- Climate change denialism and inaction
This one will lead to immense suffering and dislocation. We’re already seeing the effects, in the form of extreme weather. Possibly GOP climate policy will lead to human extinction.
- Covid-19 disinformation, conspiracy theories and opposition to masks and vaccines
This has already killed hundreds of thousands of people and may kill many more. Right now it’s killing people in (southern) states with low immunization rates.
- Opposition to universal health care and Medicaid expansion in states
This results in the U.S. having much lower life expectancy and higher child death rates than than most other industrialized nations, as well as much higher direct costs and opportunity costs. Insurance companies are middlemen that add little or no value. Pharmaceutical companies make outrageous profits.
- General opposition to regulation of pesticides, chemicals, clean air standards, gas mileage standards, and clean water standards
Even ignoring the effects of carbon and climate change, GOP opposition to environmental and health regulations cause more lung disease, more cancer, and more adverse neurological effects.
- Mind control techniques via right wing media
Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax, the Wall Street Journal, and other conservative media fill followers’ minds with conspiracy theories, lies, disinformation, and distortions.
The GOP has been taken over by a crude, ignorant, racist, unstable conman real estate developer from New York. Donald Trump bragged openly about sexually harassing women. Dozens of women have accused him of sexual harassment or rape. He cheated on his wife and paid off Stormy Daniels. He’s a notorious liar and has been involved in thousands of lawsuits by contractors and business associates. Several of his businesses have gone bankrupt. His university was fined millions for fraud. He apparently cheated on his taxes. Trump pushed conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s citizenship. Numerous of his cabinet members and advisers have been indicted, have plead guilty, or have turned against him. Trump supporters believed his lies about the 2020 election, resulting in their invasion of the U.S. Capitol. Etc., etc., etc.People outside the cult are aghast that insiders continue to support Trump.
- Appeals to racism, xenophobia and religious hatred
- Republicans demonize people outside the cult, calling them, for example, “radical socialists”
- Support for large military budgets, for faux patriotism, and for overseas wars and interventions
Despite Republicans’ supposed opposition to Big Government, despite trillions of dollars wasted by the Pentagon, and despite disastrous wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, huge majorities of Republicans in Congress regularly vote for large Pentagon budgets and for aggressive military interventions. Bush and Cheney launched the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This year Republicans in Congress want to increase the Pentagon budget $25 billion beyond what Biden and the Pentagon say they need. Republicans are pushing preparations for war with China. Often it’s evangelical Christians who are the most hawkish.
- Policies to transfer wealth to the rich
The misery, poverty, and opportunity costs of GOP tax and labor policies are immense. Reagan, Bush II, and Trump lowered tax rates for the rich. Unearned income is taxed at a lower rate than earned income. Rich people avoid taxes by various accounting tricks or by hiding money overseas. Republicans refuse to adequately fund the IRS, allowing many rich people and corporations to cheat on their taxes. Concentration of wealth in fewer people leads to an erosion of democratic control, as Congress, the courts and media are controlled by moneyed interests. Amazingly, GOP support is high in many poor, uneducated communities, demonstrating how GOP mind control and disinformation have convinced people to vote against their own interests.