Perhaps the problem isn’t that the Republican Party is out of sync with the vast majority of America’s citizens on issue after issue. Perhaps the problem is that the party is merely situated in the wrong country.
In fairness, given the uniqueness, globally speaking, of the views of its political base, and its ideological exoticism, right off hand, I’m not aware of a nation it would be especially comfortable in. Let’s face it: this party is a pretty rare breed of bowsers.
I’m not saying they might not find their share of soul mates, say in the late Jorg Haider’s ultra-nationalist, anti-immigrant, crypto-Nazi Austrian Freedom Party. Most Republicans now seem to think Austrian School Economics is just the tops, and though I don’t believe even most Austrians regard this Ayn Rand dusted version of feudalism with much warmth, at least Republicans would be in Austria.
They might feel comfy in Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s militaristic, nationalist, crypto-Soviet Liberal Democratic Party of Russia if they ever got past the name. Zhirinovsky’s bunch seems to share the familiar tentative distance with material reality Republicans are famous for, and like Republicans, they seem to hate just about everybody not sufficiently them.
Republicans certainly could give the Taliban a run for its money anywhere in the world for its scalding contempt for modernity, though admittedly, stylistic differences may be hard to overcome.
We know Republicans already miss the good old days, when insurance companies could kick you off your coverage for virtually any reason at all, and regularly did so, often cutting people off once they got sick. If they close their eyes and concentrate, they can almost see people once again being turned away for preexisting conditions, the emergency rooms overrun with the sickly uninsured, or feel on their skin the nostalgic glow of bankruptcies taking down family after family because of astronomical health bills. To be fair, Republicans have been consistent: they never lifted a finger when they were fully in power to improve the status quo by a single whit.
Fighting environmental conservation and obstructing responses to the growing climate crisis, in fact, denying it even exists are virtually the Republican national pastimes now. It’s true that pretending things don’t exist has a certain childlike whimsical charm, at least up to the point your beach house goes out to swim with the dolphins. On the bright side, the petroleum industry really, really likes you.
Maybe in their hearts Republicans love infrastructure, and under other circumstances might build or repair an occasional highway or bridge, though for the moment, such a thing risks some serious stimulation of the economy, and might even, heaven forefend, reduce the unemployment rate and make that socialist rat bastard Obama look good. What’s a Republican to do but kvetch and sit on his fat gluteus?
You can’t really blame them for not doing anything about income inequality, since they can’t seem to stop reminding everybody that it’s actually a good thing, God’s plan, or Ayn Rand’s or Ludwig Von Mises’, depending on who you ask, all three pretty much the same entity, the reactionary Holy Trinity. Among the delights pouring out of their cornucopia of negativity are some serious homicidal tendencies toward the safety net, denigrating Social Security and Medicare putting the occasional smile on their faces at least. I won’t deny that your average Republican does get very lovey-dovey thinking of corporations. And thinking about the onerous burdens on the rich brings a genuine tear to their eye.
The nicest way you can put it is to say they don’t have a good word for much of anybody, those who at least nominally would be their fellow citizens, the poor reviled for their lack of worth, the 47%, otherwise known as the middle-class, dismissed as scurrilous moochers, unions’ valiant efforts to push up Americans’ long stagnant wages a bit considered all but the devil’s work. If you think women have far too much control over their own bodies, boy have I got a party for you.
They do retain an irresistible compulsion to explain that black people are some pitiful combination of stupid and crazy not to love them, which incidentally, does not seem to have the desired effect of wooing black people. On the bright side, sort of, they do seem to have reached a state of enlightenment, in which, though far from assuming the vanguard on gay rights, they will tolerate homosexuals living in the borders of the United States.
Pete Sessions, Chairman of the House Rules Committee is the latest Republican of many to blurt out an affirmation of the Republican program of sabotage, saying, “Everything we do in this body should be about messaging to win back the Senate. That’s it.” There’s little more Republicans in Washington can do these days to emphasize their indifference to the needs of the American people, to the urgency for substantive progress addressing America’s challenges, or to a positive, cooperative effort to get some things done, other than gather to have their picture taken on the Capitol steps giving the finger.
But where can they go to be accepted? Welcomed even? Some nice, cozy parliamentary system where they can take up residence among a backbench of fellow fringe parties? How about that island Marlon Brando used to own? You can’t be any more boorish than old Marlon was in his latter days. You can be as obnoxious as you want, and you can swing from the vines, you Tarzans of the free market.
They certainly hate government over in Somalia, and they barely have one. Somalians can rock some small government free-for-all, every man for himself, very free market freedom, I can tell you that. There’s no gun control, and that should really take a load off.
Tierra del Fuego is nice this time of year.