The Republican War on America

The Biden administration is becoming an Obama administration. The Republican Senators and Republican members of the US House of Representatives are fighting Biden exactly like they fought Obama: opposing his initiatives and planning to turn their Supreme Court and the hundreds of federal judges they put in office during the Trump era against him.

Economic and theological origins of partisan politics

The Republican politicians’ hatred for their Democratic colleagues is a product of decades-long TV and radio indoctrination funded by billionaires who like slavery-like conditions for the working class. These plutocrats thrive on the politics of division and corruption.

Why would they take climate change seriously, for example, when the burning of fossil fuels continues to make them the kings of the realm?

The second source of political partisanship and corruption has theological origins. The country has so many churches of opposing denominations, that they create a pandemonium of theological conflict, which spills into politics.

Each faithful is voting for the candidate supporting his / her prejudices. Millions are against abortion, other millions are for guns, pesticides, etc.

But the greatest harm of these one-god business religions comes from denying living in harmony with the natural world, source of all life.

Religious preaching comes out of books written by desert people about two millennia ago. It has little if any relevant lessons for people educated in the humanities and the sciences of the modern world. Religious messages concern only the faithful following a particular dogma. The other people are labeled infidels.

This confuses Americans even more than the vague and misleading business messages of the plutocrats in power and behind power.

What the plutocrats want

The political minions of private and corporate wealth keep saying they prefer small government, save for the gigantic Pentagon and the numerous security agencies possessing endless billions for private and corporate contracts. No matter the president and the members of Congress, the Pentagon has a direct access to the spigot of the US Treasury.

Obama signed on countless billions for the “modernization” of our nuclear weapons. Now the country is building a weapon of mass destruction: a $100 billion missile for carrying nuclear weapons as far away as 6,000 miles and capable of killing hundreds of thousands of people.

Plutocrats love this spending for weapons. They also worship gigantic things. They lobby politicians for funding farmers armed with large machines and toxic chemicals. It’s irrelevant to them that these big farms are really factories responsible for more than a third of the total US greenhouse gas emissions.

Like Trump, plutocrats pretend there’s no global warming. They are building a fortress America, so they advocate the rights of people to be armed. Their business mantra is the larger the corporation the better.

This corporate agenda has been guiding both Republicans and Democrats for decades. But sometimes, as in the years starting with the Obama administration in 2009, the white Congressional Democrats have been embracing non-white minorities rapidly becoming a majority. The aspiration of non-white Americans is for some kind of a better deal from the government.

This close alliance between white Democratic politicians and non-white Americans is alarming the overwhelmingly white Republicans, who see they are becoming a minority. The election of Obama and Biden confirms this great political storm in America.

The Trump messiah

Trump was an unknown plutocrat who harvested this palpable anger among white Americans. In desperation, especially after the second election of Obama, whites grasped the lies of Trump, hoping this  messiah would deliver. He did not because Trump worked only for his private ego and interests.

Yet about seventy millions of disillusioned and confused Republicans voted for Trump, who in desperation and madness, instigated the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection.

Is America governable?

This is all to say the country is so divided that governing it becomes a matter of haggling, continuous compromises, and despair.

The Senate passage of the Coronavirus stimulus bill, March 6, 2021, illustrates the coming struggle for the soul and for the governing of America.

The 1.9 trillion bill passed “over unanimous Republican opposition.” Now why would the Republicans oppose this largely antipoverty plan?

Kentucky, home of Mitch McConnell, Senate minority leader, is overwhelmingly poor. Doesn’t McConnell and the other Republican senators want to alleviate some of the dark-ages poverty in Kentucky and Republican (red) states?

A strategy for Biden

Biden does not have much ground to maneuver. He promised to unite the polarized country and to make it a better place to live. And unlike his predecessors, he promised to tackle the greatest threat to America and the world: climate change.

With the present intransigent Republican plutocrats in the Senate, he will be able to fulfill none of his great promises for America.

To break this impasse, two things are necessary. Raise the understanding and consciousness of the American people on what is at stake with climate change, as this climate change is the paramount danger that may smash the country and the world.

And since the Republicans have an abiding respect for the Pentagon, send Pentagon generals all over the country not merely to talk about the danger of climate change to national security but to lead projects of constructing, with Pentagon money, the solar and wind energy infrastructure of the country. This also means that the Pentagon itself moves rapidly  to abandon fossil fuels.

The other priority for Biden is to see that several Republican senators don’t get reelected. How? Send Democrat billionaires in selected red states to fund public and private enterprises to put Republicans to work in well-paying jobs for the revitalization of rural America.

American agriculture has to return to producing organic food in order to stop destroying the natural world. This is a gigantic task that billionaires with a love for their children and America must fund.

Biden must also recruit business executives to embrace climate change. Those executives can probably tone down the confused anti-nature rhetoric of the clerics of the one-god religions.

With these allies (Pentagon, Democratic billionaires, and business people), Biden can persuade the partisan Republicans to join him or face the end of their political career.

After all, dealing seriously with climate change is not a partisan issue but a life and death cncern and fear affecting national security at its most intimate and threatening. We are speaking of a rising ecological and social catastrophe.

Evaggelos Vallianatos is a historian and environmental strategist, who worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 25 years. He is the author of 6 books, including Poison Spring with Mckay Jenkings.