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Secessionists

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A Republican candidate for the state legislature from Conway sums up his party's position well: "Anything we can do to get government out of the way of the private sector I believe best enhances our economy."

In other words, get rid of wage and hour laws — let bosses pay their employees as little and work them as long as the bosses want. Let them hire children, and let them provide workplaces that cripple and kill with frequency. Abolish any regulations that keep banks from stealing their customers' money, or manufacturers from poisoning the air and the water. Do away with laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring, housing or anything else. Why should a rich man have to employ a member of a race he doesn't like?

The Republicans don't have a platform, they have a vendetta. Mike Lofgren writes in The American Conservative that the super-rich "have seceded from America," that they show a "palpable animosity" toward less privileged Americans and the public institutions they use. How else explain someone like the Koch Brothers?

The party's presidential candidate conspicuously avoids contact with common folk, preferring private fund-raisers with very wealthy people like himself. Here, he denounces the less fortunate, saying that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government, consider themselves victims, and pay no taxes. "My job is not to worry about those people," he says. One of these days, when he's on his way to another closed meeting with millionaires, we may see an armed Romney firing from his motorcade, picking off poor people the way the Romneys of the 19th century slaughtered buffalo from moving trains.

Maybe all Republicans despise the poor and the middle class, but Republicans like Ronald Reagan managed to hide it. The new breed doesn't even try.

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