I’m only here for that green paper ...
— Puff Daddy
The correspondence, though dotted with several words that are not suitable for this publication, was, I thought, a pretty good one. In essence:
“I’m always amazed when liberal Democrats like yourself attempt to take potshots at the Republican party when you are intellectually incapable of doing so. What makes you think anyone cares what you think? And how can you attack the one group in this country that’s trying to turn around the mess created by Democrats like yourself?”
A couple of things first: 1) I am neither a card-carrying liberal nor a Democrat. I find nothing in any current political party that would make me want my name attached to it. 2) I honestly don’t think a whole lot of people care what I think about any issue, political or otherwise. I’m a guy doing a job. And 3), since you asked ...
Republicans in Washington have absolutely no interest in “turning around” any “mess” that exists within our government. Forget what you may hear, what the party’s actions indicate is that its lockstep membership is interested in three things: 1) Making sure Barack Obama is not re-elected president, 2) making sure they and their GOP brethren are re-elected and 3) — this is the No. 1-with-a-bullet priority — making sure rich people get richer.
A quick quiz: Who said the following? (Hint: His first name is “President.”)
“We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of these loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more than the bus driver?”
Ironically enough, those words came from Ronald Reagan during a June 6, 1985, speech at Northside High School in Atlanta. That’s ironic because it was Reagan’s so-called “voodoo economics” — so-called by the man who would be his vice president, George Bush, before he became vice president — that started the tax-breaks-for-the-rich ball rolling. That ball hit a hefty speed bump during the eight years that Bill Clinton was in office, but when the second Bush and his second-in-command, big-business and big-oil’s BFF Dick Cheney, got into office, they really took care of the ultra-rich, or as Bush only semi-jokingly referred to them, “my base.”
But I will give the brazen new Republican party credit for a couple of things: They have the nerve to keep fattening the wallets of the country’s wealthiest citizens even while the nation is in one of the worst economic periods in its history and even while the disappearing middle class continues to shoulder more and more of the burden.
And, the new-world-order GOP has the smarts, the tools and the game plan to convince people who aren’t part of the elite in this country that they’re going to be better off with their party running the show. How else to explain not one term, but two terms of the second Bush?
Of course, the mystery of that second item is not that tough to figure out. As Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs — not, by the way, a Republican — once noted, “It’s all about the Benjamins.”
Money is the fuel that fires the propaganda machine in 21st-century America, and with big businesses buying up GOP lawmakers and sweetheart legislation to the tune of billions of dollars in contributions a year, there’s plenty of money to line the politicians’ pockets and to convince the unwashed that their issues are at the core of the Republican platform.
Just spread a few hundred thousand of those Benjamins around, and all of a sudden the concerns of the masses become the primary focus of the GOP: gay marriage, gun rights, the freedom to kill oneself with tobacco products, defense spending, preserving the “one true religion,” keeping quality health care for the few who can actually afford it.
Have some of your more popular talking heads/sheep baaaa a few buzz words like “end-of-life death squads,” “Obamacare,” “the repeal of our God-given Second Amendment rights,” “Muslims in the White House,” “no birth certificate,” “gays in the military” ... and suddenly things like tax loopholes, tax breaks, trickle-down economics, subsidies and estate taxes get lost in the shuffle.
Just keep convincing those who aren’t among the country’s richest 3 or 4 percent that they matter, pocket all the “contributions” coming in from the NRA, Big Tobacco, Big Coal ... and remember to vote the party line. That’s what makes you a good little Republican.
The Democrats? There are plenty of reasons they’re worse than their counterparts in the GOP, but that’s for another time. And since you did ask ...
Email Carlton Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.