Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Step back and see what many influential right-wing Republicans believe in. It's not a pretty sight.
Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan are staunch devotees of Ayn Rand, with many others on the right. Rand's philosophy in a nutshell is that selfishness is a moral good, altruism is evil, and there should be no regulation of capitalism.
Rand said, "I am done with the monster of 'we .... And now I see the face of god ....This god, this one word: 'I.'"
Rand was an atheist, which shouldn't sit well with fundamentalist Republicans. Many ignore this "defect" because Rand is so forthright about pushing a capitalist system in which selfishness and unrestrained greed is good.
A significant majority of Republican legislators have signed Grover Norquist's pledge, in which they promise to never, ever raise taxes for any reason. This places an unnatural limit on the process of governing. It's irresponsible. It's like a one-armed boxer.
Most of those who sign it do it out of fear. It has become a Republican litmus test and they don't have the moral courage to say no. Besides, Norquist promises retribution for those who fall from grace.
Next is religion. Good old-time Christian (only) religion. Here's a quote from Sen. Barry Goldwater, called "Mr. Conservative" in the 1960s. At the time we imagined there would never be anyone to the right of him.
He said, "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the (Republican) Party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them ... I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.' "
If Barry Goldwater were alive today he would be both sad and angry.
In summary: Never compromise, selfishness and greed are good, never raise taxes (especially on the very wealthy), and be certain to shove your particular brand of religion down everyone's throats.
A democratic society can't function for very long in the face of this "perfect storm" created by the right.