Republican Philosophy


I’m going to depart just a bit from the emphasis on COVID-19 and bring to your attention something that my favorite newsletter writer (bet you can’t guess who) included in her most recent (4/2/20) report.

Part of Ms. Richardson’s focus in this issue was the distribution of healthcare supplies during the coronavirus crisis. In previous emergencies, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has been the recipient of needed supplies and they would then distribute to the states as needed. In order words, a coordinated federal system was in place.

In the current situation, however, supplies are going straight to the private sector, which results in states being forced into a bidding war to obtain the equipment they need. We’re now talking about a commercial supply chain, which means prices will invariably increase according to demand.

This resulted in Ms. Richardson’s observation:

[T]he White House is turning to private interests to manage the national response. It is a philosophical position embraced by those who would overturn the active government that has presided over the United States since the New Deal.

As she points out, this action (and others) demonstrates the Trump administration’s “desire to dismantle the federal government and give power to businesspeople.” In other words, the federal government should no longer assume responsibility for American citizens. Instead, Governors are to assume the responsibility of running their own states.

This Trump-preferred perspective has been especially clear during the current pandemic in that the Governors have been delegated to making their own calls related to stay-at-home orders for their state, as well as other decisions related to the safety of their constituents.

From my limited knowledge of “politics,” this seems to be the core of the Republican philosophy: a limited federal government with more power given to the states to be self determining. The general belief is that states are in a better position to be responsive to the needs of their people rather than the federal government.

Of course, the big problem in the current state of affairs is the above philosophy is NOT the one in practice — so the Trump administration actions have put the entire nation at risk.

However, going beyond the crisis, I’m interested in feedback on the philosophy supported by the Republican Party. In its perfect form (not as currently being practiced), what are the advantages and disadvantages? Further, what role would the government actually play in this scenario?

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

30 thoughts on “Republican Philosophy

  1. I would say the primary function of the Republican party is to serve as a mechanism through which wealthy elites loot the country (well, that’s the design of the party elite — in practice, due to the influence of the grassroots membership, its focus is increasingly on imposing the taboo system of fundamentalist Christianity on the rest of society, but that’s another issue). Any “philosophy” the party lays claim to is best viewed as squid ink meant to obscure this reality while legitimizing its visible consequences.

    So, the party handling the supply issue in such a way as to maximize the benefit to corporations (and their wealthy owners and executives) isn’t the result of some “philosophy”, any more than the tendency of fish to swim or of lions to chase zebras results from a philosophy. It is simply what the Republican party does.

    America’s wealthy elites expect the party to behave this way, just as you expect your car to turn to the right when you rotate the steering wheel to the right. It does not occur to you to think that the car has a philosophical stance about doing so.

    As to devolving power (and headaches) to the states, the party does so when it is convenient. They resist doing so in the case of sanctuary cities or environmental regulation or other issues where they see the chance to use the federal government to impose nationwide rules more to their liking.

    The states have had to take on managing the covid-19 epidemic because Trump is unable to do so, out of incompetence. The rest of the party leadership has just had to adapt to this. Remember, Trump was never their choice. He was forced on them by the party grassroots.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Perhaps “philosophy” was a bad descriptive word for my blog title. 🤔

      Nevertheless, your points are well-made. And you actually summed up the post quite well in the first sentence of your last paragraph.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Hello Nan. I think people are missing the point of all this. It is to diminish this country as an united states, and to encourage a 50 different state countries. Basically those who have a desire to dismantle the US united state on federal government system have worked for years to achieve this. Now it is being handed to them on a platter. Never before in our country’s history have states had to compete this way to save the lives of their people. It was handled federally, as one country. It is pure greed over government regulation.

    Not now. I have to ask why? Who or what gains or benefits from putting states against each other? Putin or Russia maybe?

    The strength of the US has always been it is a large country under one goal, one government. If that was to fracture?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Actually, we are 50 different state countries. That’s exactly how the framers created it and that’s why we are called The United States of America. That’s also why rules and laws vary, sometimes significantly, from state to state. What’s legal in one state can be illegal in another. The strength of our country lies in this diversity tied together in a national union.Our constitution defines the roles of the national government vs the states.The national government was given the powers only for external functions such as defending the nation and international commerce. All other powers belong to the state. Over time, the national government has usurped the powers of the states to the point where it’s hard to say what powers the states have anymore. Maybe, that’s what we should be discussing rather than who gets to buy ventilators.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Maybe, that’s what we should be discussing rather than who gets to buy ventilators.

      We settled the states-vs-federal issue in 1865. Before that, people commonly said “The United States are…..” — since then it’s been “The United States is…..”

      Who gets to buy ventilators, and how, and from whom, is the relevant question of the day — along with whether the federal government exists to benefit all of us or to assist the already wealthy in profiteering off of a national disaster.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Another way of looking at it is that the federal government does exist to benefit the elites, so let’s get rid of the corrupt national government and let the States do what they should have been doing all along (but weren’t). The states should have been preparing for a global pandemic. They knew it was coming but they spent the money elsewhere, like on illegal immigrants.

        Liked by 2 people

        • let’s get rid of the corrupt national government

          While you’re at it, why don’t you propose a law that the Sun rises in the west from now on? This is ridiculous. And historically the states have been far more corrupt and malignant than the central government (think black civil rights, the Voting Rights Act, etc.).

          The states should have been preparing for a global pandemic.

          National disasters are the responsibility of the national government. That’s been the case since since humanity has had national governments. Nobody expected that the affected states would be able to deal with 9/11, the Oklahoma City tornadoes, the New Orleans and Houston hurricanes, etc. alone — the federal government took the leading role because that’s it’s job. The only reason this mess now is being thrown on the states is that our national government is now being run by people of such breathtaking incompetence that it cannot manage its basic responsibilities. Nobody before 2016 could have anticipated that.

          Less than a week ago you were here claiming that “coronavirus is nothing more than a blip on the radar screen” and responding to the CDC projections with “Projections from bureaucrats are for the unsophisticated, intended to panic the masses”. So you’ve already blown your own credibility to smithereens on this stuff.

          Liked by 5 people

          • National disasters are not the responsibility of the federal government. If you don’t believe me, go ask Cuomo and Newsom, for starters. Obama never shut down the country over H1N1and rightly so, even though H1N1 was far more dangerous than the coronavirus. So, you need to ask yourself this question: Who shut us down and why? I recognize that very few Americans know the answer to that question and who can blame them. They’ve been scared out of their collective wits by the WHO and the CDC, both of whom have had to backtrack on their ridiculous original estimates. If we had never had those high original estimates, life would have gone on just as it did with H1N1. Yes, a lot of people would have died, but a lot of people die every year from the flu or pneumonia and we still survive quite well, thank you. If you want to panic, have at it but do it in private. Otherwise, people like you might have to be held accountable for all the hard-working people who will suffer because they lost their jobs and/or couldn’t pay their mortgages.Oh, and wear you face mask please!

            Liked by 1 person

          • In one region of Spain, the hospitals are so overwhelmed that the regional health authority is directing that the oldest and sickest patients not be treated — since there are not enough resources to go around, the priority is to treat those who have a better chance of survival and more years to live if they do survive. Much of northern Italy has already gotten that bad.

            Anybody who thinks this is no worse than ordinary flu is engaged in reality-denial.

            New York and Washington state will probably be in the same position in a week or two. It will take longer to hit the red states, but it will hit them hardest of all, with their older and less-healthy populations and their failure to implement lockdowns until it’s too late because they listened to morons like Trump and Covidja instead of to the scientists and doctors.

            Liked by 5 people

        • Although I liked your post upthread, I have to strongly object to this post. As with so many devolutionists, you completely ignore that it is historically the local and State governments that have been most thoroughly captured by pernicious Big Money. And toxic religion, I might add. 140 years of expediting consolidation of power and control and NOW you want to get rid of the only forces large enough to battle concentrated, oligopolistic Disaster Capitalism? Now? Really?

          Liked by 3 people

  4. I get the feeling that the Republicans would like to see Federal Government replaced by Big Business,Trump has set the ball rolling by refusing to give FEMA access to the items required at the State level and wants to show the ability of Big Business to take over from Big Government. Instead it’s created a bidding war showing Big Business is only interested in the bottom line, profit. Without Big Government who will set taxes fair to all members of the States and set to repair infrastructure as a whole and not Statewise.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hello David, it is even worse. tRump has the military scouring the world to get medical supplies. They bring these supplies back and give them to private for profit companies to sell, often to the very countries the military got them from. So the taxpayer is paying to round up the supplies, and instead of states getting them free to help them during the crisis the states have to then bid on them again with taxpayer dollars. All in the name of private business and free market profit. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just read a quote by Elizabeth Warren which included these words:
    Our government has been run for the past three years by people who don’t believe in government or at least don’t believe in government except to help themselves and their friends.

    Sums up the Republican “philosophy” that I referenced in my post quite well, don’t you think?

    Liked by 10 people

    • Not according to what’s happening now.

      I’ve said it before … I’m definitely not a political whiz kid by any means … but it appears to me that Trump is reneging on the role he’s expected to play and assigning stuff to the governors. There could be any number of reasons (valid or not) why he’s doing this but based on personal opinion, he’s passing the buck because he hasn’t a clue on how to handle this crisis.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Did anyone see Pence’s face at the media release where Trump tasked him with managing this outbreak. He looked completely surprised, shocked, and shitting in his panties. So why isn’t Pence actually running the show? Because Trump understands everything, and he does not i tend to let Pence succeed where he is failing. Talk about throwing someone under a bus!
    But that has nothing to do with the fed-state issue. Trump knows he cannot succeed at stopping or even containing this virus. He is drowning. So yes he passed the buck to the states, to distance himself even more. And probably he bought stock in medical equipment companies too.

    Liked by 5 people

    • The ONLY thing Trump knows anything about is how to be a nasty, insulting, denigrating, vengeful SOB. Further, EVERYTHING he does is related to how he can increase his personal wealth. So yes, he probably does have stock in medical equipment.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s the Confederacy winning the Civil War. They finally did it. They said they would & they did. Their Nobel Cause won out in the end. There’s no Union anymore, just a bunch of separate states. Yee-haw!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. General Tagge: “How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?”
    Governor Tarkin: “The regional governors now have direct control over their territories.”

    Liked by 4 people

  9. The general belief is that states are in a better position to be responsive to the needs of their people rather than the federal government.

    Just to be clear, the plain English translation of the above is “we know how to keep the darkies in their place if we’re just left alone to do it and those goddam liberal n****r-lovers in Washington don’t meddle in our business.”

    I suppose that does qualify as a “philosophy” (or doctrine) in some sense. The “advantages and disadvantages” of it would depend on one’s own viewpoint.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Remember after Pearl Harbor when FDR told California and Washington to “go fight those Japs and we’ll be supporting you from behind (and at the right price)”? Me neither. It’s called a UNIFIED COMMAND — the only appropriate response response to any crisis which impacts the ENTIRE Union. What you’re seeing now is 50 state Anarchy. That’s Trump’s philosophy his entire life — fro avoiding Balme and responsibility.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Trump’s philosophy — “Avoid blame and responsibility.” Yep! And we see it in action everyday.

      Thanks for stopping by and offering your thoughts, Jay. Now don’t be a stranger. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nan , I appreciate this clear explanation on why the government has responded the way it has. It makes more sense now (at least from the republican point of view).

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I think moving the locus of decision making towards the people at a more local level could make for more responsive government, ideally. But that’s assuming local government is democratic in practice as well as principle, and that certain rights and values are agreed to apply overall, like racial and sexual equality, a broad legal framework of individual protections, etc. And I agree with infidel, all the republicans are about is money and power.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rose! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts — which I agree with, BTW. 🙂

      I hope you’ll considering stopping by on a regular basis and taking part in our various conversations.


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