17 June 2016

Republican Party: Racism, Christian Fundamentalism and Plutocracy

In 1964, America's President Lyndon Johnson (of the Democratic Party) passed the Civil Rights Act giving equal rights to blacks. This enraged racist whites. In 1968, Republican Party leader Richard Nixon appealed to these whites and won the Presidential election. Since then, whites have been voting more for the Republican Party. It effectively became the party of the whites.

White voting in Presidential elections:

In 1980, Ronald Reagan combined the Republican Party's white racism with one more element: Christian fundamentalism. He appealed to Christian fundamentalists and won their support. He also did something else that was perhaps even more important. He made the Republican Party the party of the rich by adopting their agenda – which was mainly cutting their taxes. In a democracy, a political party has to work for the good of the majority of the people. Under Reagan, the Republican Party started working for the good of only the 1% rich. Thus it became a plutocratic party – and America became a plutocracy.

So the Republican Party became an alliance of the rich and racist-fundamentalist whites. But this was an unnatural alliance. Today 65% of America is white. In this, only 1% are rich. The remaining 65–1=64% are middle class and lower class. What do these people want from the government? They want welfare programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Now these programs cost money. Where will the money come from? Obviously, from high taxes on the rich. But the aim of the rich is to minimise (not maximise) their taxes. Thus there is a fundamental contradiction in this alliance of the Republican Party.

Yet this strategy was extremely successful. From 1968 to 2007, the Republican Party won 7 out of 10 Presidential elections. How was this possible? Simple. The Republican Party pursued the economic agenda of the rich – ie, cuts in the top tax rate. This went against the economic agenda of the middle class and lower class whites – ie, more money for welfare programs. Yet the Republican Party got those people's votes. How? It diverted their attention from their economic agenda by pursuing their 'cultural' agenda – ie, white racism and Christian fundamentalism. Thus the strategy succeeded brilliantly for almost four decades.

So that is the ideology of the Republican Party – plutocracy combined with white racism and Christian fundamentalism. The rise of Donald Trump is nothing but the direct outcome of this process.

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