Back in May we published an article asking if there were any Republicans with courage. If anyone wishes to review the responses to the first article to assure that what I am saying is correct you may read the comments from the following link: (Is There Not One Republican With Courage) You will find many opinions and comments however you will also find that not one Republican took up the challenge to debate the philosophies. Although there were several responses to the article, not one took up the challenge. Now with that said, we did set some rules in that article that may be hard to understand. We did state that we would not debate specific policies only philosophies. We then listed those philosophies, our opinions of them, and what we thought of them. In reality we did this to help out any Republican that thought they may have had enough courage to give it a shot although we should not have had to do this. We could have just put three philosophies out there and asked for the debate without tipping our hand but we wanted to hopefully have some one participate without feeling they were going to be blind sided. Even with this not one could participate in a debate about the philosophies.
After this initial challenge we then took all three philosophies and published a detailed explanation of each in three seperate articles. So once again, and I think each month until after the 2012 elections we will continue to ask for this debate. Below we have included the three original postings from the challenge in the original article, I have included the philosophies of the Republican Party related to these, some background information from the Republican Party to substantiate them, our opinions, and the rules of the debate once more.
So once more I will put the challenge out there. "Is There Not Republican With Courage?" We have given you all the ammunition that we could to help you out. We will debate any particular policy with you in your own articles if invited to do so however for the purposes of this article we will only debate the philosophies we have included here. Yes, you are right, we are setting the rules however you are free to write your own articles and set your own rules and I think you will find I will not shy away from that debate or possibly I may even agree with you. Do not be surprised at that as I am neither Democrat or Republican and fully know that both sides have bad ideas and good ideas and I could care less where any good idea comes from as long as it is just that.
You will find our opinion at the end of this article. All comments are welcome however we looking to strictly debate philosophies. For my Republican friends I think we have given enough information and the rest is up to you. For our Democratic friends please feel free to add to or comment on your opinion of how we have stated these philosophies.
First off: My belief is that the Religious Right in this country are cowards. I believe they wish to institute a Christian Fundamentalist system in this country that is intolerant of anyone that does not believe the way they do. I believe they are fighting to change text books, limit freedom of choice, and trying hard to integrate further into our political system as they fear becoming irrelevant. I further believe that the Religious Right uses God as an excuse to force their will on others to fulfill their own needs for donations and to keep their membership up. I believe the Religious Right if left unchecked will replace science with myth, replace tolerance and understanding with prejudice and war, and lead us down the path of other nations that cannot rule without the consent of the church. Much like the church of England in earlier times and nations such as Iran in this time, where their politicians cannot function without the approval of the Christian Fundamentalist leaders we will be doomed to repeat the failures of the past and present where nations have and do operate this way. My belief is that not one Republican from the Religious Right has the courage to state in specific terms what their real goal is or explain what American Exceptionalism is for them.
The philosophy of the Religious in the US is as follows:
America is exceptional because God has blessed us this nation above all others because of our Christian beliefs and that our nation must adopt these principles as we see it within our government, schools, and society, as it is God's will that we do so. Within this philosophy this group believes they have the God given right and responsibility to enforce their beliefs on others, assure their belief system stands above all others, and they have been anoited to determine God's will in the only correct manner.
To illustrate this point please review the following quotes and the sources: (If you are already familiar with these quotes you may skip the quotes and go right to the summary.
"Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. - John Ashcroft (Former Governor of Missouri, Senator, and Attorney General)
"There should be absolutely no 'Separation of Church and State' in America." - David Barton of Wallbuilders)
"We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There's a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody's values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe."
"For millions of Americans homosexual conduct is morally suspect and they [employers and landlords] ought to be able to make decisions based on that." - Gary Bauer (President of American Values)
"Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free." - Pat Buchanan (Conservative TV Commentator and Presidential Candidate)
"I think that actually AIDS is a guardian. That is I think it was sent, if you would, about forty years ago, to destroy Western civilization unless we change our sexual ways. So it's really a Godsend."
"Homosexuality is a crime against humanity."
"Causes of homosexuality include: 'sex with animals'"
"Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals." - Paul Cameron (Chairman of The Family Research Institute)
"It couldn't have been because our school systems teach our children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolutionized out of some primordial soup of mud, by teaching evolution as fact." - Tom DeLay (R-Texas, Member of US House of Representives, 1984-2006, House Majority Whip, 1995-2003, House Majority Leader, 2003-2005)
"Those who control the access to the minds of children will set the agenda for the future of the nation and the future of the western world." - James Dobson (Founder of Focus on the Family)
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."
"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."
"Most of these feminists are radical, frustrated lesbians, many of them, and man-haters, and failures in their relationships with men, and who have declared war on the male gender. The Biblical condemnation of feminism has to do with its radical philosophy and goals. That's the bottom line." - Rev. Jerry Falwell (Conservative Christian leader and founder of The Moral Majority)
"The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ." - Dr. D. James Kennedy (Founder of The Center for Reclaiming America)
"Anybody that believes in separation of church and state needs to leave right now." - Star Parker of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education
"When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil." - Gary Potter of Catholics for Christian Political Action
"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist."
"The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers."
"[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism – everything that the Bible condemns."
"There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore."
"The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by Christian people. But, the minute you turn the document in to the hands of non-Christian people, they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening." - Pat Robertson (Founder of The Christian Coalition)
If you believe in the tenants of this philosophy then you have every reason to vote for a Republican. If however you believe that our nation was founded by those looking to flee Religious Persecution and wishing to form a land that was equal for all, my question would be how can you justify voting for any Republican without the guts to publicly denounce the Religious Right and reject any support from this group? Now you may say that you may not agree with these beliefs however you believe in the other issues of the candidate. That is not good enough. That would be the same as saying that you wish to let a child molester go free because they were nice to your family. If you can still vote for a Republican that would not publicly denounce this group and refuse any support from this group then you are as cowardly as the candidate to stand up for what is right. There are lines we must all draw in the sand to decide what is right and wrong. In this case the Religious Right is preaching intolerance, American Exceptionalism that is inherited from God and not earned by our actions, and wish to indoctrinate all of our children with their beliefs. They also feel anointed to persecute those that do not believe the way they do.
Here is just a bonus question. Look around your home and everything in it. Name me one thing in your home that was invented from bible teachings. Science is not always right but does change based upon the best available facts. How many people have been killed and persecuted from religions in the history of mankind based upon interpreted beliefs that cannot be proven except in the heart of man. And as we know, and even as religions tell us, man is flawed.
In this authors opinion, any one that supports one Republican candidate that has not or will not denounce the Religious Right in this country is committing treason, are cowards, and fear losing the ability to make this nation in their own image and will persecute anyone that does not believe the way they do.
I further feel these are the most immoral in our society. So go ahead, vote for a Republican and justify your own immorality in your mind by being cowardly and hiding behind your belief that you may not be supporting this group while you help them come to power.
The next two articles in this series will deal with the real economic philoshopy and the real small government philosophy of the Republican Party.
Secondly: I believe the Rich and Powerful in the Republican Party are scared of losing power and influence. There is no justification at all to put military spending at the levels they are or increase them while sacrificing our nations youth, education, health care, and government regulations to protect our population. I believe that this group believes they are entitled to special treatment and fear losing it. I believe they fear a fair game and feel the need to stack the deck against everyone that could challenge their position in a fair fight. I further believe this group feels the world is theirs to plunder and cannot accept responsibility for anything or anyone that may infringe on their ability to control everything, and that the vast majority of wealth needs to continue to flow in their direction so they can decide how it will be filtered down to everyone else to protect their status. I think these Republicans hide behind corporations and capitalism to protect what they have instead of going toe to toe with a fair market. In my opinion this group is scared to play in a competitive or fair game.
The economic philosophy of the Tea Part is that: The Federal Government must be starved of funds in order to restrict the size of government so that it does not have the ability to dictate to corporations or state governments in a way that would restrict them from operating according to the standards that they set themselves.
Although many people within the Tea Party hold these views from the perspective of being independent as they see their forefathers were, most in the Tea Party do not understand the underlying philosophy. We see this many times in signs and placards at Tea Party rallies such as one of my favorites that states: "Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare". As with so many things, many of the Tea Party members do not understand that if the funding for the things that they hold most dear were to be eliminated they would then be soley at the mercy of the unscrupulous who have set the agenda of the Tea Party and corporations.
Below we will explore a few of the concepts of the philosophy that the Tea Party actually stands for and how the impact of those policies are flawed and cannot even pass a simple examination of the ethics of this philosophy.
First let's look at how the Tea Party wishes to restrict the power of the Federal Government by restricting funds and what the impact of that philosophy really is currently and will be in the future if left unchecked. Grover Norquist and others have pushed the Tax Pledge for America for many years now that has become a battle cry of the Tea Party. There are only a few Republican politicians in the house and senate that have not been forced to sign this pledge in order to be elected to any office in the Republican Party. What exactly is this pledge, why was it developed, and what is the goal of the pledge. You will hear many in the Tea Party just saying that their taxes are high enough, that the government should restrain spending rather raising taxes, and that the money should go to the states instead of the Federal Government. Let's look at the two part philosophy of what this pledge really means. First, no one can or should argue that government does need to restrain spending and be good stewards of our money. At the same time, tax revenues fluctuate, population fluctuates, and the needs of nation fluctuate. The Tea Party philosophy is to lower tax rates and stating that never again can taxes be raised under any circumstances. When the nation then faces a war, natural disaster, or other things that impact the ability of the government to meet the established budget, the only alternative is to then cut more government spending (services such as Medicare, Social Security, Education, Environmental Protections, Arts and Sciences, Infrastructure, etc.) thus reducing the size of government. This philosophy leaves no room for the the Federal Government to do anything but shrink no matter the needs of the nation. As this policy over time will reduce the Federal Governments ability to protect it's citizens, control corporations, or provide for the common good, this philosophy is unethical and dangerous for the common good.
Make no mistake about it, the philosophy of the Tea Party is not to reduce your tax rate. The philosophy is to eliminate the ability of the Federal Government to restrict corporations, states, or the individual by eliminating funding for the government. Under the falacy of stating the goal is to reduce the tax rate, the Tea Party is:
a) Proposing that the tax rates on corporations and the rich be reduced to create jobs when in fact it is to starve the federal government.
b) Declaring the poor pay no tax. In reality, the poor pay a higher rate of tax than the rich by far. The poor pay sales tax, tax on gasoline, property tax, road taxes, and multiple other taxes that a much higher rate of tax by percentage of income than any other segment of our society. Although those in lower tax brackets may pay littel to no income tax, as a percentage of income they are still paying a much higer tax rate than any other segment of our society.
c) Allowing coprorations even further tax reductions only assures that corporations have the money to inflict their will further on our society, be less productive and innovative, be less accountable, keep profits flowing to the richest in our society, and choose to ignore what is good for us a society as the government would no longer be able to regulate them.
d) Assuring that corporations fill the void for providing (infrastructure, health insurance or Medicare, social security through private investments, education, prison systems, and everything else) so that we all must pay for these services to specific corporations. When unable to pay for these services the laws will be in favor of incarceration so that our labor will be cheap as we will be prisoners of the corporations. (You may think this is far fetched but it is happening in many states right now.) Look around at how many privately ran schools and prison now exist in the US and then think how they are being filled. Also think about if it would be in the best interest of these corporations to have people diverted from prison or to have good rehabilitation programs in place or if it would benefit them more to have people fail. Remember their goal for their stock holders is to make money.
To see how this is working in our society today we only need to look at the two unfunded wars started under the last Republican Administration. Although the Bush Administration sold us a bill of goods in a lot of ways we bought this argument and are responsible as a society since we backed them at the time. This then becomes our nations wars and we are responsible. Instead of paying for our mistakes the Tea Party would not allow tax increases to pay for them. Instead the Bush Administration actually lowered taxes during a time of war and now the Tea Party is using parliamentary tactics to not allow even a discussion of tax increases to pay for these. Instead they want to lower taxes more and force the government to cut taxes even furhter to weaken the Federal Governments ability to govern and regulate. All of this talk of unfair taxing of corporations and the rich is just smoke and mirrors to reduce the size and influence of the government and has nothing to do with what they profess.
Since the real goal of the Tea Party is to restrict government and leave the most vulnerable in our society less protected, this philosophy is unethical. For this reason we believe that no member of the Tea Party can receive one vote unless you in turn are willing to acknowledge that you too are unethical.
It is unfortunate that the masses in this country do not see the real goals of the GOP Leaders. By leaders we are not talking necessarily about those in elected office. We are talking more about those like Grover Norquist, the Koch Brothers, the Religious Right, and other big time operators that have the power, money, and influence to hijack the party to obtain their goals. Most of the politicians in this party are no more than voting levers for these people and groups as they do nothing that is not approved from this group.
America is being Cannibalized by this group and they are even eating thier own. The real sad part is that many everyday Americans that vote Republican for the reasons they feel are just have no clue that they are being led to the slaughter and even line up happily to sacrifice themselves while thinking they are doing the right thing.
To make this simple let's break down a few common phrases the GOP Leaders use. First off as Mitt Romney said last week that we need smaller government so we do not need more teachers, firefighters, cops, and so on, what he actually meant is that we need to privatize schools, firefighters, cops, and the rest. The reason for this is that they then become for profit businesses. The argument is that by privatizing these services there would be competition thus saving the tax payer money. Let's say for arguments sake that this is the case. Well what about the second part of the argument? Why would we also want to reduce regulations? This is where the argument shows what the real goals are. By privatizing and also reducing or eliminating regulations this leaves the corporations free to eliminate unions for these groups, pick and choose where they wish to provide the services, how they wish to deliver those services, and which communities get the best services. Oh, let's not also forget that there are currently private prisons throughout the US that are set up by corporations to be profitable. Does anyone not believe that these prisons will be kept full to assure they are profitable. Does anyone not believe that in poor districts that more people will fill these prisons as they will also have the worst of these services so that they always have a ready supply of inmates. Does anyone not believe that these prisons will become free labor for the corporations? Does anyone not believe that they will also consume the very ones that placed them in office too?
Next let'slook at what the Republicans are doing to assure that anyone that can vote against them do not have the ability to vote against them. Sure they cannot at this time eliminate them in one swoop but they can possibly eliminate enough to put them in power including the Presidency, Senate, and House. If you watch all the moves the GOP is currently making, can you imagine what they will do once in full power. All religions banned except Christianity. (They will consume the rest.) Assuring all government programs are privatized and just ran for profit. (Again, consuming the rest.) Has anyone wondered why the only part of the government the GOP wishes to grow is the military? Then answer is once they gain power they need to be able to hold it and that most military spending already goes to corporations as the military does not manufacture its own weapons. Does anyone not understand that those that are incarcerated will be the ones forced to server and provide a free work force for building weapons?
We could continue down the list of the real reasons behind the GOP policies and may even describe a few more in later articles. The worst part about this is that the GOP is cannibalizing our nation and feeding on their own without most who follow the party knowing they and their families are just a food source for the party.
Lastly: For Republicans that believe in small government and losing their perceived freedoms, I believe you are cowards when it comes to having to face the future. My belief is that this group is so scared that they may have to accept new ideas and ways of thinking that even though the Republican agenda will hurt them they would rather have this than facing anything new. I believe that this group is afraid of having to put away prejudice and accept that we need to move to a society where everyone matters and not just themselves. I believe that this group of Republicans cannot put aside intolerance and believe the government will force them to learn new things and may have to put aside the only way of life they know. I believe this group fears the future as they cannot see themselves in any future that is not exactly as their life is today.
In this third and final article in this series we will deal with the small government philosophy of the Republican Party and show how this philosophy fails the intent of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and what being American stands for. The philosophy of small government in the current Republican Party is as follows:
The Federal Government should have no powers to control businesses or states as the free market will constrain business practices through market forces and the states will voluntarily decide which policies they wish to control themselves and the states will be constrained to do so by their own budgetary process.
We are not going to spend a lot of time on this philosophy as it has been an under pinning of the Republican Party for a long time. The difference from the past Republican Party to the existing Republican Party is the larger issue. In the past the Republican Party did believe in the Federal Government and also believed it served a purpose. Richard Nixon created the EPA and many other Republican Presidents understood that the Federal Government needed to protect the entire nation even if it meant constraining the ability of individual states or corporations to act as they saw fit. They understood left unchecked, corporations and states, could and would benefit themselves which could in turn sacrifice the rights, health, and prosperity of the majority.
The real difference with the current Republican Party is that they believe the Federal Government is evil and has no right to control what market forces and each state may choose to. The falacy in this argument is that left unchecked corporations will place profits above citizens. This has been the case for our entire history. The Railroad barons of the past are the banks of today.
The Republican argument goes that they wish every individual to have less government in their life and that local communities can do a better job than the federal government. Has anyone noticed that there is never an example given as to the success achieved by doing this for anything of great importance for the masses. Although this sounds like a good idea in some respects as many would believe their communities should chose how to spend their own money, why do we not speak about the reality of this?
In the 20's, Upton Sinclair felt the need to write about the appalling practices of the meat packaging industry. Why, because left uncontrolled companies were not worried about the workers or their consumers and only profits. In the 60's when I grew up in an industrial city where the river was so polluted the fish were dying off, the river contaminated the drinking water and caused illness, and the smell was horrible. Why, because the factories in this city were not controlled and did not care for the community, only their profits. In this decade the federal government and states have turned control of the mental health of our children to the local Community Mental Health departments which funnel the children that need the help the most into the criminal justice system to avoid their responsibility. Why, so they can take the Medicaid dollars allocated for these children and do as they wish with it and lesson their own burdens.
The fact is we cannot trust our states or local governments to protect our citizens as someone will always find a way around the intent of acts to protect our citizens to pocket the money for their own purposes without federal controls. As citizens, we decide what is important to our society and the the Republicans are trying to sell everyone a bill of goods that if given the ability to do this at the local level it will be done better. Take a look at private schools. Who profits and who suffers? Take a look at private prisons. Who profits and who suffer? Take a look at local Community Mental Health agencies. Who profits and who suffers? Without controls, the free market does not work as the playing field is never level for those that must use the systems as opposed to those that control the systems.
Although the Federal Government if left unchecked may also become a problem and can choke private enterprise it is our Federal Government that must be the tool to assure the majority are being served and their views are the policies our nation follows. Corporations and states alone will not do this.
The small government philosophy of the current Republican Party is only to allow more profits to flow to the corporations, remove restrictions from states to set their own cultural laws, and to assure We The People can no longer control their profit and cultural agenda. In this form, the small government philosophy is unethical as it allows the few to control the destiny of the many. This philosophy goes against the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and what being an American stands for as it favors the few over the many and allows for laws to be passed that protects the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us. In fact, to assure the deck is stacked against the majority, the Republican Party has assured corporations are favored over the individual in being able to buy influence, changing voter registration to assure many that would not vote for them do not have the right to vote, and assuring that tax rates favor the rich to keep the money flowing to the party.
Alright lets get back to the Easter Egg that Mitt gave us today. When asked why he could or would not stand up to the Religious Right, Tea Party, or other Wingnuts (Donald Trump and others) within the party. Mitt's response was this:
“I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”
In very specific terms Mitt said that although he may disagree with some members of his party that he would not stand up to any group within his party as his goal was to receive 50.1% of the vote. There are only two conclusions that can be drawn. First he agrees with the three philosophies we have documented here, or is does not have the guts as gaining the presidency at all costs is acceptable to him. (Ends justify the means) In any case, the current Republican Party is immoral, unethical, and those that will not call them out for what they are, are cowards.
In recent days a few that have been cut loose from the party have come forward to do just that.
Republican Senator Alan Simpson said:
"If you want to be a purist, go somewhere on a mountaintop and praise the east or something. But if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise. And you learn to compromise on the issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains."
Senator Luger said:
I don't remember a time when so many topics have become politically unmentionable in one party or the other. Republicans cannot admit to any nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc. Similarly, most Democrats are constrained when talking about such issues as entitlement cuts, tort reform, and trade agreements. Our political system is losing its ability to even explore alternatives. If fealty to these pledges continues to expand, legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader.
We give both Senator's some credit for coming out saying what should be obvious to anyone in the Republican Party that wishes to be moral, ethical, and show some guts. It is too bad they could not do so while still part of the party.
Now here is some ammunition for any Republican willing to tell the truth. I am neither Republican or Democrat. I believe that we are a society and for us to survive everyone needs to be tolerant of others, respect belief systems that may different from theirs as long as they do not infringe on others or could be detrimental to anyone other than ourselves, that we must accept that the resources of the planet are limited and need to be preserved, that education in scientific fact (yes facts of today may change as we progress - that is what science does) is essential for our survival and to progress as a species, that innovation and new methods of doing things is necessary for us to succeed, that government is necessary to regulate the unscrupulous in our society, corporations and local governments left unchecked will always take the easy way out and exploit the most vulnerable in our society, that organized religion (do not make the mistake that I am against personal beliefs, only the organized religions that try to impose their belief systems on others) is dangerous and has proven this out for many centuries when it begins to influence governments, and that progressive tax rates are justifiable and necessary. I believe that American Exceptionalism must be earned every day and is not granted to us from our past deeds or being anointed by an invisible friend.
My view is that the Republican Party of this time are the most cowardly bunch of political figures this country has ever seen. Prove to me that at least one from this party can tell the truth about the philosophy of how the current Republican Party is being used and why. I think the Republican Party of today has been fully usurped by the greedy, biggots, and religious right because of the fears they have to face the future. So let's do this. Who amongst the Republican Party wishes to really debate the Philosophy of the current Republican Party and try to prove that any of this Philosophy does not have cowardace as it's basis?
I may fully disagree with your point of view however I will give credit to any Republican with courage to admit the real reason for their philosophy.
Please remember the COH and all points of view are welcome. Again, I ask that if anyone wishes to debate a specific agenda item that they notify us of their article to do so. For the purposes of this article I will only respond to the philosophies of the parties.