During the past 115 years, Republicans have had complete control over Congress and the White House for only 24 of those years. Now that America is facing single party Republican rule for the first time since 2005, it’s worth taking a look at what history has taught us about the soul of the GOP, the conservative movement, and what might happen next.
A look around the globe offers some insight. Among the most well-known countries currently under single party rule are China, North Korea, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. Four are communist. Laos is a constitutional monarchy. That’s significant, because contrary to what some modern-day Republican conservatives suggest, and/or believe, individual rights and genuine personal freedom is significantly repressed under single party governments. However, that is not the only problem with having a Republican legislative dictatorship in America.
The definition of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result – is insanity.
America’s past under single party Republican rule has been a turbulent one, marked by economic crises with global implications, among them, the Great Depression of 1929, and the Great Recession of 2007. Prior to that, single party Republican rule is credited with bringing on the Panic of 1907.
The common thread through America’s most tragic economic failures were, and remain, the Republican mantra of less corporate regulation, in conjunction with supply side, aka trickle-down economic policy. Historically, capitalism under deregulated corporate self-governance has repeatedly proven to be a precursor to monumental financial disasters.
First comes the boom, then comes the bust. In an increasingly global economy, the booms have become lopsided in favor of rich, and the busts have landed ever-harder on everyone else.
Income inequality is not new to human history. It’s just harder to hide in a world filled with computers, smartphones, and a 24 hour news cycle.
So why do Republicans continue to pursue historically failed economic policies and a socially oppressive agenda? The answer is in exploring the ultimate goal of Republican-Libertarian conservatism and take it to its unattainable and unsustainable conclusion. The rich and powerful have always wanted to rule the world. Deregulation and globalization are at the heart of the plan and the signs that it is real are everywhere. We see it in power grabs disguised as trade deals, and the use of government treasuries as piggy banks for oligarchs who want to be monarchs.
In Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi described the 2008 Wall Street bailout like this:
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyper-concentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it…. But the most appalling part is the lying.
Robert Kuttner, a professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School and author of ‘Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility,‘ explained the issues surrounding single party rule in The American Prospect back in 2004, with chilling vision.
In past single-party eras, the majority party earned its preeminence with broad popular support. Today the electorate remains closely divided, and actually prefers more Democratic policy positions than Republican ones. Yet the drift toward an engineered one-party Republican state has aroused little press scrutiny or widespread popular protest.
Kuttner goes on to explain how the Republican Party has used democracy itself to undermine democratic principles. Using the money of the donor class to manipulate the electorate, Republicans systematically took control of state and local legislatures using a plan called “Redmap.”
As soon as they had a lock on congress through gerrymandering, the Republican Party had a taste of power on their lips that could not be quenched until they reached single party rule on the national level. With the presidential election of Donald Trump in 2016, they now have it. What they plan to do with it only requires a look back at recent American history.
Under single party Republican rule, we may be on our way to yet another round of corporate deregulation, another redistribution of wealth and benefits to the rich, environmental destruction, and another historically predictable collapse of economic and civil society. But all is not lost.
There is hope in the genius of the Founding Fathers and the American Spirit
Although America sent a reality TV star to the Oval Office, the US Constitution remains a powerful governing document. In the Federalist Papers, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton laid out the strengths of our divided branches of government, further insuring that even those in the minority would always have a voice. The Founding Fathers also knew that by empowering the spirit of every American, their young nation would endure.
Since then, few have encapsulated that vision better than the brother of the 35th President of the United States of America.
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Exercise your First Amendment rights
Contact your member of Congress by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
*** Maryann Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog‘s Spirit” This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destinies are more connected to the powers of the Spirit World than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book. It’s available now on Amazon.com.
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