Thursday, October 15, 2009

The 'Soul' of the Republican Party

In other posts I have mentioned the seemingly inexorable trend towards the destruction of the Republican Party.  I have said it almost seems like some evil plot by enemies of the party.  Perhaps that is so,  but I can not find any real evidence of  that.

Instead, it seems more like some ugly political suicide at the behest of the neoconservative far-right wing of the party, holding a gun on everyone else in the party.  The neoconservatives' implacably insist on their own brands of perverted dogma, 'nothing else, and nothing less, so help us God'.   The result is a radical shift far right which other factions of the party seem powerless to resist.   Core values and principles are abandoned wholesale and left bleeding by the side of the road.  Whenever any group so abdicates its core principles and its abrogates values to the prejudices of lowest common denominators, how can you not expect damage or destruction of the party? 

Many neoconservatives believe and say the 'soul of the Republican Party' today is represented by, among others,   popular talk show personalities Sean HannityBill O'ReillyGlenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  These figures broadcast through either Fox News or Clear Channel Communications, and often both.  Three of them (Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck) are catholic, or ex-Catholic in the case of Beck who has now converted to Mormonism.   I mention this because it seems to a trait among Catholics towards strictness and obedience to 'doctrinal truths'.  Extreme examples are the infamous 'inquisitions' during Medieval times in the 13th centry and the Roman, Spanish and Portugeuse inquisitions supremacy during the 16th century.

Between the four of them, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly, only one finished college (O'Reilly) with the others having dropped out early in their 'educational careers'.  At least two are or have been confirmed drug addicts (Beck, Limbaugh).   Beck has been accused of rape.  O'Reilly has been sued for sexual harrasment with the suit being settled out of court, reportedly for millions of dollars.

These people freely and deliberately engage in outrageous claims and flaming rhetoric, the more outrageous and sensational the better.  This seems hugely attractive to the lower educated classes in the country, many of whom accept their claims as gospel while disregarding realities.  There are strong anti-elite, anti-intellectual and anti-progressive currents running through all their broadcasts.  Due to their popularity among the rank and file who call themselves conservatives, Beck and Limbaugh are now the most highly paid people in broadcast media today, with a following of millions of Americans.

Since the repeal of the FCC's 'Fairness Doctrine' by President Reagan, social and political issues have become polarized  into opposite partisan camps, as a result of the influence of broadcast media on those who follow them.  Before its repeal, the Fairness Doctrine compelled broadcast media to offer the opportunity to present contrasting or opposing viewpoints.  The Supreme Court upheld its legality. However, it was an FCC rule and not mandated by legislation although Congress. 

Unfortunately for the Republican Party,  their media wing now seems to captured by special interest groups and dominated by the Fox Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications.  Each of these entities have their own agendas, neither of which is necessarily aligned with the interests of the American people, although they both stridently claim to do so.

Fox Broadcasting is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.   Murdoch hired Roger Ailes to create the Fox News Channel which he now runs and which is now the preeminent cable news channel in the country. 

Ailes was the media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Rudy Guiliani.  His specialty is political sensationalization.  He is the author of the  'Orchestra Pit Theory", saying:  "If you have two guys on stage and one guys says, 'I have a solution to the Middle East problem', and the other guy falls into the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?"

Clear Channel Communications owns over 1200 radio broadcast stations throughout the US, and dominates in many regions being the only stations available.  Their board of directors is headed by wealthy far-right neoconservatives, largely from Texas or Oklahoma.  At least one director (John H. Williams) is a member of the infamous Bohemian Club of San Francisco.

Oh yes, it is clear some decidedly slanted 'reporting' is going on here.   Much of it is duplicitous, deceitful, and created opinion masquerading as truth and reality and has swayed elections.  It is neither reality nor truth.  Americans are being deceived and the credibility of Republicans is being destroyed. 

Will the so-called 'Soul of the Republican Party' ultimately destroy the party?

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