The biggest group of supporters of the Republican Party isn’t the evangelical Christians, the rich white businessmen, or the white southern redneck.
It’s the elderly. Those over 65 years of age or so who were raised during times far more conservative than even those of the Bush years…people who fought hard for the future of their children in Europe, North Africa, Japan and Korea. People who respected Dwight Eisenhower as a military leader and people who watched Death Valley Days and it’s host with the calming, authoritative voice – Ronald Reagan. Of course, back then Reagan was a Democrat who championed the New Deal and the plight of less-fortunate Americans, especially the elderly.
Because these people worked so hard for their future and that of their children, they instinctively have become protective of such a legacy. The first mass departure of the elderly from the Republican Party was the result of the man whom they once respected so dearly – Ronald Reagan. When Reagan switched parties in 1962 he cited his fear of the takeover of our government by citing the fear of the government itself having too much control over our lives. The decline of the integrity of the words of Reagan began at the time when he proclaimed the proposed Medicare program was socialist. When Medicare became fact, the fears were proven unfounded as it substantially improved access to health care, allowed seniors to live longer, healthier lives, led to the desegregation of southern hospitals, and became one of the most popular government programs our nation’s ever seen.
The fears incited by the Republican Party of the day were soothed away by a new war and the turmoil of the 1960’s and older Americans began returning to the comforting fold of the Republican Party and Ronald Reagan as America returned to it’s conservative roots with the election of Richard Nixon.
Thus began the greatest shame of America – the paranoia of the Republican Party. Through the years of Nixon, Reagan and the Bush father and son, fear and the concept of fear grew to be the talking point of the party. Rather than intelligently debate alternatives to proposed legislation, the Republicans would rather return to the tactics of Reagan by instilling fear in the eyes of the American public to ramrod their paranoid policies through Congress and upon the freedoms we’ve always shared.
This fear brought us Gingrich’s “Contract with America”, wars in Kuwait, Iraq and Aghanistan, and the erosion of the world view of our country thanks to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the neocons of the world.
Today, the concept of fear has grown to a whole new level of shame. Our seniors need real answers on health care reform, and they’re not getting those answers from the Republican Party.
Rather than respond intelligently or cohesively to the President’s health care reform proposal, the Republican Party has dusted off the tried-and-true fear tactics in their response to health care reform – not by proposing an alternative but by attempting to scare others into thinking what’s proposed will drive the country to socialism, Marxism, or worse. Using tactics such as disrupting town halls, using the words of conservative bloggers, inane has beens such as Sarah Palin and her “death squad”, and Fox News to spread outright lies and misconceptions, the Republican Party is concentrating on confusing the message of health care reform by confusing and inciting fear into it’s supporters. Bombarding the internet with hateful, racist messages and images directed towards our President, the Republican Party has become a sham that would even make Ronald Reagan shake his head in shame.
If allowed to continue, this and this alone will result in the downfall of our country and it’s freedom.