San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Republican Plank # 4: Constitutional Hypocrisy On Display

The Republican platform makes a huge deal about how they are the party of the Constitution.  Here is a part of what they profess to believe:
"We reaffirm the Constitution’s fundamental principles: limited government, separation of powers, individual liberty, and the rule of law. We denounce bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance. Therefore, we oppose discrimination based on race, sex, religion, creed, disability, or national origin and support statutes to end such discrimination. As the Party of Abraham Lincoln, we must continue to foster solutions to America’s difficult challenges when it comes to race relations today."
The Republicans profess to support limited government yet they make no substantive efforts to reduce the size and scope of government whatsoever.  As we have seen in previous posts, the Republicans oftentimes expand the size of the federal government more than the Democrats, especially when they are fighting their wars of imperial expansion.  Fiddling around with million dollar government spending projects does not get to the heart of the issue.  Federal entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting the country.  No Republican ever has, or ever will in my belief, propose the abolition of those programs.  If the Republicans really want to realize their stated goal of limited government they should eliminate all programs, bureaus and laws that do anything besides provide for defense of the homeland and judicial services for the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  In other words, the Republicans should become Libertarians.  There is a reason Republicans are not Libertarians and that reason is that they are socialists, just like the Democrats.  Unlike the Democrats, however, the Republicans pretend to be proponents of the Constitution and the free market.  That makes them hypocrites also.
Republicans love to wax eloquent about their concept of the "rule of law."  The rule of law that they worship is little more than an amalgam of an enormous body of rules, regulations and laws, many of which contradict each other and that frequently have nothing to do with morality.  The Republican's war on drugs is a case in point.  It is an abject failure.  It has cost hundreds of billions of dollars and destroyed millions of lives.  Yet Republicans persist in their mistaken belief that it is the business of the federal government to create laws about the drugs the citizens of this land choose to use.  Where, I wonder, is that to be found in their precious Constitution?
Just like the Democrats, the Republicans drag out their profession of faith in the right of the federal government to create privileged classes.  Despite the fact that it is diametrically opposed to the Constitution, the Republicans believe that certain members of various racial, sexual, religious, and ethnic sects have the right to special government privileges that the rest of us do not enjoy.  They proudly proclaim their allegiance to the "Party of Abraham Lincoln" with apparent ignorance of Lincoln's position on the noble black man.  Go here for the truth about Lincoln's opinion about blacks.
The Republican profession of faith in individual liberty is tough to swallow in light of the Patriot Act they drafted, enacted and continue to renew and enforce.  The Republicans profess their belief in the Fourth Amendment when they write, "Affirming the Fourth Amendment 'right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,' we call for strict limitations on the use of aerial surveillance on U.S. soil, with the exception of patrolling our national borders for illegal entry and activity. We oppose any attempts by government to require surveillance devices in our daily lives, including tracking devices in motor vehicles."  The plank about the Fourth Amendment is quite bizarre.  By singling out aerial surveillance as their prime example of a potential threat to our right to be free of government surveillance, the Republicans make a point that nobody is contesting.  I have never heard of anyone being followed around by a government airplane or helicopter.  The problem we have in this country is the total abolition of the Fourth Amendment when it comes to our right to be secure in our persons, possessions and papers.  I have written about this before here.
The Patriot Act is the most egregious recent example of the abolition of the Fourth Amendment by the hands of the Republicans.  It was thrown together after the events of 9/11 to give the federal government sweeping powers to spy on the citizens of this country and effectively abolish all Fourth Amendment rights of the citizenry.  According to this website, "The USA PATRIOT Act passed the Senate by a vote of 98 to 1.  Russ Feingold (D-WI), a strong civil libertarian who was unfortunately defeated in the 2010 election, was the sole opponent. The bill passed the House by a vote of 357 to 66.  Of the 66 constitutional defenders, 62 were Democrats, 3 were Republicans, and 1 was an Independent. Five of them--Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, Mark Udall, and Tom Udall--now serve in the Senate."  Where was the Republican opposition to a clearly unconstitutional new body of law?  It was nonexistent.
Maybe you believe I overstate the case when I assert that the Patriot Act eviscerates the Fourth Amendment and makes a mockery of anyone who supports it and also professes to be a constitutionalist.  Allow me to make my case with a series of quotations from my own blog:
  • From January 17, 2012:  The "Financial Crimes Enforcement Network" (FinCEN) is a branch of the federal government created by the Patriot Act designed to greatly expand the scope of government surveillance of your financial transactions.  The Federal government had been tracking your banking transactions for years prior to the establishment of FinCEN.  Banks are required to disclose any transactions involving cash in excess of $10,000.  Under the Patriot Act a wide variety of other financial transactions became subject to government scrutiny.  All financial institutions are required, under penalty of law, to report, in addition to large cash transactions, any transactions involving foreign banks or financial institutions as well as anything deemed "suspicious" under the terms of the Patriot Act.  All reports are sent to the FBI for processing. Failure on the part of a financial institution to comply with the terms of the Patriot Act are severe.  The FinCen website states that "the unauthorized disclosure of an information request or the content of a request is subject to a criminal fine of up to $250,000 and a term of imprisonment of up to five years." I just found a copy of the Annual Report of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.  On page 8 of that report they boast that they received in excess of 17 million bank secrecy act filings in 2011.  Like most branches of government, FinCEN has no way to measure success.  So, FinCEN has decided that the greater the number of filings, the more they are accomplishing their stated goal of combating the war on terror. Now here is where it gets interesting.  The FBI, where these reports are sent, employs 35,704 people.  Of those 35,704 employees, 13,864 are agents.  If every agent at the FBI worked exclusively on bank secrecy act filings each agent would be responsible for 1226 reports per year.  Assuming that each agent works 2000 hours per year, each agent would be required to complete an investigation on each filing every one hour and thirty eight minutes.  Anybody believe that is getting done? Let's assume that the FBI investigates none of the currency transaction reports and only examines the suspicious activity reports.  After all, that is where terrorist activities are most likely to be found.  Each agent would now be responsible for 104 separate investigations per year.  Assuming that each agent works 250 days per year this works out to roughly one investigation every two and a half days.  Does anybody believe that even a tiny percentage of these filings are being checked out?  Is it not immediately obvious that, despite the fact financial institutions are criminally liable for not submitting these reports, the FBI is investigating almost none of them?  The FBI should imprison themselves for this gross violation of the Patriot Act. Two sidelights of interest:  1)  If each filing was for a different citizen of this country (probably not the case), it would follow that one out of every 19 citizens of the US had a secret report about their finances filed with the government in 2011 and, 2) As far as I am aware, no arrests for terrorist activity have come out of any of the 17 million plus filings in 2011.  If 17 million filings leads to no arrests for terrorism, maybe the government is wasting its time and our money. 
  • From August 24, 2012:   The Patriot Act was passed in 2001, prior to Republican control.  The Patriot Act is the worst piece of legislation to be passed in this country since the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) in 1933.  Under the terms of the NIRA the federal government effectively socialized all of American industry.  It was a part of FDR's New Deal.  The Supreme Court had the constitutional courage to nullify the entire thing in 1935.  Republican control of the House, Senate and Presidency provided the perfect opportunity to nullify the Patriot Act.  The Patriot Act is patently unconstitutional.  It eviscerates due process.  It suspends habeus corpus.  It grants police state powers to the government in actions taken against its own citizens.  It provides for secret searches, secret evidence, secret hearings and secret trials against US citizens accused of terrorist activities.  In a word, it destroys the Constitution.  What did the Republicans do to stop this egregious expansion of government power?  Nothing.  In fact, they renewed it.  Thanks, Republicans.
  • From June 5, 2013:   National Security Letters are unconstitutional by definition.  They were created by the patently unconstitutional Patriot Act.  They are sent by the FBI to profit seeking companies for the expressed purpose of gathering intelligence information about the company's customers on behalf of the federal government.  By definition they invade the "persons and papers" of citizens of the SDA without the prior establishment of probable cause that a criminal act has taken place.  By definition they are issued without "judicial review".  That is just a fancy way of saying that they are issued without a warrant which is, of course, a direct violation of the 4th Amendment.  When a citizen of the SDA is being secretly investigated by the FBI it is illegal for the profit seeking company to inform the law abiding citizen that his papers and affairs are being scrutinized by these agents of espionage.  That, of course, is a direct violation of the 1st Amendment rights of the profit seeking corporation.  Everything about a National Security Letter is wrong, illegal, unconstitutional and immoral.  What I find absolutely amazing about this case is the fact that the violations of the 4th Amendment involved here are not even mentioned.  Apparently nobody involved in this case has the slightest clue that the 4th Amendment has been violated.  The entire cases revolves around the 1st Amendment and the prohibition against allowing the company that is being forced to turn over information about its customers to the FBI to inform its customers that they are being spied upon by their own government.   Although the 1st Amendment violation is egregious, it pales in comparison to the violation of the 4th Amendment that is taking place.  We have become so desensitized to the violation of our right to privacy that we are incapable of seeing it when it takes place right under our nose.  When a nation of sheeple gets to this point it is inevitable that government tyranny is right around the corner.  Expect secret arrests, secret trials and secret applications of punishment upon the citizens of this country in the near future.  Don't be surprised if your neighbor just disappears.  Most of all, do not answer your door when you hear a knock late in the night.  
  • From May 28, 2015:   The Patriot Act impacted investment brokers by making them subject to the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act.  As a result of the Patriot Act all brokers were suddenly made responsible for turning over private information about their clients to the government at any time and without probable cause.  Any broker who refuses to provide the desired information can and will be fined and imprisoned for a violation of the Patriot Act.  The net result is that all information collected by your broker about your personal financial situation is available to the various government agencies (NSA, FBI, CIA, TSA, HS, etc) at their whim.  To make matters worse, the poor broker is also forbidden from telling you that you are being subjected to an unconstitutional and immoral investigation by your own government.  If he does tell you about the fact that you are being spied upon he will be fined and imprisoned.  What is a broker to do?
  • From June 6, 2013:  The Patriot Act illegally and immorally dissolved the 4th Amendment and permitted the NSA, the FBI and all of the other alphabet soup "national security" organizations to spy upon our daily activities without the prior issuance of a warrant or the establishment of probable cause.  The one limitation put upon those who immorally operate under the Patriot Act was that they had to at least pretend that the activities they were spying upon were somehow related to "terrorist" activities.  So when the FBI monitors the activity in my checking account they would do so under the guise of watching me for money laundering because they suspect I am in cahoots with the imaginary terrorists they are fighting.  This new behavior strips away the pretensions of the Patriot Act.  No longer do the spooks have to at least pretend that they believe we are terrorists.  They can now spy upon us for no good reason whatsoever.
  • From July 17, 2013:   The Fourth Amendment was lost long ago.  This amendment gives you the right to be secure in your person, possessions and papers.  This right was lost in 1970 with the creation of the Bank Secrecy Act.  That act permitted government agents to secretly spy upon your bank accounts.  The act also made de facto government spies out of all bank employees as they were required to provide information to the feds about your personal and, what had been previously private, financial transactions.  The Patriot Act further expanded the alleged legality of government spying upon its own citizens.  The most recent revelations about government spying upon SDA citizens (see 6-5-13 and 6-6-13) is only the logical and rational expansion of government power and tyranny.  How do the citizens of this land react to the fact that their own government has set aside the protections of the Fourth Amendment and now regularly spies on their every deed?  Quinnipiac University conducted a poll from June 28th to July 8th in which they asked SDA citizens what they believed about government spying.  The results were reported in the July 11th Denver Post.   When asked "what concerns you more about the government's anti-terrorism policies, that they have gone too far in restricting the average person's civil liberties or that they have not gone far enough to adequately protect the country?"  an astounding 40% declared that the federal government has not gone far enough in its efforts to spy on SDA citizens.  An additional 15% said they thought present policies were just fine.  In other words, a clear majority of 55% of the citizens of the SDA believe that present Fourth Amendment violating policies are just dandy. 
Had enough?  Me too.  The Republicans claim to be defenders of the Constitution.  They are liars and hypocrites and they need to repent of their lies and hypocrisy.

Note to regular readers:  I am heading to the South San Juan wilderness in search of several elusive peaks.  I will return to this blog on August 29th.  While I am gone you might want to read the Democrat and Republican platforms for yourselves.  I believe you will see that what I have written in the past nine posts is right on the mark.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Republican Plank # 3: Gross Economic Ignorance On Display

In the economic portion of the Republican platform, under a section entitled "Fair and Simple Taxes for Growth," the Republicans state, "Republicans consider the establishment of a pro-growth tax code a moral imperative. More than any other public policy, the way government raises revenue — how much, at what rates, under what circumstances, from whom,and for whom — has the greatest impact on our economy’s performance. It powerfully influences the level of economic growth and job creation, which translates into the level of opportunity for those who would otherwise be left behind. Getting our tax system right will be the most important factor in driving the entire economy back to productivity."
Both Republicans and Democrats fiddle around with the tax code constantly.  Their various changes to the code usually have no impact upon the one item that is most important for the health of the economy.  That item is the total amount of federal revenues taken in as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.  The federal government is a gigantic parasite sucking the lifeblood out of the free and voluntary actions of millions of individual participants in the economy of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Insofar as the federal government takes more of that which is produced in the free market, the free market will suffer.  The less the federal government confiscates the more the free market can prosper.  The graph below shows how much money the federal government stole from the free market for the last four years of the administration of King George II and the first seven years of King Obama.  Notice any difference?



The simple fact of the matter is that neither Democrats nor Republicans are committed to reducing federal spending and, thus, reducing the need for federal revenues.  Career politicians are in the business of getting re-elected and remaining career politicians.  No person can remain a career politician in this envy filled land without promising billions of dollars of free stuff to the people who vote for him.  That guarantees that federal spending will never drop and that guarantees that federal revenues, regardless of what the Republicans might say, will never drop.  In a word, the Republicans are hypocrites.  They claim to reduce taxes but revenues remain the same and spending goes up, along with the national debt.
Under a section entitled "A Winning Trade Policy" we find the following economic mumbo-jumbo:
"International trade is crucial for all sectors of America’s economy. Massive trade deficits are not....We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first. When trade agreements have been carefully negotiated with friendly democracies, they have resulted in millions of new jobs here at home supported by our exports....We cannot allow foreign governments to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology. We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports."  Let's consider these assertions for a moment.
Republicans believe that trade deficits are bad for the SDA economy.  That belief is economic nonsense and the Republicans are too stupid to realize it.  A trade deficit, as the politicians like to define it, is any situation in which the SDA imports more goods from another sovereign nation than it exports to that sovereign nation.  Politicians hate trade deficits because they believe they are indicative of unfair trade practices on the part of the foreign nation.  In their infantile understanding of the economic world they believe that the citizens of the SDA buy more goods from another country only because that other country is subsidizing the production of those goods, thus costing the SDA jobs as domestic producers are unable to compete with subsidized foreign producers.  I have written about that nonsense before here.  The simple economic truth is that there is no such thing as a trade deficit.  Trade deficits can only theoretically exist when the person doing the measuring restricts himself to goods and services alone, ignoring the monetary side of the transaction.  When the SDA runs a trade deficit with another foreign country it also runs a currency surplus with that country.  When both sides to an economic transaction are taken into account (the goods sold and the currency used to make the purchases) there is never any imbalance of trade.  The concept of a trade deficit is a political construct only, it has no correspondence to the real world. 
The Republicans have adopted Donald Trump's concept of trade as an act of war.  That is not surprising given their love for the warfare state.  They refer to trade agreements with foreign countries in terms of "winning" and losing.  In true free trade both parties to the transaction are winners, otherwise the transaction would never take place.  It is only when political or military hegemony is involved that it is proper to describe a trade agreement in terms of winning or losing.  In the ignorant world of Republican economics, they believe a trade agreement is only good when it results in a surge in SDA exports, thus propping up SDA jobs and ensuring the continual re-election of Republican political candidates.
As is the case with everyone these days, the Republicans want to wage a trade war with China.  This plank accuses the Chinese of subsiding their domestic producers to the harm of SDA businesses.  Go here for a blog post that exposes the idiocy of that accusation.  Mittens Romney wanted to wage a trade war with China as well.  I wrote about the economic lunacy of that idea here so I will not restate the arguments against it in this post.  The Republicans also accuse the Chinese of "currency manipulation."  Go here for a blog post about that incorrect idea. 
For all of their talk about sound money, the Republicans are firm believers in the moral propriety of a central bank.  They dedicate a splinter of their plank on economics to discuss the Federal Reserve.  They make a big deal about the need for an audit of the Fed but take no steps to abolish that criminal institution.  Here are their own words about the Fed:
"Because the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions affect job creation, upward mobility for workers, and equitable prosperity, they should be transparent. Similarly, the Federal Reserve’s important role as a lender of last resort should also be carried out in a more transparent manner....The first step is through an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities. Such an audit would need to be carefully implemented so that the Federal Reserve remains insulated from political pressures and its decisions are based on sound economic principles and sound money rather than political pressures for easy money and loose credit."
The Federal Reserve is a criminal organization, pure and simple.  Go here for a post making that point.  If the Republican party truly wanted to establish sound money in this envy filled country they would abolish the Fed and allow the free market to establish the monetary standard.  That, of course, will never happen?  Why?  Because the Republicans, just like the Democrats, always spend much more money than they take in via taxes.  Republicans know that raising taxes costs them votes.  They also know that promising shiny things to their constituents buys them votes.  So they find themselves in the unenviable position of needing more money than they receive via taxation to pay for all their shiny things programs.  Where do they get that money?  From that wonderful institution the Republicans call the "lender of last resort."  Who is the lender of last resort?  The Federal Reserve.  You might think that an institution entitled the lender of last resort would actually make loans to all sorts of folks.  In this case the lender of last resort only makes loans to one person.  That person is the federal government.  Unlike the loans that you and I can obtain at profit seeking banks, which are at least partially backed by bank reserves, the loans issued by the Fed to the government are pure counterfeit dollars, with nothing more than hot air and printing presses backing them.
For all of their talk about free market economics the Republican platform is shockingly socialistic in nature.  That is why, once again, I am driven to just one word when I think of the Republicans.  That word is "hypocrite." 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Republican Plank # 2: More Pro-Empire Presuppositions

The Preamble to the Republican Party's platform is truly a piece of work.  The last blog post mentioned some of the outrageous claims made in it and I am compelled to critique more of it in this post.  Please consider the following political presuppositions advanced by the Republican Party of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika:
"Our economy has become unnecessarily weak with stagnant wages. People living paycheck to paycheck are struggling, sacrificing, and suffering. Americans have earned and deserve a strong and healthy economy.
Our standing in world affairs has declined significantly — our enemies no longer fear us and our friends no longer trust us. People want and expect an America that is the most powerful and respected country on the face of the earth.
The men and women of our military remain the world’s best. The have been shortchanged in numbers, equipment, and benefits by a Commander in Chief who treats the Armed Forces and our veterans as a necessary inconvenience.
The President and the Democratic party have dismantled Americans’ system of healthcare. They have replaced it with a costly and complicated scheme that limits choices and takes away our freedom.
The President and the Democratic party have nearly doubled the size of the national debt....
Every time we sing, 'God Bless America,' we are asking for help. We ask for divine help that our country can fulfill its promise. We earn that help by recommitting ourselves to the ideas and ideals that are the true greatness of America."
What is "our economy" and who is it, precisely, that owns it?  The Republicans have no clue how to answer those two questions.  The "economy" is not a living entity that can be managed and controlled by omniscient government bureaucrats.  The economy is nothing more than the combined activities of millions of individuals who come to the market freely to exchange the things they have created with other market participants.  It is not owned by anyone and it is by its very nature impossible to manage or control.  All that government can do when it comes to the economy of the SDA is intervene in a harmful fashion.  The best thing for government to do to the economy is nothing.  The Republicans promise to do a lot of things for the economy and none of those promises is the promise to do nothing.
The Republicans declare that real wages have stagnated.  Here is the truth about real wages:



Real wages at King Obama's first coronation were $35,752 per capita.  Today they are $38,894.  That represents a real increase of almost 9% and cannot honestly be described as "stagnant."  That means the Republicans will not hesitate to lie when constructing their platform.
The Republicans moan that "our standing in the world has declined."  What is their evidence for this assertion?  One of the primary bits of evidence for their position is that "our enemies no longer fear us."  Can any better evidence of the nature of the Amerikan Empire be offered up than this?  The Republicans see the world as consisting of friends and enemies.  Friends bow down and kiss the ring of the Emperor and enemies must live in constant mortal terror of our military might.  When sovereign nations around the world, like Russia under Putin, refuse to kowtow to the Amerikan Empire the Republicans throw a hissy fit and demand more money for the military.  Nothing short of perpetual war will satisfy the Republicans.  They are the party of the Empire and they want to be involved in constant wars of empire expansion.
The Republicans bemoan the present condition of the Amerikan war machine and call for more taxes upon the top 49% of the income population to expand the ability of the war machine to wage wars of imperial expansion.  Here is a list of the top 15 defense budgets for all the sovereign nations in the world:

Rank

Country Spending
($ Bn.)
1 United States United States 597.5
2 China China 145.8
3 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 81.9
4 Russia Russia 65.6
5 United Kingdom United Kingdom 56.2
6 India India 48.0
7 France France 46.8
8 Japan Japan 41.0
9 Germany Germany 36.7
10 South Korea South Korea 33.5
11 Brazil Brazil 24.3
12 Australia Australia 22.8
13 Italy Italy 21.6
14 Iraq Iraq 21.1
15 Turkey Turkey 18.2

How can any rational person say the SDA military forces are seriously underdeveloped in light of how much is spent in relation to the rest of the countries of the world?  Only a Republican can look at the above chart and make the assertion that SDA military forces are seriously underfunded.
The Republicans complain about Obamacare incessantly.  Although it is true that Republican Congressmen voted almost unanimously in opposition to Obamacare, it is also true that the Republicans want to replace Obamacare with some version of Republicancare instead.  Later on in their platform the Republicans describe what they want in Obamacare's place.  They write, "In its place we must combine what worked best in the past with changes needed for the future. We must recover the traditional patient-physician relationship based on mutual trust, informed consent, and confidentiality. To simplify the system for both patients and providers, we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to increase healthcare options and contain costs. Our goal is to ensure that all Americans have improved access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, including those struggling with mental illness....We believe that individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage should be protected from discrimination....Our aging population must have access to safe and affordable care. Because most seniors desire to age at home, we will make homecare a priority in public policy and will implement programs to protect against elder abuse."
Well there you have it!  The Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that looks a whole lot like Obamacare.  They support government intervention into all aspects of healthcare and there is no mention of allowing the free market to operate anywhere in their platform.  Throughout the entire statement about healthcare in the SDA the Republicans presuppose that it is the business and ability of government to regulate healthcare providers and insurers in such a way that the Amerikan people can be served better than the free market would serve them.  The Republican healthcare "system" is democratic socialism at its worst.
As usual, the Republicans complain that Democrats tax and spend their way into enormous amounts of national debt.  As I have shown in previous blogs, that claim is completely bogus.  Here is the truth:

Debt Increase By President

(Astute observers will note that the national debt figure for King Obama is for his first term alone.  Bringing his figures up to date indicates that he has presided over an increase in the national debt of 90%, or just about what his predecessor King George amassed.)
The Republicans conclude their Preamble by writing about how they proudly like to sing "God Bless Amerika" because they believe in some sort of god and get all misty eyed when they ask it for help.  The Republican deity believes that murdering tens of millions of citizens in various sovereign nations around the world in the name of empire expansion is a good thing.  Moreover, if the Republicans really believe in the God of the Bible, why have they made no attempt to do anything about the genocide that has been taking place in this country since 1973?  Oh, to be sure, they parade around their "pro-life" position to buy the votes of Evangelicals but those campaign promises are quickly forgotten once they are re-elected.  There is one word that describes the Republican platform quite well and it is "hypocrisy." 

Republican Plank # 1: Above All....Worship The Empire

To grasp the idolatrous nature of the Republican platform I must quote a portion of the Preamble:  "We dedicate this platform with admiration and gratitude to all who stand strong in the face of danger so that the American people may be protected against it —The men and women of our military, of our law enforcement, and the first responders of every community in our land —And to their families....With this platform, we the Republican Party reaffirm the principles that unite us in a common purpose....We believe in American exceptionalism.  We believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth.  We believe America is exceptional because of our historic role — first as refuge, then as defender, and now as exemplar of liberty for the world to see."  Once you have suppressed the urge to vomit, please read on.
All major political parties in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika believe in the moral propriety of the Amerikan Empire, so the Republicans are not unique in their unabashed worship of Amerikan military power.  They do, however, take Stateolatry (worship of the State) to a higher level.  We need go no further than the first three professions of belief in their religious profession of faith in the Amerikan Empire to find just how idolatrous they truly are.  Let's consider those three professions, along with the dedicatory, for a bit today.
The Republicans dedicated their idolatrous platform to a group of career bureaucrats and government employees they deem to be heroes, one and all.  They further presuppose that being an Amerikan is an inherently dangerous thing to be since the world is filled with stinkin' foreigners who hate us simply because we are Amerikans.  As a result, we need a host of people employed at taxpayer expense to protect us from those who are out to get us because they hate our freedom.  Soldiers, cops and some group called "first responders," whoever they are, are singled out as being especially worthy of our worship and tribute.
Being a soldier can be a worthy pursuit depending entirely upon what it is the soldier is called upon to do.  If a soldier is fighting a defensive and just war, truly protecting the citizens of the country he is called to serve, then he is worthy of our praise.  On the other hand, if the soldier is prosecuting an offensive and unjust war, expanding the empire around the world, he is guilty of murder or accessory to murder and should be harshly condemned for his actions.  I have yet to see an argument presented by any of the high priests of the warfare state that proves the current SDA military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq are defensive in nature and, therefore, just wars.  It necessary follows that soldiers involved in prosecuting the current wars of empire expansion in Afghanistan and Iraq are guilty of murder or of being an accessory to murder.  I, for one, will not be praising them as heroes or thanking them for their service.
Being a cop is similar to being a soldier.  If the cops are enforcing the law of God they are engaged in a noble career and can be praised, if one wishes to do so, for their work.  On the other hand, if the cops are enforcing laws that are immoral and contrary to the law of God, they should repent of their activity, resign from their posts and pray to God for forgiveness for what they have done.  As things are today the cops enforce and swear to uphold myriad God-hating laws that oppress and tyrannize the Amerikan people.  I, for one, will not be praising them as heroes or thanking them for their service.
The Republicans have many religiously held beliefs about the government.  The first one mentioned in their platform is, "We believe in American exceptionalism."  I am not going to recreate the wheel and post another blog article about the wrong-headed doctrine of Amerikan exceptionalism.  If you want to read the truth about that doctrine, go here, here and here.  When the Republicans declare Amerikans to be exceptional they are really saying that career politicians and military figureheads are exceptional because they have been able to sustain the most vicious, murderous and powerful empire the world has ever seen.  The Amerikan empire dominates the world as no other empire ever has, and they are downright proud of that fact.  Whether America should do these things is a question that is never asked.  Well, I will ask it.  Should Americans build and support the empire?  Answer:  No.
To be fair, there are several things for which the term "exceptional" is a fair term to use when describing Amerikans.  Amerikans are exceptionally fat. Amerikans are exceptional ego-centric and believe that only what happens to fellow Amerikans really matters in the world.  In addition, Amerikans are exceptionally unaware of world affairs.  Amerikans are also exceptionally unaware of economics.  Amerikans are exceptionally gullible and prone to believe the claims of junk science such as those proclaimed by the high priests of evolution and global warming.  Amerikans are profoundly exceptional in their patriotism when patriotism is properly defined as worship of the military and career politicians.  So yes, Amerikans can be considered to be an exceptional people but I do not believe that is what the Republicans mean.
The Republicans also "believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth."  That belief is both true and false.  The USA is unlike any other nation on earth in that it has the biggest military, is the first and only nation to use a nuclear weapon, incarcerates more of its own people than any other country and creates more capital than any other country in the history of the world.  In case you didn't notice, three out of those four items are bad.
On the other hand, Amerika is just like other nations around the world in so many ways. Amerika taxes its people excessively.  Amerika murders a significant percentage of its own citizens via abortion.  Amerika is filled with career politicians who lie, cheat and steal their way to power, only to tell us that we can't survive without them.  Amerika is thoroughly committed to the immoral principles of socialism and forces the unprotected political minority to pay the entire federal income tax bill.  Amerika rejects the law of God and glories in its post-Christian status.  I could go on and on here but I won't.  Amerika and Amerikans are not nearly so unique as they believe themselves to be.
The last belief quoted above is probably the most odious.  It says, "We believe America is exceptional because of our historic role — first as refuge, then as defender, and now as exemplar of liberty for the world to see."  Allow me to translate what is being said.  There may have been a time when Amerika was a refuge for foreigners looking for a better life.  I don't know.  I wasn't there and don't know enough history about those times to have an opinion.  For the benefit of a doubt I will grant the Republicans that point.
The belief that Amerika is a "defender" of "liberty" for "the world to see" would be strenuously opposed by those people living in the countries the SDA has defended, liberated and allowed the world to see.  Are the Iraqis better off today then they were under Saddam?  Are the Libyans better off today than they were under Qaddafi?  Are the Afghans better off today than they were under whoever it was they were under before the SDA military came in and blew their country to smithereens?  Will the Syrians be better off under the petty dictator installed by the SDA if and when Assad is assassinated?  The answers to all of those questions are a definitive NO! The same holds true for the citizens of Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Philippines, El Salvador and a host of other countries that have suffered the deadly consequences of being our "friend."  The SDA does not export liberty.  It exports a particular brand of SDA-empire hegemony and it is an odious and offensive thing to behold.  It harms, hurts, destroys and kills untold millions of foreigners, all of whom deserved to die according to the religious beliefs of true Republican patriots.
Make no mistake and contrary to Republican doctrine, Amerikans are some of the least free people in the world when freedom is measured by the ability to simply do what you want to do with what belongs to you.  I have blogged on this topic hundreds of times and will not repeat myself here.  The labyrinthine state has taken away the great majority of our personal freedoms and we are all living in a state of vassalage to the omnipotent and beneficent federal government of the SDA.  We are not an exemplar of liberty, we are an exemplar of the Leviathan state and the proper way for its subjects to pay it homage.  Oh, by the way, if we are such a defender of the downtrodden, why are we not at war with North Korea?  I have answered that question but you will have to go here to find the answer.
The Republicans begin the construction of their statement of religious beliefs about the State with several examples of adoration of the State.  That is good practice for a religion.  To be a good Republican you must adore the empire and those who cause it to function.  The problem for Republicans, and the Evangelicals who populate it, is that God is a jealous God and will not tolerate the worship of idols.  As with the Democrats I have one word for the Republicans....Repent!