If the Republicans have their way with America, they will only succeed in turning America into a Third-world country. The wealthy can leave America any time they choose just like the corporations and they will, of course, take their bucks with them. They do not need to be tied down to one nation. They can be global citizens, with their money tucked away in tax havens and houses scattered around in their favorite places. Maybe this is not quite true yet, but it could very well be true in the near future. The fact that wealthy Americans may no longer feel tethered to the United States may be, in part what is driving this small government movement. It may also be what is driving the unprecedented assault on the Constitution.
Politicians have seen through the Constitution; they know how to exploit its weaknesses, even though, or because, they are responsible for building in some of the weaknesses. So the Conservatives are pushing the envelope of what is tolerable and what is legal all over America. They will have their way, the time is now, they say. We must put white American men back on top and pass laws that will keep them there, they say. We will challenge the law of the land in every possible way because the law of the land does not match our vision for America, they say. So we see a campaign that backs a sort of the American version of Sharia law with men (white men) passing laws that will affect people at every level of American society and repealing or overturning laws that have protected every group of Americans except white men.
We can see this in the way the GOP is forcing guns down our throats, using a twisted logic which warns that Democrats plan to take away the Second Amendment Rights of Americans.
We can see this in the way they are attacking the federal government’s authority through the states. Thirty-two states have Republican governors and they are passing laws (illegally) that limit women’s abortion rights in order to challenge Roe v. Wade in a sort of flanking strategy.
We can see this in the way they are suppressing the vote, passing over 200 new voting rules in 42 states. Since they feel colleges turn young people into brainwashed liberals, they are trying to prevent college students from registering to vote in their college towns. The newest tactics for accomplishing this goal are to raise taxes on families with college students if students register to vote at school (NC); or to force colleges to charge in-state tuition for students who register to vote in their college towns, thus hurting colleges in the pocketbook (OH). Other favorite ways to suppress the vote are to require ID’s, shorten voting hours, and authorize fewer polling places. Since these do not represent enough ways to lasso the vote for Republicans, they also have that plan to split the electoral vote so that the electoral votes in any given state are split to represent the way people voted rather than which candidate won. Since Republicans win more districts (rural districts with fewer people) and Democrats win fewer districts (urban districts with many more people) this would give Republicans an edge in any modern election. Let’s not forget gerrymandering, which has been used by both parties.
We can see their contempt for the Constitution in the way they flaunted the 501 (C)(4) rules and then tried to pin the whole thing on the IRS and Obama so that they can accomplish their real goal which Ted Cruz stated yesterday in NYC, which is to get rid of the IRS. That will certainly win the small government argument once and for all and put the “takers” out on the street to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps (shoelaces?).
We can see this in the obstructionism being practiced by the GOP in Congress. They have a strangle-hold on America and they have the people’s business on hold until they can achieve their agenda of sloughing off the costly safety net programs (which are necessary expenditures among enlightened nations). There is a law which allows them to use the filibuster the way they do, but that law subverts the intent of our Constitution by suspending the system of checks and balances and by ignoring the intent of the Constitution which is that our Congressmen are our representatives and that they govern for the people. Even if almost half the people in America are Republicans, the other half are Democrats and this divide calls for compromise; it does not call for “gaming” the Constitution.
Republicans have torn aside the curtain that hides the weaknesses in our Constitutional system. They have exposed Oz and, eventually, they may cause the whole structure to come tumbling down. We could go on with a list of the ways they are attacking the whole premise of America by letting corporations write their own regulations, by holding infrastructure improvements hostage to their hunger for oil and natural gas, by their hawkish desire for an America that will go to war in every corner of the world whether it is absolutely necessary or not to maintain an image as the ultimate military power on the globe, but we’ll sum it up by saying that their obstructionism is keeping America from growth and making us less competitive, rather than stronger, in a global sense.
Meanwhile, back to those wealthy Americans who may be thinking about jumping ship, we have to wonder if America can survive if this happens. I say the answer is yes. If we, the people, need to reinvent America from the bottom up without our wealthiest citizens we have enough initiative and ingenuity to lift ourselves up once again. I hope.