Many veteran political observers say they cannot recognize the Republican Party that elected Donald Trump.
They should not be surprised.
The reason is that it is not the Republican Party. It is the party of the John Birch Society that morphed itself into the far-right Libertarian Party.
This is why veteran Republicans, such as Dwight Eisenhower, George Bush I, Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits, Margaret Chase Smith, Clifford Case, Mark Hatfield, Lowell Weicker, Richard Schweiker, Kenneth Keating, and John Chafee would all be unwelcome Republicans today.
The right-wing coup was accomplished over decades by big money that subverted philosophies of co-operation and even patriotism and exchanged it for blatant, cold corporatism and selling the government to the highest bidder.
The John Birch Society has taken over the U.S. and no one noticed.
Even worse, this was all done in the open and was spelled out by a chief coup leader, David Koch, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 1980.
Here are just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on in 1980:
- “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”
- “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
- “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”
- “We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”
- “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”
- “We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”
- “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.
Less Government and More Corruption
The subtext of this platform is that you have people today in the Freedom Caucus who want to dismantle the federal government but do not want to miss one of their paychecks from the federal government or forego any of their pension, office perk, and health benefits. It doesn’t matter that their less wealthy constituents wallow in a falling standard of living. That would be their own fault anyway.
Ironically, the Freedom Caucus is now on a collision with Trump, a man who has zero political philosophy, over how to best dismantle the government and deprive citizens of any form of the social, common good.
Yet as the world has seen, selling government assets is a sure-fire way to create a new billionaire class. The only problem is that these opportunities are only available to a very elite, limited, well-connected class. These are the same people who are in Trump’s cabinet. The Russian privatization model of state-owned assets worked well for those who survived, but it was miserable for the Russian people who now earn less than the average Chinese worker.
The Trump-inspired scenario accompanies the decades-long decline of the American middle class and there is no end in sight to this decline.
So when you hear the TV commentators talking about the Republican Party, remember they often are part of the problem, not the solution. It is not the Republican Party that is in power, it is the ultra-right John Birch Society. If you understand that, everything else makes sense.