It is now more readily apparent than ever, that Republicans and/or their ostensible right wing allies have decided to travel down a lonely road. They have sought to leave the state of actual, factual reality behind for a bifurcative dichotomy of schismatic political ideology. This ideology accepts no world view other than its own, and, in fact, represents pathological behaviors symptomatic of a mentally aberrative psychological outlook.
This outlook is repeatedly manifested by a strongly expressed desire to “take our country back”. Only after the country is “taken back” can it then be restored to a prior time of rigidly defined behavioral norms wherein all outcomes can be predicted. Our first example of this, is the repeated insistence that the United States was formed on religious (specifically Christian) doctrine, and a return to such will allow normative behaviors to provide both proper economic and social outcomes. What does the historical record show?
The first three words of the Constitution are, “We the People”. This phrasing is used specifically to denote that executive power is derived from a mandate of the citizenry and not from a mythological “divine right” as promulgated by the monarchical hierarchy prevalent during this period of history. Further, Article VI (six) of the Constitution states…”no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Obviously, this passage means what it says, that religiosity or lack thereof is specifically prohibited from disqualifying any otherwise qualified citizen from holding elected office or political appointment. In addition, the very first words of the very first amendment of the Constitution state: ”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”. Once again, in very plain English, Congress may not legislate the supremacy of one religion over another nor may Congress suppress any specific religious belief for any reason. Do these seem like the acts of men devoted to a conservative Christian ideology? No, they do not. To quote Thomas Jefferson in his correspondence with Horatio Spafford, “…in every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot…they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes.”
The bifurcative dichotomy is apparent, as the majority of citizenry adhere to historical precedent, Republicans have decided that this America is not where they came from, are from, or will be going toward. Generating the schism causes Republicans to lose voters to the independent bloc, which in the context of demographic realpolitik, means more votes for their opponents.
Another example of this bifurcative dichotomy is the argument about “reduction of government/ intrusion of government” and how the removal of governmental regulation will return universal economic prosperity and its concomitant “freedom“. Again, let us return to the historical record. The records of the Cleveland Trust Corporation and other historical assets show that from 1797 to 1927 (130 years), an economic recession occurred once every two years and a depression occurred once every twenty years. This period of time included taking the United States off the gold standard, returning to the gold standard, initiating the Federal Reserve system and then establishing the Federal Reserve system . After the “Great Depression” of the 1930’s, the government initiated many reforms and regulations to control the commercial activities of banks and mercantile trading establishments. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the frequency of recessions decreased to one every four years and there has not been a depression for 80 years. (Depression is historically denoted as a decline of 10% or more of Gross Domestic Product within the depressionary time frame.) Clearly, government intervention in the form of regulatory statutes have been successful in decreasing the economic impacts of the vagaries of “free market” capitalism. Further, the establishment of vast national infrastructure projects such as the Interstate Highway System, Rural Electrification, Hydro-Electric power, National Education and capital supports from various governmental agencies in the forms of loans and grants have added value to both industrial output as a whole and the citizen individually. When one adds the programs of unemployment insurance and Social Security, it becomes apparent that cushioning the blows of economic vicissitudes allows our citizens to endure with hope and dignity. In addition, regulations concerning the health and safety of the workplace, water supply, food supply, transportation system, consumer products and medical practitioners and devices have increased the health and longevity of the general public in a manner unforeseen even two generations ago.
Again the dichotomy is readily evident, while having both seen and experienced the benefits of government regulations in Americans lives, the Republicans seek to strike a Faustian bargain with members of the voting public. In essence saying, you may have a job if I have the right to despoil your environment, poison your family, keep your children in ignorance and prepare them for poverty. This creates a schism with the more business savvy members of the party who understand the relationship between quality of life and productivity of the working populace. Once again, pushing those members into the independent category, which typically means the not voting Republican category.
So, what does this represent? When it is quite plain that there is a gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs that is motivated by the past rather than by the present or future, when the present situation is severely distorted in a rigid, inflexible and exclusionary manner that leads to significant dysfunction, the pathology is obvious. The schism is palpable and Republicans can see America in their rear view mirror, as they roar down the road to a well deserved obscurity.