Thursday, June 16, 2005


The Republicans are deeply into historical revision these days.

They claim Thomas Jefferson was a Republican. This of course is a play on words--not to mention a bald face lie. Thomas Jefferson was a Democratic-Republican. This was the orginal name of the Democratic Party, the Republican part being dropped later on. (Pity the modern Day GOP, the so-called "Party of Lincoln," doesn't adopt Jefferson's take on organized religion which was HIGHLY critical of revelation based religion in general. This after all was the same President who once quipped that he would like to gather together the evangelical leaders of his day for a weeklong debate about doctrine and practice in the that they would "mutually exhaust themselves and disappear from the face of the earth forver.")

On the otherside of the fence you had the Federalists as represented by Alexander Hamilton who believed in a stronger central government. The party that we think of as the Republican Party wasn't created until the middle of the 19th Century in the years prior to the civil war. Indeed, the State of Wisconsin, where I presently live, is a serious contender for one of the historical birth places of the GOP. As a matter of practicality, the parties have more or less reversed the positions that they held at the time of the Civil War. Believe it or not, during the mid 19th Century, the liberal, anti-slavery Republicans were advocating stronger central government while the bigoted, slave-whupping, conservative Democrats from the South were advocating States Rights and slavery.

Today the states rights, Bible thumping, gay-bashing, bigoted south is still just as rapacious as it was during the 19th Century only it is now doing so under a Republican Party which has backstabbed the memory of Lincoln and become the party of Jefferson Davis, while the Liberal Democrats have adopted the positions of the 18th Century Federalists and 19th Century Liberal, Abolitionist Republicans.

Just one note.

The beliefs that the Conservative Southern Democrats held during the 19th Century were finally recognized as treasonous. And now that the Republicans have adopted those beliefs....You get the drift.

Of course, the dirty little secret behind the Southern Confederacy was that their system of government didn't work. When push came to shove Jefferson Davis became a virtual dictator, preaching states rights but practicing centralized control to run the war effort. Which raises another point--when taken to its absurd extreme, Confederacy devolves into a kind of feudalism which requires a repressive strong man to bring order out of chaos.

Kind of like what we see with Bush and his cronies today. They talk states rights and individual libteries, but for all intents and purposes the federal government has been centralized in the Federal executive branch, the Congress and the Judiciary becoming increasingly less powerful, with a disproportionate amount of power located in the hands of the Emporer..ur ah President. Powers once delegated to the people or the states nowflows into the grasping clutches of George W. Bush, whose addiction to power has replaced his addiction to cocaine and alcohol.

Point being, the idea of strong central government is hardly dead. Big government is alive and well in the hands of the so called "states rights" Republicans. Leave it to the GOP to utilize the rhetoric of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis while the employ the tactics of Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini.

Which brings me to my next point. The 20th Century was indeed a bloody period in human kind. But lety's not loose track of reality here. There's a hell of a difference between a Strong Cental Government as proposed by Franklin Roosevelt and the kind of imperial power lust that we saw in Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. You really need to wonder about the limitted intelligence of anyone who would try to lump Hitler, Stalin, and American Federalism into the same category. Especially when you consider the fact that it was America, under FDR, a Strong Central government Democrat, which led the battle against Fasict Italy, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan--governments, which by the way, came from the right side of the political spectrum.

And if anyone out there has read a wonderful book called Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred, by John Lukacs, you might want to put Stalin on the right wing side of the spectrum too. According to the author, Lenin and Stalin merely continued the policies which had been followed for hundreds of years by the very conservative Tsars and the Russian Orthodox Church. They merely carried out their policies in the name of Communism when in fact they were nothing more than your typical, run of the mill nationalists. That's right. Lenin and Stalin, for all their empty rhetoric about workers rights, equality, and a worker's paradise, were little more than Russian nationalists. For all intents and purposes they (Stalin in particular) ruled as any other right wing dictator. Yup. The 20th Century was a bloody time in our history--but only because right wing, power craving kooks like the ones we have in office today thought that Empire building and nationalism were better values than Representative government and good old-fashioned patriotism.