I don’t know where the term “the Hate America First crowd” originated, but I became familiar with it through the radio show of Rush Limbaugh. The concept was simple: it was a term used to define people whose first impulse was to blame America for all of the woes of the world, the people who actively rejected all of the fundamental principles of America. Their ranks would range from those who aggressively and publicly condemned America for perceived sins to those who claimed love for America while directly spurning the concepts which made our country special.
Using those definitions, the Republicans are now the Hate America First crowd. Certainly, they continue to describe themselves as patriots. They are often the ones who will have flags decorating their cars, who attend every parade and firework demonstration and who will donate time and money to help the military.
But make no mistake, they loathe America.
To determine this, one needs only to listen to them. They yearn not for the country under Reagan or Coolidge or even Eisenhower, but for an America which never existed. The most radical among them are the white supremacists, wishing the removal or subordination of all non-whites in an effort to combat the “Great Replacement” conspiracy. But propping them up, in the same way those who demand sharia prop up Islamists, are those who have developed a 1950s-era sitcom view of the country, where no non-white people existed and everyone was happy within their stereotyped role. They claim to miss John Wayne, but they really want Leave It To Beaver. They don’t understand… they don’t want to understand… that the country has always had tumult and chaos and hatemongering, and that the only thing that kept us strong and together was our common belief in the principles of the country.
The Republicans love their image of what America should be, but they hate what America is and what America was.
These people will whine incessantly about every perceived slight, even if they perpetrated the same slights in the past. The ones who demanded Obama be impeached or removed from office on day 1 because of a dubious home loan and rumors they’d heard about Michelle’s hospital job are now demanding that Trump be found innocent purely because he’s faced condemnation since his election. People who demanded Clinton’s impeachment after he’d already been re-elected are now incensed about negating an election three years after the fact. All the while they call Democrats evil while criticizing the partisan rancor in the country. Amidst this incessant whining, they term their enemies “snowflakes” because, in their minds, their opponents complain too often.
These Republicans – the overwhelming majority of active members of the party – now hate the notion of equal justice under the law. They instead embrace the idea of social justice, a fundamentally anti-American concept. Individual justice is when a person is punished for crimes they have committed. Social justice is when a person is punished or excused not for the crimes they have committed, but for the actions of others in a similar or dissimilar group.
In their minds, Barack Obama got away with crimes, as did Hillary, as did Sandy Berger, as did Bill Clinton and John Kerry and dozens of others. In some cases, they’re correct; in others, they are not. A reasonable answer for such a case would be to investigate the potential offenses. The Republicans don’t want that, though; they instead demand that because others have, in their perception, avoided prosecution that their chosen officials should also walk free of consequences. This is the very definition of social justice.
I reject the notion that the Republicans have always been this corrupt. I do so for two reasons, one practical and the other personal. The practical reason is that there is little evidence to support the hypothesis, as one moves backward in time. Certainly there have been deeply corrupt Republicans and those who have supported them, but there are no indications the corruption ever approached the current level of pervasiveness. The personal reason is that I refuse to give Trump supporters the moral cover of the party always having been like this. No, this change is not exclusively due to Trump, much of the corruption was already in place before he took the office, but it is a modern development and they deserve all of the blame for it. It was not “always” like this or even like this a full decade ago. It wasn’t their parents who were anti-American and in many cases it wasn’t even they who were willingly corrupt back then. They have since jumped into the filth of their own volition.
It’s been obvious for the duration of the Trump Presidency that the Republicans have embraced everything they once fought against. Trump champions greater spending; new social programs; tax increases on free trade; embracing murderous dictators; attacking our allies; assaults on American institutions like the press, the FBI, the CIA and the military justice system; picking winners and losers in private enterprise; restrictions on gun ownership; ending lawful immigration; and even attacking the Constitution itself when it suits him. There is no policy they will hold firm, nor any related principle. Everything is transactional.
It probably hasn’t occurred to them that with their current decision to hold Trump above the law in response to their beliefs that their political enemies should have faced jail time, they have become far greater examples of Social Justice Warriors than any cultural studies major they choose to hate.