Tactics are often a tricky thing to discern; in war, a commander’s ability to remain one step ahead of opposing forces may well bring victory over defeat.
In politics, victory means the ability–or inability–to push for positive change. When a few hundred men can control the lives of our nation’s military men and women, the livelihood of her selfless public servants and the specter of a powerful economy, political “victory” of open-minds over dangerously closed-minds is perhaps a greater national priority than token “bipartisanship”–a popular whine by Republicans and Democrats when each party isn’t getting their respective way.
Republicans have been quick to implicate Democrats each year in a phantom ploy to capsize capitalism, whining about their pushing of a Welfare State or a Nanny State. This wholesale misleading of the electorate has befallen many a promising progressive and allowed our country to wallow in its current systemic quicksand.
Yet as the Boehner-led 112th Congress makes clear, Republicans have a tactic of their own to gain power of not just the political reigns of power, but the economic strings, as well. They advocate replacing our federal republic with a stateless market structure more accountable to Chinese investors than it is to American citizens. Their tool in this endeavor?
The Emergency State.
Modern-day Republicanism craves crisis and controversy. Over $1 trillion has been spent–not on health care or tax cuts for working Americans–but on two wars spawned by a Republican administration claiming “emergency powers”. Citing a McCarthyesque socialist emergency, Republicans accused and castigated progressives all the way to the ballot box for finally–in our lifetimes–passing a law paving the way for basic health-care access in America. And in Wisconsin today, a Republican governor is threatening to fire thousands of innocent American teachers and other public servants if Democratic lawmakers don’t capitulate to his demands.
Have you noticed that over the past 40 years, Republicans are always citing some dire threat? The Soviet Union, communism, socialism, terrorism, Islam anywhere, “weapons of mass destruction,” health care, marriage equality, tax cuts that don’t include the very wealthy, teachers, collective bargaining, etc. These are all, apparently, terribly apocalyptic disasters that will destroy our way of life. And the American taxpayer has been duped into spending trillions and trillions of dollars to fund the next emergencies–economic recession and a now-suddenly-relevant national debt.
The goal here–whether deliberate or unknowing by some–is to replace popular consent with shareholder consent. In other words, you only get a say in how you’re governed if you can afford to buy in. And further, Republican leadership wants the political power to have a direct hand in how such a sovereign-less market-nation decides who gets in the gate and who is left out on the curb.
Mike Huckabee–a very mainstream Republican with a large, loyal following–pointed this out in a Freudian-slip kind of moment today describing why one should support him and his colleagues: “Most of us grew up going to boy scout meetings, and you know, our communities were filled with rotary clubs, not madrassas.”
In other words, if you’re not part of “the club”–you don’t belong.
I’m a progressive because I don’t believe I should have to buy my freedom.