As I listen to the words of the current field of Republican candidates and watch the actions and words of the current Republican controlled House of Representatives, it becomes clear that they are all primarily concerned with maintaining their own wealth and well being. They are actively defending the policies and structures that protect their economic and social position.
I find it hard to believe that all of the people that these politicians represent are, in fact, in the same position socially and economically as they. However, these politicians, and I use the word with all of the disdain it infers, have convinced their constituents that they are doing it for the good of the country. Jefferson observed that democracy requires an informed populace. It is clear that these constituents are not informed. They are vulnerable to the atmosphere of fear that is created and the paternalistic tone that is offered. It used to be, keep the women uneducated and barefoot. Now it is keep the constituents afraid and uninformed.
The effort is to keep them believing that government is evil and needs to get out of the way. They say that government just wants to take your money in more taxes and prevent your opportunities by getting in the way of business through regulations. They say that government should stay out of our bedrooms, but restrict the lives of gays, abortion and contraception. They decry our economic problems, but yell against any attempt to restrict unethical and unsavory practices by the banks or Wall Street that in large part created our current economy. They want health care for themselves, but scream against a government program that will protect us all from unethical practices of insurance companies that often makes medical care unattainable for those who need it most.
The Republican Party has lost its way. Imagine that Nixon created the EPA. He would be run out of the Party today. Republicans have become the Party of sustainability of the 1% and keep everyone else in their place. This country has major problems to overcome and the divisiveness the Republicans are creating is a pathway to disaster. They need to remember who they are and who we are. It is time to stop being selfish.