So many lies are going to be told in the next eight months, and so many myths about our country's history that it is unfortunately going to be necessary for us to repeat the truth over and over again, if we have any hope of being heard above the right wing din. Well, the truth I want to write about today has to do with the real origins of the overwhelming anger and hatred that have flooded the Repubican party's base.
I don't want to hear a single person say that it is because the "government" has screwed the white people of this country, or that it is a reaction to Obama's failure to "bring the country together" in the face of Republican leaders who would never let that happen. I don't want to hear these things- lies told every day by Republican spokesmen- because they are false. The truth is that the Republican party carefully and deliberately built this base, working away to achieve their goals for nearly a hundred years.
I believe that the origins of this malignant plan began in the nineteen twenties, when a cadre of hyper-rich capitalists first seized control of the Republican party, with the essential collaboration of the incompetent Harding and the complicit Coolidge. It was then that they began to propagate a deliberate falsehood, which has become known as trickle-down or supply side economics.
Let us be blunt here: the notion that allowing rich people to do whatever they want is going to make the rest of us rich is one of the most nonsensical ideas in history. No matter how much the rich have had, it has never been enough, and besides this historical truth, the fact is that placing no restraints on greed means of course that the greediest, i.e. the most lacking in human values, are going to end up with everything. In fact, it is my belief that "supply side economics" or "Austrian school economics" was never a serious theory. What it is was economic cant; a fairy tale told to justify giving the rich what they wanted. It is beyond the scope of this post to discuss this in any detail, but the fact is that in 1929, the accumulation of money by the rich, largely enabled by Republican government efforts, resulted in the greatest disproportion of wealth in the history of the country; we all know where that left us. That moderated somewhat during the Depression, but by 2008, the unequal distribution of wealth, made possible by Reagan's campaign of deregulation, had again reached all time highs, and again we know what happened next.
Well, with all of the evidence of history against this ugly fantasy, how were the Republicans going to get people to vote for them based on it? Some one, somewhere, got an idea; we will never really know who or exactly when, but it was brilliant in its simplicity: why not create voters who did not give a damn for the facts, and who were encouraged to vote on the basis of rage and hatred? These people, once they had given in to this way of thinking, could be duped over and over again, generation after generation, and never get tired of stabbing themselves in the back to do what some rich psychopaths want. Well, there, I believe is the ultimate origin of the Republican campaign to turn the American voting populace into an enraged, irrational mob.
Now, just think for a moment who are the world's greatest champions at getting people to believe things that make absolutely no sense, and you have a marriage made in heaven: corrupt politics and religion. And it is to these two horses that Republicans hitched up their wagon, and disaster after disaster later, they are still flogging them down the road.
Well, actually, this didn't work out too well for the Republicans at first, faced with the clear public knowledge that Republicans had encouraged the forces that led to the Great Depression, and Democrats had cured the problem. In fact, a real Republican (Eisenhower had never been a member of either party before being persuaded to run for President) never held the White House until Richard Nixon came along. Nixon, having even less decency than the average Republican politician, of course won on the now infamous "Southern strategy," a blatant (for the time) appeal to White racism and hatred. That worked for a while, as the Republicans inched their way toward open racial incitement of their voters, culminating in the disastrous Presidency of Ronald Reagan, who is still irrationally worshipped by Republicans, despite having set in motion the forces that have destroyed our economy, and sent the country further into a cartoon good guys versus bad guys account of history, in which we were always the good guys, no matter how many people we killed or enslaved in dictatorships, to get our way.
Unfortunately, things then began to take a bad turn for Republicans. Their base was growing older and the natural base of their opponents was growing. By the mid-nineties, I think it is clear, they started to realize that their ability to have their way through elections was reaching its end. I believe it was Newt Gingrich, when he saw the failure of his "Contract with America" to win anything like majority support, who realized that the jig was up, and who then, in concert with Karl Rove and a few other sociopathic Republicans, devised the dual strategy of rigging elections and ramping up the hatred, in order to get enough white voters out, and keep enough other people from the polls, to string out the Republican domination of American politics for a couple more decades. And with this, and with the rise of Conservative talk radio, enabled by Reagan's elimination of the fairness doctrine, began the spiraling down of Republican politics into its current depraved state.
Now, every election, the hatred, the racism, the irrational sense of victimhood, grow more and more intense and undisguised, as the Republican base's detachment from reality grows ever more deliberate. We have now reached the point where a man who can be legitimately called a fascist is likely to be nominated by the Republicans to run for President; and that is not the bad news. The bad news is that, as long as the Republicans continue to pursue this strategy in the face of demographic reality, it will only get worse. Very few people imagined, eight years ago, that the two leading Republican candidates would be a would-be dictator and a certifiably insane religious extremist. And in four or eight years, who can tell how bad things might get? As someone who predicted what we would come to, as early as the 1990's, I can say with confidence that, in place of the current carnival-barker cartoon Hitler, the Republican party could produce a real Hitler, a Dick Cheney with a pretty face. And with the devolution of the morality of the Republican base, demographics is the only thing that could keep him from seizing control of the country.
It is long past time for the gutless Democrats to point this out, and to keep repeating it over and over again, as long as they can. Of course, if history is any sign, they won't and the country will keep willingly destroying everything we used to pride ourselves about. A Trump Presidency could nearly destroy the United States. I fear that, if Trump loses and no one really stands up to his evil base, what the Republicans will bring us next will certainly destroy us.