Why do Republicans Hate America so?

Inquiring minds want to know…

by JC

Update: The Button Valley Bugle beat me to ‘tubes on this theme, with a post from friday

From Venom is not a strategy:

“Republicans celebrate every time America fails and cheer and applaud for more failures in the future. Republicans have moved well beyond political opposition into a state of actual abhorrence for our country. I can only imagine the abject joy that will be felt and demonstrated by Republicans should another real tragedy strike America. They not only agree with the Taliban, they have become the Taliban.”

Update, 10-13-09: 289-34. That’s how many thousands of hits asking the question “Why do Republicans Hate America” vs. “Why do Democrats Hate America” gets at Google today. Not exactly scientific, but a telling number, nonetheless. And a lot of fodder for thought.

  1. klemz

    Dude, the Olympics didn’t go to Rio because of Republican grumbling. The Olympics went to Rio because the Selection Committee realized that the Southside was pissed off that, once again, it was going to end up holding the end of the scrub brush that was used to wash the rich man’s fat ass. If a host city isn’t stoked (all of it, not just the rich, white Cubs fans) then the SC can find another candidate.

    The Olympics worst enemy in the windy city press? Ben Joravsky — bluer than the prez himself.

  2. Dan

    no need to bring cubbies fans into this argument. back off

  3. Lizard

    my favorite crazy antics by the nutty right is the borderline treasonous trips to Honduras to give support to an illegitimate govt’ we don’t recognize. i guess supporting a military coup in defiance of the Logan Act is just standard operating procedure for regressives.

    on the flip side, i don’t think obama deserves a nobel peace prize. but if kissinger can win it, i don’t see how anyone can take the thing seriously.

  4. Anon

    What a strange question to ask. Why do you feel Republicans hate America?

    Hate is a very strong word and I pretty sure I would not use it to describe how I feel. I am sadly disappointed in what America has become and is turning into. I feel helpless to stop it. I am sadly disappointed in the vast majority of the members of Congress. I am disappointed in just about every administration since Eisenhower. Heck, make that every administration from Wilson on. Johnson with the Vietnam War and Medicare. Nixon with continuing the war and closing the gold window. Reagan with just about tripling the national debt. Bush 41 with breaking his no new taxes promise. Won’t even go into all the stuff Clinton pulled, but the overall money supply increased about 3x on his watch, causing the tech bubble. Bush 43 was just a war mongering neocon that spent like a drunken liberal and allowed things like the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act to pass and added about 3x the amount of national debt as Reagan. He ruined the US reputation and allowed illegal torture, secret CIA overseas prisons, introduced the “unitary executive” crap, and abused the signing statements. Understand that I am against torture but if we insist on doing it, do it in Macy’s window at high noon – don’t hide it! Obama is doing a great job of following in his footsteps and doesn’t seem to have changed many of the neocon policies. We are still in Iraq, increasing our presence in AfPak, diddling with Iran and still going further and further into a debt that cannot and will not ever be repaid. We are getting closer and closer to losing our status as the premier country in the world and becoming just another 3rd world country that owes money to everyone and can’t pay it. No, I don’t hate America – I hate what has been done to her by the idiot politicians who’s only thought is to get re-elected, not what is best for the country, and the uninformed people that continue to elect them.

    • Thomas Paine

      Phenomenal reply.

    • Lizard

      a heartfelt response, to be sure, but this whole notion of america becoming something “bad” implies a mythical belief in some great america where our founding ideals were universally practiced and universally shared. because that’s never been the case, no one should be surprised that money influences national decisions. when has it ever been different?

      beyond our direct experience within the environment of our neighborhoods, towns, and cities, there’s just hearsay and abstraction. personally, i’m trying to redirect my energies from those realms of compromised bullshit toward more local concerns, because staying too plugged in to the national two party joke causes a suffocating feeling of helplessness, like Anon says.

      as it dips well below freezing i wonder: how many empty commercial spaces sit vacant tonight, and how many people without homes are doing whatever they can to stay warm? even the drunks who supposedly cause downtown businesses to suffer (never wall street, right?), should they just die on the streets in the once richest nation on earth? should people be dying and filing for bankruptcy for lack of adequate health care in america?

      before anything constructive can happen, regular people have to find some agreed-upon method to circumvent the national divide.

      JC: this post does nothing to further any constructive dialogue. it merely freezes any potential conversation and reinforces bitter party lines.

      what’s the alternative?

      • JC

        I think you guys are having a fine dialog.

        In order to move forward, sometimes we have to deconstruct current memes. Find the substance. Draw together seemingly unrelated events.

        Anon, because I ask the question does not necessarily mean I agree with the premise. Or that I am making a rash generalization. Possibly it is mere rhetoric.

        Rush says it well: “I don’t want America to fail. I want Obama to fail.” As if one does not predicate the other.

        During the Bush days, we were told protesting the Iraq war was to not support the troops and was un-American. That we could not simultaneously protest while we give the troops our support. That we did not learn the lesson of Viet Nam and its wounds that still fester.

        And if we can put all of that together Liz, we may begin to understand how we criminalize poverty when we penalize the homeless for daring to nap upon the commons while Wall Street financiers plan billions in bonuses to supplement their $50k/hour perfidy.

        One Wall Street exec’s pay for a day or two could build a new shelter in Missoula that could house 20 homeless families every night. But that would be restributionism, and there are those that value others’ wealth more than they abhor human suffering around them, saying that it must not be.

        Thanks guys. Really.

        • goof houlihan

          “One Wall Street exec’s pay for a day or two could build a new shelter in Missoula that could house 20 homeless families every night. But that would be restributionism, and there are those that value others’ wealth more”

          Actually, it’s called freedom, that “those others” that you’ve claimed “all hate america,” value more. Freedom will not guarrantee equality of outcomes. Only tyranny claims to do that, but it doesn’t either. All your writing is aimed at bringing us the Harrison Bergeron future…bringing equality to all by handicapping all to the lowest common denominator, the homeless.

          Anon’s question goes unanswered; why do you claim Republicans hate America?

          • JC

            Ever been homeless, Goof? I’d suggest trying it for a while to see America from the other side of the fence. And no, all my writing is not aimed at a “Harrison Bergeron” future. Far from it.

            As to your question, and as I wrote to Anon, I would say that by ending my question in the headline with “so” that I mean “in the way that they do.”

            I don’t believe that many good republicans hate America. Though I do believe that they aren’t willing to call out their fellow republicans, or their political party for doing so–and I would call the republican glee over Chicago not getting the Olympics was a form of hating on their fellow countrymen. What was that prominent republican’s motto? Oh, yeah. “Country First.”

            Most republican politicians’ vision of the future of America is far different from mine. While you may claim that I want to handicap the well-to-do in order to lift the not-so-well-to-do, what I am doing is pointing out that money equates power. And their is a huge power differential in America.

            Those without money have little to no political power, and thus are abused easily by our society. Their constitutional rights are continually violated. Their access to equal opportunity and justice is similarly maligned. They are disproportionately criminalized, penalized, and incarcerated.

            There are two Americas goof. One that the rich and powerful protect for themselves. And the other that they subject the rest of us to. And they love the one and despise the other. Just as you despise the homeless by referring to them as “the lowest common denominator.” Maybe it is that republicans only hate half of America. The half that wants to have what they have. Which is to say those that want to have power.

            They are human beings with the same constitutional rights that you have. And are deserving of basic human rights, not the William Simonson future that you suggest.

  5. TapHerLight

    I’ll be happy to answer Anon’s question. Republicans hate America because they are always the first to question someone’s patriotism as they ignore the role of big business in the devolution Anon aptly and partly describes.

    Most of all it’s the deregulation (lawlessness) the party of law & order instigated, the ignoring of a founding principal that we have to fight even for the rights of our enemies or we also will have no rights, which led to unjust pre-emptive war and outright torture. The years of fighting against Social Security, Education funding, Medicare, Civil Rights, on & on; plus their fight for Apartheid, all by a party that preaches personal responsibility while rarely taking any. They’ve made ‘public’ a pejorative when it’s ‘private’ that used to connotate ‘selfishness’. They’ve turned the idea of the ‘commons’ into ‘get what’s yours’ at the expense of our enshrined institutions’ pledge to “promote the general welfare” & “the pursuit of happiness”, concepts that helped make America unique.

    Killing Health Care reform decade after decade while millions of Americans died and or went bankrupt, the genuflecting approach against any idea from their opposition, the invasive spying on Americans from COINTELPRO to the Patriot Act, the grandstanding over every flimsy terrorist alert, (and we just had a real one without any hysteria).

    Which brings me back to 9/11 where their overreaction of epic proportions to 19 idiots with box cutters led to doing just what Osama wanted, closing the Saudi Arabia base and crippling our economy. Any high school quarterback knows when you get hit real bad you just shake it off and not empower the opposition (enemy) by acknowledging the hurt. You quietly go about the business of sending special forces into the Afghan/Paki border area instead of elevating jerks into overblown figures actually never worthy of any respect.

    They’ve destroyed media, the middle class, the separation of church & state, made women’s privacy equivalent to being pro-death, dumbed down our curriculums to the point that I sincerely doubt most of them could pass the basic citizenship test their other nemesis, immigrants, do with flying colors.

    It’s true the Democratic Party has also become like them in such an environment of hideously distorted ‘information’ but it’s been their ball game, it’s their ball and it’s beginning to bounce out of bounds way outside the fairway. Cruelty will make folks fear you but don’t be surprised when some read that as hating America. Bullying and gouging folks is not how you show the love.

    • Anon

      Lots of info here. Let me begin by quoting Eric Fry in a recent article:
      “The rain falls on the rich and the poor alike. That’s symmetry. But after the rain lands, the rich receive a much larger share of the water than the poor. That’s asymmetry. Indeed, some of the rich funnel as much water as possible toward their own personal reservoirs…even though they have more than enough water already. That’s greed.

      …And some of the rich drain the wells of their neighbors and clients to water their golf courses. That’s Wall Street.”

      I spent 8 yrs in the Navy in the ’70’s. Anyone that questions my patriotism and love of country better do so out of arms reach. That said, I support out troops 100% – they are, after all, just puppets being played on a world stage, dancing on the strings of the puppet masters. I do not support the chickenshi*t, draft-dodging a**holes that send them into unneeded, senseless wars. We need to cleanup our own backyard before crapping in someone elses.

      There are many things that government could do that would be nice – unfortunately, not all of them are feasible or affordable. The government needs to learn to live within its means just like the rest of us have to. Society has to decide just how much it is willing to pay for what it deems “necessary”. Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs in not advisable.

      Here’s some words from Calvin Coolidge:
      The collection of taxes whch are not absolutely required, which do not beyond a reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, (keep in mind the meaning of public welfare in the 1920’s) is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful

      Our current welfare system and all the public giveaways do not create those conditions. All it does is to keep people in poverty, removing any chance or incentive for them to climb the ladder of success. And these people vote – of course for the party(s) that will continue the free handouts.

      As TapHerLight says “dumbed down our curriculums to the point that I sincerely doubt most of them could pass the basic citizenship test their other nemesis, immigrants, do with flying colors“. Do you really believe that DC wants a smart, well educated population that studies the issues and understands the implications? People deserve the government they get.

      Again I say, I don’t hate America – just what is being done to her by both major parties. It seems to be a race as to who can cause the ultimate societal crash the fastest. In the end, no one will win.

      • JC

        Thanks Anon,

        I might rephrase one thing you wrote:

        “Do you really believe that Wall Street wants a smart, well educated population that studies the issues and understands the implications? People deserve the government corporations buy them.”

        I don’t think that most individuals–republican or not–think they hate America. But when republican politicians, and I’m thinking of a past republican vp nominee, seem to think there are two Americas–one to be loved and one to despise–use the tactic of divide and conquer, then they are setting the stage for hate.

        If individual republicans don’t like how their party is being used and manipulated by the likes of right wing radio, astroturf populist orgs, and opportunistic politicians, then they need to step out and do something.

        These days it is the republican party that is wandering leaderless in the wilderness, and are easy marks for disabuse. But I don’t reserve my criticism just for them, and distribute my flak accordingly.

        • Anon

          JC – I like the re-phrase re: Wall St. vs DC :-)

          Believe me when I say that I was not fond of the vp you reference. If that last ticket is the best Republicans can come up with, they may as well just not waste peoples time with campaigning.

          Agree the R’s are wandering leaderless.

          To quote David Brooks from Oct 2.:
          The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.

          They certainly are not people I listen to or believe lead the Republican party. There are many of us totally disgusted with the current situation.

  6. Interesting discussion … I disagree with the notion that the US was once something that it is not now. We’ve always been this way, and expanded as power allowed us to expand. Post World War II, there was very little to stop us. Post Soviet collapse, we were pretty much doomed. Without a counterbalancing power, over-expansion was inevitable.

    I was taught in school that the U.S. contained the Soviet Union. Actually, the opposite was true.

    We are in decay, and are now sadly hitched to the dollar as trading currency for oil. Once that goes. we’re pretty much screwed. We’re also hitched to cheap labor from abroad to maintain our standard of living. Even with that, we still had to run up immense personal debt, which is no longer feasible.

    But we’ve always been a greedy country, taking what was takeable, holding resource colonies under our thumbs. Marines have been invading the shores of other countries over a century. It all centered around what we now call “Wall Street”.

    We now have over 700 military bases around the world that we cannot support. If we drew back, if we decided that our own people were more important than control of other countries’ resources, we could invest in health care, infrastructure, and education. Education is our greatest need -we don’t invest in ourselves, and have a population that cannot think, a third of which are illiterate or functionally so. Without a population capable of critical thought, we’re patsies for every propagandist that comes along, Obama being the latest.

    In the end, after collapse, perhaps we will learn the lesson the Europeans learned post-war. Retract, self-invest, prosper, be happy.

  7. PS – I was very happy that Brazil got the Olympics. Let them be on top for once. Chicago sounded like a very boring venue.

  8. TapHerLight

    The two ultra-simplistic Republican slogans (aka ideas) have been shoved down our throats for decades, i.e. small government and lower taxes, neither of which pass the Spock logic test.

    How can government get smaller when our population surges from 200-300 million? It’s like a building a new, bigger stadium when attendance outgrew the old one but at the same time reducing the number of bathrooms. Stop confusing intrusive with bigger and start caring more about the former.

    Artificially low taxes, especially at the high-income end, only shift costs at a huge markup into the private sector so instead of everyone putting in about $500 a year for total Medical Security we all pay $10,000 to $20,000 a year to needless middle men, the insurance companies, who love two words most of all, “claim denied.”

    Under Ike the rich folks’ greed was governed by the financial slaughter rule, stop pounding us when you’re way ahead! Lord have mercy. With Eisenhower we had a strong middle class and tax rates as high as 90%. Us regular people would see our taxes level off if we began to return to such solid formerly Republican approved reasoning.

    When the GOP let Madison Avenue Ad Men turn nuance into bumper stickers they let go of the depth of conservative thought. Such reduction locked them into harsh positions often at odds with their best instincts & attracted authoritarians to whom facts don’t matter much.

    Oh, and as of today, October 11th, Obama has kept us safer by at least one more month then W did.

  9. TP

    Isn’t it ironic now that the left is in power, they’re adopting all the tactics they spent so long decrying?

    Ahhh… *sigh* I remember it just yesterday the Republicans were calling the Democrats terrorists for wanting Republican policies to fail…

    • JC

      You’re confusing tactics with policies. Dems and many others weren’t decrying that republicans were calling them terrorists because they didn’t agree with Bush’s war policies. They were decrying the policies. I didn’t care one whit if a republican called me a terrorist for my beliefs.

      So, what you’re saying is that it is ok for republicans to want America to fail because democrats decried things like Bush lying to us and leading us into a unfunded war? That he used illegal torture? That he wire tapped our citizens?

      Republicans aren’t just decrying the policies of Obama. They want him to fail, even when it hurts the country, or part of it.

      John McCain may have run on the “Country First” motto, but it is far from the operative term for today’s brand of republicans, conservatives and tea baggers.

    • TapHerLight

      The left is in power? You gotta be kidding. The left is barely heard, if at all, anywhere in the ‘news’ or in boardrooms or legislatures. They might have just a handful of reps in D.C. but it’s mostly tweedle dumb & tweedle dumber, the result of decades of GOP bullying & gaming the referees (all media) so mostly we’re left with Republican Crazy or Inconsistent, & Republican Light (The Dems). It’s the left that’s really been left behind or better yet left out.

      The GOP scream about political correctness when the real forbidden political no-nos can’t even be brought up in mixed company. Go to Butte & look at the phrases on buildings, or study its history, for a glimpse into an era when being sociable wasn’t seen as anti-American but as adding to our evolution, an important contribution to improvements of all humans’ plight.

      Phyllis Schlafly successfully eliminated most all history of the working man’s struggle from our schools’ made-in-Texas textbooks years ago. Civics is no longer taught most anywhere & absolutely no understanding is imparted of how many died so we could have an 8 hour day, a 40 hour work week, some actual time off, special overtime pay etc. All such improvements keep evaporating as the GOP strictly services the haves & the have mores. The sufferers sure feel intensely disliked by & extreme hostility from folks who will be the first to rightly admit their success or position was often just an accident of luck if not birth.

      • Lizard

        here is one of the best descriptions i’ve come across explaining post WWII politics, the ratchet effect:

        “The American political system, since at least 1968, has been operating like a ratchet, and both parties — Republicans and Democrats — play crucial, mutually reinforcing roles in its operation. The electoral ratchet permits movement only in the rightward direction. The Republican role is fairly clear; the Republicans apply the torque that rotates the thing rightward.”

        “The Democrats’ role is a little less obvious. The Democrats are the pawl. They don’t resist the rightward movement — they let it happen — but whenever the rightward force slackens momentarily, for whatever reason, the Democrats click into place and keep the machine from rotating back to the left. Here’s how it works. In every election year, the Democrats come and tell us that the country has moved to the right, and so the Democratic Party has to move right too in the name of realism and electability. Gotta keep these right-wing madmen out of the White House, no matter what it takes.”

        so, republicans spent millions of dollars going after slick willy for getting his presidential dick spit shined by an intern because, really, he did most everything else the corporate interests asked of him; NAFTA, the telecommunications act, killing glass/steagal, etc.

        and those who realized they’d been hoodwinked by slick willy coalesced around the anti-globalization movement that peaked in 1999, in seattle.

        makes me recall what utah philips said about the long memory being the most radical notion there is.

        if we remembered 50% of what it took to ensure laborers had basic protections and tolerable conditions in which to work, we’d realize saying please has never gotten us very far.

        • That is excellent – just excellent. It’s the best description I’ve heard yet of the dynamics between the parties, and believe me, I’ve been trying for years to boil it down to something like that.

          I wiki’d ‘ratchet effect’ and found that it is a widely used concept, but not applied to the D-R dynamic there.

          Anyway, I’m going to write about this at my own website and do a hat tip to you, and thanks.

          • Lizard

            ahhh, thanks mark. i came across this metaphor at Democratic Underground (should have mentioned that). i think it’s the most insightful description of how we’ve gotten to this weird place where obama is constantly decried by the right as being too liberal when the reality is he’s a center/right politician.

            like THL said, the left hardly exists in this country. but i sure wish it did.

  1. 1 Posts about Barack Obama as of October 10, 2009 » The Daily Parr

    […] about Barack Obama as of October 10, 2009 Why do Republicans Hate America so? – 4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com 10/11/2009 Inquiring minds want to know… by JC Frosty, […]

  2. 2 The Ratchet Effect … « Piece Of Mind

    […] 13, 2009 A commenter calling himself “Lizard” at 4&20 Blackbirds put up the following, which is a quote taken from another place. Apparently it is a concept widely […]

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