[loop category= module=c ]While it’s undoubtedly true that both the Fiscal Cliff and the looming sequestration cuts are completely self-inflicted crises, there’s one thing that’s also true: deep down, Republicans — or at least their base — are truly fine with the devastating, across the board, smearing of budget cuts that would take place should another agreement on taxes and spending cuts not be reached in the next few days. But why do Republicans want sequestration? I attempt to answer that question below.
#5. They mistakenly think it’s the sequel to 2003’s emotional story about a famous race horse, “Seabiscuit.”
I’m not trying to say that every member of the Tea Party is dumb and uneducated. But these are the people who carried around signs telling the government to keep its hands off their medicare. Perhaps it is stereotyping a bit to insinuate that they don’t have a great grasp of the English language, but let’s look at some things with a little more detail, shall we?
- The right-wing in this country has demagogued education for the last twenty-five years.
- Deep red states with large concentrations of Tea Party sympathizers and backers have proposed laws that would prevent schools from teaching critical thinking.
- During the 2012 Republican primaries, the Department of Education was a regular whipping post, with most candidates openly endorsing its termination.
With such evidence of not just a lack of respect for academics, but even an outright disdain, is it really that hard to believe some of them really would think we’re talking about a sequel to “Seabiscuit” here?
#4. 82% of them believe that if the Good Lord had intended man to fly, he’d have given us wings.
Cheap shot at the fact that the overwhelming majority of Tea Partiers are old, conservative Christians? Consider the fact that about 45% of them actually think President Obama is a Muslim. Consider further that fully 15% of Ohio Republicans polled during the election last year actually thought Mitt Romney, who was not even an elected official at the time, deserved at least some credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. These are people who choose to view the world from their own very restricted prism, so it’s not hard to think that at least some of them do indeed think of man’s flying machines as tools of the devils, so if sequestration hits and winds up grounding flights because we have to cut a shit load of air traffic controllers and TSA agents, then that’s God doing his work, keeping the Devil’s flying demon pods out of God’s sky.
#3. Fox News told them to want it.
Admittedly, I haven’t been diving into the rabbit hole that is Faux News very much recently, so I can’t say for certain that Fox News’ pundits and flapping face-holes have endorsed going forward with sequestration or not. However, I do know for certain that they’ve spent the last couple of decades encouraging their viewers to view every dollar spent by the government not as a contribution from everyone to the good of society but as a dollar stolen from them at gunpoint. Fox News, despite their ratings being in the tank since the election, still holds incredible sway with the dwindling number of Americans who buy in whole-hog to the conservative mythologies of dangerously low tax rates, prohibitively constricted government spending, and an all-out worship of the rich. It’s not a stretch to believe that if the people on Fox told their viewers to embrace sequestration, that’s exactly what would happen.
#2. The only time they care about the soldiers is when they’re shipping them off to die.
Screeeeech! That’s the sound of brakes and heads turning as they got to this one. I know, it’s really uber-hostile to the right, but they deserve it. A NeoCon right-wing administration lied their way into sending more than 4000 young men and women — my fucking contemporaries — to their early graves. And since then, Republicans in Congress have done everything they can to show that they consider veterans to be nothing more than human capital, or worse, cattle. Once they’ve gone over and fought in combat, they’re no longer useful as political trophies, and so who cares if sequestration cuts effect furloughs for workers at V.A. hospitals? Who cares if those furloughs prolong the payments of the Post-9/11 GI Bills? It’s not like we owe this young men and women a debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice, right?
#1. As long as the government is hurt, who cares if everyone else is too?
This one really isn’t humorous or satirical; it’s just true. You don’t become a party of Ayn Rand worshiping sociopaths hell-bent on choking the life out of the government without having a healthy hatred for the government itself. It’s of course disgusting when you realize that our government is built on the idea that it’s actually us. That’s what “of the people, by the people, and for the people” really means. It’s just a really fancy way of saying that our government is us because we choose who goes to Washington to serve us, and every employee from Congressional member to the TSA agent who authoritatively cups your balls to make sure you’re not smuggling a bomb on board your flight, is supposed to represent us, and is there because we need them there. Sure, that’s not always the case. And yes, there is waste, fraud and abuse everywhere in every department. But that’s not an argument for killing the government and thereby hamper its ability to invest in the future stability and economic success of our country. It’s an argument for finding the waste, fraud, and abuse and eliminating it.
Of course, that’s not really the point of the conservative push to obliterate government spending. And don’t kid yourself, it’s not about protecting our children and grandchildren from paying our debts. It’s pure and simple about keeping the rich as rich as possible by keeping taxes as low as they can possibly get them for those who can afford to pay them the most. It’s neither shocking nor surprising, but it sure is reality. But if our country truly is of the people, by the people and for the people…
…who exactly do the conservatives hate when they say that they hate the government?