The Republicans’ Alternate Reality

March 1st, 2009at 09:23pm Posted by Eli

Everyone should read the whole thing, but here’s the money part:

For going on seventy years the National Republican Party has consoled itself, sustained itself, and kept itself alive by telling itself and anyone who will listen an alternative history of the United States.  In this alternative history the New Deal didn’t do any good at all, the Cold War was fought and won entirely by super-patriotic Republicans, welfare not racism or systemic poverty destroyed the African-American family, anyway racism ended when Martin Luther King’s birthday became a national holiday (alternative to the alternative: racism ended with the election of Barack Obama), the 1960s are the root of all evil, the hippies and the liberals lost the War in Vietnam, 9/11 was Bill Clinton’s fault, the financial crisis was Bill Clinton’s fault, Barack Obama is turning America into a socialist dictatorship.

….The Party was taken over by the most retrograde and selfish members of its Big Business wing, which is to say by its would-be aristocrats who had to make common cause with Right Wing extremists, religious fundamentalists, and Southern racists in order to put together enough votes to win elections.  These groups had and have only one thing in common, a belief that they are the only rightful inhabitants of America and inheritors of its blessings and that everybody else is out to take away their privileges and wealth.  They are the people who self-identify as conservative, although there is nothing they want to conserve.  They are reactionaries who want to turn back time to a mythical golden age in which they ran things to their liking without any complaint or criticism from “the others.”    And as reactionaries, as people at war with progress and enlightenment, they have been on the wrong side of history since the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.  They need there to have been an alternative history of the United States in order for there to be a history in which they are not the villains and losers.

They need a history in which they would not have supported King George’s right to treat the Colonies however he wished, a history in which they would not have defended slavery, a history in which they would not have pursued their own selfish business interests at the expense of the nation’s interests and caused the Great Depression, in which they would not have argued that Hitler and Mussolini were doing some great things and maybe we could use some of their efficiency here, a history in which they would not have been cheering for a drunken demagogue as he terrified the nation and ruined countless lives with his lies, a history in which they would not have opposed the Civil Rights movement, a history in which they did not vote for a feckless and incompetent swaggering bully for President and cheer him on as he bankrupted the treasury, took us to war unnecessarily and then lost the war, let Osama bin-Laden get away, broke the Government’s regulatory system, allowed the banksters to loot and wreck the country, and, incidentally, played air guitar and went to birthday parties while a great American city sank into the poisoned water and people died waiting for him to help.

They need an American history in which their selfishness and resentments are justified and in which they, as the inheritors of an anti-democratic philosophy of government and economics that preaches that the single-minded pursuit of individual power and wealth leads to heaven on earth, are the true heirs of Washington and Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

They need an alternative history in which being angry, selfish, resentful, greedy, and defensive of nothing but their own right to be angry, selfish, resentful, and greedy is the definition of patriotism and in which instead of standing in the way of progress it’s the way to bring it about.

They need an alternative history in which acting as though the equation whatever I want = what’s best for America is true is not like insisting 2 + 2= 5.

(…)

[W]hat Jindal really did the other night was go before the American people and promise that the next time the Republicans get control of the government they will do they same stupid and evil things they did the last time.

They will let the nation drown and rot the way they let New Orleans drown and rot and then blame it on the Liberals.

Not much I can add to that.  Turning selfishness and hate into patriotic virtues is pretty much the hallmark of modern conservatism.

(h/t Julia)

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Katrina,Media,Photoblogging,Politics,Republicans


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