I wonder what people are thinking when they support Republicans. Do they like the economic mess we are in? Do they like the party that says they will fight any attempt at financial regulation? Do they think that the path the United States is on is sustainable? Do they think the world stands still? More importantly please lay out for me what the Republican plan is for all our problems and ills. Do they have one, and more importantly, does it stand the test of credibility?
What I see from the Republicans is the party that protects the status quo. They think the system is fine and those that have their piece of the pie are going to be protected. Now this is part of the conservative philosophy that in the past was not all bad. Making large changes in anything was risky and a conservative wisely wanted to move slowly to prevent unintended consequences. But the conservatives of today think glaciers are moving at lightning speed and want no change in anything. They have become the protectors of the status quo. With the world evolving around us, we may become extinct if we don’t evolve with it.
I know something about change, as I watched moribund institutions try to reinvent themselves in a more vibrant model to address the changing world around them. In my case I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers that was trying to implement a professional project management approach to design and construction instead of the age old stove pipe way of doing business. To make a long story short, the people in charge, who had the power, fought the change every step of the way because they perceived that a new way of doing business was also a realignment of power within the organization. They were right, but in fighting change they were just holding back their own organization to protect their own piece of the pie. That same lesson applies directly to our country. If we pass a carbon tax that changes the market place to favor green energy to reduce our carbon footprint and to reduce our flow of income to the Middle East, the oil and gas industries feel threatened. And who do you suppose represents most of these interests in Congress?
If you pass financial regulations that limit the risk banks can expose themselves to, then you are overturning the bankers money cart and once again who do you think represents these interests in Congress? When, as in the health bill, you actually manage to make change in a moribund system, what is the cry you hear from Republicans? State’s Rights. Just like back in the days when civil rights was on the march, the Republicans were claiming State’s Rights to try to prevent any change. Bottom line here is that they are protecting the existing power centers (power=money), by preventing any change.
You take any issue and you will find the Republicans have only one answer: Lower taxes, smaller government. Sadly many Republican supporters don’t understand that this is just protecting the rich and further disadvantaging the middle class and poor. I listened to a small business owner say she didn’t know if health care would help, but less government would. Oh really? Let’s do away with the small business administration and all the loans it provides you, or the protection the government provides you from larger business that could undercut your prices and your competition. Let’s do away with all the ways the government subsidizes your business that you take for granted. If you look at almost all of their rhetoric, it is about really changing nothing and blaming the victims for their problems. “Get a job and then you would have health care”, was one refrain I heard over and over. Now they want to repeal health care reform instead of waiting to see if it would actually help. This is the epitome of stifling any change. The world around us is changing at lightning speed and so far the only answer the Republicans have for us is to try to return us to a past we can never get to. Sadly today there was even more evidence of their inability to adjust to change. They are trying to shut down the government by stopping all committee meetings after 2 pm. It is just a childish reaction to not getting their way.
Worse, confronted by the violence they have instigated in some of their more demented followers, they blame the other side for the violence because the majority did not do what the minority demanded. Once again they are blaming the victim. The latest is from Eric Cantor who claims the Democrats are politicizing the threats of violence. Just let the police handle it. Sure the perpetrators of these acts should be prosecuted, but so should the instigators. That would be the Republicans who have egged on these demented folks. There is no hope for the Republican Party and if you want to bring them back into power get ready for more sliding into the abyss.