THE BLOG
11/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McCain, Palin Rely on 19th Century Ideals

McCain relinquished any "maverick" credentials when he capitulated to Neocons and Christian Dominionists with his choice of a running mate.

Neocons first identified Sarah Palin as a likely candidate to advance their agenda of preemptive warfare and militaristic colonialism.

Worldwide hegemony envisioned by neocons resembles hegemony preached by Christian nation advocates. Christian Dominionists of the Council for National Policy, primary authors of the Republican right agenda, likewise demanded McCain's appeasement regarding his VP choice. Like most Dominionists who prefer not to see women vote or hold office, James Dobson made an exception for "the right woman" - one ironically willing to advance the right's radical anti-woman agenda to outlaw abortion and birth control.

Contrary to right-wing assertions about constitutional original intent, the Ninth Amendment protects all rights existing at the time the Constitution was written, including abortion, which was not criminalized until the 19th century. Abortion was legal and not uncommon during the time of our country's founding, when cookbooks often contained recipes for herbal abortifacients. In 1869 doctors and the nascent medical society lobbied to make abortion illegal except as a medical decision--in part, to eliminate competition from midwives who provided much of reproductive health care.

As Paul Krugman described recently, Richard Nixon introduced the exploitative politics of division - of class, race, gender - as Republican strategy for winning elections.

The culture war waged by Republican revolutinaries is grounded in 19th century gender, race and class divisions, as well as nativism that perpetuated fear of immigrants, and derided social justice movements as "communist" or "secular humanist" diversions from God's intent of a Christian nation. The religious political right holds a vision of world rule by select white Christian males (though a woman could help them get there), and enthusiastically embraces 19th century social Darwinism and biodeterminism defining gender and racial inferiority that is promoted in works like Richard Herrstein's and Charles Murray's The Bell Curve, impugning racial intelligence and seeking the roll back of anti-discrimination laws.

Class warfare has been turned on its head by McCain-Palin and other rightists who scorn middle class tax relief, even as they seek to shift wealth to corporate oligarchs. Thus, they make a bait-and- switch appeal to working class "Joe the plumbers." Tax protest is once again exploited as an instrument of polarization - the only good tax break benefits the corporate class, whereas, a tax break for the middle class is derided as "socialism" or "communism."

Demagoguing taxes to undermine democracy and government, and to defund disfavored programs, the right preaches the free market gospel of privatizing everything, even Social Security, for profit. Like Grover Norquist's minions, McCain-Palin ultimately seek the elimination of tax on capital, or unearned income, taxing instead working class earned income.

John McCain's construction of an "opportunity society" - like Newt Gingrich's in the '90s - serves as cover for a new Gilded Age, characterized by an unholy alliance of greedy contemporary robber barrons and political right culture warriors that have collaborated to create the greatest disparity of wealth and power in history. Theirs is a nexus of money and political patronage fostering government-of-the-highest-bidder that rewards corporations with deregulation, elimination of environmental rules and privatization-for-profit of government services.

Regression to nineteenth century ideals is not what this country needs. The Republican revolution and the McCain-Palin ticket are two centuries too late.