The Republican Insurgency

The term “insurgency” is one usually associated with the Middle East and developing countries, but Noam Chomsky recently used it to describe the Republican Party in this country, and that sent me scrambling for a dictionary.  Apparently, the word must have some other meaning than the one I was used to.

No, I was right.

Insurgency:  “An insurgency is a movement within a country dedicated to overthrowing the government. An insurgency is a rebellion. Insurgencies are movements to overthrow governments.” [1]

Come to think of it, the idea that the present Republican Party is an insurgency is fairly obvious, and I don’t know why I was so surprised that I hadn’t thought to use the word myself before now.

In fact, the Republican Party is not only an insurgency, it is an armed insurgency.  As usual, the Republican Party has become the very thing that it wants you to fear.

Chomsky pointed out in an interview with Frontline [2] that Republicans have abandoned the pretense of functioning as a normal party. “Rather,” Chomsky says, “they have become a ‘radical insurgency’ that scarcely seeks to participate in normal parliamentary politics, as observed by the respected conservative political commentator Norman Ornstein of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute.”

Chomsky points out that after the Reagan years the leadership of the GOP has been so deeply invested in the rich and corporate sector that they can attract votes only by “mobilizing sectors of the population that have not previously been an organized political force, among them extremist evangelical Christians, now probably the majority of Republican voters; remnants of the former slave-holding States; nativists who are terrified that ‘they’ are taking our white Christian Anglo-Saxon country away from us; and others who turn the Republican primaries into spectacles remote from the mainstream of modern society—though not the mainstream of the most powerful country in world history.”

Recent statements by Donald Trump and others bear this out.

We are a nation of law.  We have always been a nation of law.  But if you look at what those on the right are continually saying, you would never know it.

When the Supreme Court ruled to allow same-sex marriage, there were presidential candidates on the right who claimed that the Supreme Court did not have the authority to do so.   The Bible superseded the courts, they claimed.  Donald Trump wants to create a religious test for entry to the country and all Muslims will be barred.  This is completely unconstitutional.  Every time a government official or department points to existing law as a reason for an action, there are those who try to portray existing law as our Muslim president ruling by fiat.

These ideas have widespread support on the right.

It is interesting, however, to really look at where that support comes from.  It comes from “remnants of the slave holding states,” the racist, history denying yahoos waving their confederate flags and ak47s and claiming that seceding from the Union and its Constitution was the best thing that ever happened in the south – after the institution of slavery, of course.   It comes from the “extremist evangelical Christians” who would much prefer to scrap the Constitutional laws which protect the separation of church and state and institute a new theocracy.  And it comes from the increasingly paranoid, aging white population that knows it is dying out as a power base and will do anything to remain in control.

These people are not interested in the legitimate political process that this country relies on to maintain order and provide for change in government.  They realize that they don’t have time for that.  If they don’t seize power now, they never will.  Demographics are turning against all of them.  These people are insurgents.  And they are arming themselves at unprecedented rates.  Americans bought enough guns on Black Friday to arm the Marine Corps.  Most of them believe they are arming themselves for self-protection because that’s what they have been told to do.  That is not why many of the leaders on the extreme right and in the corporate elite want them armed.

Now and then someone lets slip the phrase “protect ourselves from enemies, both foreign and domestic” when talking about the need to arm the populace.  The stress is on the “domestic;” and the implication is that the government is the “domestic foe.”  Insurgencies are movements to overthrow governments.

What is ironic about the use of this phrase is that it comes from the Oath of Allegiance that every immigrant must take to become a citizen.  Immigrants!  The Republican Insurgency is perfectly happy to quote the oath they would take if only that insurgency would allow them into the country in the first place!  It reads “that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;”   Support and defend the Constitution and the laws of America, not tear it down and ignore them.  Not arm the country to make it easier to overthrow the government.

A recent CNN/ORC poll gives us another insight into just who it is that promotes the nonsense being spread by the likes of Donald Trump.  In that poll Trump had 46% support from Republicans without college degrees.  Cruz had 12%; Carson had 11%; Rubio had 8%.

But when the poll looked at supporters with college degrees those numbers came back significantly altered.  Cruz had 22%, Carson and Rubio each had 19%, and Trump came in fourth at 18%. [3]

There are good reasons why the conservative right works so diligently to change history books, keep critical reasoning out of schools, and undermine public education.

An uneducated public is a gullible public.

Bernie Sanders often says that today’s college education is the equivalent of a high school education in the past.  There is way more truth to that than anyone would like to admit.

Donald Trump is always talking about how stupid other people are.  Have you noticed that?  Stupid leaders.  Stupid politicians.  You can’t believe how stupid they are.  But what he really lives for are “stupid” followers.

If you think the south will rise again, you might be a Trump follower.

If you think we need God in government, you might be a Trump follower.

If you think immigrants are trying to take your job, you might be a Trump follower.

If you think all Muslims are Jihadists, you might be a Trump follower.

If you think this country can, under our Constitution, ban Muslims from entering the country based on their religion, you might be a Trump follower.

If you think your government is coming to take your guns, you might be a Trump follower.

If you think political correctness is a bigger threat to America than climate change, you might be a Trump follower.

If you think America is no longer GREAT, and that Trump can make it great again, you are either deluded or you are just plain undereducated.

For months now the media has been preoccupied with a pretender who has no real interest in dealing with the actual issues facing this country.  He spews platitudes and lies to millions of gullible, undereducated, potential insurgents who think that he is the embodiment of American exceptionalism, a politically incorrect, self-made man who tells it like it is.  The reality is that he is a self-serving, fascist demagogue whose 15 minutes need to be up.

“It’s going to get worse and worse. You’re going to have more World Trade Centers.  It’s going to get worse and worse, folks.  We can be politically correct and we can be stupid, but it’s going to get worse and worse.” [4] Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Don’t be stupid.  I mean, I know how stupid you are or I wouldn’t be saying these things, but don’t you think you’re stupid or that will ruin everything.

We have to ban ALL Muslims.  “We have no choice. We have no choice. We have no choice…” [4] Say a thing enough times and it is truth.

Yes, people have been killed.  Killed by Muslims; killed by Christians; killed by blacks; killed by whites; killed by terrorists; killed by drunk drivers; killed by accident; killed by three-year-olds; killed by madmen.  In this country, people are killed all the time.  That’s what we do in this country.  Last year over 12 thousand people were killed by guns.  But we have no choice but to ban Muslims.  Guns are fine.  We need more guns.  Ban Muslims.

I have yet to see any indication that Trump understands anything about Islam, terrorism, or the place of the U.S. in the world today.  All I see is the constant rhetoric of fear.  Blame someone.  Buy guns.

It’s time to turn our attention to real issues and people who have the intelligence, education, experience, and willingness to deal with them.

While we have had to listen to hours of media discussion about Trump’s nonsensical ideas on banning Muslims and whether this is the final straw that will cost him the nomination, we’ve been ignoring the much bigger issues we have to face.  While Republican leaders have stoked the fires of fear and their followers have raced to arm themselves, ISIL has been cheering in the streets because this political diversion is accomplishing the terrorist’s goals for them.  This warmongering and Muslim hatred is exactly what ISIL wants, and people who actually understand how terrorism works know this.  Apparently Trump and the Republicans do not.  Or if they do, they are ignoring it in favor of political gain.

And that puts the national security of this country at risk.

In today’s world if you do not understand how terrorism works, how it is spread, and what its goals are, you are undereducated!  We don’t teach it in our schools.  You have to actually learn on your own.  The more you understand about how terrorism works and how it is spread the more you will understand that ISIL and the Republican Insurgency use the same tools.

And the more you’ll understand why Republican rhetoric is undermining this country’s security, not improving it.  If we really want to make America great again, we need to get rid of Donald Trump and discredit his rhetoric.

While Trump is telling us how stupid our leaders are and how Mexicans are rapists and how Muslims ALL want Jihad, there is no longer discussion about income inequality; there is ridicule of those who want to talk about climate change.  Wall Street mismanagement is forgotten.  Corporate interests are dancing in the aisles because everyone’s attention is just where they want it – not on them.

Remember how TPP was such a hot topic just a few weeks go?  When was the last time you heard about it on the “news?”  The government is on the brink of shutdown once again and the media can’t stop talking about the guy with the hair and how long he can stay in the race.

It’s time that responsible people took back the political conversation in this country.  You’re going to have to seek them out, though.  The media is not going to let go of this guy easily.

Your Humble Servant,
Roger A. Shipley, The Willowbrook Curmudgeon

4 thoughts on “The Republican Insurgency

  1. I think the line about selling enough guns on black friday to arm the marines was supposed to be hyperbole, but on black friday, the FBI ran a record 185k background checks, while the active personnel within the marines is 184k people. Granted, not all background checks are for guns, but also keep in mind that 40% of all gun sales in the US are through unlicensed sellers (again, this is a shaky statistic at best, but the only one I could find) makes all of this a bit scary.


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