As a history teacher, there are few periods in all of World or American history that I like as much as I like the Enlightenment. While it did not always succeed in its lofty goals, the idea that an entire wave of people would seek to live their lives according to reason fits quite nicely with the subtitle of this particular blog. Of course, one of the finest examples of an Enlightenment document comes in the form of our very own U.S. Constitution, which begins with the familiar words of the Preamble:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
In the weeks and months just past, state and national Republicans have put forth a variety of views as to what exactly it means to be "We the People" in these great United States of ours, and some of those views have been conflicting. We have seen "Personhood amendments" in both Mississippi and Wisconsin that attempt to define "We the People" as existing from the moment of conception. Mitt Romney, speaking at the Iowa State Fair this past August, expressed the idea that corporations are people, as well. So it has become a little bit difficult to determine just who is or is not an actual person, and therefore protected by the rights and freedoms expressed within our beloved U.S. Constitution.
Fortunately, Bang The Buckets has obtained a copy of the Platform of the Republican Party for 2012. Now, if you search for this online, you won't be able to find it just yet -- the best you'll be able to do is the platform from 2008. Thankfully, Bang The Buckets has a host of anonymous and imaginary sources with close ties to the Republican Party, and one of them was willing to speak to me on the condition of remaining anonymous and imaginary. Using the 2008 model which you all can access online, this new section comes right between the 2008 section of "The Democrats plan to raise your taxes" and "The Failed Model of Employer-Employee Relations." The party platform for 2012 clearly spells out the Republican position, and it is my pleasure to share it here. The new section is called, appropriately enough, "Personhood."
See blow the orangish squiggle for more.
America was founded on, and has flourished under, the idea that "the people" shall decide what is best for the nation. However, a number of "the people" have chosen to disagree with the Republican Party. As such, it has become necessary to re-define "the people" in a way that more naturally fits with the ideals of the Party. Upon securing the Presidency in 2012, we solemnly swear that those who annoy us shall be deprived of their right to do so, at least via political means.
To this end, the GOP shall define "the people" as:
- The unborn. "The people" shall be defined as beginning at the moment of conception, and the unborn shall therefore be entitled to all of the rights and privileges of those who had been born and living during the years of the first Reagan administration -- that is, they shall be guaranteed life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and lower taxes (be those taxes due to income, inheritance, or capital gains.)
- Those humans who have founded a corporation or serve on the Board of Directors of a corporation. (Please note: Those who work for a corporation are not included in the GOP definition of "the people.") Such members of "the people" shall be entitled to certain unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the ability to lobby those "people" listed in #3, and the right to use tax loopholes to shirk fiscal responsibility while holding assets in offshore accounts.
- All elected officials who currently find themselves to be a member of the Republican Party. These members of "the people" shall be entitled to certain rights, as well -- namely life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the ability to sabotage the workings of United States Government if they don't happen to get their way on a given issue. Membership to the GOP is essential -- those that caucus with or vote with the Republican Party as a matter of principle are not included in the GOP definition of "the people" -- sorry, Joe Lieberman. Those who consider themselves to be members of the TEA Party shall be counted twice.
Membership into one or more of these groups is essential to be one of "the people" as far as the Republican Party is concerned. Those who do not fit one of the above three categories (those entities formerly known as "the people," which shall now be known as "the born") shall find themselves denied of basic rights which had been previously enjoyed by those entities formerly known as "the people," as follows:
- Upon birth, all expectations of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and lower taxes shall be denied to those entities formerly known as "the people". Rights they enjoyed while they were unborn shall be rescinded, to wit:
- The GOP shall lessen their chances of life by making sure the majority of them cannot afford or have access to healthcare.
- The GOP shall lessen their chances of liberty by restricting their voting rights through a series of Voter ID initiatives, and by using state and local police to break up any semblance of what in the past has been deemed to fall under the loose term of "peaceable assembly."
- The GOP shall lessen their chances of a pursuit of happiness by ensuring that the only jobs available in the United States of America are those that do not pay a living wage nor offer benefits such as health insurance. The goal is to make certain that 99% of "the born" (again, those entities formerly known as "the people") work jobs that they find just rewarding enough that they are afraid to leave them, but not so rewarding that they actually have a chance to build a better life. If possible, "the born" should be able to work two or even three jobs and still not be able to build a better life.
- The GOP shall seek to lessen the chance that "the born" shall enjoy lower taxes by shifting the tax burden from those who found corporations, those who serve on the Board of Directors of corporations, and those who are already elected politicians of the Republican Party to those who are least able to afford to pay them.
Those entities formerly known as "the people" (that is, "the born") shall remain deprived of those rights until or unless they either a) found a corporation; b) serve on the Board of Directors of a corporation, or; c) get elected to office as a member of the Republican Party. Upon completion of any of these things, either singly or in combination, that entity shall leave the ranks of "the born" and return to the ranks of "the people" with all rights aforementioned restored in full.
- *Addendum: During election years, certain members of "the born" shall be granted a temporary license to think of themselves as "the people." These members include--but are not limited to:
- Those among "the born" who are pro-life.
- Those among "the born" who own guns, hunt, or value gun ownership.
- Those among "the born" who are profoundly religious, provided that the religion in question is Christianity.
- Those among "the born" who are homophobic. For this purpose, 'homophobic' shall be defined as those who are against same-sex sex, unless it comes as part of a hot threeway; the notion of same-sex love shall be discarded as impossible.
- Those in favor of small government. For this purpose, that shall be defined as those who are willing to spend exhorbitant amounts of government money, but only upon those things that are important to the Republican Party or those things that help keep the Republican Party in power.
- It is understood that the GOP shall convince any and all of the above to vote for members of the Republican Party during an election. Upon the conclusion of the election, the temporary license for the above groups to consider themselves "the people" shall be revoked, and they shall revert to being just another member of "the born."
Observance of these basic rules and principles will help to ensure that members of Groups #2 and #3, as listed above, will be able to retain political control for as long as possible, even if such control is maintained to the detriment of "the born." As members of Group #1 as listed above are not capable of speaking, members of Group #2 and especially Group #3 shall speak on their behalf, even if they do not always speak accurately.
Again, the above is only an excerpt, but as we head into an election year, I must say I am both surprised and appreciative that the Republican Party was willing to put their position into such blunt terms, and I am thankful for my anonymous and imaginary source for providing this information.
Of course, as any educated reader will know, the GOP platform as it exists above violates portions of the United States Constitution. But then, if we look at Nixon's "secret war" in Cambodia, or Ford's pardon of Nixon, or Reagan's use of the U.S. Military in Grenada, or Bush I's use of the U.S. Military in Panama, or Bush II's use of the U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan, then we have to recognize that the GOP has violated portions of the United States Constitution for the past 40 years.
Now, you may examine this post for bias as you see fit, because if the guidelines as listed above come to pass, then I have to disclose that I would no longer be a member of "the people" but would instead become an entity formerly known as "the people" or, if you prefer, "the born." I'm pro-choice, not pro-life. I value gun ownership, so I might catch a break there during an election cycle, although I don't generally allow my views on guns to color my views on an election. I am not profoundly religious. I am not homophobic. I don't believe in small government, in the sense that I don't believe the size of government matters as much as the application of government.
Thankfully, this hasn't come to pass yet. Part of the reason it hasn't come to pass is that the above platform is imaginary and comes from an imaginary source. However, I fear that part of the reason that it hasn't come to pass yet is because the GOP hasn't quite figured out how to bring this about without anyone noticing. For now, I will enjoy being one of "the people" while I still have that chance.
(This post first appeared in an altered form at www.bangthebuckets.com)