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Sun Mar 26, 2017, 08:32 PM

The showdown that exposed the rift between Republican ideology and reality [View all]

Heather Richardson at the Guardian



But the stark ideology of the Republicans calling for a return to the pro-business government of the 1920s never reflected political reality. The policies Republicans loathed were actually quite popular. So, to garner support for their attack on an activist government, they turned to a mythological narrative that drew on America’s long history of racism and sexism. They won voters not by convincing them of the merits of returning to a world in which businessmen ran the country, but rather by insisting that taxes redistributed wealth from hardworking white people to lazy minorities and feminists who wanted abortions on demand.

Their narrative was simple. Hardworking white Christian men were under attack by a behemoth government, designed by Democrats, that sucked them dry with high taxes funnelled to poor minorities and grasping women, who, in turn, supported Democrats for the government goodies they provided. This narrative of the individual under attack by an empire – the same storyline that drove the 1977 hit film Star Wars – worked. Voters rallied to Reagan’s attacks on an apocryphal Welfare Queen, a black woman who had become rich by collecting welfare cheques under 80 different names, and thrilled to his promise to protect regular Americans from the taxes that supported such parasites.

But while white men ever since have embraced the heroic idea that they were independent individuals under attack by a government that catered to minorities, the reality has always been that Americans actually believe that the government has a key role to play in business regulation and social welfare.

Republicans have been able to paper over the vast gulf between their ideology and reality, so long as they could blame Democrats for their inability to put their ideology into law. They could rail about lower taxes and liberty, and then, when Democrats saved the policies that voters liked, could blame the socialistic Democrats for Republicans’ own failure to enact their ideological vision. This tactic was at the heart of their rage against Obamacare, the symbol of their oppression since it passed seven years ago. Republicans in the House of Representatives voted more than 50 times to repeal the law, knowing they could count on Obama’s veto to protect them from voters who would, in reality, be furious at the loss of their healthcare.


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Reply The showdown that exposed the rift between Republican ideology and reality [View all]
applegrove Mar 2017 OP
Demsrule86 Mar 2017 #1
PoiBoy Mar 2017 #2
Demsrule86 Mar 2017 #13
drm604 Mar 2017 #12
Demsrule86 Mar 2017 #14
WinkyDink Mar 2017 #3
applegrove Mar 2017 #4
Cosmocat Mar 2017 #5
WinkyDink Mar 2017 #15
LakeArenal Mar 2017 #6
FakeNoose Mar 2017 #8
sharedvalues Mar 2017 #7
zentrum Mar 2017 #9
mountain grammy Mar 2017 #10
moondust Mar 2017 #11