What Is the Republican Party?

By Ed Kent

The withdrawal of the Republican candidate in favor of a Conservative party nominee in upstate N.Y. looks to be all too symbolic of more things to come.

I grew up in a liberal Republican family. Republicans in those days were decent people who supported the public interests and human rights in contrast with the Southern Democrats who were at the heart of American racism. Robert A. Taft, for example, who was defeated by Eisenhower in the Republican primaries, became a supporter of public housing projects when he discovered that private builders could not afford low cost housing construction. One project here in NYC is named after him.

One should note the game that Bloomberg and others are playing with the claim that they are supporting “affordable housing.” If one checks the specifics, one discovers that the bulk of this stuff is single rooms fit for seniors and very little, if any at all, for families. Such we discovered was the case with the luxury housing lease that St. John’s granted to a national builder in our neighborhood. So much for Cathedrals, too.

Back to the Republicans.

The withdrawal of the Republican candidate in favor of a Conservative party nominee in upstate N.Y. looks to be all too symbolic of more things to come. One is hard put to identify leadership of the Republicans. They seem to be unified only in their attacks on Obama and other Democrats attempting to reform our plutocracy which has nearly bankrupted our country – the Bush economic plan – lower taxes for the super wealthy and let corporations and large banks run wild in pursuit of profits – not earned but conned out of our deregulated financial system.

I constantly see and hear of comfortable luxury activities of our super wealthy while the rest of us fear job losses and pension and wage reductions. It is pretty clear which party is on what side. And furthermore our super wealthy largely control the media to which most people have access and so can sell their operations to those without access to the real facts.

Terror begins at home. There is no need for our enemies to do much more than let our country continue to suffer from the gross financial injustices promoted by the Republicans – or should we call them the Conservative Party now? This Conservative Party looks to want to save little more than the vast pay outs to its supporters. Perhaps there is no longer what we used to call a Republican Party? Words get terribly distorted from their original meanings these days – and maybe this is just one more instance of such misuse of language.

The answer to the subject question of this post is: “Who knows?

Have any bright ideas? If so please share them.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent is a retired philosophy professor from Brooklyn College.

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