For several years, Teapublicans, especially white pre-Baby Boomers, have fondly remembered the days of their childhood when life was simple. When they could gas up the 57 Chevy for $3.00 and cruise Main St. all night. It was a white-dominated Father Knows Best society of tidy neighborhoods with white picket fences.
Now those same Teapublicans seem determined to take us back to that era.
They cant seem to grasp that those post-war days are really gone. Those days simply cant, and wont, be duplicated. Moreover, Teapublicans cant seem to grasp the cultural dynamics that created the era they so fondly remember. It was an era of union-based manufacturing jobs that paid well enough to allow Mom to stay home with the kids. It was an era of small retailers, instead of big box chains; of neighborhood diners, instead of fast food chains. It was an era when everyone understood the importance of government and of working together an attitude necessary for the defeat of Hitler and Hirohito. And it was an era when most of the products we used were made in the USA.
What these nostalgia-loving Teapublicans too easily forget are the seamy underpinnings of that era. African-Americans were segregated and denied the vote. Women were left out of business and politics. Young women were disdained and abandoned if they were unlucky enough to get pregnant before marriage. They were not allowed to attend school. Many were sent away to religious schools to be rehabilitated and have their babies in seclusion before giving them up for adoption. Many were simply barred from leaving home so the neighbors wouldnt find out that they had become fallen women. If they chose to keep their babies, they received no child care payments. And if they didnt want to have their babies, their choices consisted of tumbling down stairs, coat hangars, lye or back-alley butchers.
Yet the Santorum and Gingrich led Teapublicans want to revisit those days. Indeed, the policies being pushed by these candidates may well turn the way back clock back past the 60s and 50s, past the horrors of World War II, past the Great Depression, and past the Roaring 20s…all the way back to the 1800s, the days of Robber Barons. A time prior to the formation of the middle class. A time when there were no safety nets for those who were down on their luck. A time when rich industrialists ran everything, and when everyone else slaved 7 days a week to scratch out an existence.
Lest you think I exaggerate, consider the following legislative initiatives and proposals: All of the Teapublican candidates are on record as saying they would cut taxes, especially for the rich and for large corporations. They would eliminate capital gains taxes for the wealthy. At the same time, they would raise taxes on the poor. They would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act making it impossible for tens of millions Americans to afford health insurance. And they would cut or destroy Medicare and Social Security.
They would drastically cut government, eliminating the Departments of Education and Commerce at a time when our economy is just beginning to show signs of recovery. They would eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency allowing large corporations to pollute our water and air at will with no consequences. They would continue or increase oil subsidies under the GOPs drill, baby drill mantra. At the same time, they would eliminate subsidies for sustainable sources of energy.
They would likely start yet another war by attacking Iran, unleashing a torrent of hatred from the entire Muslim world and destablizing the Middle East and most of Asia. They would deny women the right to control their own bodies, even making it more difficult to obtain contraception. And perhaps most alarming of all, they would weaken the Constitutional separation of church and state.
Interestingly, despite the Teapublican candidates promises to shrink the federal government and cut the national debt, their fiscal policy proposals would actually increase the national debt according to the non-partisan US Budget Watch, while President Obamas proposals would begin to shrink the deficit!
Even if youre not a progressive as I am, a trip backward in the Teapublican time machine has to be an alarming prospect for all but the most right wing religious zealots.