Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The Republicans Have Already Lost; or, Barry Goldwater All Over Again
Willard Romney, Incorporated was already losing in the political polls. Then on Saturday the 11th, he made what he thought was the winningest pick for vice president: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Romney-Ryan has already lost. Here's why. In 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona ran his Republican presidential campaign on a more or less ideologically pure platform and got his butt handed to him by President Lyndon Johnson, who proceeded to sign the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. Paul Ryan is the architect of this year's GOP platform. His plan ends Medicare, privatizes Social Security, raises taxes on the middle class and the poor, and all but subsidizes the rich. He justifies this with Ayn Rand's ethics, which states that the big industrialists are the true producers and everybody else is a mooching looter and moral cannibal living off their totally deserved wealth. The not-so-hidden assumptions are "vulgar Calvinism", the belief that wealth is the mark of virtue or is itself virtue, and Social Darwinism, the cult of "the survival of the fittest" — combined in the assumption that the rich are the fittest and the poor are the unfit that must be destroyed. Seems the Corporates have not evolved one bit since they tried to destroy President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Hell, some of them even supported Hitler in his Kampf or jihad against America. America is evolving and changing around them, yet they haven't changed one bit. Wealth and power can be very regressive forces indeed. Ryan's plan to destroy Medicare and sell off Social Security to his predatory Corporate friends will lose him the senior vote that the GOP previously relied on as the core of their base. It's even threatening the GOP down-ticket: Ryan is now every GOP politician's running mate, since he wrote the party platform he's now running on as VP nominee. There are two potential Ralph Nader/Ross Perot-type spoilers. First, there's the Libertarian Party, whose nominee Gary Johnson is running on essentially the Ron Paul platform. He will siphon away at least a significant proportion of Paul supporters from Romney-Ryan. The other is the second biggest third party, Dominionist party variously called Constitution, Independence, and American Taxpayers. If they can nominate a top ticket with a high enough profile, they could take away a good chunk of the Religious Right. The platform Romney and Ryan are running on is essentially Corporatism, an ideology with little mass appeal precisely because it scorns the masses. Its current basis is Ayn Rand's ideology of Objectivism, which is basically Stalinism turned upside down: she replaced Marxism's revolutionary proletariat with a revolutionary bourgeoisie, and replaced Christian and Marxist altruism (the ethics of self-sacrifice) with an equally extreme egoism. Now combine this disadvantage with the threat of two competing right-wing third parties. The result? A second term for President Barack Obama, the guy the Right hates because the Great White Father isn't supposed to be black. Note that I never mentioned the Democratic Party once in the above paragraphs. Democratic Presidents, yes, but not the party. That's because, as I've been saying since last year, this election is the Republicans' to lose. Now I'm convince that they've already lost it.