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Republicans Believe in Bad Government

2018-02-10

… Republicans accept as an article of faith that government is the problem, not a solution. So now that they’re running the government, why would they provide us with anything other than bad government?

A succinct and telling summary of the last fifty years of Republican governing strategy, since Richard Nixon won the presidency. 

 This comment was appended to Paul Krugman’s op-ed in the NYT, “Fraudulence of the Fiscal Hawks”, published February 8, 2018. 

Eisenhower is spinning in his grave– remember that Richard Nixon was Eisenhower’s vice president, and Eisenhower warned about the “military-industrial complex” in his last state of the union speech on January 17, 1961.  Nixon lost the presidential election in November 1960 by a very close margin, and he blamed Chicago’s Mayor Daley for “voter fraud”– allegedly, a number of dead people in Illinois voted for Kennedy and tilted the election in his favor.  Ironically, the kind of voter fraud Nixon complained about would not have been prevented by any of the new voting restrictions espoused by today’s Republican Party.  In 1960, the Republicans were still the party of Lincoln and were not the party of racist white men that governs now.

The new Republican governing strategy began when racist Southern whites deserted the Democrats en masse because of LBJ’s signature on the Voting Rights Act.  The strategy was completed when Reagan made his famous statement in his first inaugural address on January 20, 1981: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. ”   Reagan was referring to “this present crisis”, which at that time was “stagflation.”  But his true followers took him to mean that government was too big and too controlling– it was taking away the “rights” of the wealthy white male minority and of corporations.   That was 47 years ago.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com and maralb56)

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