For decades, Republican operatives have systematically fought to wrest the power of government away from the people and hand it over to the powerful and multinational corporations. To attract votes they've driven wedges between otherwise like-minded citizens.
Conservatives use the politics of division to try to convince people to vote against their best interests. These include exploiting racial tensions, injecting religion into politics, playing on the fear of anyone or anything different as well as isolating and demonizing groups of people: the poor, workers, gays, racial and religious minorities, unions, women, students and immigrants.
One of the most unseemly characteristics is their perverse double-speak, which has corrupted the meaning of some familiar terms:
* Reform. Cutting beneficial programs to the point that they can no longer function.
* Free market. Tilting laws in favor of the haves to create the greatest disparity of wealth in history.
* Free speech. The right to spend as much money as you want to turn elections your way.
* Liberty. The freedom to discriminate.
* Citizenship. Corporations are people, only more important.
* Free press. What gets defined as news now controlled by a cartel of six mega-corporations.
* Justice. Using unbalanced laws and sentencing guidelines to imprison more citizens than any other country -- especially minorities.
* Security. Exploiting fears to justify a vast, secretive espionage and war-making industry.
What's happening to our country is no accident. It's a grand (old party) plan.
Kevin J. Gagen