The Real Reason the GOP Supports a Lying, Corrupt, Narcissistic, Failed Real Estate Hustler and Reality TV Star
The Senate Trial: Will support for an unrepentant traitor be the final straw?
In the last half of the 1700s and early half of the 1800s, American conservatives promoted and clung to slavery; they even fought a Civil War to preserve it.
Throughout the second half of the 1800s and into the first half of the 20th century, American conservatives fought to keep racial segregation and to stop the rise of labor unions, all on behalf of the “billionaires” of their era, popularly called the Robber Barons.
From the 1960s to today, American conservatives have fought to let modern billionaires and big corporations run our economy and our political system, further cementing their power over America‘s working class.
“Lower taxes and deregulation,” racially specific “law and order,” and “small government” were their singular mantras, all in service of the uber-rich and giant, monopolistic corporations.
Now, with Trump’s impeachment trial, Americas conservatives have turned their efforts from protecting their rich patrons to protecting the dynasty of a lying, corrupt, narcissistic, failed real estate hustler and reality TV star.
Some suggest that the GOP “has lost their soul,” but conservatives in America, having called themselves by various political names over the years, never really had a soul.
They promoted slavery because they believed in white supremacy and free labor to help elite whites become wealthy oligarchs.
They fought labor unions and corporate taxes because gutting both would help elite whites remain wealthy oligarchs.
And today they are fighting like their lives depend on it to defend the right of a criminal billionaire oligarch to tear America apart and try, again, to turn us over to fascist strongman rule.
Ultimately, none of these conservative positions through the history of our country have served average people in anyway whatsoever; instead, from the beginning, conservatives have exclusively served great wealth and helped it to achieve and hold political power.
Trump and Trumpism represents the culmination of a century-long crisis for American conservatives.
I recently read Fritz Thyssen‘s book I Paid Hitler. As a wealthy man and the leader of Germany‘s largest steel operation, he tells the story of how he thought he and other industrialists, the conservatives of Germany in that era, could work with and moderate Hitler and his party who were bent on fascist strongman rule.
We know how that worked out.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that without the support of corporate America and a very politically active group of rightwing American billionaires, most Republicans in the United States Senate would not today hold their seats.
Like Thyssen, they’ve abandoned principles and exclusively thrown in with self interest. They’ve convinced themselves that what’s good for rightwing billionaires and America’s biggest monopolies is also good for America, and thus fight any attempts to improve the lives of average working Americans or the poor.
Their billionaire overlords demand that the conservative politicians they own block programs with well over 50% support among the American public like ending school debt and free college, giving all Americans access to our single payer Medicare system, and rebuilding America in a way that doesn’t further depend on and enrich the coal, oil and natural gas barons.
The result is widespread political confusion, cynicism and polarization as Republican politicians use regionalism, racism, and religious factionalism to win elections so they can continue to serve their billionaire overlords.
They’re well compensated for this, of course. A Republican politician who faithfully serves big corporations and billionaires can safely expect to have at least a $1 million a year job waiting for them when they retire or get voted out of office, and many make far more. At the personal level, the risks are so tiny as to be meaningless.
But the danger to America, and thus to democracies all around the world, grows every day that Americas’ Republicans continue to embrace fascist oligarchs like Donald Trump and the right wing billionaires who bankroll their think tanks, media, and their own political careers.
Fascism is often defined as “the merger of corporate and state interests, combined with belligerent nationalism.” While the modern Republican Party dislikes the label, it’s a perfect description of where they have been at since the beginning of the Reagan Revolution.
Now there’s discussion among anti-Trump Republicans about creating a new “conservative” party. So far, however, that appears to mean trading in extremist fascist billionaire funders for more moderate fascist billionaire funders. Every indication is that it’ll just be the same old same old; more kowtowing to the rich and a further abandonment of America’s working class people.
As we can see right now with the behavior of Republican senators in this impeachment trial, the GOP has deeply betrayed American values. They bear no resemblance to the early conservative Federalist Party (aside, perhaps, from their affection for cheap-labor slavery), and offer average Americans nothing but hatred of racial and gender identity minorities, a cult-like worshiping of great wealth, and a bizarre rejection of science and expertise that would’ve made 16th century Popes proud.
There are many events and issues over the past decades that have exposed the corruption and rot within the modern Republican Party.
But, today, their unwillingness to hold an unrepentant traitor to account in the Senate impeachement trial should be the final straw for Americans.