Thursday, May 2, 2019

What Two Party System? (Or.. what do Republicans believe any more?)

Growing up, up until 2016, I was schooled in the US Myth that we have a two party system. For many years semi-serious leftist and radical right(ists?) argued that our country did not really have two parties. Both parties, they would argue, a mushy middle ground designed to keep the status quo going and keep the rich rich.

I never bought that line. But I did believe the fairy tale that we had two parties that had differences of policy.

But we don't.

We have a party that believes in policy, the Democrats. You can argue their policies are wrong, but they are policy.

- Climate Change is real and needs to be addressed (along with that a host of carbon . energy policies)
- Government has a role in protecting safety of Americans at home (the EPA, the FDA, infrastructure regulations for safety of roads, airports, trains and traffic)
- International alliances are key in protecting the future of democratic international institutions
- Dictators / Autocrats may be allies but are not institutions to look up to.
- People's lives are of value, even non-American lives
- Government should not have the final call over American's moral lives when they involve consenting adults (birth control, LGBT lives, abortion)

Most of these policies aligned with Republicans (EXCEPT abortion, gay rights and (until 1970s) birth control)

But the Modern Republican Party does not have values except that (Republican) white men should have the power over the government and people's bodies.

In the last two years, they have supported Dictators and Autocrats without exception (except Venezuela and Cuba). The President has supported, and his party has uniformly backed, outreach to North Korea (a mass murdering despot), groveling to Russia's Putin (out of a mix of odd narcicism and respect), respect to new Autocrats in Turkey, Poland and Hungary - the more repressive the better, and an oath of fealty to Saudi Arabia that includes supporting a war killing thousands of civilians, covering up an extraterritorial murder, expressing support in the mass execution of 37 people with forced confessions (and they crucified a few of them).

Republicans have supported shredding our alliances, international treaties and agreements. They have supported coddling dictators and insulting allies (from Canada to England to Germany, to South Korea).

Republicans, who used to believe in free trade, have embrace tariffs, trade wars and shit upon international trade agreements like NAFTA, GATT, the TPP and the EU / US trade talks.

Republicans have stirred to proactive action only to reduce the ability to vote, close polling places, take away powers from newly elected (Democratic) governors, outlawed voting drives (in Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina).

They have gutted the EPA - a Republican developed institution.

They have literally cheated (i.e. ignored the Constitution) to pack the Supreme Court.

They used to pledge fidelity to the Constitution, but have ignored clauses that conflict with Trump being able to do what he wants (like enrich himself, per emoluments clause), they have ignored their oversight ability and now seek to destroy the Congresses power to do oversight even in the areas (like the House of Representatives) they don't control.

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