The Republican Party and the Great Conservative Long Con

trickle-down-reaganSomething I often like to do in my interactions with Republicans is make them defend their ideologies. It’s like a recent piece I wrote where I asked conservatives what the Republican party has actually done for them. It’s easy for conservatives to regurgitate talking points that have been spoon fed to them by the right-wing media, but to quantify those talking points is much more difficult.


But what the Republican party is really doing is selling their voters a “long con.” The truth is, nearly everything they promise will happen based on their ideological stances, never does.

This is the party that constantly claims to be “fiscally conservative,” yet hasn’t had a president from their party balance the budget since Eisenhower in the 1950’s. Even their “conservative icon” Ronald Reagan, the man on which modern day conservatives seem to validate their conservativeness, nearly tripled our national debt during his eight years. George W. Bush, who promised Americans his tax cuts would balance the budget within a decade, not only destroyed a budget surplus that he inherited (from Democrat Bill Clinton) – but he doubled our national debt during his administration.

So where’s this “fiscal responsibility”? It’s been nearly 60 years since a Republican president balanced the budget. To the conservative voter I ask, how many decades need to pass where a Republican president doesn’t balance the budget, before you’ll admit your party is full of crap?

Then there’s the “tax cuts create jobs” nonsense. If tax cuts create economic prosperity, then why is it that our economy nearly fell apart during Bush’s administration when taxes were at all-time lows? This lie is about dangling a few hundred dollars worth of tax cuts in the face of the average American so that they can give massive tax cuts to the rich. Meanwhile, since the dawn of trickle-down economics, there’s been absolutely no support for the idea that tax cuts create jobs. Because guess what? Companies don’t create jobs they don’t need simply because taxes are low. They create jobs when they need to and that need is driven by demand – not tax cuts.

But exactly when will these tax cuts create unheralded prosperity for the middle class? I hate to break it to Republicans, but no matter what you think about President Obama, taxes are still at some of their lowest levels in history. In fact, the main issue we’re seeing in this country right now is wage stagnation, which shouldn’t be an issue because big corporations and the rich are doing great in this country. So when conservatives say that Obama’s policies have killed wage growth, what they’re really admitting is that trickle-down economics doesn’t work.


And how exactly are Republicans for “small government”? Last time I checked Republican legislatures all over this country were passing laws that massively expanded government over our voting process, women’s bodies, gay rights and marriage. Then let’s not forget that this was the party that passed the Patriot Act – one of the largest “big government bills” in United States history.

The truth is conservatives are for “small government” when it benefits something they support (guns, religion, big oil) but they love big government when it can be used to their benefit.

But it’s all okay, because Republicans have managed to tie in religion with their propaganda so that conservatives won’t think about the lies they’re being told. To many conservatives, being a Republican is tied in directly with their religious beliefs. They’ll never question their politics because that would be like questioning their religion, and that’s a big no-no for Christian conservatives.

But all of this right-wing rhetoric is tied into their elaborate long con. They’re constantly promising balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility, tax cuts that lead to economic prosperity, and it will all happen…someday. It’s coming. They promise. Just keep electing them and eventually they promise to deliver on these nearly 40-year-old promises.

Except, of course, they never will. And that’s how cons work; they promise everything, deliver nothing, and sadly tens of millions of Americans continue to fall for it.



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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