Dear Republicans: I Really Don’t Know What to Say to You Folks Anymore (But I’ll Try)

carson-trump-frontrunnersDear Republicans:

Once upon a time I held out hope that we could work together amicably on solutions to better this country, but with each year that goes by, that hope is dashed.

Listening to your candidates yammer on during the third presidential debate was one of the most painful nights of television I’ve ever endured. Sure, the CNBC moderators weren’t all that great, but the rhetoric your candidates are spewing is the same old crap wrapped up in a different package.

Do you all not realize that your party has been running on the same exact economic platform for decades? A platform that has repeatedly proven to be a failure, by the way – and it’s all based on a handful of solid economic years from the 80’s. But what your party typically fails to mention is that Reagan ultimately ended up having to raise taxes several times throughout his presidency and he nearly tripled our national debt.

When Democrats talk of raising taxes to provide basic services to help Americans, your party calls it socialism. I call it a return to the capitalist economics of the 50’s – a decade that’s considered by many to be America’s most economically prosperous. A time when taxes were higher, unions were stronger and the middle class was thriving.

Even when John F. Kennedy called for tax cuts in the 60’s – a quote your party often takes completely out of context – do you know what he lowered tax rates to? From 91 percent to 65 percent. So, when Republicans quote JFK on taxes, are they then advocating for a return to the rate of 65 percent that he championed?

And I hate to break it to you folks, but all Democrats really want is to expand the very popular socialist programs we already have (Medicare and public eduction) to include every American (some form of Medicare for all) and all public universities (public education).

Yes, whether you want to believe it or not, there are numerous examples of socialism in this county that are very popular with most Americans – including conservatives. Anytime you feel protected at home because of our troops, enjoy drinking clean public water or drive on a public road, you’re enjoying the fruitful benefits of socialism.

Instead of looking back to the last great Republican president, Eisenhower, the GOP typically likes to pretend that he didn’t exist. Even though he was a man who believed in a balanced budget (with no tax cuts until the budget was balanced) and warned against out of control defense spending.

Sadly, you’ll almost never hear the GOP talk about Ike. It’s always Reagan, the “conservative icon”… who raised taxes, passed an amnesty bill for illegal immigrants and nearly tripled our national debt.

Now a growing scam within your party is the flat tax. When any politician talks about a flat tax, what they’re saying is they want to give a massive tax break to the rich while putting a bigger burden on everyone else. The government is going to need to get its money one way or another. That either comes from raising local taxes by putting more of the burden on the states or gutting programs that – despite what many government-hating conservatives might think – most Americans heavily rely upon… including millions of conservatives. And when it’s all said and done, all a flat tax really does is make the rich even more wealthy while almost everybody else takes a hit.

I really hate to break it to you all (again), but tax cuts do not create jobs. Let’s just think about this for a moment, shall we?

Let’s say you own a business which is doing well at meeting demand and bringing in profits. Are you going to create more jobs you don’t need for demand that’s not there simply because you benefitted from a new tax cut? Are you going to expand that business if you don’t see any benefit to expansion? Do you really think companies like Walmart, McDonald’s or Home Depot are going to create jobs they probably don’t need just because the government reduced their tax burden? I’ve worked for two of those companies – trust me, neither cares about tax rates. They care about reducing expenses to maximize year-to-year revenue and the first place they usually cut is jobs, wages and benefits. Lowering their taxes might offer a slight bump for a year, but then that next year they’re going to want to top the previous year’s numbers. And they’re not going to do that by continuing to create jobs they don’t need.

Demand is what creates jobs – not tax rates.

Then let’s go ahead and address the corporate tax rate for a moment. While members of your party like to claim that we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world (35-39 percent), what they fail to mention is that our effective tax rate (meaning what most companies actually pay) is much lower at 12.6 percent.

Then this Benghazi nonsense. You do realize that the GOP is exploiting these four deaths, correct? If you don’t believe me, just ask Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The truth about Benghazi (according to the multiple investigations that have already occurred – most led by Republicans) is that there was fault at almost every level that could have been handled better, but ultimately this was a horrible tragedy that we need to try to prevent from happening again. If you really want to get into the semantics of the talking points used in the days immediately following the attack, that’s fine – but just to let you all know (because I know Fox News won’t report it) Hillary Clinton specifically referred to the attack as a terrorist attack just a few days after it happened. All the hype and hoopla of the past 3 years has been nothing more than your party using the deaths of four Americans to try to win an election rather than learning from those deaths and implementing necessary changes.

I think deep down most of you know it.

Then there’s the whole “freedom of religion,” or “freedom of Christianity” as you seem to wish it were. When it comes to religion, trust me, most liberals couldn’t care less what you believe. Just do us all a favor:

  • Keep your religion out of government.
  • Stop forcing other people to abide by your beliefs.

That’s it.

Moving on from the First Amendment, nobody in a position of power nationally wants to abolish the Second Amendment. That doesn’t mean we can’t sensibly regulate it. Most Americans don’t want to see mentally stable, law-abiding citizens lose their guns, but what we cannot do is keep pretending that we don’t have a gun violence problem in this country. So the question you Republicans need to ask yourselves is this: What is the Republican party doing to ensure guns don’t find their way into the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable? 

Part of responsible gun advocacy doesn’t just include owning guns as a means of self-defense. It also means doing whatever you can to ensure that those who shouldn’t have guns don’t get them in the first place. While I see Republicans blame mental illness for gun violence quite often, I haven’t seen a single thing they’ve done to actually address it.

The bottom line is, we’re never going to get anywhere in this country as long as the Republican party keeps living in what seem to be their three favorite decades – the 1980’s, the 1880’s and the 1780’s. What “worked” then simply doesn’t work now – and it hasn’t for over 30 years. Income inequality has continued to become a huge problem, tuition costs are skyrocketing and the only thing that’s happened is that the rich have gotten richer than at any time since prior to the Great Depression.

So, you all can keep believing the myths and lies your party tells you, as they use religion and faux patriotism to manipulate millions of you folks into voting against your own interests, but that doesn’t change reality. As the saying goes, the thing about reality is that it’s real whether or not you want to believe in it.

As a progressive, I’m begging Republicans to come back to reality. For too many years now you’ve let the tea party convince far too many of you (and I’m convinced that there are still reasonable Republicans out there) that your right-wing fan fiction is true and actual reality is just a liberal lie.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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