Republican revenge won’t help either party
Column | Dose of Logos
The Daily Targum published my column Oct. 25 titled, “Political eschatologies and the angry voter.” If you haven’t read it, you probably should — in fact, if the events following the election are any indication, it should probably be required reading.
Prior to the election, one of the main talking points for the Republican Party was job creation. They argued, among other things, that the GOP had the key to creating jobs. Romney, who never quite divulged his job creation plan to anyone, consistently told his constituents he would add millions of jobs if elected. He did this while also arguing that the government is not responsible for job creation — go on and just try to wrap your heads around that contradiction.
But it seems that this great plan of job creation only mattered to the Republicans in charge when their candidate was on top (or, rather, when they believed — contrary to Nate Silver and the actual data—their candidate was on top). Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Now that Obama has been reelected, job creation takes a back seat to revenge tactics. Just this past week, over 200 employees of Murray Energy Corp and UtahAmerican Energy were fired by their CEO Robert Murray because Obama won the election. You may remember Murray. He made the news a few months back when he was criticized for pressuring his miners to donate to Romney and stand behind Romney in what later became a campaign ad — and he all of this he did during a work day which he refused to pay them for. Murray’s argument, that Obama’s ‘War on Coal’— a fantasy ‘war’ created by the conservative media in an effort to discredit the facts (that coal jobs have been at a 15-year high) — looks to the impartial viewer more like a stunt to make Obama look bad.
But this is not the only example of this sort of behavior. In Las Vegas, a business owner fired 22 of his 114 employees because Obama won the election. What reason did he have? He really believed that Obamacare regulations would hurt his business financially. But this is a bogus claim, one that was recited by Romney on many occasions but simply isn’t the case.
In truth, firing employees because the CEO believes, falsely, that something might happen is not prescient but illegal. I hope lawsuits will be filed in both instances. There is no word on whether or not those employees were Obama supporters, which is perhaps even worse because it suggests that Republicans and Democrats are suffering because certain individuals are trying to make political statements with the lives of hardworking Americans. And it doesn’t stop here.
On Facebook, the group ‘Positively Republican’ posted up a status, which read “Click ‘Like’ if you think every conservative business owner ought to lay off one employee — maybe one who voted for Obama? — to show Democrats and those who vote for them that small businesses are the backbone of America.” Yes, you read that right. Since I first saw this, the group — soon after receiving over a thousand ‘likes’ from its members — has removed the post.
I hope those reading this understand that I am not attacking Republicans as a generalized whole. Many Republicans I know find this behavior utterly disgusting and sickening as I’m sure many of my readers — hopefully all of you — would agree. But there is something to be said about the eschatologies of lots of Republicans — especially those most influenced by conservative media outlets like Fox News—when they feel the means to an end is to destroy the lives of Americans, thereby self-fulfilling their own prophecies about the end of the world. In other words, some Republicans are self-sabotaging their own futures because they believe — falsely — that there is no future for them.
In fact, it is so bad that some people have even petitioned for their state to secede from the union. Some have threatened to move to Canada to avoid the “socialist worldview” to which they earnestly believe Obama and his supporters subscribe (though I’m not sure where they think they’ll evade ‘socialism’ in Canada, with its universal health care, strong social welfare systems, and secular government.) Many Republicans — 63 percent, according to Politico.com — believe Obama is a socialist. This and the idea that 40 percent of Americans — and about 17 percent of Americans in general, as of July 26 — still believed that Obama is a Muslim is completely absurd. As an acquaintance of mine opined aptly, the belief that Obama is both a 1960s Alinsky-style socialist and a radical Muslim is just completely astounding. The only way someone can believe that a single person can hold both of these latent and contradictory worldviews is through ignorance, indoctrination and fear.
For those reading this article, I hope you recognize your own eschatologies. We all make choices depending on how we see the world and how we interpret contemporary events, and those choices have consequences. Recognizing our presuppositions about others is key to stopping decisions that could otherwise hurt thousands of people.
Tom Verenna is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in classics and history. His column, “Dose of Logos,” runs on alternate Mondays.