Ronald Reagan famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” Grover Norquist is fond of his quote regarding his wanting to shrink the government down so far you could drown it in a bathtub. These are people who have an obvious dislike of the American government, yet are also the very ones who are most likely to wrap themselves in a flag and call themselves patriots. So, which is it?
Now, before I get a litany of emails trying to explain how it is that these people love America, but simply hate how the government has screwed everything up, I understand your perspective… theoretically at least. What I don’t understand is this… why would people who claim to hate the government; work for the government, earn their money from the government (aka, the people… aka, taxes), clog the machinations of the government, and then decry the inefficacy of the government?
It all smacks of a self fulfilling prophecy. If you get elected then specifically go out of your way to fuck up how the government works (thereby screwing over your constituents in the long run), how have you done your job? If your job is to BE the government on BEHALF of the PEOPLE, you have failed in your duty if you are undermining the very system you claim to love so much.
For as much as people like to say that it has always been like this, I can’t imagine a president like Eisenhower or Nixon ever going out of their way to screw over the people in the ways that this modern party has done. Unless you are a wealthy white man, what could the current Republican Party possibly offer to you? Seriously, what do you think they will do for you?
Are you a woman? Are you comfortable with everything the GOP has done in terms of dictating what you can and cannot do with your body? Are you alright with the idea of politicians telling your doctors what they must do to you (I’m looking at you Governor McDonnell)?
Are you poor? Do you think the GOP is looking out for your best interests? Do you prefer the idea of being so free you would be allowed to die in lieu of having health insurance?
In Edward Abbey’s famous novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, environmentalists go out and sabotage the machines of destruction in order to halt development of the natural world. In today’s twisted Republican Party where hatred and demagoguery have their own network, the current crop of congressmen and presidential wannabes are the modern equivalent of Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang. They wish to sabotage the American government in order to claim it does not, and can not work. That may be the most cynical thing going on in our country today… and we are being willfully ignorant of this fact.
For me, the eleven most terrifying words in the English language is, “The bill before the Senate has failed with only 59 votes.” That is not how our democracy is meant to operate. Perhaps Republicans don’t have a problem with our government per se… maybe they simply have a problem with democracy. Is that who you want running the country?
Up yours Norquist!
Cornelius J. Blahg