The Republican Party is a decided national political minority. The small party is running a big campaign whose entire strategy consists of proxy by hate. If the phrase seems out of order—how can a candidate be a proxy for hate?—then you see the evil brilliance of a campaign whose cultural sophistication belies its raw, putrid appeal. Rather than clearing the air and offering a map to progress and using the wisdom of its aged members, Republicans have seized as shields the American virtues of freedom, liberty, the American Promise of prudence, charity, merit and fairness, and have put them through a labyrinth, soaked the foundational ideas and values with fear, blame, shame, disgrace, pain, death, war, and wealth that splashes fault on others. The common element of fault feeds and inflames the hate. And it’s the best hate that money can buy.
That hate is distributed to every government action, every social policy, every view of the world, every collapsed dream and fat desire and to those who make up the government itself, especially the chief executive, an office whose powers have increased and contract power goes unnoticed. Within the government, can you name the ten largest federal contractors? The size of their 2012 revenues?
Among 2012 newcomers on the top 100 list, D&S Consultants of Eatontown, NJ came in 77th with revenues of $215.575 million, $211 million from defense contracts. (I don’t know what they do!) Fifty-one of the top 100 are privately owned (small businesses!); the largest, DynCorp International (a security company) received contracts worth $3.346 billion this year. The top three? Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and Boeing; followed by SAIC, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Hewlett-Packard, Booz Allen Hamilton, Computer Science Corp, and DynCorp. Hate, suspicion, death, deadly force have high tech forms that are very profitable (Wait—did they build that?). No wonder Barack Obama is under siege.
He is besieged by a micro-targeted, media-ignored hate that has a single size to fit all and to fix its object by single action—by brutal government fiat, beginning with a directed, managed vote! The party that hates government, its expense, its intrusion, its abridgment of rights, wants to use government to increase all of the above! And to win the election, they are expanding their financed appeals.
We know your hate, Republicans say, just put power in our hands, and the rich will no longer suffer—and neither will you. Why, the rich are suffering, losing their competitive edge, burdened by the world’s highest taxes (appropriate, I think for the world’s richest people!). They argue: imagine what Barack Obama has in store for you? Hate is a surprisingly effective tool. It is irrational; defiant, easily denied, indifferent to truth, shadowed by doubt. Hate is malleable and rewards misinformation; it easily links false causes; its anger trounces mercy; its doctrines are deeply embedded and widespread. It polls well. That Barack Obama is a Muslim persists. This election will determine if hate has limits or can be leveraged in its unique American character. Republicans intend for it to pay off.
Who do Republicans hate? They hate the weak. The sick, young and old, the poor, the broken in spirit, the mentally and physically handicapped. Women; they are the party of rape. They are the party that defends a fertilized cell even before it has been fertilized. They demand women be humiliated by government probes without consent or necessity. People of color who do not serve a political purpose. Where was the once-leading contender, Herman Cain, at the GOP convention? Anyone heard from Allan Keyes this year? Or any of the hundreds of black Republicans who ignore party-inflicted wounds in the name of free enterprise—an identity strategy that voids the oldest human principle of self-preservation by protecting the community above self and sacrificing self for community—all sell-outs put self first, scramble history, embrace the oppressor, and offer empty promises.
Republicans hate regulations; they get in the way of profit. You hate wearing motorcycle helmets? You are in; join us, Republicans say. Property taxes, public schools? Safety and environmental standards, elevator inspections? Democrats? Truth? Equal pay? Marriage freedom? Sharing and fair shares? Nuclear treaties? China? Immigration? Except on drone strikes and spray tans, Republicans are there for you. Even if they don’t change it, they know your rancor.
You know the list of their ire, but pay closer attention to their closing strategy.
For Republicans, the final month and tonight’s debate are in search of hot button hate. So far, neither race nor the economy, two historic staples, have tilted the field. Neither have debt nor deficits brought new recruits. Foreign policy and moral attacks are the new lines: in Florida, live calls are being made to Hispanic households, reminding them of Barack Obama’s position on gay marriage and a woman’s right to chose, both against the Catholic Church’s teachings. And the closer: his father was a drunk and his mother didn’t love him.
Mitt Romney would be President by proxy. First as the stand-in candidate for your own personal pet peeve, but more importantly, as the guy who will represent the folk who have turned hate into a lucrative enterprise by claiming hate is good and whatever we hate is bad—those who claim hate is a moral defense and should be funded and given power. Hate is justified by their voices: the John Sununus, Newt Gingrichs, Ralph Reeds, Donald Trumps, and others who have entered a moral wasteland, despite their money and former power. They speak of the “destruction of America,” of “fakes.” That’s their appeal. Backed by over a billion dollars. Because billions more are at stake.
Despite the media concerns that Barack will be too professorial or arrogant tonight (a continuation of the replayed theme of too black, not black enough, too exemplary, too other, too thoughtful, too naive, too milquetoast, and now potentially too bold and uppity, and according to a million DVDs mailed in Ohio, now with an American daddy!) my prediction is those billions will be the final altar of hate.
Since the convention, we have seen empty chairs swinging from ropes looped over trees—the lynching of empty chairs—an imaginative act that shows the powerful, embedded grip of hate.
So tonight, hate goes prime time. It will bring its companions of lies and faked outrage, it will be escorted by the outrage of the lynched empty chairs. (Wouldn’t it be something if Barack Obama brought an empty chair on stage as a prop and proxy for how so many of our country see him, for Romney’s positions and ideas, for Clarence Thomas’ high-tech lynching, for the misrepresentation of his ideas and achievements—and a place where, at the end, he finally sat down to offer his closing?)
Hate will put on a mask of common sense and try to establish its superiority by its criticism. It will ignore its own flaws and self-righteous contradictions. It will deny its presence, flaunt its disrespect and bask in its glory. Make no mistake about its intent—hate has always been the valued servant of injustice, the weapon of the reactionary and the privileged, the IED of the weak, the cherished sustainer of the status quo, the false positive of courage. Pick it out from the shadows tonight as it works the crowd beyond the glaring lights.
The last days of the campaign will project fears of a new recession and massive job loses, of a ravaged America—a projection of the Republicans’ own collective vision—a Koch/Trump/ALEC/Jamie Dimon vision of a poor, uneducated, powerless, angry, leaderless population. A vision of a private sector unleashed to rape not only women but water (fracking) and welfare (tax cuts) to entitle and serve the rich and powerful. This election is a referendum on hate—and those who are its masters, who support its logic and place. Mitt Romney’s comments before his monied sponsors gave us an inelegant peek. When asked by one if he would “clean house,” Mitt Romney answered: I “wish” I could do “more.”