There is an underlying culture here in the United States that actively works counter to the aims of democracy, and plays directly into the manner in which the Right maintains its hold on levers of power.
To any objective eye it is perfectly clear that the GOP is utterly devoid of answers, inspiration, or anything resembling policies that will take this country forward as the twenty first century advances.
Repeated doses of "more of the same", and when that fails, "even more" never seem to produce the wave of disgust that they deserve. Logically the GOP should be swept from power and consigned to the dustbin of failed policy, yet they are not, and that is the contradiction.
Let's jump the contradictory squiggly bit.
When cutting taxes increases the deficit and fails to yield more employment. Indeed, when doing so can be held to have increased unemployment one would expect that proposing yet more tax cuts would be simply laughed at.
When four thousand five hundred soldiers die in an unnecessary war, a war that had it's premise based on a mixture of false information and downright lies, one might hope that the culprits be asked to explain their decisions.
When schools are failing it would be reasonable to provide the resources necessary to make them the jewels they need to be.
When the entire health system is more than double the cost of any other system in the world, yet leaves nearly half the population with no health coverage, or insufficient coverage yet creates some of the wealthiest health providors in the world, then it would be simply normal to embrace root and branch reform.
When the activities of a few cause an economic collapse, threatening the livelihood and prosperity of all, it would be nice if there were some accountability. It would be normal for there to be some accountability.
Things are not normal.
All of the things above are simply the "State of the Union". They don't require extensive linking, they don't need me, the author, to provide evidence for my apparently "extraordinary claims". Such is the parlous state of this country, right now, that those matters are simply the conventional wisdom. That is the most shocking statement of all.
These terrible things, matters that should provoke anger in everyone, are normal. Accepted by many as evidence of a feckless population. A welfare culture. Just folk too lazy to work or not sufficiently motivated to rise out of poverty created by others.
Everyone can be a millionaire. There are jobs if you would work hard. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Quit moaning .... Loser!
As a fairly recent immigrant, I simply wonder why? Why do folk vote for the Party that openly seeks to continue "all of the above"?. It's not like they try to hide it. They have had a gagillion debates where, in each and every one, the potential nominees have not only expressed the above, they have doubled and tripled down, and still my Facebook friends, large sections of the media, and highly placed elected officials all parrot the tired old thinking that has any attempts to redress the balance labeled "Socialism".
You are damned right it's Socialism. We tried it your way and you responded by attempting to stick a probe up women's vaginas.
One of the most powerful reasons for wanting the State,nay, demanding that the State remain free of Religious influence is that most religions are based upon a male dominated, extreme authoritarianism. It starts, in the case of Christians, with the Bible. It is the Word of God. Period. That brooks no discussion, allows only the Pastor, Bishops, MEN of the Cloth to interpret the words. The words say men are in charge. The words say that Capitalism is good .... despite the fact that they don't, actually.
The teaching of our children is heavily influenced by this. What happens on Sunday is repeated Monday through Friday as school students are taught to pass tests. Tests which do not challenge anything much more that a recitation of facts, and the understanding of a few formula.
You have three hours, and as much paper as you need to answer the following question:
The United States of America is an Oligarchy destined to develop into a Theocracy. Discuss.
Marks will be given for your ability to assess the question and present logical argument either for or against the proposition. Grammar and spelling will only be penalized if such errors lend ambiguity, or lack of clarity to the points you make.
This doesn't really fit High School education, and neither does any question you can come up with that would demand a similar level of teaching and insight. So there it starts.
What we have here, folks, is a situation.
The Church is, broadly, the Republican Party at Prayer. I know lots of Liberals attend Church. They are not the ones I am referring to and anyway, they mostly, but not all, live in Blue States! Such is the influence exerted on the population, that we have taught the people to accept authority almost without question. If you break a motoring law, however minor and trivial, you get a ticket most of the time. It doesn't matter that you did nothing dangerous. It's irrelevant that the action had no consequences. The law is the law, and you broke it so that will be $100. Would you like a receipt?
Even when we know that the ticket was issued because the City needs the funds ... even then, if you complain you will be met with "Did you break the law?" It is not okay to question either the law OR the application.
So we end up with protestors being pepper sprayed for "obstucting the sidewalk". Does anyone other than me see a pattern here .... My friends do not. "They are lawbreakers. They broke the law and deserved whatever the consequences are".
Well the consequences are all of the things above. Failing education, shabby or nonexistent healthcare etc ...
In policy terms, a vote for the GOP makes no sense at all unless you are both extremely wealthy, and selfish. Everyone else who votes that way will be voting to reduce their own standard of living, while believing that the Democrats are the ones who want to do that to them.
Everyone who votes Republican will be just another example of their own ignorance (and I do not use the term pejoratively). Every one of you who points this out will have their opponents attack them with ad homimen and pejorative comments.
When you are attacked like that by someone in your own social circle then you will understand that they do this because it is all they have.
They cannot mount an effective social or economic argument, because there isn't one.
They cannot rebut your points with arguable counterpoints, because there aren't any.
They will not, and do not respond in any way other than with hate and bile, because they have never been taught how to ... and that is why education is failing, because it suits those in power.
It is how they hang on to it.