It should be clear to all that Republicans actually mean what they say. They said that they would block progressives being appointed to the Supreme Court until they got a neoconservative super majority on the most important bench in the country. And they did just that.
Trump and the Republicans said that they would withdraw America from the nuclear treaty with Iran which would immediately drive the entire Middle East closer to the brink of some unthinkable Armageddon. And they did just that.
Republicans said that they would expand mineral exploration and drilling rights into nature conservancies all over the United States. And they did just that.
And now, the Republicans have discarded any veneer of decency or a fig leaf of concern for American human beings.
Enter Senator Rick Scott from Florida, the Sunshine State.
Before he was a United States Senator he was the governor of Florida. And before he was governor he was the co-founder and CEO of Columbia/HCA, at one point the largest healthcare company in the United States. And at another point it was adjudged to be the platform for the largest Medicare fraud case in American history – close to $2 billion of fraudulent business practices.
The company was ultimately liquidated after paying enormous fines. Scott has always claimed to be unaware of any fraud, an interesting defense from the CEO of the company that he had founded.
In a rational and just world Scott might just be getting out of prison instead of being the chair of the Republican Senate Election Committee which is charged with supporting the senatorial campaigns of Republicans all over America. And being the innovative and creative person that he is, Scott developed a platform which he is urging all Republican Senate candidates to incorporate into their campaign.
This is a platform that sounds like the Six Commandments from Hell:
- Slash Social Security funding and require the entire program to be renewed by Congress every five years. Given the sludge like pace of Congress in doing anything, this would be a death penalty for Social Security.
- Require all families, even the poorest, homeless and hungry families to pay a federal income tax. How someone is supposed to pay income taxes without income is a mystery.
- A national ban on abortion. There is no mention of exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. That is probably not an oversight.
- Ending birthright citizenship. This would require the repeal of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which states that anyone born in the United States is a citizen. It is not clear that this proposal would have some retroactive feature.
- Expanded gun rights is another plank in the platform. Considering that there are already more guns than people in this country, and that over 40,000 Americans die of death by gun every year, it is not clear how much more expanded gun rights could be.
- Reverse climate change initiatives. Considering that this country is already the largest producer of carbon emissions on the planet, this sounds like an order from a highly intelligent alien life form that wants to clear humans from the planet so that it can be converted into a huge farm for far more intelligent beings from another galaxy.
Not every Republican senatorial candidate is totally wedded to this platform. But the fact that, in the third decade of the twenty first century, we have a major political party advocating a return to the time of famine, plagues and the workhouse as a reasonable political strategy.
It is to be expected that many Americans will not take these proposals as being serious. We should be clear; the Republicans and their billionaire class neoconservative supporters are serious.
And, as Maya Angelou said, when people show you who they are, believe them.
It is time to stop wishing that it isn’t true. It is time to believe and to act.