The GOP = Death Cult

Have you noticed how everything Republicans have a hand in causes pain, suffering, and death to thousands – even millions – of people, and they don’t even care? You know why right? Money and power. All that they care about is lining their own pockets whilst their base dies from a virus that Republicans swore was a hoax even as they referred to it as the Chinese Flu. Look at the ten poorest states in America – they’re all red states with the exception of New Mexico.

  1. Mississippi ($62,835)
  2. West Virginia ($63,680)
  3. Arkansas ($66,557)
  4. New Mexico ($69,077)
  5. Alabama ($69,842)
  6. Kentucky ($70,144)
  7. Louisiana ($71,001)
  8. Oklahoma ($72,695)
  9. South Carolina ($73,520)
  10. Idaho ($73,810)

Ever since the Republican party embraced racism wholeheartedly during Barry Goldwater’s run for the presidency in 1964, the GOP has been the party of good old-fashioned American White (male) supremacy. It was a huge shift for the party of Lincoln, and when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964, the South did a collective “what the hell?!?” As LBJ told Bill Moyers, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come.”

So the newly publicly proclaimed belief in white supremacy became an official part of GOP ideology in the 1960s, leading directly to Richard Nixon’s explicitly racist 1968 “Southern Strategy.” It was later replicated by Reagan speaking about “states’ rights” at his first campaign speech near the scene of the murder of 3 civil rights workers, George HW Bush’s Willie Horton ad campaign, and Donald Trump’s rants about Mexican rapists and people from what he called “shithole countries. But racism alone can’t explain the entire list above.  There had to be something else. The second element embraced by the GOP that filled out the rest of the list above happened in 1980 when they hooked up with religious grifters and greedy rich people. Thom Hartmann, Daily Rant: Why Does Everything the GOP Touches Cause Poverty, Disease & Death?*

Jerry Falwell and other racist White ‘religious’ types managed to turn the GOP into a mouthpiece for ‘God’, a being that has not ever been proven to exist (yet millions of adults believe in it just as strongly as small children believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy). The GOP is anti-science, anti-poor people, anti-women, anti-LGBTQ, anti-BIPOC, and anti-education. They look down on anyone who isn’t of the Christian faith, whose skin isn’t pale-ivory-pink-beige, who speaks with a foreign accent (unless it’s Russian or Hungarian, that is), and who doesn’t worship Trump (a more recent affliction).

Championing what today we’d call the “culture wars,” Republicans fully embraced the anti-science perspective of Falwell and his colleagues, questioning for the first time the theory of evolution and scoffing at concerns about pollution causing cancer and other diseases. Within a decade they were even claiming, as Mike Pence wrote in a 2000 op-ed, “Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” As the GOP went deeper down their religion-induced rabbit hole, their hostility to science was logically accompanied by a hostility to education and educated people. George HW Bush and Rush Limbaugh began talking about “pointy-headed liberals in ivory towers,” openly trashing higher education to bring blue-collar voters into the party.* Is this why Lauren Boebert was elected into Congress?

But…But don’t most Republican Senators and congresspeople have degrees from colleges and universities? Aren’t the members of our Supreme Court highly educated – the pointy heads that Limbaugh, now roasting in that Hell he supposedly believed in, derided so? A 2020 article in the NY Times actually pointed out that 100% of Senators and 95% of House members have a BA or higher and many of those people happen to be Republicans. Why are they allowed to be educated but the ‘common folk’ are supposed to remain unschooled and ignorant? Remember what Trump yelled after winning the Nevada Caucus in 2016? “We won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated!”**

The other big turning point for the GOP in 1980 was Reagan’s open embrace of America’s oligarchs. Just four years earlier, in their Buckley v Valeo decision, the Supreme Court ruled that when a rich person showered so much money on a politician that that politician pretty much only voted the way the rich person wanted, that was no longer bribery but, instead, First Amendment-protected “free speech.” In 1978, in a decision written by Lewis Powell (of Powell Memo fame), the Court extended that right to buy politicians to American corporations (it was extended to international billionaires and corporations in 2010 by Citizens United.) President Jimmy Carter had championed the average person and the rights of working class people: he even walked from the Capitol to the White House after his inauguration rather than take a limousine.  Reagan not only brought back the limousine, he turned his inaugural balls into a lavish celebration of wealth and economic power.*

666 – Reagan’s first, middle, and last names all have 6 letters – really did a number of America’s poor people. When we heard on TV that Reagan had won the election, my grandmother moaned “Lord, what are we po’ people gonna do now?” I did not understand it then, as a ten-year-old kid who only cared about Barbie dolls, sweets, and getting out of school for summer vacation & Christmas break, but I sure as hell understand it now. Republicans do not give a happy hell about anyone who isn’t filthy fucking rich and that’s a fact. The televangelists who support the GOP are all as rich as Croesus, living in huge mansions and flying on private planes while their congregants exist mainly in poverty, relying on the hope that being an ardent follower of a ‘prosperity preacher’ will net them lots of money.

Meanwhile, red states across the board generally have higher rates of:

Death warmed over

** – David Mikkelson, Snopes, Fact Checks – Politics: Did Trump Say, ‘I Love the Poorly Educated’?

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