Warm Southern Breeze

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Republican Party Corruption: How did it get that way? – Part 1

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 15, 2018

George Packer, Staff Writer for The Atlantic, wrote an excellent, article examining the historical “modern” roots of today’s GOP, which was published yesterday, December 14, 2018, in an article entitled “The Corruption of the Republican Party.”

The article’s subtitle states that “The GOP is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start.”

To be certain, when he cited corruption, he acknowledged that he didn’t mean to refer to “the kind of corruption that regularly sends lowlifes like Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic former governor of Illinois, to prison,” specifically noting that “those abuses are nonpartisan and always with us,” and excluded another kind of corruption such as “vote theft of the kind we’ve just seen in North Carolina – after all, the alleged fraudster employed by the Republican candidate for Congress hired himself out to Democrats in 2010.”

Rather, he states that the particular corruption to which he refers is not based upon one, two, or even three specific examples of types of corruption, but instead “has less to do with individual perfidy than institutional depravity. It isn’t an occasional failure to uphold norms, but a consistent repudiation of them.”

“A consistent repudiation of norms” – that is the very essence of today’s perversion of the modern GOP, as George Packer wrote.

They are no longer a “big tent” party as once described in 1967 by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan to the Republican Assembly on April 1, at the Lafayette Hotel, Long Beach, California, when he said in part that,

“The Republican Party, both in this state and nationally, is a broad party. There is room in our tent for many views; indeed, the divergence of views is one of our strengths. Let no one, however, interpret this to mean compromise of basic philosophy or that we will be all things to all people for political expediency.

“In our tent will be found those who believe that government was created by “We, the People;” that government exists for the convenience of the people and we can give to government no power we do not possess as individuals; that the citizen does not earn to support the government, but supports a government so that he may be free to earn; that, because there can be no freedom without law and order, every act of government must be approved if it makes freedom more secure and disapproved if it offers security instead of freedom.

“Within our tent, there will be many arguments and divisions over approach and method and even those we choose to implement our philosophy. Seldom, if ever, will we raise a cheer signifying unanimous approval of the decisions reached. But if our philosophy is to prevail, we must at least pledge unified support of the ultimate decision. Unity does not require unanimity of thought.”

Reagan switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in 1962 after a decade-long migration to the political right. Some say it was more a move to pad his pockets, than anything else. It certainly wasn’t because of philosophical differences with the party platform, nor ideological adherence to 180º opposing standards, or even moral beliefs. And two years later, he was an ardently fervent supporter of then-Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. And in his Goldwater endorsement speech “A Time for Choosing” given October 27, 1964, he mentioned Goldwater’s name 7 times.

Of particular note, Goldwater, who retired from the U.S. Senate in 1987, was stridently pro-abortion, and aged 84, in an interview with newscaster Hugh Downs on ABC’s 20/20 program which aired July 23rd, 1993, he said in part that “I don’t think we should tamper with abortion. It’s been in existence since the world began. And it’s gonna’ be here when the world ends.

Goldwater similarly expressed serious concern – even dire warning – about Evangelical, right-wing-extremists’ involvement in Republican politics saying in the 2006 book “Conservatives Without Conscience,” by John Dean (b.1938), POTUS Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel 1970–72, “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

1964 Presidential Campaign poster, by GOP nominee, Arizona US Senator Barry Goldwater

Goldwater was supportive of gay rights, long before it was “cool,” and said in an interview for a Washington Post story published on page C1 on Thursday, July 28, 1994 written by Staff Writer Lloyd Grove that, “The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that’s what brings me into it. The first time this came up was with the question, ‘Should there be gays in the military?’ Having spent 37 years of my life in the military as a reservist, and never having met a gay in all of that time, and never having even talked about it in all those years, I just thought, why the hell shouldn’t they serve? They’re American citizens. As long as they’re not doing things that are harmful to anyone else. … So I came out for it.”

Goldwater also similarly advocated for women’s service in our military, saying of Shannon Faulker, who won a court case in 1995 to attend the Citadel, a state-funded, formerly all-male military academy in South Carolina (U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which reaffirmed the District Court’s ruling, paving the way for her admission as a cadet (Faulkner v. Jones, 51 F.3d 440, decided April 13, 1995), that, “It’s a state-financed and state-run institute, and there’s no way you can say no to women. Now, if it were privately run with private money, they could tell women to go to hell.”

Reagan, who was later monikered as “The Great Communicator,” was by training and experience, a B-grade actor, who had honed his skill by years of traveling throughout the United States as spokesman for General Electric corporation after the company hired him in 1954 – by which time his acting career was practically over after suffering steep decline – to host the General Electric Theater on Sunday nights which ran from 1953-62 on CBS television. Shortly thereafter, he began traveling nationwide giving non-political speeches to the company’s employees – which in blues lingo would be colloquially called “the chitlin’ circuit.” So, he most definitely knew how to manipulate the audience for his advantage.

But it was Lemuel Boulware, GE’s Vice President Of Labor And Community Relations, an infamous anti-union zealot, who is largely credited with grooming and developing Reagan’s ability to connect with audiences in his numerous face-to-face appearances, and significantly influencing his ideology. While the speeches he gave were apolitical in nature and substance, there was an increasingly pro-business underlying tone in them, for which he was compensated exceedingly generously – first $125,000, then $150,000 annually. In 2018 dollars, that would be $1,171,180 to $1,405,416 annually… hardly chump change.

Reagan proved popular with GE employees, though the undercurrent of his messages were soft-pedaled and couched in “kinder, gentler” non-union tones using the tenor of “free markets” and threats of loss of liberty to argue against taxes, social spending and other matters of customary interest to labor unions. But not all employees were impressed. And during one routine plant visit, an employee asked Reagan, “How much are they paying you for this shit?”

By the time GE Theater ended in 1962 with his firing after 8 years, Reagan estimated that he’d spoken to well over a quarter million GE employees, besides others, and had visited over 135 GE sites, including numerous Moose Lodge and Rotary Club meetings nationwide, where he was a specially-invited guest speaker.

And yet in 1959, while he was still GE spokesman, Reagan, who by then had again become President of the Screen Actors Guild, demonstrated his negotiating skill for the union with the studios, despite his fact of his practically contrary GE speeches warning employees of the alleged perils of labor unions. By then, he had perfected “the speech” which he later used as a Goldwater endorsement and fundraiser in 1964, and had completely departed from his New Deal roots. But as far as he was concerned, it didn’t matter, because he’d not voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1948, and in 1962, was fired by GE for refusing to travel nationwide to sell their products, which also effectively ended “The General Electric Theater,” though it immediately resurfaced renamed as the short-lived, one season “GE True” hosted by Jack Webb.

Reagan wrote in his 1990 autobiography “An American Life,” that “In 1962 there was a change in management at General Electric that brought an end to my satisfying eight-year relationship with the company. Ralph Cordiner was retiring and the new management asked me asked me, in addition to continuing as host of the GE Theater, to go on the road and become a pitchman for General Electric products – in other words, become a salesman. I told them that after developing such a following by speaking out about the issues I believed in, I wasn’t going to go out and peddle toasters.”

And in 1961, one year before GE fired him, legislation initiating Medicare was passed, and Reagan spoke out against it… because he was paid by the American Medical Association to do so as part of their “Operation Coffee Cup,” which opposed expansion of the Social Security system to include Medicare.

In part, he said that, “we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this, and if I don’t do it, one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

Of course, nothing he claimed would happen as a result, ever did happen. But that’s par for the Republican course – to instill fear in people, in order to get them to support the GOP agenda – which as many describe, is people voting against their own self-interests.

And the fact that he was a “paid spokesman” (or mouthpiece) for the AMA didn’t help matters, insofar as nothing he said was an unbiased opinion, neither was it an examination of fact-based rationale, or experience.

But perhaps nowhere better could the dread “socialism” be found than in our nation’s armed forces, for our military service members all receive medical care provided by their own government employees (military service members) at their own facilities (military service hospitals), with their own equipment (military-supplied materials). And amazingly, no one complains.

And just in the case anyone has forgotten what it truly is, socialism is when the government owns the means -AND- the method of production. And in our United States, there has NEVER been, nor will there ever be any “government factory.” Perhaps the closest thing to a “government factory” would be the U.S. Mint, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (a division of the U.S. Treasury), where coinage and specie (paper money) are pressed and printed, respectively.

But even then, the raw materials – machines, ink, paper and metal – are obtained from… the Private Sector via publicly bid government contract. So, go figure. No “government factory” involved.

And all the goods and materials used by our armed forces – from their boots and shoelaces, uniforms, helmets and armament, to the bombs, aircraft, tanks, ships, and every sheet of paper run through every copy machine, and every computer, paperclip, ink pen, needle and thread – are similarly supplied by publicly bid government contract… with the Private Sector. Again, no “government factory” involved. Go figure.

But the corruption of the GOP went back further than 1964, when Goldwater became the party’s presidential nominee. That event itself was wracked with racism, which when then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller asked for five minutes to address the delegates to ask for inclusion of language in the party platform to “repudiate the efforts of irresponsible, extremist groups, such as the Communists, the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Society and others, to discredit our Party by their efforts to infiltrate positions of responsibility in the Party, or to attach themselves to its candidates.” He was booed for over 16 minutes, and his resolution wasn’t adopted.

But the corruption of the GOP’s modern roots go even deeper, and as Packer wrote, the modern Republican party’s “intellectual founders — Whittaker Chambers and James Burnham, among others — were shaped early on by Communist ideology and practice, and their Manichean thinking, their conviction that the salvation of Western civilization depended on the devoted work of a small group of illuminati, marked the movement at its birth.”

Chambers and Burnham were both Communists who joined the Republican party, and were welcomed as defectors who allegedly had a change of heart. To this day, conservative organizations ranging from The National Review, to the Heritage Foundation, adore and venerate Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961), who testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee on August 3, 1948 and said, “I know that I am leaving the winning side for the losing side, but it is better to die on the losing side than to live under Communism.”

Imagine that.

Calling America “the losing side.”

Seriously?

Whose side was he really on?

That very statement itself sounds decidedly Un-American.

And James Burnham (1905-1987)?

The Trotskyist went on to become Founding Editor for National Review in 1955, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – our nation’s highest civilian honor – by then-POTUS Reagan in 1983 who in the ceremony, called him a “skilled and fearless champion of human liberty.”

William F. Buckley Jr., then The National Review’s Editor in Chief, said of him that “Burnham was absolutely vital to the development of American conservative thought. I would consider him the number one intellectual influence on The National Review. He was also a great personal teacher, a remarkable intelligence.”

Renown author George Orwell, however, demurred the basis of Burnham’s 1941 exegesis “The Managerial Revolution,” and in a 1946 critique of it entitled “Second Thoughts on James Burnham”, and later as, “James Burnham and The Managerial Revolution,” wrote in part that “Burnham’s theory is not, strictly speaking, a new one. Capitalism is disappearing, but Socialism is not replacing it. What is now arising is a new kind of planned, centralised society which will be neither capitalist nor, in any accepted sense of the word, democratic. The rulers of this new society will be the people who effectively control the means of production: that is, business executives, technicians, bureaucrats and soldiers, lumped together by Burnham, under the name of “managers”. These people will eliminate the old capitalist class, crush the working class, and so organise society that all power and economic privilege remain in their own hands.”

-and-

“When one examines the predictions which Burnham has based on his general theory, one finds that in so far as they are verifiable, they have been falsified. Numbers of people have pointed this out already. However, it is worth following up Burnham’s predictions in detail, because they form a sort of pattern which is related to contemporary events, and which reveals, I believe, a very important weakness in present-day political thought. Burnham’s predictions have not merely, when they were verifiable, turned out to be wrong, but that they have sometimes contradicted one another in a sensational way.”

In that same essay, Orwell also wrote that “Socialism, until recently, was supposed to connote political democracy, social equality and internationalism.” And it is precisely that type thing that the Republican party has despised since POTUS Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved the United States and the world from the Great Depression by giving Americans the New Deal, which established and strengthened a central government, giving it oversight of laws which fought crime, ensured public health through purity of food and medicine laws, grew economic infrastructure, strengthened the private sector, protected fiscal investments, and ensured that Americans were fed, clothed, housed, educated, protected, and securely employed. In fact, FDR got more accomplished in the first 100 days of his office, that since then, it has become the objective standard by which every president thereafter has been judged.

A “Hooverville”: Unemployed men sit in front of shanty huts made of salvaged materials, and decorated w pictures in an alley, as a stray cat meanders near a baby carriage; West Houston and Mercer St., Manhattan, 25 October 1935

Of course, it was Herbert Hoover’s Republican administration that gave us the Great Depression, and “Hoover blankets” – a derisive term referring to newspapers instead of genuine blankets – Hoovervilles (shantytowns of lean-tos), Hoover flags (empty pockets turned inside out), and promised “a chicken for every pot.”

In a form very disturbingly and eerily similar to Communist Russian history and its Leninist/Stalinist purges, Packer wrote that the Republican party’s politics “seeks to delegitimize opponents and institutions, purify the ranks through purges and coups, and agitate followers with visions of apocalypse — all in the name of an ideological cause that every year loses integrity as it becomes indistinguishable from power itself.”

Electoral College votes in the 1964 Presidential Election

Writing that “Goldwater’s strongest support came from White Southerners reacting against civil rights,” Packer described Republican’s fall in a three-step “insurgency” process, Goldwater, Gingrich/Reagan, with Trump as the final consequence and ultimate outcome.

The GOP has become a very sad state of affairs, and now exists primarily to destroy government, to literally tear down every vestige of civil society and institution of law to protect human life. They complain about “Obamacare,” and in the time since it was declared Constitutional by the Supreme Court, have diligently worked to chip away at the law, piece by piece, until it all falls apart, and in the mean time, doing nothing to protect the people, or provide anything remotely resembling health protection. They’ve increased the budget deficits, taken trade protectionist and isolationist positions, alienated our allies, given tax cuts to the rich and their corporations, whittled away government, reached out to our enemies in seeming friendship, closed down government, have proverbially bitten the hand that feeds them… all in the misguided belief that, as Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981, that “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

But logically, if government truly was the problem, then the abolition of it is the solution. And yet, the abolition of government, the absence of any government is anarchy. So we know that what “The Great Communicator” said was, and is blatantly false. And as I’ve said for years, “Reagan tripled the national debt… but you sure felt good about yourself, didn’t you?” It was all a falsified hype, a veritable house of cards built upon shifting sands.

Deficit spending? Good for the economy, we were told. Now, the GOP/Trump tax-cut-for-the-wealthy-and-their-corporations budget has resulted in a $1,000,000,000,000 (1 TRILLION) deficit – the largest ever, by every measurable standard.

The so-called “big tent” welcomed all comers, and along the way, they ended up indiscriminately lying with anyone and everyone who came their way, i.e., whoring. Ideology made no difference, neither did loyalty to the country and its founding ideals enumerated in the Constitution. “We the people” be damned. Communists had been earlier welcomed, and in 1964, racists and bigots were welcomed with open arms.

Next up came the “TEA partiers” (Taxed Enough Already), who fancied themselves “patriots” because they opposed taxes, and sought to slash and burn the very source of revenue which operated government. And as a new report by ProPublica has shown, the GOP has slowly and surely decimated the Internal Revenue Service, and their ability to collect taxes, and seek out and punish those who avoid, evade, or cheat them, and shirk their public responsibility to pay for the very things they enjoy from a civil society.

By then, the governmental deconstructionist (anarchist) arm of the Libertarian Party, by and through the Mises Institute, had been silently integrated into the party, and spouted anti-tax, anti-government rhetoric as Republican party platform.

Then came Grover Norquist who infamously said in an interview on NPR’s news program Morning Edition May 25, 2001, that “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

That is an OPEN and UNAMBIGUOUS statement that he wants to KILL and DESTROY the United States Government.

And THAT!, my friends, is most certainly NOT “constitutional” by any stretch of the imagination. It is a fundamental hatred of our very form of government.

They have already reduced government in size, have dragged it into the bathroom, and now, they’re preparing to drown it in the bathtub.

Destruction, killing, hatred, anarchy…

Welcome to the Republican party.

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