When we are young we are taught to respect and trust the institutions that surround us. Teachers and policemen are symbols of positive authority that are there to help us. Clergyman and government officials are there to intercede on our behalf. Charitable and civic organizations exist to help those in need and make our communities better places to live. We are also taught that our system of government ,the best in the history of man, provides us with the opportunity to be free in a society that encourages individual success and protects those in need. To that end we select those who govern us through free and fair elections. And finally, we accept the conventional wisdom that we ultimately have the uncanny ability to select those who will serve the greatest good. Then we get older, open our eyes, live a little life and realize that much of what we have been taught is simply wrong. Today’s GOP epitomizes that truth.
We often hear that the political parties are seeking to create an ever larger and more encompassing tent. Ostensibly they are seeking to serve the needs and interests of as many of the different groups that comprise our society as possible. They are trying to view our country through a macro lens and avoid the traps created by a micro perspective. They are not subtle about it. Remember the report the Republicans presented as the result of a soul-searching process following the 2012 election. They essentially said that they needed to grow their tent to become more inclusive and represent the needs of those groups from which they have received little support. Then, true to form, following this “heartfelt” presentation from the Republican Chairman, Reince Preibus, the GOP reverted back to what they are best at, serve the narrow needs of the few.
The Republican Party seems to be the antithesis of all that we learned when we were young. They embody the characteristics of an institution that is not to be trusted. Their motive is not the betterment of society but rather the betterment and enrichment of the few. I am aware that the Democrats are not always motivated for all the right reasons. Certainly the goal of any political party is to obtain power and that process is not always pretty. It sometimes exhibits the least likable and admirable nature of those that are seeking that power. But while the process is often unpleasant, it is what those we place in power do after the election that is most telling. Whose interest are they serving? Is it the narrow interest of the few who provided the financial support to place them in this position of power and responsibility? Or do they understand and appreciate their obligation to make decisions that serve the best interests of their constituency and the nation? It has become the unfortunate reality that those placed in positions of power and responsibility representing the Republican Party most often view the world through the micro lens of their financial supporters. Without subtlety or apology they do the bidding of the few and sacrifice the interests of the many.
If you have been reading my blog since I started writing it in October of 2011 you don’t need me to illustrate or explain the narrow interests served by the GOP. If you question that their approach to governance is self-serving and myopic just examine their position on any number of issues including immigration, gun control, abortion, minimum wage, pay equity, marriage equality and voting rights. Also look at their approach to government regulation, particularly the kind that protects the average citizen but tends to cut into the profit margin of business. This is a party that boasts of their prowess in fiscal responsibility and national security, yet during their watch characterized by deregulation and undisciplined spending the economy of this country was placed in the greatest jeopardy experienced in more than seven decades. It is also responsible for possibly the most egregious foreign policy blunder in recent history, creating a Middle East fraught with threats to our national security unimaginable before. The motives of the GOP are not to be trusted and certainly not to be supported. In 2016 we can do something about it. We MUST do something about it.