I can’t shake the suspicion that the Republican Party has been infiltrated by characters who plan to plunder the American treasury. I know it sounds preposterous. I know I should respect opinions that disagree with my closely held beliefs. And I recognize the right of conservatives to pursue their political goals, however much these goals might conflict with my own.
But there is a pattern in recent Republican policies that stirs my deepest fears.
I am not talking about the relentless assault on women’s rights, or the bigotry displayed in anti-immigration and anti-civil rights legislation. I am not talking about the racist witch hunt targeting Attorney General Eric Holder or the scandalous disrespect of America’s first black president.
I even acknowledge the reasoning that makes conservatives want to shred the social safety net. I do not agree with it, of course, but I recognize a kind of ice-cold logic behind it.
I think it is morally reprehensible to lower taxes on the richest Americans while subjecting the poorest to hunger and hopelessness. And I deplore the barriers Republicans are imposing to block their victims’ path to redress through the ballot box. But while this kind of policy is morally reprehensible, I don’t see it as financially benefiting individuals who might be criminals.
The kind of policy that stirs my suspicions is the party’s crusade to deregulate the financial industry. (I also smell a rat in in the persistent pattern of bailing out the big banks after massive – and possibly contrived – disasters. But I have to concede that Republicans are not alone in this; some Democrats also seem strangely eager to funnel public funds into this bottomless pit.)
Another policy that smells to high Heaven is privatization.
By turning over the operation of prisons to private companies, for example, state governments are making some people extremely rich.
Now there are those in Congress who would close the United States Post Office and entrust the distribution of the public’s mail – including such essential things as checks and medicines – to private interests.
What a massive coup that would be!
I can’t even imagine the amount of money involved.
And I am sure the result of privatizing the post office would be higher mailing costs for us – much higher.
Other side effects would include depriving remote areas of mail service as only the most profitable routes would be retained.
Obviously privatizing the post office would not be in the interests of the American public. So why do it?
The answer could be ideological, I suppose. Privatization would be one way to get rid of the union and union busting is a favorite Republican tactic. But I think there might be more to it than that.
The real motive might be to enrich some very influential people. Again.