Bill Bennett wrote an article on LifeNews.com titled “Republicans Must Win the Culture War to Regain Presidency.” It continues to amaze that leaders of the Republican Party can remain as clueless as they are. That Mr. Bennett is a past secretary of education makes it even more disconcerting, because his article shows a lack of ability to objectively process fact based information, which puts his competence in question.
Mr. Bennett says that the coalition President Obama put together to win the election amounted to identity politics. He is correct on that point. The identities comprising the coalition were those aggrieved, ignored and materially harmed by the policies of the Republican Party. Republicans winning the popular vote just once in the last five elections should have given them pause several cycles ago, if there was really concern for the entire country as opposed to a particular few.
Most of the right wing within the Republican Party continues to promote the idea that President Obama’s supporters are either “takers” or social radicals. His article lays out an excellent point by point narrative to be refuted.
To women they said: Republicans are waging a “war on women.”
The Republican super majorities in Texas passed laws that forced an invasive vaginal probe on women seeking an abortion. Virginia passed a similar law though they were forced to make it less intrusive. Republican males were vocal in positions that would force women to continue pregnancies even for rape and incest. Many Republicans objected to bills to ensure pay equity for women. In the new house, all the leadership positions went to white males. This is a war on women. It is more than just the marginalization of women; it has long term financial consequences for them.
To minorities they said: Republicans are anti-government services, cold-blooded individualists, and cannot represent minority communities.
This is likely the most offensive statement in the article as it equates minorities with government dependency, even as the largest recipients of all government welfare, handouts, set asides and deductions are, in fact, whites. While it is true that a higher percentage of minorities are on welfare, no attempts by the Republicans are made to understand the socio-economic reasons, as well as structural reasons, that make this the case. It is hard to refute that the Republican Party is a clear and present danger to ALL minorities when one hears their now dead RNC Chairman Lee Atwater’s conniving use of race based politics and the Southern Strategy.
To middle and low income Americans they said: Republicans are the party of the rich, who will slash taxes for only the richest Americans and cut social safety nets for the poor.
Mr. Bennett may attempt to dispute the fact that the Republican Party favors the rich, but that is exactly what their policies do. Fighting tooth-and-nail to keep Social Security taxes capped at $110,000 means only the middle class pays a real portion of their wages in those taxes. Fighting an increase in taxes on capital gains means the working person pays a higher tax rate than the wealthy investor. Fighting corporate taxes ensures that the middle class pays higher taxes even as the services society provide corporations, from international defense to infrastructure and education, is borne by the middle class. Objecting to environmental protection leaves middle class adults and children to live with — and exposed to — the misdeeds and pollution of corporations while the wealthy live in their enclaves of purity and homogeneity. One could go on and on but the facts are clear.
Obama won the 18- to 29-year-old vote 60% to 37%, in spite of the fact that half of all recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.
Mr. Bennett fail to realize that these young students are unemployed or underemployed because of supply side policies, anti-union policies and tax policies that have decimated wages and made outsourcing and offshoring the modus operandi.
According to a Pew Research poll taken last year, 49% of Americans age 18-29 have a positive view of socialism while just 46% have a positive view of capitalism. Such a view has roots.
So while we Republicans opine about election strategies and changing demographics, and appropriately so as that is our immediate order of business, in the long run we must address the problem at its source: the culture.
This statement shows that Mr. Bennett continues to be blind to the realities and economics of the middle class. For decades they have called Europe the bastion of socialism. Our young or now engaged with people from all over the world. When their Canadian friends get sick, they go to the doctor whether employed or not. When their German friend wants to go to college, they can do so affordably. They see a real safety net at work. In America’s brand of capitalism they see a group of men tank an economy, get bailed out by “we the people” and get bonuses. They see corporations raid employee pensions and go bankrupt — even as the incompetent executives get bonuses. They see that those that make no product or service prosper by moving capital as the young innovator’s ideas die or are stolen.
One of the reasons the Republican Party has been anti-education is that as voters begin to understand the present effect and the history of their policies, Republicans become less and less electable. Republicans are fighting a losing battle. Even their attempts at voter suppression have backfired. Mr. Bennett and his party have started to believe their own rhetoric, and have fallen into their own trap as middle class Americans are becoming immune to their basket of lies, misinformation and misdeeds.