Somebody please help me understand Republicans.
I had a favorite philosophy professor who told us “You can’t hate that which you understand.” A kid in class asked, “What about (name your favorite dictator)?” The professor just smiled and repeated, “You can’t hate what you understand,” then added, “understanding is not the same as approval.”
I’ve been aided in my quest for Republican enlightenment by a recent study (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110407/ts_alt_afp/healthpoliticsusbritain) that indicates the brain structures of liberals and conservatives significantly differ. Science has found liberals have more grey matter in the part of the brain that deals with complexities; conservatives have more grey matter in the part that deals with fear response. That would make conservatives the ones you want to be with when your house is on fire. The problem is they’re always thinking the house is on fire.
America’s social programs need “fixing.” A brilliant bit of Republican (the house is on fire!) phrasing. But Republicans don’t want to fix Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: they want to end them. Been a thorn in their paw since the Roosevelt administration. They’ve planted the killer seed by fomenting fear, using projected estimates of these programs running out of money in the next 20-40 years.
The logical question should be “where do we get the money?” – not whether it’s the government’s duty to provide for the public welfare. But the latter is exactly the ideological point the GOP wants to make: it’s not the government’s duty to protect citizens from anything other than foreign invasion. Not corporate polluters, not food industry health hazards, not derivative-trading bankers.
Republican reasoning, as best as I can understand it, is whatever sets the free market free (see Milton Friedman) to generate wealth is cool. Cuz, ya see, those who generate wealth are gonna hire more American workers… except reducing the labor pool will drive up wages. Uh oh, that won’t do. Guess they’ll have to keep hiring cheap labor overseas. While still collecting corporate welfare here. Republican ideology has never been about giving everyone a fair share; it’s about giving the wealthy and aspiring wealthy an opportunity to get MORE than their share. The rich will save us! And you too can be one of them. Am I over-simplifying?
Surely not all Republicans are wealthy. So what are struggling middle-class and lower middle-class Republican voters thinking? Are they thinking?
Maybe they’re thinking that lowering Social Security income and raising the cost of medical care will neutralize the impact of overpopulation on future generations – unless they succeed in shutting down Planned Parenthood, thus offsetting the premature loss of pensioners with an increased number of unwanted babies.
Or maybe they’re just so afraid the house is burning that they’re ready to follow anyone – and there are some lulus - with a large fear-response lobe?
Will somebody – preferably a Republican – please explain Republicans to me?
Anything and Everything that has Nothing to Do with the Movies
Sometimes, we go to a movie to get away from the world and sometimes we go to see what’s going on in the world. This blog will offer comments on the world, the movies and their occasional overlap.