What is the GOP goal? A return to the “gilded age” (or worse)

What is the GOP goal? A return to the “gilded age” (or worse)

When right-wing Roy Moore said that the time when America was great was during slavery, he revealed something key to the current GOP members of Congress and state legislatures–their primary goal is to return to a time when owners of property held all the keys to the kingdom and workers were just serfs expected to do as told and whose lives didn’t really matter much to the boss capitalists.

Historian Nancy MacLean suggests that this is the reason for the tax bill’s largesse to corporatists and the wealthy, the reason the GOP wants to undo Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and essentially all the progressive programs introduced in the twentieth century to form the basis for a thriving middle class and surging democratic union.  See Cahuncey DeVega, Historian Nancy MacLean on the right’s ultimate goal: rolling back the 20th century, Salon.com (Dec. 13, 2017).

Here are some key points from the article.

1) “[T]he Democratic Party is terrible at translating complex questions of public policy into simple narratives that evoke emotion and, in turn, action from the American people.” Id.

Indeed, having an able, sympathetic messenger who can translate the issues that truly matter into terms that make sense to ordinary people is something the Democratic Party lacked in the last election.  The tone deafness of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and, much of the time, Hillary Clinton, meant that ordinary people didn’t understand that Trump is merely a blowhard capitalist who doesn’t care if he cheats or lies or exploits other people so long as he gets notoriety and money, while the Democrats have been the party working for a decent sustainable economy, environmental protection and preservation, protection from pollution and diseases, and working wages for ordinary folk.

The GOP, on the other hand, has mastered the art of lying to the point that they can pat themselves on the back for fooling the majority of the people the majority of the time, while blaming anything that goes wrong on Democrats (even when it is–most of the time–entirely GOP policy that the ‘wrong’ occur).  So a tax bill that enriches the oligarchs and ultimately raises taxes on the ordinary people is exactly what they have in mind, but they rush it through without any public hearings and discussion because they don’t want people to realize it.

2) The GOP tax “reform” bill is intended to create a deficit that will justify “huge automatic cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid”, to be followed by a “push for a constitutional convention, at which the No. 1 agenda item will be a balanced budget amendment” with the goal ultimately of privatizing Social Security.

MacLean calls this Ayn Rand-brand of hateful thinking followed by GOP House majority leader Paul Ryan “economic eugenics”.  Since the GOP right-wing libertarians believe that only people who are successful have any merit, they are comfortable “inflict[ing] harm on other people.  At its most basic, this libertarian moral system says that it would be better for people to die than to get health care financed by government from taxes paid by others.”

3)The GOP emphasis on voter fraud (and consequent efforts across the country to make it harder for people to register to vote or to actually vote) allows the oligarch-led anti-democratic movement to disregard the will of the people because they have “gamed the system to maintain power.”

The majority of Americans opposed the tax bill that almost every single Republican representative and senator voted for (no Democrat voted in either house of Congress to support the GOP tax scam).  But the GOP legislators think they can ignore what the voters want, because they have held discussions behind closed doors, and are “using the power of national government to prevent voters in more progressive lcoalities and states from being able to choose more progressive policies” by enacting a bill that penalizes voters living in high-tax, progressive states that actually already send more money to low-tax, economically suffering “red” states.

MacLean notes that George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, funded by Charles Koch, has been leveraging universities for their political project of undoing progressiivism for decades.  They think people will be “absorbed with Facebook and binge-watching Netflix” so will disregard the way that the GOP and their oligarchic allies are using the national government to return to the late 19th century when oligarchs with property had all the power.  That’s what is the “stealth nature of this tax bill.”  Returning to a world where “only the wealthy were doing well and everybody else was screwed”, a world preferred by James Buchanana, who “devised the playbook that the Koch network is using.”

This tax legislation is, indeed, class warfare.  It represents a huge blow in favor of wealthy corporatists though creation of a gaping $1.5 trillion deficit hole that will be used by the GOP to decimate New Deal and Great Society programs on which most ordinary Americans depend –Medicaid to pay for nursing homes in the last years of life, Medicare to help afford needed medical care, Social Security to make up for the gap between the meager savings in retirement plans and the increasing costs of living after retirement.  These wealthy people in Congress just don’t give a damn for ordinary working Americans, whether black or white, rural or urban, “conservative” or “liberal”.  All they care about is making sure that people with property have even more property.  It has nothing to do with creating or promoting a sustainable economy that will lift ordinary workers stagnated wages.  It has everything to do with appeasing the top one percent.