Must Be a Republican

Hey, everybody, how have you been?

Don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the majority of this summer’s vacation, as I commonly do, traveling and trying to ignore the nasty national news, which I have now skewered for over twenty years. That’s right, my first column was published in February of 1990.

My, oh my, oh gosh!  How things have not changed!

In that very first column (published by Anthony Smith in his long defunct Zine, The Alternative) I found this paragraph where a fictional government spokesman attempts to calm a worried public over an environmental issue:

While we were standing at the trash pile, a big wind blew by and stirred it all around. I went to pick it up. He said, “No money in that, son. Leave it till it gets so big, no one will ever be able to pick it up, then we’ll hire someone to fail at it and invent them all sorts of inadequate but expensive tools to fail at it with and everyone will stay happy.

And I thought: BP. I thought Immigration.  Health care, drug wars, foreign wars, culture wars, economy where the rich are forever raping the poor then calling them lazy. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was. Twenty years ago, our country was being run by a Republican media, promoting a Republican agenda at the expense of the general public. And here in 2010, once again, Republican leadership and Republican press have our country in a continuing disaster.

Now right away I know some readers are already up in arms, whipping out their thesauri and honing barbs to sling about “the liberal press,” the Tea Party as the Voice of the People,” and what an idiot I am for not knowing that “Obama, the commie/socialist, secret Muslim, Black Power-White Hating Gun grabbing Revolutionary” and his henchmen, er, henchpersons, Nancy “the Shrew” Pelosi and Harry “the Idiot” Reid are responsible for the train wreck our country’s in, and it’s the Republicans who are trying to save America for the true Americans.

My friends, thanks for the corrections. Save your letters, you must obliviously be Republicans. My condolences. Perhaps there is a cure. If you truly cannot see that the party of “No” is using the same lame techniques to manipulate the ignorant public, then you truly are either a manipulator or ignorant. After twenty years of observation, I would have to say that Republicans fall into three groups: deceitfully greed-driven, vindictively self-righteous, and/or stupid.

Dear angered reader, pray tell which group do you fall in?

Despite my best efforts to ignore their crap, while touring this summer, promoting my new book, Leaving the Empire, I have repeatedly heard tales of Republicans refusing to pay for 9/11 victims and “First Responders,” and delaying unemployment for millions, while they champion a law written to satisfy Russell Pearce’s Neo-Nazi supporters. What kind of person would do that or support somebody else for it?

Must be a Republican.

Every day it seemed, even while traveling, I received emails from folks like Dudley Brown telling me how the evil Obama admin intends to use his evil Homeland Security to steal their guns. I get people like Rand Paul being called American heroes for wanting to repeal the Civil Rights Act. I get supposed sage national politicians decrying proposed restrictions on Wall Street at the same time we discover Wachovia has been laundering hundreds of billions in drug money, but the real problem in America is peasants sneaking across the border to take the slave labor jobs Americans don’t want. What kind of person could spew such vomit? Worse yet, what kind of person would swallow it?

Must be a Republican.

What kind of person would scream bloody murder to try to scandalize a nebbish like Elena Kagan or Shirley Sherrod blindly marching in lock-step behind hate-mongers like Limbaugh, Beck and Gingrich as if they were freedom fighters? What kind of person could listen to Andrew Breitbart and possibly construe him as anything even remotely resembling fair-minded or honest? What kind of person could watch the McCain/Heyward debates and think that either choice was in any way a good one, or for that matter would see Jan Brewer as an attractive candidate?

Must be a Republican (and check that eyesight while you’re at it).

What kind of person would say they were good Christian lovers of Jesus because they approve of madmen murdering doctors to stop abortions from killing American babies, yet demand unlimited funding for our country to kill foreign babies in wars? See what I mean?

As awful a malady as it must be, “Republicanism” that is, one has to wonder: why would anyone choose to be a Republican in the first place? Well, for the rich and powerful, the obvious answer is since the Republican Party is owned by the rich and powerful, it is simply a matter of investing in the home brand. Who champions wars, exploitive energy companies, the health insurance industry and Wall Street? Republicans. Who works to protect them at the expense of the general public? Republicans. Who makes a butt-load off of the profits buying and selling those miseries? That’s right again, Republicans.

Why would some people, actual human Americans, ever support such tripe, when it is clearly out to work against their best interests again and again, year in year out, and has been for as long as I’ve been beating these same dead horses with these same lame jokes? Well, the greedy, deceitful, and the self-righteously vindictive need all the propaganda they can get. If you can get some schmucks to think marching around with the Tea Party is their personal individual and unique expression of their love of their country when it is merely a fad marketed by GOP leader Dick Armey’s Freedom Works for their clients in the health insurance industry, well, it may be greedy and deceitful, but there is no disputing it is damn fine marketing.

Who benefits from getting the people who work to think of themselves as the backbone of our country to envision their Democratic and democratically elected government as an evil enemy that must be thwarted at all costs even when they are doing something good like attempting to pay some 9/11 fireman’s hospital bill. Who could possibly benefit from that?

You got it.  Must be Republicans.

And the ignorant? Why are they supporting this? Well, it is easy to be ignorant these days. With the millions of issues each with their own billions of complexities, it is legitimately hard to know much about anything, much less keep track of everything. Anybody who wanted to distort the news for their own deceitful ends, could fool a lot of fools a lot of the time as long as they made themselves seem fair and balanced loyal Americans. They could be on the wrong side all the time as long as they seemed like the embattled, justly outraged, good guys. What kind of “news” channel would distort the facts to create a false impression of the reality of the world so as to promote the hidden aims and profits of their ownership?

Even the ignorant know I’m talking about Fox News here, right? As was recently reported on Media Matters by Ari Rabin-Havt, “News Corp., Fox News’ parent company’s shareholders [include] Morgan Stanley owns nearly $300,000,000 in News Corp. stock, Bank of New York more than $175,000,000, Goldman Sachs $115,000,000, and JPMorgan Chase nearly $70,000,000.” Who told us Bush was dutifully elected? Enron was unimportant? 9/11 meant Arabs were evil? Or that immigrants were ruining our country by making our beds and picking our lettuce?

Who had the unmitigated gall to sell us that Sean Hannity had any interest in anything anyone else had to say, or that Glenn Beck was an intellectual because he uses chalkboards, that Bill O’Reilly was deliberative or that Rush Limbaugh makes sense to anyone this side of a Vicodin induced haze? Who could support crap like that? Why the only people who ever benefit from Fox News’ “fair and balanced” reportage:

Must be Republican. Deceitfully greedy, righteously vindictive or stupid. Pray tell, dear angered reader, which justification will you wear for your role in helping to feed that elephant that tramples the needs of the many for the frills of the few?

Don’t know about you, but I choose “none-of-the-above” and so I probably won’t become a Republican. What will you do?

Mikel Weisser teaches social studies and poetry on the left coast of Arizona. He can be reached at Read other articles by Mikel.

13 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Maien said on August 2nd, 2010 at 11:55am #

    thanks for the humour! It was refreshing. It is a pity that your observations are so very true. And i noticed that you did not touch on the sexual and drug adventures of the Republican Leadership. the news stories of what they say/claim and then what is later found to be what they actually do are disturbing. Even more disturbing is that their followers continue to fund them.

  2. BartFargo said on August 2nd, 2010 at 2:26pm #

    As if the Democratic Party is any better? They both shill for the same corporate-military-industrial interests, it’s just that the Republicans aren’t the least bit ashamed of doing so.

  3. Maien said on August 2nd, 2010 at 4:52pm #

    So true, BartFargo. Witnessing Republican-like attitudes increase visibly in Canada over the last two decades has not been positive. How about Conservative (Cdn version) and Conservative Lite?

  4. mikel weisser said on August 2nd, 2010 at 8:59pm #

    Please Bart Fargo, yes, the Dem party is better, clearly better at a man on the street level. Look at the people who voted for Dems in the last election and the things that they stood for. I mean the public. If you are telling me you don’t see a difference in the attitudes of the public who identify as Dems v. those who identify as GOP then you’ve got your head WAY too far up your own idealistic ass. Believe me, the lack of progress on Dems part in the last couple of years is extremely infuriating; but the effort of the public (Dem v GOP) have to be taken in consideration when you talk about the work of the different parties. While individual politicians on both sides are all too frequently sell-outs, it’s the causes of the two parties, the things that attract the public and intent of the bills introduced that define the clear difference and if you don’t see a difference between the two, then your blindness is exactly an example of why progressives keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Elitist snobbery is obnoxious from either end.
    Obama, et al, are clearly not doing all i want, but if you can’t see that McCain is not Obama, then you can’t see much.

  5. JoeJ said on August 2nd, 2010 at 10:06pm #

    You jest – right???

    Bush – more war – more spending!

    Obama – more war – more spending!


  6. mikel weisser said on August 2nd, 2010 at 10:27pm #

    Yep, you know that’s right. But you ought to admit there’s more than that to it.

  7. JoeJ said on August 2nd, 2010 at 10:42pm #

    Like what?

    Israel wins – big banks win – what has changed?

  8. mikel weisser said on August 3rd, 2010 at 12:08am #

    Yep, you know that’s right. Those things have not changed. But you could admit there’s more than that to it.

  9. Deadbeat said on August 3rd, 2010 at 3:06am #

    Mikel Weisser writes …

    Obama, et al, are clearly not doing all i want, but if you can’t see that McCain is not Obama, then you can’t see much. … Yep, you know that’s right. Those things have not changed. But you could admit there’s more than that to it.

    There is not really much more to it. Both the Democrats and Republican are pro-Capitalist/pro-Zionist parties. The only thing that McCain would probably have done differently is that McCain would not have done the stimulus but a sizable chunk of the Obama stimulus was tax-cuts that did absolutely nothing to stimulate the economy and why unemployment remains high.

    Both Obama and McCain would not bail out the public by repudiating all debts. Both would have bailed out the banks. Both would have huge military budget. Both would be kowtowing to Israel. Both would not repeal the Taft-Hartley act; Both would still support “free-trade” and trickle-down economics. Both would be threatening Latin America. Both would be doing virtually nothing to help the poor and minorities.

    Perhaps you can explain the difference.

  10. mikel weisser said on August 3rd, 2010 at 9:01am #

    GOP champions racism. GOP challenges basic science including global warming and evolution. GOP work to create a strict “Christian” theocracy. GOP MUCH more actively complain that the poor are the problem in our society. GOP express zero mixed message about wanting to create a militarist state.

    Again, just as i would make no attempt to refute your very valid points, i am sure a fair minded person would have to acknowledge mine.

  11. Don Hawkins said on August 4th, 2010 at 4:36am #

    The greatest minds in human history are you out there what are you going to try and do to us today?

    It’s tomorrow,

    Updated anomalies from James Hansen who I guess is on the taboo list.

    Governments today, instead, talk of “cap-and-trade-with-offsets”, a system rigged by big banks and fossil fuel interests. Cap-and-trade invites corruption. Worse, it is ineffectual, assuring continued fossil fuel addiction to the last drop and environmental catastrophe. Hansen

    Big bank’s and fossil fuel interests no wonder he’s on the taboo list. I wondered how BP would play the game shrimp from the Gulf sea food in general heck let’s put a side plate of fish from China try it you’ll like it. This is not the 17th century, when “beliefs” trumped science, forcing Galileo to recant his understanding of the solar system. No it sure isn’t it’s the twenty first century where “beliefs” are put into little sound bit’s over and over again. You know in the 17th century it was decided much better to keep the Earth the center of the Universe and now in old twenty ten what’s changed? The biggest secret of all time the little fact we are all going down the drain in not such slow motion and yes we hear fires in Russia remember as our forests burn and the temperatures but never once what else just might be happening to our North and the heat here in the States along with extreme weather and again never once why. Here’s a good one as we know Americans are a tad bit over weight but never why prescription drugs why kid’s can’t read or do simple math why. Here’s an easy way to understand why as in twenty ten not the Earth the center of the Universe but something else has taken it’s place and what might that be come on go full circle use that mind. Could history be a guide yes and in twenty ten a little battle knowledge and what? Ever hear of forbidden knowledge.

    Forbidden knowledge, different than secret knowledge, is used to describe forbidden books or other information to which access is restricted or deprecated for political or religious reasons. Forbidden knowledge is commonly not secret, rather a society or various institutions will use repressive mechanisms to either completely prevent the publication of information they find objectionable or dangerous (censorship), or failing that, to try to reduce the public’s trust in such information (propaganda). Public repression can create paradoxical situation where the proscribed information is generally common knowledge but publicly citing it is disallowed.

    Some form of public repression of facts or speculation not desirable to some people or even a majority of the population seems inevitable as societies need to create some common basis of facts to create a unified identity. Critical to political and personal freedom is the level to which this repression is organized through the state or powerful private organizations. Western secular societies have reached the consensus through the late 19th and early 20th centuries that private organizations should not be allowed to engage in compulsory censorship, forcing people to obey their dictates. For example, the separation of church and state in most Western societies mostly prevents religious organizations from repressing individuals based on their personal opinions and beliefs. As well, people are generally allowed to leave employment with a company which may regulate such personal expressions for whatever reason and find employment in less restrictive circumstances. Wiki

    Now here’s where you need to use your mind and when doing that remember a tad bit over weight, the way we Americans think of one another and the rest of the world, prescription drugs, knowledge is a trickie one as what we see now is it knowledge or propaganda or is it a form of nonsense that would be NON SENSE. Some form of public repression of facts or speculation not desirable to some people or even a majority of the population seems inevitable as societies need to create some common basis of facts to create a unified identity. Humm personal freedom is the level to which this repression is organized through the state or powerful private organizations. Oops forbidden knowledge and this is a ruff draft am going to think about this takes time to make it as simple as possible. Some first thoughts our air conditioned tents, the kind of money you can’t run out of, the Sun and a paradoxical situation where the proscribed information is generally common knowledge but publicly citing it is disallowed, and last but not least Vera Wang I’ll bet you think this song is about you and to keep it simple just think in terms of the Milky Way Galaxy. Think of it as raising the bar a little.

  12. Don Hawkins said on August 5th, 2010 at 3:47am #

    Soon there will come from the rising sun a different kind of man from any you have ever yet seen. Who will bring with them a book and will teach you everything and after that the world will fall to pieces. -Spokane Prophecy.

    Let us sing,

    Oh the games people play now
    Every night and every day now
    Never meaning what they say now
    Never saying what they mean

    People walking up to you
    Singing glory hallelulia
    And they’re tryin to sock it to you
    In the name of the Lord

    Look around tell me what you see did we learn everything? I like the book where you can make changes as time moves into the future. Remember the 17th century and that whole Galileo part well Galileo had a telescope and so it began and now in old twenty ten nothing new under the Sun I wouldn’t be to sure of that. Does time move into the future; a heart made of straw and a brain made of stone. A fund for off shore drilling safety that’s a play on words right. Yes so much has changed as we are now on a high speed train well sort of and up ahead a sign post.

    “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. ”

    And today like yesterday and probably tomorrow from the greatest minds in human history wait I hear it,

    Singing glory hallelulia
    And they’re tryin to sock it to you
    In the name of the Lord

    And now we have casinos probably run by a human with blue and white checkered pants a white belt and white shoes and golf clubs in the SUV who leaves the casino with a human who embraced the system, did we learn everything that’s it were’ re done well have you seen the new tinnitus commercial or CNN on why they are the best new’s? It is the middle ground between light and shadow.

    Must be a Republican then again could be a Democrat Oops forbidden knowledge hay is Goldman Sachs still doing God’s work and from the top floor high on the hill we hear, “hay how can I get a piece of that action”?

  13. Don Hawkins said on August 5th, 2010 at 4:18am #

    Hay just on the off chance Glenn Beck or the MSM in general read DV, Oh Glenn you seem to be getting calm and at peace is this a new thing you are trying out? Do you still think Capitalism is the best path to prosperity? Climate change is a hoax or if it is real there is nothing we can do. Well if Capitalism is the best path to prosperity you did get that part right. Glenn what part of at this very second we need another Earth to keep going and going and soon we will need two more Earths to keep going and going. Do you know where the hell we are going to find these other miracles of the solar system am keeping it simple I was going to write Galaxy. What is the name of the Galaxy where Earth is located? Look it up and put that on your blackboard. Technology will save us well here in the States a fund for off shore drilling safety and a few don’t even like that do you find that a little nut’s. Here’s an idea write on your blackboard in a mad world only the mad are sane then get your pipe and say yes yes yes boobies.