Saturday, July 19, 2014

Republicans versus Democrats

For most everyone politics is about protecting and enhancing their interests.  Given that, there is a big difference between Republicans and Democrats on this.  Republicans are fairly homogeneous on their interests being essentially mostly wealthy straight white strongly religious men.  Democrats, on the other hand, are a very disparate group of people, women, blacks, hispanics, gays, lesbians, working class people, union workers.

The consequence for Republicans is a somewhat rigidly uniform point of view, guns, anti-immigration, restrictions on women's reproduction decisions,  no marriage for gays and lesbians, opposition to minimum wage, and an enduring dread of increasing national debt, collapsing value in the dollar, and rising inflation.

The consequence for Democratic Party is also a fairly uniform point of view, for gun-control, for immigration legislation with a path to citizenship for the undocumented already here, in favor of women having control over their health care decisions, for marriage equality, and minimum wage.  In other words, for the interests of their disparate membership.

On some of these issues, the rigid world view of the Republican prevents them from seeing how, for example, laws restricting abortion affects women, or laws against marriage equality affect gays and lesbians.  But on other issues, Republicans paternalistically believe that everyone's interests are the same, and, at least among Republicans I'm acquainted with, are dumbfounded by contrary views, for example, on national debt, the value of the dollar, inflation.  I believe it says something about how they think that they aren't able to understand that most people, in particular, working people, don't have the same interests at stake here.

Their view on these issues is a tell.  Why would anyone care about the fall in the value of the dollar?   It would matter very little to an ordinary working person.  Their ability to buy locally grown food, locally made products, wouldn't be affected all.  The people it would affect are people who buy Audi's and Mercedes Benz's.  These cars would become a lot more expensive if the dollar dropped in value against the Euro.  

And who would be affected by rising inflation?   The small amount targeted by the Federal Reserve would hardly matter to working people.  In fact it would help them because they would be paying back debt, credit card debt for example, with dollars increased in value relative to the debt.  Who would it matter too?  It would matter a lot to people with large cash and equity positions, i.e., the very wealthy.  Their wealth would decrease in value.

Basically, the Republican Party is the Party of the very wealthy, and they use that wealth to preserve their wealth.  Of course, there isn't anything wrong, really, with their pursuing those interests.  What is wrong is their projecting their interests on everyone else.  In our Democracy every person has a voice, but the wealthy are fighting to make their voice dominant over the non-wealthy.  And sometimes they succeed.  But no one should think otherwise than that they are defiantly imposing their interests on everyone else's.