Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Once, I was a Republican

For many years, when I once thought I was a conservative Republican, I believed in the mantra that the Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch espoused through his media kingdom. One need not look any farther than Fox News to see what  influence he wields in American politics, where 50% of our Republican presidential candidates in 2011 are paid Fox News commentators.

Rupert Murdoch promoted the economic philosophies of the likes of Milton Friedman, who was an economic advisor to U.S. President Ronald Reagan that extolled the virtues of a "free market" economic system with little intervention by government (pro-monopolies and pro-outsourcing, and anti-regulation and anti-tax). Meaning, outsourcing jobs to "emerging markets" to empower the people of impoverished nations with jobs to become allow corporations to use cheaper labor to expand their corporate consumer base to increase corporate profits (Read Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine and see the documentary Inside Job).

Ronald Reagan adopted Milton Friedman's economic philosophies and shared them with Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago. Now in both Britain and America we have policies of "austerity", where the middle-class has to "share in a sacrifice" of budget shortfalls due to low tax revenues to finance public programs that the middle-class had once enjoyed. The budget shortfalls that the politicians allowed, but a "sacrifice" that neither the wealthy nor the politicians need to share. Prosperity for THEM, austerity for US.

During the riots and protests in Britain, Glenn Beck on Fox News had many American viewers believing that those people weren't just exercising their right to freely assemble, they were all just radical Socialists trying to destroy democracy (just like when the unemployed in NYC protested for extending jobless benefits; Beck called them un-American and Socialists too.)

If you disagree with Glenn Beck, or if you believe that the rich (like Beck) should pay their share of taxes, or if you believe that outsourcing jobs for profits is destructive to our economy, or if you believe that the government has a roll and responsibility to THE PEOPLE, then according to Glenn Beck, you're a Socialist.

But the protesters in Britain were mostly just ordinary people who got economically screwed by their leaders - just like the people protesting in the Middle-East, but Beck doesn't call them Socialists. He says they were the victims of tyrannical dictators, as if the people in America and elsewhere around the world weren't the victims of corporate tyrannies - - - as though some forms of tyranny were acceptable.

But what is the difference if the outcome is the same, when bad economic policies allows for the re-distribution of a nation's wealth to flow up to the wealthiest people? When State-sanctioned economic polices essentially legalizes stealing from the poor to give to the rich? When the standard-of-living for ordinary people declines, getting worse year after year, instead of getting incrementally better every year?

But something is happening. Since the financial collapse of 2008 people are waking in a new "Age of Enlightenment". We are becoming more informed and are beginning to take action. Rupert Murdoch, not one to admit a mistake or miscalculation, is easing Glenn Beck off the air. Beck's radical ideas are losing Fox News viewers (I was one of them). And the Tea Party that Rupert Murdoch, Glenn Beck, and the Koch brothers helped create, is like a pack of rabid dog that broke loose from their leashes and is now running wild in the streets. The Tea Party doesn't want ANY government at all, and the conservative Republicans are becoming fearful of losing all their corporate handouts such as oil subsidies.

Since 2008 I've learned a great deal about the Republican party that I was never aware of before...and now I feel so foolish for my past naivety, but at the same time, very relieved that at least I finally saw the light.

The Republicans aren't (and never were) for THE PEOPLE. They are (and always have been) about big business and corporate interests. The two Republican exceptions in all of American history may be Dwight D. Eisenhower with his position on the defense industry, and Abraham Lincoln with his position on slavery.

A modern Republican has not proposed or advocated any legislation that has benefited the average American citizen in decades. I beg someone to please point out one law that didn't put corporate interests over the interests of the average working-class American citizen.

Once, I was a Republican...but I've seen the errors of my ways and have repented.

Bill Maher, "30% of this country will always vote Republican...I'm just asking...why?"
See the hilarious video

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