The “sick man” of American politics, the Republican Party, has finally begun to show us just how messed up it really is. Here’s my assessment of where they are in the 2012 election campaign, with separate observations for each branch of the party.
1. The Greedy Bankster Branch. The wizards of Wall Street must be quaking in their boots after the Iowa Caucuses, which proved that unlimited gobs of cash could no longer be relied upon to buy elections. Despite the fact that he spent millions upon millions of dollars defaming other candidates, their glamour boy could only manage about the same percentage of votes as he got in 2008, before he spent all of that money. Actually, this turn of events is ominous, because it suggests that the Masters of the Universe will use more insidious strategies in the future. Richard Nixon’s rat fucking “plumbers” unit comes to mind.
Of course, this branch can always be relied upon to produce a certain number of votes from the greedy bastards, who have their snouts in the government trough far more than any Social Security recipient. But they seem to have been abandoned by any Republican with a sense of smell.
2. The Militantly Ignorant Tooth Fairy Branch. There has always been a branch of humanity that wanted to militantly ignore science and the facts. The Roman Catholic Church hauled Galileo up before the Inquisition for daring to say what had been known for at least two thousand years, that the Earth is not the center of the Universe. He got the last laugh though, because he knelt before them and swore on the Holy Bible that the Sun orbited the Earth. The Grand Inquisitors dutifully recorded the proceedings verbatim, thus ensuring that Galileo’s Abjuration would make monkeys of them for all time.
Part of Galileo’s punishment for his heresy was that he could never write about astronomy again, so he went off and wrote about quantum mechanics instead, which is the basis of what is happening at The Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland today, thanks to the Republican Congress’s refusal to fund basic research in the field in the United States.
Evangelical Christians have among them the modern militantly ignorant, who deny the findings of the Hubbell Space Telescope and the most powerful electron microscopes. These tell us that there are more than 100 billion galaxies, each containing millions of stars, so if there is an “intelligent designer” of the universe, S/He must be resting someplace, because S/He sure isn’t anywhere around here.
Rick Santorum has cornered this branch of the party, bringing into his fold all those who refuse to tell their children that there is no Tooth Fairy, nor any Santa Claus, and the only God involved in their creation was their own passion on a hot night. I’m personally surprised we haven’t heard the stork mentioned in the current election campaign, but there’s still time. One wonders how they think their children will compete in a world where the Europeans, Chinese, Russians, Indians, Japanese, Brazilians and most others are teaching their children the truth about science.
Though a darling of this Tooth Fairy Branch, Michelle Bachmann has finally faced and embraced the lesson women have been stuck with since human kind expanded to the point that there was not enough land for everyone, so someone was going to fight over it. Patriarchy trumps every time!
3. The Angry Youth Branch. The angry youth of the Republican Party have come to the stunning realization that it is their lives that will be bet on the wars all of the Republicans seem to want to embrace. In Iowa they don’t have a vision of getting a fat job in the defense industry, so they’re suspicious of their elders’ choices. They’re not yet independent enough to break away from their parents’ dogma that they must vote Republican, but they’re sure not going to vote for a hawk. Unless Ron Paul decides to run a third party candidacy, they can be relied upon to vote for President Obama in the 2012 election, once they’re behind the curtain of the voting booth.
4. The Fat Blow Hard Branch. Newt Gingrich’s Fat Blow Hard Branch of the party hasn’t yet given up on tired boilerplate. They believe his outrageous rhetoric that the Palestinians are an “invented people,” as if the Americans were not. In response to his militant rhetoric about Iran, they hop up and down and shout, “Yeah!” You’d think they were watching Alabama play Auburn, ignoring the fact that such a course would surely create even more millions of enemies than we’ve already manufactured over the past decade thanks to Republican imperialism.
In their heart of hearts, most Republicans do understand that neither party will fix the illegal immigration problem, because both want a below minimum wage slave class. Nonetheless, they keep signing on to the rhetoric that something will be fixed. It won’t!
5. The Marlboro Man Branch. Like their namesake, this branch of the party is a dying breed that will be entirely finished if Rick Perry or his ilk were to win the White House. They fail to understand that it will be too expensive to maintain their Ford F-150 pickup trucks for city driving if their heroes start a war with Iran and go on with Karl Rove’s imperialist designs. If the Administration of George W. Bush was the apogee of this branch of the party, it also sewed the seeds of its demise by proving that the United States cannot force Democracy in its image, nor can it be the policeman of the world. Rick Perry’s laughable performance as a presidential candidate only provides us with a tragic epitaph.
6. The Vanishing Voice of Reason Branch. At 1% of the Iowa vote, I think we can safely say that Jon Huntsman’s branch of the party is nearly completely snuffed out. Since most Americans are reasonable, it is the final and conclusive evidence that the Republican Party is finished. Of course, some untoward event could occur to raise the zombie from the grave, but the demographics of the country are against the party, regardless of what candidate becomes its standard bearer. If they win in 2012, they may be done for a generation, because the economy is not going to recover robustly no matter who sits in the White House. How would they explain that in 2016 if they won?
Skip Conover is an international executive, author and artist. He tweets @skip_conover. He is the founder of the Archetype in Action Organization.