It has become a popular Democratic pastime over the past...oh, I don't know...100 years or so...to attempt to portray the Republican Party as a group of corporation-loving toadies who don't give a shit about the common man but instead live to enrich and kow-tow to the wealthiest of the wealthy.
But is this charge fair? Do GOP politicians care only for their "corporate masters" and regularly throw their contituents under the proverbial bus? Or is this a gross mischaracterization of Republican policies, an unforgivable and thoughtless slight against people who are doing nothing more than serving the needs of their voters?
A quick examination of the practices of the GOP politicians should reveal the truth, I should think, so let's give these policies the once-over, shall we?
What would a group of political booklickers beholden only to corporations actually do? What day-to-day activities would consume their schedules and dominate their policy decisions?
Well, first would be taxes. If the GOP was truly under the complete and utter domination of the uber-rich and the business elite, they would insist that the rich pay as little taxes as possible. And not just in income taxes, God knows. Capital gains taxes, too. And, of course, corporate taxes. Oh, how they would rail against corporate taxes! "The highest in the world!" they would holler, ignoring the fact that most multi-billion dollar corporations not only hide their profits overseas but also exploit loopholes in American tax laws that result in their spending less in taxes than most janitors.
And when they want to bring those overseas profits back to America and dole it out to their own executives as bonuses, they'd probably push for some sort of short-term tax amnesty. Bring the corporate rate from 35% down to....oh, hell...let's make it 5%. But only every once in awhile! Say, every five or ten years. That's fair, isn't it?
What else would they do? I know: deregulate. Strip away all those pesky environmental, safety, OSHA, anti-trust and other laws that strangle and hold back that fierce beast that is American capitalism. "Free the free market!" they would preach. "Let the greatest capitalist nation on earth shake loose its fetters and become the titanic force it was meant to be!" Never mind that rivers, streams, lakes and oceans become fetid, chemical sinkholes. Forget that the air becomes unbreathable. Or mountaintops become a thing we tell our children about ("That mountain used to have a peak, Timmy!"). As long as the corporations are free to roam unhindered, all is well with the world.
Anything else? Aha, what about unions? How about we demonize the American labor movement? Paint unions as corrupt, productivity-crushing, elitist relics of a bygone era. Unions used to be important, sure, but not anymore! We have plenty of worker protections now. Why coddle American workers? They're tough enough to stand on their own two feet, aren't they?
Hell, they don't even need a minimum wage! Get rid of it! And don't get me started about child-labor laws...what a joke! Kids want to work, dammit! It's good for 'em!
Finally, they would do everything they could to make sure that corporations and rich businessmen were allowed to give unlimited amounts of cash, with complete anonymity, to GOP politicians. That would be key. Reversing 200 years of campaign finance law...that would be the real giveaway.
So...if the Republicans did all of these things- pushed for lower and lower taxes for the rich, lobbied against the EPA and all other bothersome regulatory bodies, attacked unions, tried to destroy the minimum wage and basically did all they could to give corporations free reign over our political and social system- then and ONLY then could they be accused of being complete and utter tools of the ruling class.
But...that couldn't possibly describe the Republican Party with any accuracy.