10-Point Plan to Rebuild the US after Bush's Destruction: Redux and Explanation
In my previous Rec Report, entitled, "10-Point Plan for Rebuilding the United States after Bush's Destruction" (for which I have received much flak and a fair number of death threats from militant right-wingers--which in itself more than vindicates much of what I wrote), I made the following two points that seem to have roused the most ire from rabid Republicans, some of whom suggested, not unsurprisingly, that my remarks constitute a contradiction.
9. Consider the possibility that the Republican ideology contravenes the Constitution because its policies and beliefs endanger the well-being of the people. Consider making the Republican Party illegal.
10. Start a party that opposes the Democratic Party from the left of the Democratic Party and makes the Republican Party a detestable relic of the past akin to the slave-holding Confederates.
The first of these points has been the source of no inconsiderable anger and gnashing of teeth amongst our 'friends' in the Republican Party. Just how can I claim that the ideology of the Republican Party contravenes the Constitution? Then, how can I go on, in an apparent contradiction, to suggest that the Republican Party be made illegal? Doesn't that restrict the First Amendment rights of some citizens, especially those who would espouse Republican views?
My answer is this; As Herbert Marcuse argued brilliantly in his critique of "Repressive Tolerance" in Critique of Pure Tolerance, the "liberal" (in the older, classical sense of liberalism, under which contemporary conservative political parties also fall), bourgeois notion of pure tolerance is impossible. Pure tolerance allows for the tolerance of some views that simply stand in total contradiction of the most immediate rights of others-in particular, their right to exist. Given that some speech is motivated by and has been responsible for the deaths of others for no apparent reason other than the wills of those who would kill these others, some ideologies cannot be tolerated. ("Speech," I argue, should not be differentiated from "action." "Speech," whether written or spoken, is a physical act that causes molecules to move. To speak is to act.) The beliefs of Nazis that Jews are vermin and do not deserve to exist is a belief that, if expressed, can lead to the deaths of Jews, as in Nazi Germany. Similarly, the speech of the KKK can and has led to the deaths and torture of Blacks in America, and should not be allowed. To allow the putative "right" of some to express such views that result in the annihilation of others, is a contradiction in itself. As such, such "rights" are false rights.
But I seem to be implying that the Republican Party should be likened to the Nazis and the KKK. This is tiring, isn't it? The comparison is old-hat and overwrought and not one that I want to make. I would liken them not along any other lines than that all three are dangerous to the survival of numerous peoples. Other than that, they are no more alike each other than fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam are alike.
The Republican Party avows and holds positions that are anathema to the lives of millions, if not billions. The Republican Party, officially or unofficially, declaims the reality of Global Warming. The Republican Party disavows the science of Global Warming because its corporate sponsors in the oil and automotive industries are powerful forces within the party. These latter hire apologists to produce counter-, junk science to stand in opposition to credible science-to the detriment of our species' survival. They are bent on denial at all costs and must be removed from power, because their power imperils human life on the planet.
Secondly, the Republican Party, at least in its current neoconservative configuration, is hell-bent on War. The basic principle seems to be to incite whatever ideological opposition there is against the US into militaristic confrontation. Such an approach is anathema to the interests not only of the US citizens, but of the world's population. The situation in Iraq is a prime example, but the current confrontational mode with Iran is also apiece with this posture. Rather than "fighting terrorism," the Republican Party is mass-producing it, as numerous studies have made clear. Rather than negotiation with those who differ with them ideologically and politically, they try to stir them into taking some action that will then justify a military attack. The Republican Party is doing more for terrorism than all of the Al Qaida and other radical Islamic propaganda combined. One may speculate on whether or not the Republican Party, tied so intimately in economic collusion with the military industrial complex, actually wants permanent, military-promoting war at all costs, or not. Regardless, that appears to be the effect.
As for other points in the 10-point plan, as some have pointed out, they couldn't be implemented simply by an election or even impeachment. This list was always only more of a 'wish list' than a list of real imminent possibilities. But I ask, wouldn't the world be a lot better off with Bush, Cheney and his major administration contributors out of office? Would it be better with Bush and Cheney utterly discredited by serving prison time? Their jail time would help because it would discredit future fanatics of their kind from gaining ascendancy in American politics, ever again.
Of course, we couldn't just revoke the judicial appointments of Bush-but the question is, shouldn't we? After all, Bush was never elected-not the first time and not the second. And, his judicial appointments have the potential for setting back the civil and social rights of millions of Americans, all for the ideological play and religious fervor of a few. The real fact of the matter is that control of reproduction belongs with those whose bodies will be responsible for reproduction. And, talking about contradictions! Here's a party that, without apology or an apparent second thought, would kill tens of thousands of innocent walking-and-talking (brown-skinned) children and adults, all the while claiming to be "pro-life." The only life they seem to acknowledge is the embryonic life of white people-the status of which is surely less certain than that of living and breathing full-fledged individuals of the human race, whom they kill all the time.
Rec, The Rec Report
Michael D. Rectenwald, Ph.D.
See also: 10-Point Plan for Rebuilding the United States after Bush's Destruction By Michael Rectenwald 15 Mar 2007
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