What does it mean to be for America? Only when we can answer that can we understand what it means to be un-American. Of course, the very idea of un-American is battered and tarnished, especially in the minds of those on the political Left. The reason for this lies in numerous examples of civil rights abuses in the name of rooting out Un-American activities, such as the vicious misconduct and tyranny of the Palmer Raids and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Declared historical, patriotic crusades have been carried out to suppress organized labor, dissent and opposition to war. George Bush, with the connivance of too many Democrats brought us a well produced reprise of this sort of thing after 9/11. Ironically, those who usually stand most quickly to point and shout "Un-American!". have their muddy boots firmly planted on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, not to mention common sense. Freedom Fries, anyone?
Still, I retain a strong conviction that such an idea as "Un-American" exists. I believe it possible for both individuals and groups to believe in ideas and try to achieve political goals that are fundamentally Un-American. I believe my conviction springs from a lifetime where I have felt strongly patriotic and pro-American.
Come out into the tall grass for a few thoughts about the most dangerous, Un-American force in the country today, the anti-American modern GOP.
I am a veteran, white, male, Caucasian who is 97% old enough to qualify for Medicare. My two attorney household will pay a higher marginal tax rate on the upper tip of our income when Bush's execrable tax cuts for the wealthiest earners expire at the end of 2012. On paper I look like a storybook Republican and Romney voter. If I was also a churched person, it would be game, set match, GOP. On paper. When I scrutinize the Romney campaign's messaging I often feel like they are trying to connect to people who are a lot like me, except maybe the life long Democrat thing.
That connection could never happen. I am pro-American. Most of my cars have had U.S. nameplates. I like to buy local. I love baseball. With all her faults and her colorful and checkered past, I love America. That connection can't happen because Mitt Romney's modern GOP has become a dangerously Un-American force. More than ever, our President and most Democrats are America's last line of political defense against GOP Un-American madness.
It would be classic Rovian (remember, we hate him because his stuff too often works), topsy-turvey politics if President Obama and the Democrats would start to flatly accuse the Republicans of being Un-American.
The Republican income tax plan to promote further imbalance of income inequality in America is fundamentally Un-American. America's great eras of progress, in the general welfare that the Constitution commands government to promote, have always come on the heels of reforms against such excesses by the moneyed classes. America does best when the very wealthy pull their commensurate share of the load. Instead, modern Republicans want to double down on discredited supply side ideas everyone knows don't work, except to fill diamond encrusted pockets with platinum plated cash.
The Republican plan to expand the United States' imperial boot print on the World by force is fundamentally Un-American. The United States was established as a nation with nearly unlimited continental ambitions and interests, and certain hemispheric designs, but a country with little taste or purpose for imperial World conquests. Now, despite President Eisenhower's warning, the entire GOP (plus too many Democrats) see the federal government as little more than a tool to collect revenue and borrow money to purchase ever larger quantities of munitions and pick more fights while sustaining useless foreign emplacements of fleets and legions.
The Republican plan to internationalize American elections by tolerating unlimited secret contributions by foreign corporations is fundamentally Un-American. The Citizens United ruling has opened American elections to foreign influence as never before dreamed of. Modern Republicans have no more respect for the importance of international boundaries than they do for any other rule of law. Their governing philosophy is to revere commercial exploitation above all else. They obstruct any effort by the federal government to promote the general welfare, conveniently forgetting that doing so is one of the purposes for which America established its unique form of government.
Too many Republicans have become transparently phony patriots. They love war but ignore the troops and veterans. They picture our country as an international bully that our Founders would never recognize rather than a member of a community of sovereign nations which is the actual fact of the matter. They pursue every chance for short term political effect while conscientiously ignoring long term national necessities.
Republicans are Un-American.