Well. They’ve done. On June 1, all those pretty bills in your wallet and all the theoretical dollars in all our bank and investment accounts will be worthless pieces of paper. Kevin McCarthy and the GOP have conspired to destroy the “faith and credit of the United States of America,“ and without the gold or silver standards (abolished in 1933 and 1971 respectively), ALL our money relies on the fact that these notes are backed by the assumption that Congress will never fail to honor its debts. Until now.
Yep, we are about to enter a new Great Depression driven not by existential factors like the war in Ukraine or the 1973 Oil Embargo. No, this depression, like the one that hit us in 1929 caused by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, will be of our own making and likely to be as bad or worse. Better start hording your toilet paper and sugar now because in a few weeks, only Kevin McCarthy will be able to buy anything. And its all caused by a shift in the ethos of the Republican Party from laissez-faire capitalism, low taxes, and conservative social policies to xenophobia, abolition of religious freedom, and general opposition to the Democratic Party.
They don’t stand for anything in particular, in the post-Obama world, the GOP has become the party of “NO.” They say “no” to social progress and pluralism. They say “no” to immigration. They say “no” to social programs and charity. They say “no” to public investment (something the pre-Obama Republican Party would have clamored for because its good for business). They say “no” to the US role as a superpower keeping peace around the world. They say “no” to women’s rights, minority rights, protections for anyone that is not white anglo-saxon and protestant. They say “no” to the rule of law (unless it is focused on oppressing minorities and marginal communities). Its really hard to say what they are in favor of because all they say is “no.”
In the last four years, I have come to realize that reason Donald Trump was such a horrible president isn’t because he is a crook (we’ve had crooked Presidents before like Grant, Johnson, and Nixon who managed to accomplish a few great things despite their corruption). It wasn’t because he was a moron (Jackson, Harding, and Taylor were hardly intellectual superstars). It wasn’t because he was an egomaniac (I won’t even begin to list the were self-serving pricks). It was because his whole policy and that of the party that supported him was opposition. He was opposed to the US leadership in NATO and SEATO. He was opposed to EVERYTHING the Obama administration stood up. He waged war on Free Speech (except for certain hate groups who supported him), the Free Press, and Rule of Law. He refused to adhere to standards and customary behavior of prior US Presidents. Literally everything he did was opposition, and as a result, when we look back to see what he accomplished, all we see are the bad things.
Nixon was a bad president. We remember him for the Watergate crisis but we also remember him for positive things he did. He opened negotiations with the USSR and China (Well Kissinger did but Nixon took the victory lap). He presided over a manned space program that went to the Moon (yes, Kennedy started this but Nixon did not shut it down). Nixon ended the war in Vietnam (yes, we lost that war but we got out). There is a list of good things he did along with the atrocities. Where is that list of Trump? When we look back, the wins are trivial compared to the losses and most of those wins are just party politics.
It’s an issue of intent. If you set out to accomplish something, like ending the war in Vietnam. You are likely to make progress toward that goal. If you set out to oppose things, the best you can do is accomplish is to keep things from happening. In effect, you do nothing. This is what the Republican Party has become – the party of “no” that does nothing and opposes everything. We need a conservative party that is a force for good. We need to have POSITVE discussions on how to balance the budget, not threats of default. We need a Republican Party and candidates that stand FOR something not just against everything.
Yes, the history of the Republican Party is steeped in opposition. When Jefferson formed the Democratic-Republican Party he opposed the centralized federal policies of Alexander Hamilton, they Jay Treaty, and above all they opposed the overreach of Federalist John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts but Jefferson promoted a reduction in the national debt and government spending and expanding the country through Louisiana Purchase so it was more than just saying “no” to the Federalist, it was about having more than a one-sided debate.
… Now for ten years we’ve been on our ownAMERICAN PIE by Don McLean
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the King and Queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me.
… Oh and while the King was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned!
… And while Lenin read a book of Marx
The Quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died!