The True Agenda of the Ayn Rand-fueled, Koch Brothers-funded, Evangelical-empowered, Paul Ryan-controlled Wing of the Republican Party

letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor of the Defiance Crescent-News. Submitted on March 24, 2017

Dear Editor:

The recent attempt to pass what Donald Trump and Republicans dubbed the American Health Care Act has finally exposed for all to see the true agenda of the Ayn Rand-fueled, Koch Brothers-funded, Evangelical-empowered, Paul Ryan-controlled wing of the Republican Party. The white sheets have been torn away, exposing ideological hatred for minorities, the working class, and what the Bible calls the least of these. We now know that these shills for the one-percenters want to destroy the Federal government, roll back the New Deal, and cut the bottom out of social safety net. Their ultimate goal is to return our society to the days of the wild, wild West – days when every man controlled his own destiny; days when the capitalist with the fastest draw and surest aim or the robber baron with the quickest fists ruled the land.

As of the writing of this letter, Republicans have twice cancelled votes on the AHCA. Facing outrage from all corners of the political spectrum, Paul Ryan is increasingly aware of the fact that he never should have made public his agenda to destroy America. While I thoroughly enjoy watching Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and their surrogates get the public caning they so richly deserve, my joy is tempered by the fact that at the state level Republican extremists  are quietly and effectively rolling back much of the social progress of the past century.  More frightening than the AHCA debacle is the Koch Brothers-funded plan for a Constitutional Convention. And once a Constitutional Convention is convened, Tea-Party, Libertarian, and Evangelical theocrats will finally have the tools necessary to dismantle the Federal government and turn America into dog-eat-dog capitalist state ruled by men only concerned with their stock portfolio and return on investment. While Evangelicals will certainly make sure that their God is returned to his rightful place as America’s potentate, the real God of these extremists is laissez-faire capitalism.

One positive to come out of electing Donald Trump is the exposure of the true agenda of many Republican officeholders. Now it is up to Democrats, liberals, progressives. democratic socialists, and all who value social progress to coalesce into a movement willing to take on Paul Ryan/Koch Brothers/Ayn Rand Republicans. What lies ahead is a no-holds-barred fight to the death for the future of our Republic. I am ready for the fight. Are you?

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

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18 Comments

  1. Trenton

    Obamacare is not perfect by any means and I would rather see something like what Germany has put in place. That being said the republican bill is absolutely heartless and I am glad to see it die its well deserved death. Its nice to know that the iceberg to the republican healthcare titanic known as the ahca is republicans and not just a democratic filibuster.

    Reply
  2. anotherami

    I did the math, using the more conservative numbers. /snark

    They proposed to save $337B over 10 years, while eliminating 14M from the Medicaid program. That comes out to $1402.40 per year, per Medicaid recipient. We now how much Paul Ryan thinks a poor person is worth.

    Here’s another way to look at it. Take that $337B, divide by the decade it takes to achieve those savings, then divide by estimated 122M Americans who pay income taxes each year. It comes out to less than $300 year, or about the price of a Quarter Pounder, fries and a Coke once a week. Republicans don’t seem to care if the poor die as long they get that extra meal at MickeyD’s every week. And the reality is they won’t even get that. Most of the savings go to the top, as always. Joe Schmoe is going to get a whopping $60. Not per month though- per year. Joe only gets to go MickeyD’s once for killing his neighbors.

    And the AHCA died because it didn’t go far enough for some of these fucking pricks!

    The prospect of a Constitutional Convention is truly terrifying and I am convinced that they seek nothing less than the destruction of our Republic. They hate its very foundation, that it is NOT winner-take-all. They despise the idea of the minority having any rights or voice, be that minority one of politics, race, wealth, religion, or any of the other labels they use to divide and control us. They hate “We the people of these United States”. I have no doubt that some sort of “state religion” will be imposed, though the fighting over what flavor might prove intense. The result is likely to be some flavor of “The Handmaid’s Tale”. And I thought that before I heard about the new Hulu series.

    Hell yes, I’m fighting. As a recipient of the Medicaid expansion in Indiana, in the form of HIP2.0 (for which I pay 2% of my monthly income) and heart patient, my life literally depends on it.

    Reply
  3. Dan

    In my very limited estimation, articles/posts (comments too) like this/these don’t help (and may even hinder) the discussion.

    After reading your post Bruce, do you think those (a very large group BTW) favoring the extreme “conservatism” that you’ve caricatured and labasted will be inclined to reconsider their views?

    I say: “Not a chance!”

    How could they? What does your rant (that’s how it came a across to me) add to the discussion? What have you offered other than ridicule and sarcasm? Like every pastor week in week out… you’re preaching to the choir.

    The amen corner laps it up; the naysayer digs in his heels. The gulf grows. And no one is one iota moved from where they entered the discussion.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Sometimes the choir needs some preaching.

      Reply
      1. anotherami

        Well done, Dan! You’ve done what too many do, rush to cut down those who dare criticize in public. This was written for his local paper, where “preachin’ with righteous anger” is the norm, even in the public square or maybe even especially there. He re-posted it here on his blog, what you call the choir and the amen corner. And you did in a way that was clearly intended to be disparaging, casting shade on those who dare proclaim the naked truth of the matter.

        And there are those Trump voters who are having regrets. Like the guy in the MAGA hat holding a sign that says “I’ve made a huge mistake.” And the 40% of Americans who didn’t bother to vote at all. Those people need a little preaching to right now too. Not about religion, but the basic civics we seem to have stopped teaching.

        You want to turn your nose up at the good, because it doesn’t check all your little boxes. You are as insufferably self-righteous as anyone in the RRR (Republican Religious Right, a short-hand I hope they come to be known by and reviled as greatly as their predecessors, the damned KKK). You are as responsible for creating the atmosphere that put Trump in the White House as the sycophants in the RNC, with your false-equivalency bullshit. The “liberal MSM” is full of that kind of shit and is one reason why so many have lost faith in the Fourth Estate, which is essential to democracy and is directly under attack by the White House.

        There is a time and place for civil discourse, respectful disagreement and hammering out a compromise. There may be areas and people where that is still possible. But when the foundations of our Republic and the future of our Constitution are under such direct and open attack, that isn’t it. The alarm bells are ringing and we are one Reichstag fire away from fascism. I’m not going down without a fucking fight.

        Reply
        1. anotherami

          Oops sorry! This was for Dan, not you, Bruce.

          And I think the secular term for preaching to the choir is a pep-rally. At least that’s what we called it in high school. 😉

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I figured as much. ??

        2. Dan

          I sense your passion, anotherami and, in large part, I agree with the ideas fueling it (at least as far as I understand them). That said, I don’t see how most of your accusations apply to my post or me.

          First, I’m not a foe of this blog—Bruce and I have very similar stories—in fact, I’m a big fan and a regular reader.

          Further, I’m not a Republican, didn’t vote for Trump (not even a conservative!). Also, I offered no equivalence of ideas and I fully support the “Fourth Estate” (as you call it).

          Honestly, your diatribe reminds me of the type of response I generally get in fundamentalist circles when I wander outside the bounds of accepted dogma.

          Further, the nuance of my analogy about the “choir and amen corner” was obviously lost on you. The “choir and amen corner” to which I referred represents those people who merely seek to reinforce their pet doctrines while insulating themselves from open exchange and rational critique.

          I was stating my opinion (prompted by Bruce’s post) about confirmation bias and the polarizing effect of playing to those driven by it.

          In fact, it seems to me like you’ve allowed your biases to color how you’ve interpreted my post. Your “cause” (as noble as it may be) and/or the evil “RRR” (as ignoble as they may be) has/have become so fore in your mind that you see it/them everywhere.

          Also, I noted (more than once in a very short post) that I offered my opinion only (something you seem to welcome if said opinion happens to agree with yours). And in return I received subjective accusations presented as fact. Namely, that I/I’m …

          ~ rush to cut down
          ~ intend to be disparaging
          ~ insufferably self-righteous
          ~ turn my nose up at the good
          ~ responsible for creating the atmosphere that put Trump in the
          White House

          Really, anotherami? All of that because I offered an opinion—just as you and Bruce have? I mean, if my post “intends to be disparaging,” what does that make your haranguing fulmination!?

          And that’s all I did. I offered a mild critique of some sentiments to which you’re committed. Surely you don’t want for yourself what you disallow me.

          What an ironic post, actually. I hope you might catch a glimpse of this irony (hypocrisy?), by reconsidering your opening comment (it may help to replace “Dan” with “anotherami”:

          “Well done, Dan! You’ve done what too many do, rush to cut down those who dare criticize in public.”

          Finally, I don’t want you (or anyone else) to “go down without a fight.” (Did you actually get that from my post!?) If by “fight” you mean open debate, rational challenge and even criticism/critique of any idea—I’m with you.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I’m certainly not going to get into a debate about this post, but let me be clear about several things.

            1. This was a letter to the editor, maximum words 400. I’ve written over 50 such letters over the past ten years.

            2. My letters to the editor are not meant for winning over hearts and minds.

            3. My letters are meant to let liberal/progressive/atheist locals know that I am willing to be a voice for them, knowing that many of them cannot vocalize their opinions. Seven out of ten people in Defiance County is a registered Republican and conservative Christianity dominates every aspect of local life. Espousing atheistic beliefs would be cultural and economic suicide (and one of the reasons I am having hard time finding employment). While people are more willing to air left-leaning political views, doing so can cause cultural marginalization. Rural NW Ohio is a monoculture. Even mainline Christian churches tend to be conservative.

            4. My letters with sharp words are meant to poke the Republican/Evangelical bear. I know rabid locals will respond, exposing for all to see their dangerous, contradictory views. Quite frankly it is fun to watch.

            5. I’ve been writing letters to the editor for 35 years. My mother before me did the same. It’s in my blood.

            I get it, you disagree. All I can tell you is that my letters usually fulfill my objectives, so I’m inclined to keep writing them. 99% of the letters to the editor are written by members of God’s Only Party. I’m a contrarian that wants locals to know these assholes don’t speak for me.

          2. Dan

            And that answers it, for me at least.

            My post assumed (my bad, at 50 I should know better!) that your goal was persuasion and/or change.

            Maybe I’m naive; I still tend to think that people are generally rational…

          3. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Everything has a purpose, including letters to the editor.

            I’ll leave it to you to either judge me by 400 words you disagree with or the 1,449,694 words I have written over the past 27 months.

            Either way, thank you for commenting

            Bruce

          4. Brian

            Dan, you sound dangerously troll-like in your intellect-heavy statements. You seem to have discomfort with strong expression and it does seem to me, as it did, I think to anotherami, that there is a tone of disparagement in your tone. Please do take off your intellectual gloves and have at it a bit so one might get a glimpse of exactly where you are hiding in there? Or is it not hiding? You say to Geoff that there are other alternatives. Gee, Dan, do I need to say, no there aren’t to get you state an opinion other than general commentary that sounds troll-like to me? What exactly would someone ‘critique’ about your ‘rational challenge’ which was no challenge at all to Bruce…. or was there an intellectual level of challenge that this old fella missed, Dan?
            One thinh I very much admire about Gerencser is that he expresses his positions with strong heart, with feeling that is honest. When you suggest he is preaching to the choir and then add no further comment involving your own stance and feelings, then what do I have to go on but your introduction to your own opinion? Okay, I get the intro… What about some substance, Dan? What is effective expression that might reach the Trumped? Please share. I am a Canadian very interested in hearing what is being said here.
            I appreciate being informed, if you would care to inform. When you respond to anotherami and say that you cannot fathom how her statements apply to your statements, I get a bit concerned. Your use of the term ‘confirmation bias’ to refer to supporters of Bruce’s post, is quite assuming, standard troll-like stuff, Dan. I don’t appreciate being reduced to the shallow implication. I wonder why exactly you are a fan of this blog?

    2. Geoff

      I don’t see how Bruce’s letter can possibly hinder the discussion. The alternative is that nothing is said and so nobody hears his opinion. Maybe nobody heeds it anyhow, but equally why not express something that needs to be said and makes perfect sense. It may just help waverers make up their minds.

      Reply
    3. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I would also add that I have no illusions about reaching Trump supporters. After all that Trump did during the election and all he has done since, I’ve yet to hear one of his supporters say, I apologize for ignoring the overwhelming evidence about Trump’s unsuitably for office. I’m sorry for voting for a man who is now trying to destroy our democracy. I should have known better, I should have listened, but I didn’t.

      The policies and projected budget of Ayn Rand devotees in Washington will materially harm my family. You’ll forgive me for not being in the mood to play nice.

      If Republicans don’t like how I have painted them, I suggest they change the color palette.

      Reply
      1. Trenton

        The palette seems to be going from red to blood red

        Reply
    4. Sarah

      I don’t understand where you are coming from (no sarcasm intended). I agree that sometimes the choir does need preaching to, but if you have a problem with it then why not offer an alternative view, instead of just complaining about it? I can’t see what possible advantage short term thinking like the Republicans budget has. It seems like they don’t have a firm grasp on basic economics. If people were not in such deep debt and had the basics provided by other countries-free education, a right to food, shelter, and clean water, and free healthcare, the economy would have a chance for sustainable growth instead of the false growth that caused the 2008 recession. It would be better for them too, because they wouldn’t have to bear as much of a long term risk for loss. Also, the way it currently works it limits the profit incentive for innovation because inventors rarely see as much profit as they should because the corporations are too big. Less education also means less innovation which leads to less growth and makes the economy less competitive. Free education would mean more innovation. Free healthcare would save companies the cost of paying for healthcare and lead to fewer sick days. They are being so selfish that they are being stupid. The less money available to the poor and the middle class means that the profits of corporations are going to decline because the rich tend not to need to spend as much money.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        There are more alternatives, I think.

        Reply
        1. Dan

          That was aimed at Geoff, btw, the string can be confusing.

          Reply

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