This article ended up consisting of similar / disjointed / loosely related parts that illustrate a larger point.

1. You are a Republican if…

In a bid for unity and outreach to others who might share conservative Republican values, possibly even without realizing or being willing to admit it, friends from a nearby mining town in the mountains, made famous in a long-running NBC television series in the 1960s, started collecting contributions in the form of filling in the rest of the sentence, You are Republican if…

Events since the election and inauguration of President Trump, the bitter rear-guard action of NeverTrumpers, RINOs and other “Republicans” have left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth, and I am betting I am not alone. And so my contrarian streak kicked in, with fragments for completing that sentence as follows:

You are a “Republican” if you…

  • think that being the opposition is fun, but governing is too difficult and not worth the effort — and the risk.
  • too are for socialism, but slower.
  • are for big government crony capitalism.
  • think of the Constitution as a quaint old document to wave under the gullible voters’ noses during the campaign, then ignore both when elected.
  • obey the donor class, not the people.
  • just itch to be accepted as part of the establishment.
  • think of the Democrats as the Party of Ideas, and think of the Republicans as the (in)competent managers of the mess.
  • think that a penalty for not buying insurance is bad, but a 30% surcharge on premiums is OK.
  • think that offering a tax credit in exchange for buying insurance appeals to people who can’t afford to buy insurance or make enough to pay taxes.
  • think that covering every imaginable perversion is not OK, but basic essentials such as lab work should be optional.
  • think that lobbyists should write bills, but doctors should not even be asked.
  • think that tinkering is the same as repealing, and
  • think that repeal won’t do because it’s the  government’s job to design and run the nation’s health care industry — not just the insurance but the delivery of care.

2. If a Republican… / If a Democrat…

On a slightly more serious note, consider this, from
Jeff Foxworthy: On Republicans and Democrats –
https://gopthedailydose.com/2016/04/16/jeff-foxworthy-republicans-democrats/

  • If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
    If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
  • If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
    If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
  • If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
    If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
  • If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
    If a Democrat is down-and-out he wonders who is going to take care of him.
  • If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
    A Democrat demands that those they don’t like be shut down.
  • If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
    A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
  • If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
    If a Democrat decides he needs health care, he demands that the rest of us pay for his.
  • If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
    A Democrat will delete it because he’s “offended.”

3. Please translate what happened with RyanCare / RINOcare

A friend sent that request, prompted by the tragicomic circus over Paul Ryan’s bill to “repeal” 0bamacare, and contents of the PDF file
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/4f82iy7d92u0c3a/AmericanHealthCareAct.pdf?dl=0

I found myself banging out an answer that I really am bothered by, but here it is.

Translate RyanCare? Here goes.

  • The GOP is the party that destroyed States Rights militarily.
  • The GOP is the party that carried Manifest Destiny to its logical end.
  • The GOP is the party that espoused the era of progressive big government and guided it to prominence.
  • The GOP is the party that responded to FDR’s New Deal (that is, watered down communism / fascism) with the response, “Socialism? Me too, but slower.” After 80 years, nothing changed their minds. Because:
  • The GOP is the other party to the establishment formed by entering into the cozy arrangement whereby the Democrats will be the party of ideas (provided by Karl Marx, but shhh, don’t say it out loud) and the Republicans will be the party of competent managers called in once in a while from the world of big corporations to run the government after the Democrats made too much of a mess of it.
  • Reagan tried but mostly failed to correct this arrangement. He called for and sparked a realignment of the parties, with conservatives in the GOP and liberals in the Democrat(ic) party. The Bushes pretended to continue Reaganism but of course betrayed Reagan’s legacy and replaced it with “compassionate conservatism” that only further expanded entitlements and the nanny state, and joined with the Democrats in marginalizing the TEA Party and anyone who has the temerity of even mentioning the Constitution and original intent.
  • And now an arrogant statist establishment, populated for decades by deeply embedded equally arrogant statist government employees protected by Civil Service and the government employee unions, engages in overt defiance and sabotage of the President.

President Trump has to figure out how to win a game of “heads I win, tails you lose.” We the people have had it with 140 years of progressivism and 80 years of New Deal.

4. You are a conservative Republican if…

Well, conservative and other Republicans in Nevada heartily approved issuing $750M in state bonds as the state’s contribution to the building of a football stadium to facilitate moving the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. They hiked the room tax in Las Vegas as a way to reimburse the state. Another $1B or more is to come from private sources. What is interesting if not shocking is that “small government” “free enterprise” “Republicans” are OK with entering into a public-private partnership. What’s even more interesting if not shocking is that nothing in the NV Constitution can be read to authorize such an undertaking.

I for one would expect a more purist attitude, cognizant of the fact of philosophical continuum between the laissez-faire free enterprise on one end and totalitarian communism on the other:

free enterpriseregulatory statecrony capitalismfascismsocialismcommunism

  • Free enterprise — people engage in free market activities at their own risk.
  • Regulatory state — government oversight imposes limits and other requirements on those activities.
  • Crony capitalism — government dispenses economic favors to friends and political allies.
  • Fascism — private ownership in title only; government dictates every detail.
  • Socialism — government ownership of major means of production (large corporations), grudging tolerance of heavily regulated small businesses.
  • Communism — government ownership of all property, no tolerance of any private property of any size — large corporations, small businesses, homes, cars,…

But even conservatives and other self-described constitutionalists and Republicans all too easily cast aside, dismiss any hint of philosophical / constitutional purity with the gleeful rubbing of hands in anticipation of all the money the county and the state will rake in from the tourists — while the state will own a stadium financed mostly with private money.

Nobody, well almost nobody, stops when people like me scream, the state is not allowed to own private businesses!!!

No; superseding all the nice bromides about the Constitution, free enterprise, small government, low taxes, etc., is the even more fundamental human conviction that, if government is a necessity, if we have to put up with it and support it with taxes, then by damn it might as well work for ME.

This attitude finds expression at all levels of government. At the local level, small businesses expect the city to pay for renovating sidewalks and store fronts to attract pedestrian traffic. Developers expect counties and states to pay for roads and highways to serve new industrial or residential developments — after being given tax breaks and other subsidies to attract those developments, after their tenant companies are given similar tax breaks and subsidies to locate there. Insurance companies demand that the feds reimburse, subsidize and give them tax breaks when the insured cannot afford their premiums. Everybody wins except the taxpayers. There is no incentive for government to resist such demands on constitutional or legal grounds because all they see is the potential for vastly increasing tax revenues.

———

So, you are a Republican if… you can handle all these contradictions, all this baggage? How is this any different from being a Democrat?

See also
111. What’s A Republican?
162. Why I Am A Republican
184. Republican Party Unity
186. Republican Party Unity (part 2)

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