I am sometimes prone to simplifying commentary on the internet, especially in short-comment form by making the glib sentiment ‘Republicans, who are assholes.’ It’s not a blanket position I have come to hold without some consideration. See, during the 2012 Election season, I watched as a regular meme against Republican actors was that they were racists. Considering this, I came to the conclusion that while that is no doubt true, because we’re all racist to some extent and it’s just a matter of how much control that racism has over your behaviour that determines whether or not it’s a problem, it doesn’t get at the crux of the problem of the Republican party’s actors.
There is a core base to the Republican party; that is, people who will always vote for the candidate with an R next to their name, no matter what, in America’s heavily polarised 2-party non-mocracy. These people will always vote Republican under the current regime, and these people are the base that the American Republican party feels it has to serve, or at least, has to avoid alienating. These people provide something the party wants, and the party is willing to sate and deal with these people.
This core is not entirely racists. Oh, no kidding, this core is probably as much as half racists, possibly even higher if you consider a belief in American exceptionalism a form of racism. It’s also comprised of religious theocrats such as you’ll find out in Texas and Utah. It includes labourers who are so incurious about their own history and politics that they believe that the real problems in Wisconsin are unions. It includes inherited plutocrats like Paul Ryan and William Kristol who have never known a day of suffering in their life who believe their tax burden is a symptom of the fundamental problems of the whole world, and that ‘American Values’ are best represented by rape squads in Nicaragua. It includes the tittering schoolboys in Michigan who can’t say the word Vagina, but think comparisons to animal husbandry are meaningful and useful when discussing the medical application of birth control pills. It includes the sort of people who listen to Rush Limbaugh and think ‘This guy’s got it right.’ It includes the draft-dodging gun-worshipping crowd of Ted Nugent, people who boast about their ability to lead in military operations even when they have avoided all opportunities to actually rise to that challenge. It has the closeted homosexuals who think about cock so much that they have to desperately convince others that ‘gay’ can be cured, because that means there’s hope for them to go back to feeling ‘normal.’ It has people who respond to slogan-based motivation about ‘death taxes’ thinking themselves temporarily embarassed millionaires. It has the political actors who believe that massively disenfranchising Blacks, Latinos and the island populace of America’s territories is an acceptable collatoral damage in the context of winning elections. The innumerate. The generally stupid. True blue jingoists who don’t want to be thought of as racists just because they think black people are animals. Libertarians who don’t want to vote Democratic because weed is more important to them than race, war and trade. Bigots, hatemongers, warhawks, cowards, bullies, hypocrites, government-sponsored rapists, sexists, assholes and lunatics – and then there are the minority who are none of these things.
They’re not all racists.
They’re almost all horrible people, of course. But that tiny sliver left over aren’t horrible people because they’re racists, they’re just horrible because they prefer the company of these ignorant, sexist, rape-and-racists to having to pay too much in income tax.
Therefore, these people have chosen to be in this group. This is who they want to be. And that is why I will always be happy to throw down the label that the word ‘Republican’ immediately attaches to the word ‘Asshole.’