citizens of their rights as Americans.
All across the country, there is very little rhetoric from Republicans about economic issues. All the bills that have been introduced and laws that have been passed so far are designed to limit or take away the rights and freedoms of Americans.
All these so-called “small government” Republicans can think about doing is to pass laws that will bring the brunt of big government down on the heads of those who believe differently and have different values than the Christian right. They want to deny gays the right to marry. They want to use the power of big government to intrude on a woman’s personal reproductive rights and decisions. They want to force ancient mythology into the science classroom and disguise it as science, even though everybody knows it’s really fundamentalist religion. They want to bust teachers’ unions and blame teachers for the poor quality of education when everybody knows it’s not the teachers that are at fault. Socioeconomic conditions are the biggest determinant of how well a child will do in school. But they can’t blame it on the kids, because they can’t control them. They can’t blame it on the parents because those are the voters. They blame it, instead, on the teachers and their unions.
I, personally, have never been a big union supporter. I believe that, in some cases, unions have grown too powerful. But I don’t want them busted. What I don’t want is big government (ran by the “small-government” Republicans) to destroy workers’ rights by busting their unions.
The laws that are being considered, and even passed, by state legislatures around the country are mind-blowing. In South Dakota a bill was introduced that would make it legal to kill an abortion doctor while performing, or getting ready to perform, an abortion. In Michigan the governor wants a law passed that would give him the authority to, at his discretion, nullify the duly-elected officials of any city or town and replace them with an appointed czar that will do his bidding. In Georgia a bill was introduced to make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage, punishable by the death penalty. In Texas the state board of education is doing everything it can to make sure Christianity is taught in school and that evolution is reduced to a sidebar in the textbooks. And in Indiana, the governor’s agenda calls for public school dollars to be given to private schools, even those affiliated with a religion.
You can quibble that Democrats want to spend too much or tax too much or regulate too much, and in some cases you might have a valid point. But you would never be able to accuse the Democrats of taking away civil rights, constitutional rights, and personal liberties. But that is what Republicans are all about, now more than ever. These are not your run-of-the-mill fiscal conservatives that are fairly harmless, though annoying. These are dangerous, fascist-style conservatives. They are the reactionaries. They want fundamental change in the country unlike anything we’ve seen since the Civil War era.
(Let me quickly add a caveat here: When I said they were fascist-style conservatives, don’t accuse me of calling them Nazis. Fascism is a political ideology that the Nazis happen to embrace. But Nazism is a specific and extreme form of fascism. I don’t believe any of the Republicans who have been elected in the U.S. are Nazis. Now I’ll return to my rant.)
Social conservatives are driven by their very conservative and fundamentalist religious beliefs. They are evangelical Christians who want everyone else to abide by their own narrow view of morality. If they don’t believe in it, you can’t do it. They don’t care about science; they care about morals – their morals. And they want you to abide by them. They don’t care about the environment. Why should they; they believe the Rapture will happen at any moment.
I’ve called these very conservative Republicans dangerous and scary. I’m not using hyperbole. If they succeed in their agenda, all Americans will have far fewer rights and personal freedoms. Our Constitution will be weakened as its guaranteed rights will be eroded away, all but the Second Amendment, of course. That is the conservative rallying cry.
The only silver lining is that the Middle Class, the independent voters, and those who are sensing their rights are about to be breached will start a backlash. Independent voters are starting to realize what they have done when they voted in this reactionary cesspool. At this point, it’s almost a sure thing that the Democrats, or at least moderate Republicans, will be voted back into Congress and in many state assemblies next year. When it happens, I hope they can undo the damage these ultraconservatives are causing.