• Xtrix
    3.7k
    Looking at the Republican Party philosophically, my question is this: what do they stand for, at bottom? I’m talking about the leaders. For years it’s been tax cuts and claims of wanting smaller government.

    What about today?
  • Banno
    17.8k
    what do they stand for, at bottom?Xtrix

    Narcissism.
  • Protagoras
    331
    Narcissism.
    Yep. Same as the Democrats.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    what do they stand for, at bottom?Xtrix

    Fear.
    Donald Trump.
    Some Republicans are on board with their base.
    Some Republicans disagree with their base on principle, but subordinate that disagreement with a desire to keep the base.
    Some Republicans disagree with their base and would not subordinate their disagreement with their base but they are under threat of physical violence or extortion from their base.
    Fear.
  • Cheshire
    1k
    They maintain the economic dynamic of an economy that relies on wealth transfer to weapons manufacturing in order to sustain a manufacturing base. Since not everyone directly benefits they dust in American fascism and total party loyalty voting to maintain minority control. We have invisible aircraft carriers and all the bridges are collapsing on the highways. They didn't manage to start a new war this time which is going to hurt their bottom line.
  • Hanover
    8.5k
    Looking at the Republican Party philosophically, my question is this: what do they stand for, at bottom? I’m talking about the leaders. For years it’s been tax cuts and claims of wanting smaller government.

    What about today?
    Xtrix

    It would be difficult to distill a consistent Republican philosophy from Nixon to Reagan to Bush Sr., to GW, to Trump, domestically or in foreign policy.

    Today, it's a party of cult, with absolute allegiance to Trump required.

    When not in power, it's an opposition party with little affirmative plans.
  • Albero
    158
    Nothing really substantial the way I see it. They are a party of pure reaction and do not really stand for "small governments" as much as they say they do. For example, most Republicans I've spoken to LOVE it when the government sends in an over-militarized police force to crush protestors or when as you said, the government helps a massive corporation recieve tax cuts to take the money away from "lazy welfare queens". The Republican Party is very much a fascist party in many ways (though fascism is extremely hard to define, and unlike Marxist traditions have a lot of whacky and contradictory thinkers) and they differ a lot from tea party libertarians who while still reactionary (in some sense) retain their fair share of political theorists to land on.

    With the rise of groups like Qanon, the Proud Boys, etc and how they've been essentially endorsed by the Republicans during the Capitol attack, it's evident that the GOP only really believes in propagating fruitless, meaningless "culture wars" and retaining the myths of American exceptionalism without putting any thought into it. The contradictory nature of fascism was on full display too as seen from the recent banning of Critical Race Theory in school curriculums. Republicans go on and on about "FREE SPEECH" but are perfectly okay when bills are passed to erase essential history and sociology about the United States as a whole.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    what do they stand for, at bottom?
    — Xtrix

    Fear.
    Donald Trump.
    Some Republicans are on board with their base.
    Some Republicans disagree with their base on principle, but subordinate that disagreement with a desire to keep the base.
    Some Republicans disagree with their base and would not subordinate their disagreement with their base but they are under threat of physical violence or extortion from their base.
    Fear.
    James Riley

    Well that's the base. All of that seems to be true: fear of being "replaced" by minorities, fear that their way of life is changing for the worse, some legitimate grievances about stagnation, etc. Most adore Trump. But I was talking about he leaders, the establishment. Most of them don't really like Trump at all. Like McConnell. What do they really stand for anymore? Or is it the same thing they've stood for since the 70s?

    They maintain the economic dynamic of an economy that relies on wealth transfer to weapons manufacturing in order to sustain a manufacturing base.Cheshire

    I think this is one piece of a larger picture of wealth transfer.

    It would be difficult to distill a consistent Republican philosophy from Nixon to Reagan to Bush Sr., to GW, to Trump, domestically or in foreign policy.

    Today, it's a party of cult, with absolute allegiance to Trump required.

    When not in power, it's an opposition party with little affirmative plans.
    Hanover

    True. Although I think since Reagan there's a few ideas which have stuck around: "Government is the problem," and cutting taxes.

    It does seem like when they're not in power, their strategy is to make the government as dysfunctional as possible, so they can blame the Democrats and get re-elected. It would help perhaps if the Democrats fought a little harder.
  • Cheshire
    1k
    I think this is one piece of a larger picture of wealth transfer.Xtrix
    It's roughly 700 Billion a year literally by the government to the military suppliers. What larger one did you have in mind?
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    I think this is one piece of a larger picture of wealth transfer.
    — Xtrix
    It's roughly 700 Billion a year literally by the government to the military suppliers. What larger one did you have in mind?
    Cheshire

    The trillions of dollars transferred to the wealthy due to (mainly) Republican policies for the last 40 years.

    https://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WRA516-1.html
  • frank
    10.9k
    Ron DeSantis is expected to run in 2024, and would pick up Trump's supporters (unless Trump runs). It's a sort of boneheaded vibe.

    It's a little concerning that DeSantis is a more experienced politician than Trump was.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    Well that's the base. . . . But I was talking about he leaders, the establishment. Most of them don't really like Trump at all. Like McConnell. What do they really stand for anymore? Or is it the same thing they've stood for since the 70s?Xtrix

    Actually, I was not talking about the base. I was talking about the leader's fear of the base. They may agree with the base, or they may just want the base even if they secretly don't agree with them. Worst case is, they don't agree and don't even want the base, but they are under threat (physical or otherwise) from the base. Liz Cheney is the exception and has bigger balls than all of them. Of course, the base probably knows that if they fuck with Liz, her dad is the kind of guy who would have them disappeared.
  • NOS4A2
    6k
    They stand for the aggrandizement of their party and the federal government, like the Democrats.
  • ssu
    6k
    What about today?Xtrix

    Good question.

    Usually parties would have an official webpage where this information would be easy to find. At least the information, what the party says itself it has as it's agenda. With the two American parties that is a bit difficult as they are far more looser entities than political parties in other countries. Hence one should not forget that it is the United States and the state-level shouldn't be forgotten.

    Just to take an example, here are the stated guiding beliefs of the Republican Party of Texas. Texas is a red state and one of the most important states for the GOP. Here is the mission statement of the RPT:

    PRINCIPLES
    We, the Republican Party of Texas, believe in this platform and expect our elected leaders
    to uphold these truths through acknowledgement and action. We believe in:
    1. “The laws of nature and nature’s God” and we support the strict adherence to the original
    language and intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United
    States and of Texas.
    2. The sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.
    3. Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom.
    4. Limiting government power to those items enumerated in the United States and Texas
    Constitutions.
    5. Personal accountability and responsibility.
    6. Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural
    woman.
    7. Having an educated population, with parents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children.
    8. The inalienable right of all people to defend themselves and their property.
    9. A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.
    10. Honoring all of those that serve and protect our freedom.

    When you look at that above, it actually does say what modern GOP is all about. Now just compare the above to what the Texas Democrats will tell about themselves and their values:

    Our Shared Values
    Texas Democrats believe democratic government exists to achieve as a community, state, and nation what we cannot achieve as individuals.

    We believe in equal opportunity, fairness, freedom, family, community, and a responsibility to ourselves and each other. These are the values our elders passed down to us, the values we hope to share with our children, and the values we expect from our elected officials.

    The Texas Democratic Party is a movement of millions of Texans coming together to fight for our Texas values. We know our state cannot succeed when the deck is stacked against working Texans and their families.

    At our core, we are all about a fair shot for all. That’s why Texas Democrats have a plan for jobs with fair pay, strong neighborhood schools, health care for all, debt-free college, investment in job training and technical education, a dignified retirement, and expanded family leave options, so Texans never have to choose between their job or caring for a sick loved one. We will never stop fighting for an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top.

    The idea that the parties don't have any ideology isn't the case. Them sharing the power as a duopoly in the US creates the environment for corruption and other problems. Yet the polarization of American politics can be understood just by looking at the principles and the values written above. Especially, when the two above are the only real alternatives.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    Usually parties would have an official webpage where this information would be easy to find.ssu

    When you look at that above, it actually does say what modern GOP is all about.ssu

    I see no reason to take what’s written down too seriously. It’s kind of a joke, actually. For example:

    A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.

    The oil industry in Texas has received huge subsidies from the government— federally and state-wide.

    What’s professed and what’s actually believed are two different things, of course, and we should look at real actions to determine which is which.

    Both parties are beholden to wealthy interests, and the rest is a matter of degree. What the Republicans seem to stand for, ultimately, is complete loyalty to their corporate masters. It’s impressive.
  • ssu
    6k
    I see no reason to take what’s written down too seriously. It’s kind of a joke, actually.Xtrix
    Political agendas, principles and objectives aren't there to be taken literally, but to show what the political party favors and will think to be important. They are more a guide to the political discourse and viewpoints the politicians have than to actual policy decisions. When making actual individual decision there are other issues at hand also.

    Yet what they emphasize is no joke. Similarily with the Texas Democrats.

    That some industry is subsidized or, well, basically the whole government is running on money printed by the Central bank, doesn't change either the Democrats or the Republicans having their differences.

    Both parties are beholden to wealthy interests, and the rest is a matter of degree.Xtrix
    And as long as the ordinary people vote for the two-party system, this will go on.
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k


    Well, if the Republicans are a political party, then presumably there is a political position somewhere like conservatism, capitalism, anti-socialism, etc.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    That some industry is subsidized or, well, basically the whole government is running on money printed by the Central bank, doesn't change either the Democrats or the Republicans having their differences.ssu

    An important point, and worth mentioning again and again.

    There are indeed differences between the parties, despite being beholden to special interests. Those who want to claim they’re “all the same” are being mentally lazy, and overlooks both what you’ve pointed out (written policies) as well as actions.

    It seems these days the differences are becoming more extreme, with the Republicans going insane. The left are becoming more progressive, which I would argue is a good thing, though many would claim, predictably, is “just as insane” — while pointing to some misconception they’ve heard from Fox. But I’d hardly say that compares to QAnon or Trump worship— which is taking over the base.

    In a powerful country, even small differences make a big impact.

    ell, if the Republicans are a political party, then presumably there is a political position somewhere like conservatism, capitalism, anti-socialism, etc.Apollodorus

    They do seem to love “capitalism,” yes. But a particular brand of capitalism: namely, anti-New Deal capitalism. The last 40 years has been a reaction to those policies, in a sense. No surprise it’s been a complete disaster.
  • frank
    10.9k

    It started in the 1980s. Read David Harvey's Brief History of Neoliberalism.
  • ssu
    6k
    It seems these days the differences are becoming more extreme, with the Republicans going insane.Xtrix
    Or it's the polarization of politics in the US.

    The Republicans just look more insane for you. Here it should be good to take a few steps back a glance at the politics from another viewpoint.

    The reason is that for both parties it has worked well to portray the other party simply going off their rocker. It's the idiotic "Culture war" discourse that takes over nearly every aspect of political discussion. Yet it works. It's the modern social media way of portraying the other side. Claiming to be on the center doesn't work.

    The fact is that it seems that there is nobody in the center anymore and the those on the extremes will surely attack people who are in the center. Yet I think many Americans still are in the center.

    Yet even if Trump himself was a quite disaster, notice that many Trump administration policies have been continued by the Biden administration (of course not with any public declaration). Hence there is continuity, just as there was when Obama took office from Bush.

    I think that the storming of the Capitol has calmed down the desire to embrace the polarization as the US hasn't had huge political fights during the spring and summer. At least many politicians have had enough of this and it tells. Of course, the situation is still tense in the US. One act of violence can again light the flames again. Yet for some time I have not picked up video clips of burning cars, protesters and the police clashing or the military deployed to the streets of some American city. I'd hope it would stay that way.

    And now time will tell how much influence Trump actually has with the party. Will all those Trump endorses succeed in getting the nominations in the party? Trump isn't a leader, he is more like an influencer at this stage.

    As conservative activists gathered over the weekend in Texas, the state's outgoing Republican Party chairman, Allen West, announced he will challenge incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott in a primary next year, even though Abbott has the coveted Trump endorsement.

    Beyond Texas, the value of Trump's endorsement will be tested in North Carolina, Alabama and other states with competitive Republican primaries in which the former president has picked a candidate.

    Some delegates to the Conservative Political Action Conference at a high-end Dallas hotel said they respect Trump, but he won't necessarily determine their vote in elections.

    "It's a factor, but I don't know if it's going to be the decisive factor," said Deb Blencowe, 63, a community college teacher from nearby Collin County who leans toward West over Abbott in next year's GOP primary.
  • frank
    10.9k
    Or it's the polarization of politics in the US.ssu

    I think Trump's success was from the fact that he seemed like a disruptor, so it's not really two sides at odds. It's a growing grassroots movement to ditch both parties.

    Trump was the rightist version. He sold his supporters out because he has no morals. His leftist counterpart was Bernie. All morals, but radioactive due to socialist.

    I think Mark Blyth is right:. we missed a system reset in 2008. Hopefully we won't miss the next one and a transformed US will appear out of the economic collapse.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k
    The Republican party exists to line the pockets of their friends and sponsors (and their own as well, of course); to assure that the wealthy and large corporations are predominant in politics; to maintain the status quo socially and culturally; and finally, to convince those who are less fortunate that they should remain so because that is in their own interest and that of the United States.
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k


    My read of American history during my lifetime (since 1963), which has been congruent with my lived experience socially and politically since at least the late 1970s, is that the GOP is the trojan horse, or avatar, of populist white grievance catalyzed by the 2-steps-forward-1-step-back erosion of "Jim Crow" segregation & discrimination policies since the 1950s that has culminated in recent decades with active backlashes against a "perceived" demographic crisis that's coming (Götterdämmerung!). All the rest of it e.g. low taxes, small government, strong military defense, prayer in schools, pro-life, family values, second amendment rights, "America First", reverse discrimination, "Law & Order", "War on Drugs", etc are just window-dressing and bloody chum tossed out to lure sufficient numbers of unwitting, know-nothing/opportunistic centrists to their "cause" in order to cobble together electoral majorities as needed. Right wingnuts believe none of it, of course, except as evergreen talking points (& dog whistles) used as doubletalk in support of "the cause". The maga-moronic tr45h presidency simply made explicit and overt what had for several decades been implicit and mostly covert.
  • ssu
    6k
    I think Trump's success was from the fact that he seemed like a disruptor, so it's not really two sides at odds. It's a growing grassroots movement to ditch both parties.frank

    This is true.

    So far it has been the GOP that has felt this more. Yet both parties have had the ability to somehow cope with this when you look at the timeline.

    With the GOP it was first the Ron Paul candidacy, then that transformed to the "Tea Party" and then finally to Trump getting the nomination and becoming president. With the DNC it has been a somewaht similar line: first it was the Occupy Movement, then the Bernie Sanders tickets. The DNC has for at least now has not lost the control of the party and has been able to counter the protest movement and criticism with AOC and Bernie etc.

    Yet it's doubtful if the two party system can refrain the political turmoil IF their is a hard economic downturn. If the economy survives well enough, there will be no problem. But if you have now a downturn after all the stimulus, then it might get really, really ugly.
  • frank
    10.9k
    But if you have now a downturn after all the stimulus, then it might get really, really ugly.ssu

    An insurmountable credit crunch would make the economy spiral downward, right?
  • ssu
    6k
    Well, sometime in the future this hole system based on debt might need drastic "restructuring".

    That might not be so nice. But then again, it wouldn't be the first time when a lot of people lose their life savings.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    Republicans like Trump because he hates the same people they hate. It's all about the hate. I was quite the hater until I saw them do it, and then, not wanting to be like them, I decided to try to love my enemy. Jeesh! What a long hard slog that is! It's so much easier to hate. And, I have to admit, I kind of like hating. But I do want to put as much distance between me and them as I can, which means I have to try and love them. Yikes!
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    632


    At this rate, the party is coming to represent nothing more or less than personal loyalty and subservience to the infallible personage of Donald Trump.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    It started in the 1980s. Read David Harvey's Brief History of Neoliberalismfrank

    I haven't yet, but this is the second time it's been recommended to me. Look forward to getting around to it.

    The Republicans just look more insane for you. Here it should be good to take a few steps back a glance at the politics from another viewpoint.ssu

    They do look more insane to me, yes. That goes without saying. But I have no loyalty to the Democratic party either. I see what more conservative minded people think of the Democrats, and a lot of it does appear crazy as well. But I'd challenge anyone to show any kind of parity these days.

    Yet I think many Americans still are in the center.ssu

    It certainly seems that way, from the numbers. It's worth remembering that of the population that votes, the biggest group are the independents. They split fairly evenly in where they "lean," but it's a surprising fact for many people. Especially if you spend all your time on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    The Republican party exists to line the pockets of their friends and sponsors (and their own as well, of course); to assure that the wealthy and large corporations are predominant in politics; to maintain the status quo socially and culturally; and finally, to convince those who are less fortunate that they should remain so because that is in their own interest and that of the United States.Ciceronianus the White

    A pretty damn good summary, in my opinion.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    All the rest of it e.g. low taxes, small government, strong military defense, prayer in schools, pro-life, family values, second amendment rights, "America First", reverse discrimination, "Law & Order", "War on Drugs", etc are just window-dressing and bloody chum tossed out to lure sufficient numbers of unwitting, know-nothing/opportunistic centrists to their "cause" in order to cobble together electoral majorities as needed.180 Proof

    I see it a little differently. I would add racism and fear of "White replacement" on your list of bloody chum. It's become just as embedded in the party as the anti-abortion position, no doubt. As far as being the first priority upon which the others rest, I think that honor goes to anti-New Deal sentiments, exemplified by the thinking of Milton Friedman and others, and enacted under Reagan. It's neoliberalism through and through.

    Today it's embodied completely by McConnell, and Paul Ryan before him. Privatize everything by defunding the programs that work for people -- education, Medicare, social security. They were (and are) up front about it. They've been trying to reverse New Deal programs for years, and have systematically succeeded -- especially in the 80s. You recall Shad's appointment to the SEC, as one example. Can't get more obvious than that.

    The rest is, as you say, convenient positions taken to secure a patchwork of a coalition. Whip them into a frenzy about "culture issues" like transgender bathrooms, kneeling athletes, Mr. Potato Head, and of course the "crisis" du jour: critical race theory. Distract them, demonize the left as much as possible, and even embrace Donald Trump as the face of your party -- as long as you get to push through those tax cuts, and as long as nothing fundamentally changes in this country, who cares? That's the current Republican party, in my view.
  • Banno
    17.8k
    “The laws of nature


    Well, it's good to know that they are not intent on repealing the law of gravity.

    That's a pretty damning document. They know the laws of god and what he looks like, and the intent of the writers of the constitutions.

    Sure.
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