Thursday, December 6, 2012

Musings on Republicans and Hatred

I'm convinced more than ever that the underlying and unifying force driving today's Republican party is hatred.

It oozes from every pore of the public demonstrations I've seen by the Tea Party wing. In Congress, only hatred can account for some of the GOP actions against women, immigrants, people of color, the poor, the sick, the elderly and all the children of all of the above.

Just last Tuesday, for example, Republicans in the Senate blocked ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which more than 150 other (obviously more compassionate) countries  have already ratified. To the GOP, all those cripples are takers, a burden on society, not "makers" like good, conservative Republicans. Or maybe they think the metal in those wheelchairs should be diverted to the weapons industry to help keep us safe from Muslims.

Symptoms of Republican hatred turn up all over the place.  Women? In Arizona, a drunken cop flashed his badge to enter a bar, walked up to a woman, put his hand under her skirt and groped her genitals.  When he finally turned up in court, the Rpublican judge gave him probabtion and chided the victim! "If you wouldn't have been there that night," the judge said, "none of this would have happened to you." The judge told her to "take a positive lesson" from the assault.

A journalist friend thinks that such hatred stems from fear, fear of all those "Others." As Freud wrote, "if a person feels they can't control the object or feel threatened by it, they act negatively toward it.”

The Republican position on immigration is, at bottom, racist and hateful.  Arizona Republicans seem determined to fight to the death for their Xenophobic Gestapo law ("Ve vant to see your papers, now!)  Even though net immigration from Mexico has dwindled to nearly zero, the Republicans still want to put up steel fences, fly armed drones over the border and station legions of armed outriders along a no-man's-land between us and Them.

Right wing hatred ended the community service group, ACORN, when rigged videos by a truant brat scared Congress into cutting off its funding.  Even though it no longer exists, a recent poll showed that 47% of Republicans believe that ACORN stole the recent election for Obama.

More than half of every tax dollar goes to illegal wars on people of color, and spying not just on suspected enemies abroad but on us, the people. Our local Republican Congressman supported these wars and that spying,  yet today in the local paper he argued in an op ed that we're spending too much on "entitlements" like Social Security, health care and education. It happens that in his district, most of the people who need those "entitlements" just to survive have skin of a different color than his.

I suppose one might say that it's not hatred of people so much as love of money that drives the Republican machine. Coming from Arkansas and becoming richer than Croesus, Sam Walton surely must have been a Republican. Sridevi Kalavakolanu, a  director of ethical sourcing for Sam's worldwide Walmart empire, imay not be a member of the GOP, but he played the lead role in blocking an effort to have global retailers pay more for apparel to help Bangladesh factories improve their electrical and fire safety. The New York Times, citing the minutes of a 2011 meeting of a worlwide association of apparel retailers, said the Walmart man noted that the proposed improvements in electrical and fire safety would involve as many as 4,500 factories and would be “in most cases” a “very extensive and costly modification."

"It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments," the minutes said.

Two weeks ago, in one of those factories in Bangladesh, 112 workers, people of color, died in a horrible electrical fire.

Robert E. Lee is said to have remarked to an aide, just before a major civil war battle began, "It is good that war is so terrible lest men grow to love it too much."

I have never heard of a CEO saying. "it's good that money is so terrible lest men grow to love it too much."  But then, most CEOs are Republicans, aren't they?

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