Republicans are ungrateful whiners.
There are many self-identifying Republicans who believe they have the nation’s best interest at heart, but I’m not sure those people are paying attention. Too many of the rest are poorly informed, others are not very bright, and still more are simply nasty people. But they all coalesce around the propensity to complain without really offering any justification for their complaints. Facts evade Republicans of all stripes.
The economy seems to be the big issue, but most Republicans are motivated by fear. They are afraid of change and the future. Again, this runs across a spectrum of responsibility. For many their personalities resist difference. It just makes them uncomfortable. But for an increasing number fear translates into bigotry and hate. Race, gender, and religion remain a problem for most Republicans.
What solution do the Republicans offer to their fear? They intend to reduce your rights, every right other than the right to own a gun. I’m not being flip, look at the G.O.P. on issues like immigration, voting rights, criminal justice, and women’s rights.
They’re greedy brats, too. Never mind that they are who they are because chance gave them the good fortune to born into a wealthy and prosperous country. They want to destroy it. There is no way — none — that the United States would lead the free world economically and politically without a strong, large, and effective government. No chance. And without a United States of decades past, the so-called individualists would be no better off than most of the world that once followed us.
I can understand the ethical flaws of being on the wrong side of ideas of rights and justice. These are just bad people or people who think poorly. They’re ignorant. But defying the facts is either nothing short of madness or it is criminal. It certainly isn’t democratic, it isn’t American.
Put the abuse of human rights that is occurring in this country aside, if the anti-government complaints from the right had any merit, one would think they could justify them and develop a policy that coheres to that justification. They cannot. For nearly 40 years we have been pursuing a small-government agenda and the results are plain, so plain and simple that even a Republican should be able to grasp it, but they don’t.
Hold these people responsible. How are further cuts to government and its function — cuts that have already done so much damage — going to be better for the future? They won’t answer the question because they cannot. Instead they’ll blame the problems they have caused on the good people trying to offer real alternatives.
Things are changing. Rights for gay people, for example, has taken a dramatic turn in recent years. There is good news health care rights, too. These are good signs, but it is a fight.
And to hope that the bad ideas of the right will die with the old backward people who hold them is a false security. The resurgence of religious fanaticism is frightening and covers the generations, for example. Education is under attack in this country, too. There is no reason to think that the young will overcome the mistakes of their parents. The politics of political success need to speak clearly to the future and target young voters..
Conservatives tried to work the “makers and takers” trope, a ridiculous position by any measure, when the real issue is one of whiners versus doers. I suppose things will have to get much worse before enough people will start waking up to the crimes of the G.O.P., but at some point the course needs to change. Focus on who is doing and who is whining. Let’s start there.