Since last fall, Republicans have pretended to be more moderate – but their politics are harsher and more destructive than ever
After watching voters punish the GOP in the 2012 elections, Republican elites have been talking a brave game about reforms that would make the party less repulsive to Latinos, women and gay-friendly millennials. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the GOP’s hip-hop-quoting young standard-bearer, is pressing conservatives to back an amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Dozens of party stalwarts, headlined by former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, renounced their opposition to gay marriage in a Supreme Court brief. GOP bigwigs have even launched New Republican – a group modeled after Bill Clinton’s centrist Democratic Leadership Council – which seeks to rebrand the party as “colorblind,” “not anti-government” and dedicated to “ending corporate welfare.”
Don’t be fooled. On the ground, a very different reality is unfolding: In the Republican-led Congress, GOP-dominated statehouses and even before the nation’s highest court, the reactionary impulses of the Republican Party appear unbowed. Across the nation, the GOP’s severely conservative agenda – which seeks to impose job-killing austerity, to roll back voting and reproductive rights, to deprive the working poor of health care, and to destroy agencies that protect the environment from industry and consumers from predatory banks – is moving forward under full steam.
Phi Beta Iota: At least 40% of the eligible voters consider themselves Independents or have dropped out entirely from voting. There are eight nationally accredited parties in the USA, comprised of roughly 20% of the politically active public — Constitutional, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, Reform, Republican, and Socialist. The Justice Party is a ninth party just getting started in the West and not nationally accredited. National accreditation matters because Congress has the power to mandate the restoration of political diversity at the federal level, putting all accredited parties on all state ballots and in all debates for federal offices only. The two-party duopoly in Congress has refused to do this nine times. There is nothing wrong with America the Beautiful that cannot be fixed, and fixed quickly, through the restoration of political diversity, integrity, and thus legitimacy, at the federal level. The Democratic Party is assuredly closer in theory to the needs of the 99%, but it lacks intelligence with integrity –across the issues, from the legalization of marijuana to feeding the prison-slave industry to minimum wages and mandated benefits, the Democratic Party has chosen to rely on borrowing for entitlements payments, rather than on intelligent ethical evidence-based design and regulation, to “make payroll.” NEITHER of the two parties in power has a sustainable affordable strategy for the future of the Republic.
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