by Jon Faulkner
It’s not difficult to make the case that conservative republicans suffer from a form of mental illness. Americans have watched them embrace family values and discover ethics, while stealing an election and contriving the circumstances for starting wars. They have worked tirelessly to undermine the American Constitution while frantically waving the flag. They firmly believe in the privatization of government and consistently ignore the inconvenient history of the American taxpayer bailout of one failed/scandalized corporation after the next. These things, by and of themselves, don’t make republicans soft in their heads, but as Einstein said of insanity, it’s “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
There are no practical reasons that Americans, unless they are independently wealthy, or industrial capitalists, should belong to the republican party. In a healthy, freedom loving democracy, republicanism would not be tolerated, and its inherents would be shunned like the plague. One has only to ask, “Just what is it that conservative republicans have ever done for the collective good of the nation?” If a rejoinder is slow in coming it’s understandable, because the answer is, not much, if anything. Republican mental illness manifests itself in the duality that conservatives want to turn the clock back to mom, apple pie, and that good, ol’ time religion, while unmercifully exploiting every natural resource until the ravaged earth will no longer support life. Turning yet another profit takes precedence over their own survival. This is not a healthy, mental state.
To attain public office, conservative republicans must lie. The truth must be disguised because their motives for leadership rest solely on their ambition to material gain. Sharing the nation’s vast wealth among its people is anathema to republicans. The idea so repulses them that their willing to practice any deception that will tilt the playing field in their direction. FDR personifies their hatred of government acting in the interests of all Americans. Conservative republicans despised FDR because of all presidents, it was FDR who first showed Americans that government is a tool that properly used, can and will improve the lives of all citizens. A rock ribbed republican will always argue that FDR was a socialist, or worse, a communist. The many successful government programs that were initiated under FDR are dismissed as “touchy feely, warm and fuzzy” examples of wasteful, liberal spending.
Even while FDR pulled the nation out of its economic morass, republicans never tired of criticizing him, thundering to anyone who would listen that FDR was destroying the business incentive to compete. They cried copious tears when FDR made them pay employee’s a livable, minimum wage. We can’t, they howled! FDR, acting against the day’s anti-trust laws, allowed business to stabilize prices under the condition that as their profits rose so would their employee’s wages. The National Recovery Administration brought business, labor and government together, and for the first time in the nation’s history, these elements found mutual ground on which to cooperate with each other. The NRA imposed sweeping regulations on business, forcing production standards on goods and services. Child labor laws were enacted bringing more howls of protestation from the badly frightened republicans. Somehow, they got over it as children reported to school instead of work. They learned to read and write, add and subtract, thereby guaranteeing a future work force of educated employees. Of course republicans, to this day, fail to see the point.
Upon winning office by a landslide, FDR immediately closed the nation’s banks until the U.S. Treasury could move in and supervise them. The Great Depression was in full swing and Roosevelt, quite rightly, had reservations about trusting the nation’s bankers whose arrogance was only exceeded by their incompetence. Roosevelt also began the Security & Exchange Commission, the SEC, to keep fat cat, republican capitalists honest. His New Deal would redistribute wealth downward, and attempt to put the nation back on sound, financial footing. FDR’s regulations on corporate behavior kept such things as today’s outrageous fuel costs from happening.
Persistent poverty in the south was met with Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration, Farm Security Administration, Rural Electrification Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Southern farmers could bring their products to market, and enhance their lives and their work with electricity. The school lunch program, new roads into rural areas, and reforestation began having significant, positive effects on poverty. The democrats lost the south when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Johnson put down his pen and said, “We have lost the South for a generation.” It seems the south should have been ashamed to inspire such a comment, but no, racism thrives when it’s seen as virtue.
Roosevelt demonstrated to Americans that government is a tool that’s best employed for improving the lives of citizens. Republicans like to call the New Deal socialism and FDR a socialist. They pretend ignorance that corporations are always the first in line, screaming for taxpayer handouts, when corporate CEO’s run their companies into the ground and then walk away with their employee’s pensions. Greed on a scale this vast can no longer be considered merely greed – the terrible need to take and keep taking, no matter at who’s expense, is a sure indication of an aberrant, disordered mind.
Roosevelt brought Social Security into existence, largely eliminating older Americans crushing poverty when they could no longer work. Republicans were apoplectic with fury. Why should we pay one cent in taxes to help a bunch of old geezers who are better off dead, they asked. Elected in 1932, Roosevelt, by 1933 had steered the nation into a sharp, upward economic recovery. Republicans, mentally ill and maddened by his success still, to this day, hold a deep abiding hatred for FDR. They can’t abide the thought that wealth could be distributed to benefit all citizens. Selfishness doesn’t begin to explain the conservative republican’s fixation on material gain. Mental aberrance does.
George Bush has been the crowning achievement of conservative republicanism. A dullard, who can’t string a coherent sentence together, he gleefully follows the lead of every traitorous republican who has his ear. Karl Rove, a fat, marshmallow, donut of a man, looks and acts exactly like someone who would like to get even for all the slights he had to have suffered when young. A mental case in his own right, Rove thinks nothing of tearing down a nation to satisfying his grotesque egoism. Cheney’s character is displayed plainly across his face. His snarling countenance illuminates his mental instability and his vast capacity for greed is unequaled. These mentally abhorrent spectacles are anti-American and have fundamentally betrayed the U.S. Constitution and every other trust they have been given. The Bush Administration has long been a national embarrassment to the American people. Much worse, they have shamed a great nation that was once a model for humanity to emulate. Appointed by a rogue Supreme Court, these jokers began sacking the U.S. Treasury from their first days in office. Their neocon cohorts and partners in crime should invoke nothing but disgust in the minds of all Americans.
At some point in the future Conservative Republicanism will be a distant memory whose only remaining function will be horrifying historians. Republicans embrace the political philosophy that wealth should be concentrated to a few, at the expense of many. This mindset is breathtakingly arrogant, or more accurately, is a symptom of corrupted minds. At the top of the republican food chain exist such despicable creatures as Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdock, The Reverend Sun Moon and Adolph Coors, among others. Beneath them are the politicians that lick their boots for elected office. Then come the jokers, the fools and knaves. Limbaugh, Coulter and Bill O’Reilly are a few such republican lapdogs who trumpet right wing propaganda into the ears of the most gullible, the most ignorant Americans. Rupert Murdoch, in a just world, would have his U.S. citizenship revoked, as would the Rev. Sun Moon. Coors, Scaife and their ilk have far more money than brains, and should be heavily fined every time they open their mouths.
Scaife and Murdoch became self appointed extensions of the U.S. Dept. of Justice when they financed endless fishing expeditions into President Bill Clinton’s business dealings and sex life. The republican congress jumped in behind them spending millions of taxpayer dollars. They couldn’t find the dirt they longed to bury Clinton under and they finally gave up, sputtering and growling – mumbling curses and striking their heads – just as any nutcase might. The Rev. Sun Moon has referred to his adopted land as “Satan’s Harvest.” This clown is allowed to own a Washington newspaper with which he spreads lies and propaganda. He and Murdoch, both naturalized Americans, should be booted out of the country. Moon, a Korean, was given “lawful permanent resident” status during the Nixon Administration. Moon bought his residency with the billions he has given away to republican, wingnut causes. Republican causes make an interesting study. They are never about improving the lives of Americans. They are always about forcing their whacky, misguided beliefs on anyone stupid enough to believe them, and on getting, and holding onto power.
The worst manifestation of republican mental illness has been the war in Iraq. Local WalMarts across the nation reserve a wall on which they display the pictures of young American men and women. These children are offered in Iraq as George Bush cannon fodder. Their 18 and 19 year old faces gaze back from their portraits. Their dress caps always seem too big for them. All wear stern, unsmiling, expressions, to let the photographer know they are going to kill other human beings, for God and Country, the viewer supposes. They joined the army to escape small town America – to serve their country and be rewarded with the promise of free college.
They are babies. They are naïve and don’t have any way to understand the horror of war. They’ve watched Hollywood’s less than realistic cinematic efforts to capture the terror, the waste, the incredible devastation that war visits on all who are touched by it. Innocent children have no hope of equating burnt, ripped flesh, sudden death, a dying friend crying for his mother, with Bush and his wholly contrived war. Republicans promise more war, endless war, even a new front – this time in Iran. This is insanity at its worst. Republicans, and sadly many democrats, support the wars and endorse the incidental madness that spins off from them. Torture, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, government eavesdropping on private phone calls and emails, above all the suspicion that is deliberately encouraged by the nation’s so called leaders who seek to divide, weaken, and in so doing realize complete control over Americans who never seem to learn that war is the result of a complete failure of political leadership.
Insanity has its own way of proliferating. While Americans continue to sleep through the right wing’s hysteria, Condoleezza Rice imagines mushroom clouds sprouting over Brooklyn. Cheney’s old man delusions, while conveniently making him fantastically wealthy, nonetheless mark him as paranoiac. When Cheney moved into the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory, local and national news reported that strange noises could be heard coming from inside the observatory. The noises, that according to witnesses sounded like digging, issued from the observatory night and day for many weeks. Cheney, like Saddam, was preparing a deep hole in which he could hide and feel safe. Freud would no doubt have some interesting comments on Cheney’s tunneling compulsions.
As for Bush, he’s not crazy at all. He’s not smart enough, and lacks the imagination to be crazy. He’s a comical figure. He offers his half-witted observations, sincerely believing he’s the big man. He hasn’t understood that the U.S. Presidency is not an office for his macho fantasies to gain substance. The poor bastard is so stupid he can’t feel remorse, or even connect his egoism with the dead, and those who grieve them. After his 9-11 scare, when he flew all over the country evading imaginary enemies, he found a persona that has always suited him. That is -“He’s a cool dude in a smooth mood.”
Those Supreme Court Justices who voted to install Junior in office should be unceremoniously run off when Obama gets elected. Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia are a disgrace. All are openly partisan and their interpretations of the constitution may be politely described as radical. If Americans expect to reclaim their nation they have a very long, steep road ahead of them. The Corporate Oligarchy that replaced representative government has a death grip on the levers of power and it has no intention of giving it up.