When you examine the basic tenets of the Republican experience, it has always been: Fiscal conservatism, less federal regulations, greater freedoms for individuals and small businesses, and a greater independence for Americans.
The Republican Party has steadily eroded each of these tenets and given the Democratic Party both ammunition, and reason and the logic of both acting WITH these tenets, AND acting against them.
Let’s go backwards from independence, to freedoms, to regulations, to fiscal conservatism.
By equating fiscal conservatism with social conservatism – that is, their reliance of the socially conservative voters, they discovered a way to cut themselves off from the belief of individual freedoms. Through anti-abortion and anti-gay measures supported by the Republican Party nationally, and implemented state-by-state locally, they created regulations preventing women and the gay/lesbian/transgender communities from exercising their individual choices and freedoms. By creating regulations against the freedoms of individuals, they both allowed, and encouraged the Democratic Party to pass counter-regulations and laws simply to fight for individual rights. Automatically, this increased the stature of Democratic freedom fighters. While the Republican Party has not passed any regulations that are overtly racist, they have targeted racial and religious minorities through code word regulations specifically impacting those groups, and coincidentally affecting a traditional Democratic base (rural, small town white America as well).
It is a basis of American politics that all topics and discussions are on the table, and lobbying groups are part of that discussion. There are lobbying groups for storks and milk and wheat and steel and coal and wind energy and everything else. There are lobbying groups for businesses large and small, industries new and old, but very few for individuals, communities, or groups. Lobbyists for individuals, communities or small groups, don’t have the financial resources to fight great or long wars, but as with the natural world, the big are always more powerful than the small, the ones with more resources (teeth) are more powerful than those with less. Those resources allow them to organize more efficiently which then translates to even greater resources (bigger teeth).
So the deregulation of anything, or non-regulation, is only limited by the moral rectitude of businesses, industries or individuals monitoring themselves. Republicans have long been opposed to laws limiting businesses and individuals freedom to act without limit. So when a company dumps toxic waste into the drinking water of a small (or great, or vast) community, they can do so – because it is not “against the law.” Essentially, peeing in the pool, is not against the law.
But if hundreds or millions of people get poisoned, those hundreds or millions of people WANT a law preventing it. And they WANT an enforcement agency that will STOP it.
When Donald Trump brags about “understanding the law,” and “working within the existing system,” he is only arguing FOR regulations and laws. Because while he knows better, his value system is: what is right for me is right. This attitude on display becomes a tremendous flag for regulation, more regulation and even MORE regulation.
The Republican Party, by it’s members not speaking out, volunteering to create self-imposed controls to abuses of existing intent of laws, are simply BEGGING for more and more specific, targeted, grand, problematic laws and regulations. The Republican Party begs to be controlled. This is a party that can not control itself, does not believe in controlling itself, won’t control itself if given the opportunity (they did nominate Donald Trump), and then argues that we don’t NEED controls in the form of laws and regulations?
Can you please show me why we don’t need them?
Let’s be clear. I am a rebel against society, religion, businesses, corporations, societal norms, and other individuals. I immensely dislike being controlled. However, I am not stupid.
I can’t fight Freedom Industries in West Virginia by myself, or from a vantage point in New York. I sympathize with poor white families who have lost value on their property, can’t drink or use their water, just because the Republican Party defunded the Environmental Protection Agency as much as possible by arguing to cut federal income tax as much as possible to support their agenda of preventing women from access or choice of healthcare (and yes, the option of abortion). Keep in mind, that neither has to do with the other.
I am not stupid enough to not see that it is cheaper to regulate and enforce regulations than it is to find ways to clean up the water in West Virginia or Flint, Michigan. Or that a Universal healthcare system that private insurers have to compete against is true competition, as opposed to the lobbied for, fake competition of insurers who can’t push pharmaceutical companies, and medical industries to tighten costs.
Fiscal conservatism is not pecuniary abstention when dealing with things you don’t want to think about, don’t think important, or starvation. Fiscal conservatism is not starving babies, but finding the most efficient and effective ways of feeding those babies.
When people define themselves as “fiscal conservatives,” they seek the narrowest of definitions when defining their values. As individuals, simply feeding your child basic gruel, not clothing them in anything except leftover rags, and throwing some books at them (education) would not be considered “conservative,” but irresponsible, sick and cruel. Yet, we allow people to try to impose these kind of draconian values on other people, and get away with defining themselves as “fiscal conservatives.”
I have often wondered why we allow people we KNOW are irresponsible, to define themselves as “conservative,” or having any national, domestic, or societal value at all. This is not “tax and spend” liberalism, it is common sense.
Walmart, and Medicare use the same techniques for lowering vendor costs. Both use the carrot of a vast distribution network, and a stick of lower the costs, explain the costs, or we’ll go elsewhere. Why wouldn’t it work elsewhere? And how, exactly, does this impact our “freedoms?”
If everyone, rich and poor, regardless of state, had access to healthcare, people who had the money could still opt for supplemental insurance. They already do this with Medicare. Will it put doctors out of business? Not unless you believe that every doctor is a greedy pig who’s only motivate for going into medicine is to get rich and quit to play golf.
Most people, rich and poor, young and old, and of every background and religion, work to do something that is valuable, that they like to do, and want to do . . . and get paid enough to be comfortable. Many take jobs they NEED to, to support their habits. The habits of children, housing, groceries, transportation and occasionally a little vacation to see or do something else.
But how many of these people would willingly do something else? Many more people would pour into the medical fields if they didn’t have to pay an arm and leg for an education. This creates a natural competition, not for money, but for aiding others. The competition isn’t for financial reward, but for interest in medicine, service to others, a transference from aid to their families, but families of others.
Am I a Liberal who thinks about butterflies and puppy dogs? No, actually, I worked with and around and talked to first responders of 9/11. But I know it is true of every group of first responders, every group of volunteers, every group of service workers in and out of unions, pay ranges and political backgrounds. It is simply true.
The Republican Party created their situation by analyzing how they could win an election back in 1980s. They continued with the actions of Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay. They brought themselves through the Todd Akins and Steve Kings and Marco Rubios to Donald Trump. They say they believe something, but they act against those beliefs. Rather than finding non-legal ways to regulate themselves, and show some sense of responsibility, they blame Democrats for creating legal ways of regulating and seeking a sense of responsibility.
Rural people tend to understand the concept of responsibility, so they tend to believe that they can regulate themselves. But individuals and businesses in a growing world, can’t maintain that expectation.
It is one thing to drink yourself silly. It is another thing to drink yourself silly, get in a car and kill a mother and her two kids. Laws are made to give someone a reason to take the silly drunk out of the car, off the road, and preserve the freedom of that mother and her two kids, to live.
I don’t drink, so the law has nothing to do with me, but I support the law because I also support that mother and her two kids. Not the drunk.