Politics

Are Republicans Insane?

A popular definition of insanity is the repetition of one and the same action and in the expectation of different outcomes. This definition fits the Republicans this year, if they nominate Donald Trump.

In 2012 Republicans ran Mitt Romney, a (1) multimillionaire businessman (2) with little political experience, (3) who said once on national TV, "I like being able to fire people." (Reference)

In 2016, Republicans are trying the same thing with Donald Trump, only doubling down with (1) a multiBILLIONAIRE businessman, (2) with NO political experience, and (3) with a nationally televised show that features him firing people. (Reference)

Only the reactionary Republicans who currently control the party seem insane by the definition above. There are plenty of reasonable conservative Republicans, like those who spent around $43.3 million to block Trump's candidacy, the Stop Trump Movement. (Reference) They fear their 'base', which is predominately reactionary now.

Reactionaries differ from conservatives in that they want to move a country backwards while conservatives want to keep it the way it is or move it forward slowly. Conservatives are constructive, reactionaries are destructive, wanting not only to stop progress, but undo it.

Reactionaries want to return us to a time of kings and lords, a time when wealthy oligarchs like Mitt Romney and Donald Trump were in charge of governance. In the US reactionaries call themselves the Tea Party, the Far Right, or the Freedom Caucus, among other names. They want an oligarchy, a state in which a few wealthy corporate magnates like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson can rule the country through a single-party system. That is why those states completely controlled by reactionary Republicans, like Pennsylvania, have passed voter suppression laws.

Reactionism is nothing new. Russian reactionaries as late as the 1980s wanted to return to Tsarism—maybe under Putin they have accomplished just that. French reactionaries wanted to restore serfdom after the several French revolutions that removed the king and the various Napoleons.

The US reactionaries have set out to repeal Social Security, replace free education with vouchers for private schools, end the right of women to control their pregnancies, destroy labor unions, and, of course, end free health care, replacing it with private (corporate) medical care and health insurance. In other words, moving backwards to a time long since past.

Bobby Jindal, the Republican ex-governor of Louisiana and recent presidential contender, once famously advised, "We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults." (Reference)

Jindal's sage advice seems to have gone by unnoticed.

(Sunbury Daily Item, May 14, 2016)