The Red Plague

The Republican Party is Killing Americans

Republicans have spent decades exploiting their self-designated roles of “the law & order party” and the “defenders of Democracy”. They claimed to be the only party that would protect us from a growing number of threats coming from a growing number of directions. They claimed to be the only ones who understood what it meant to be a “real American”.

When we look closer, however, we see that they have done much to hurt Americans, regardless of their race, religion, lifestyle, etc. Only the super-rich are immune. The Republicans have been leading us down a path of deceit and destruction that has taken our Democracy to the brink and is literally killing Americans. It’s high time we peel back that superhero facade.

Below is a sampling of some of the very serious damage caused by Republicans (and conservatives of all types) through their incompetence,  greed, and lust for power.

In many ways, America is still recovering from the surprise attacks against America on September 11th, 2001 Sadly, there were not all that surprising. The Bush Administration had solid warnings that attacks were imminent. One was in July of that year, two months ahead of the attacks when CIA director George Tenet and CIA and anti-terrorism deputy Cofer Black went to the White House to personally raise the alarm that there were going to be multiple attacks against the United States either here or abroad or both – and with heavy casualties. The only thing the Bush administration did was to strengthen the defenses of some overseas bases. The CIA asked the White House to go on a war footing against Al-Qaeda – but that didn’t happen. Another was in early August when Bush was handed a memo that described Al-Qaeda’s activities to hijack planes and their recent surveillance of New York City buildings. 

Republicans like to take credit for there being no major attacks on American soil ever since 9/11. How convenient for them that they just happened to start counting terrorist attacks after their massive 9/11 blunder. A blunder that led, not only to the 9/11 attack but to two Wars (one largely fabricated) and one million people, including thousands of Americans, killed or injured. The results of these conflicts continue, generating a hatred toward America that terrorist recruiters are only happy to exploit. We remain less safe because of this gross incompetence 20 years later. Imagine if the Democrats screwed this up as the Republicans did…

Conservatives are constantly pushing our Government to deregulate food safety, pollution, nuclear energy safety, the airline industry, worker safety, consumer protection, etc. The claim is that this will restrain an overreaching and incompetent government that is stifling job creation, the economy, and the progress of America. The reality is that deregulation is done to increase profits for corporations at our expense. “Deregulation” is a much more appealing term than “exploitation”.

Another way conservatives twist our government into favoring industry is to do it from the inside out. This is done by replacing those pesky qualified, objective, and agenda-free government employees with cronies, loyalists, and profiteers. Sometimes we see the damage such as President George W. Bush’s head of FEMA, Michael Brown, and his handling of Hurricane Katrina, or President Trump’s Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, gutting the Postal Service just before an election. Typically, however, we never hear about which fox is guarding which henhouse.

Republicans have even tried to completely do away with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to get it out of the way of business (and the coronavirus). Luckily for us, they failed.

Luckily for corporate America, Republicans were able to do away with the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), which provided Congress with non-partisan guidance based on science, data, studies, and facts. The OTA was replaced by corporate lobbyists. What makes sense for corporate America does not necessarily make sense for Americans or humanity.

Will Republicans deregulate us into extinction? Probably.  The Republicans, on behalf of fossil fuel, manufacturing, big ag, and other industries are doing all they can to deny climate science even though both the oil industry and the coal industry knew decades ago that it was real and that they were causing it.  Republicans continuously push back against and sometimes roll back environmental regulation and energy alternatives. Their captured Supreme Court justices even constrained the power of the EPA right when we need them most.

Climate change is the ultimate failure of the conservative, libertarian, corporatist, free-market clusterfuck of lies.  These greed-based ideologies that tell us that everyone should act in their own interest (which is an excuse to justify their pursuit of corporate profits over people and the planet) are being proven wrong in the most devastating way.

A corporate-owned and profit-driven mainstream media is often too lazy and sometimes complicit and does little to help communicate what is in front of us. Of course, it will be all they talk about once it is too late…

To help us deal with all the anxiety and anger created by conservative fiscal policies,  fearmongering, and scapegoating – not to mention that melting planet thing –  Republicans are making sure that there are as many guns floating around our country as possible. To complement this massive number of guns, Republicans are also making sure that there are as few gun safety laws as possible. Ever since that devastating day in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been more laws that increase gun ownership than laws that increase gun safety.

Not only have the Republicans and the NRA made it easy to buy a gun, but they have also convinced people to buy as many guns as possible. They’ve done this by creating a “gun culture war” by repeatedly claiming that “liberals want to take your guns away”. This has been drilled into the heads of their constituents so they keep buying guns and keep voting for Republicans.

Each year the number of gun sales far outnumbers the number of births in America, saturating our country. The parallel growth of gun ownership along with social and mental health issues, divisive rhetoric, and economic strains endangers all Americans (including the police).

Then there is the small matter of the pandemic. We all watched the ever-growing pile of ignorance, missteps, exploitation, and outright lies from the Trump Administration, Republicans, and conservative media – but not all of us survived it.

The poor handling of the pandemic was also related to a voter base that had been groomed by conservative rhetoric and had fallen under the spell of the least engaged, least intelligent, and least caring president in our history. It didn’t take much manipulation to convince these folks that wearing a mask was not about saving your life or the lives of others, instead, it was all about the government attacking your personal liberties and a socialist/communist takeover from the radical left. The GOP, conservative media, and certain religious leaders had no problem sending out the wrong message in order to create further hatred of the government and the Left – in other words, they had no problem killing Americans, even sacrificing members of their own base, for political gain. It even got to the point where Republicans, from Trump on down, attacked Dr. Fauci so much that he had to get bodyguards – welcome to Republican dystopia.

Republican leaders around the country tried to show that they were tough – always pushing back against the suggestions from doctors, scientists, and government agencies. The fact that President Trump took the vaccine, but kept it secret, is really all you need to know about the man, his priorities, and the “lead by theater” approach of the GOP. For conservatives, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste and the pandemic was no exception. Their instincts were to use showmanship, props, grandstanding, and chest pumping as part of their divide-and-conquer power grab. They took something that could have brought the country together and should have showcased what a competent government could do, and instead turned it into a shitshow and showcased what their corrupted, gutted, grifting, and incompetent government was all about

If we are more likely to be shot, get sick from pollution, or have long-term COVID then it seems only fair that we are less likely to have medical insurance.

We can always count on Republicans to work tirelessly to keep us from getting the healthcare we need. Republicans act as if medical coverage is reserved for the healthiest and wealthiest of us. They’ve spent years bending over backward and burning through millions of our taxpayer dollars to terminate Health Care for millions of us. They like to say that “the country” can’t afford these handouts, but the truth is “the country” has more money than ever before. The problem is that the folks that keep the Republicans in power have taken all the money and they don’t want to give any of it back, even to keep us alive.

Conservatives and conservative media outlets have been slowly intensifying their manipulative rhetoric over the years. Their efforts resulted in a widening political divide, a deeper distrust of our government, and increases in hate crimes. The more their base embraced this messaging, the more the conservative politicians relied on it, and in many cases were forced to nurture it to remain in the good graces of Fox News – who were now driving much of the conservative narrative.

Republicans pushed things too far until they finally lost control. When you lose control of the monster you created, you get this:

Just like President Bush was opposed to the 9/11 commission to investigate what led to one of the worst days in American history, the Republicans were opposed to the Jan 6th commission to investigate what led to the other worst day in American history. If you don’t want to figure out what happened, then you either have something to hide or you want it to happen again. If they were so convinced that “Antifa” attacked the Capitol, then one would think they would embrace the investigation…

It’s hard to know when Republicans became comfortable with the idea of power through violence. or how far they will let it go. But we do know that the growth of right-wing extremism and violence has been tracked since the 1940s and has ramped up considerably due to conservative rhetoric. Not only have conservatives nurtured right-wing extremism along, but they have also stymied efforts to stop it through pushback against reports, having reports retracted, and defunding efforts to track and thwart these groups. So while the Right has been overplaying the threat of terrorism from Mexican and Muslim immigrants, they have been ensuring the threat of terrorism from within.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Republicans have destroyed truth and they are using that accomplishment to destroy our Democracy. Republicans and conservative pundits and media outlets are continuing their “big lie” about the 2020 and 2022  elections. Minimally, the long-term goal is to sow more seeds of doubt about Democracy so that the actual destruction of it becomes acceptable. However, Republicans in states where they control and Trump lost are using the  GOP-perpetuated pile of “alternative facts” to rewrite election laws that will allow Republicans to decide who gets to vote. If that doesn’t work they might be able to simply overturn election results. Just as Conservatives and Republicans have weaponized the Constitution to take over our Democracy, they are now weaponizing election laws to ensure that there is nothing we can do about it…

Anyway, you get the idea, the Republicans are full of shit. They pretend to be the “true patriots” and “one of us” while they torch our health, wealth, future, and Democracy itself, all in the name of the wealthy, corporate America, and their own personal gains. No matter how patriotic they sound, no matter how adeptly they tug at your heartstrings, the conservative movement is about manipulation, exploitation, corruption, obstruction, and destruction – and nothing else. They are not the “law and order” party – they are the “power at any cost” party.  If at the moment, you happen to feel “safe” in their version of Democracy, then you better start paying attention, because history shows that that feeling won’t last.