Myth #1. Trump Republicans are Conservatives.
No. Trump Republicans are not conservatives, and here is why:
Conservatives believe in conserving things, not tearing everything to shreds. Trump Republicans are radical fascists and anarchists who seek to tear down “the establishment” and all the things that made America great (and held it together) before. They seek to replace those things with new things that will hurt the vast majority of people and destroy the Constitution itself (conservatives believe in upholding and defending the Constitution).
Conservatives believe in traditional values. But Trump Republicans literally worship a president who is a serial adulterer, slept with a porn star (while his third wife was pregnant), had five children by three different wives, and bragged about grabbing women by the pussy because he’s a big star who can do anything he wants (and then he denied ever saying it). And he’s never, ever repented or apologized for any of it — or anything else he’s ever done. It seems to me that if God chose Trump to be president (as some evangelicals believe), he would have chosen someone who is NOT a narcissistic psychopath and also someone capable of empathy, remorse, and repentance.
The concept of traditional values goes far beyond just family values, though. Having traditional values also means you believe in civility, kindness, generosity, being nice to strangers, and holding your tongue if you have something unkind to say out of respect for that person’s feelings (or broaching the subject in a sensitive, mature way). It means being neighborly. It means being concerned about people who are not as fortunate as you are. It means not mocking or demeaning people you dislike or who are different from you, not calling immigrants “animals,” and not treating people of color and women like slaves or second class citizens.
Conservatives believe in small government. Trump does not believe in small government. Sure, he and his minions like to talk about small government, but the huge windfall they just gave to the rich and corporations through their tax scam created the hugest deficit in history, which is now in the trillions (which will be paid for by us — through huge cuts to earned benefits like social security and Medicare).
Sure, they’re slashing those annoying regulations (most of which help keep us all safe and healthy) because they don’t believe corporations should be accountable or responsible for anything at all, but they sure would like to put a lot of new laws and regulations on private citizens, including our sex lives and reproductive freedom. They’re busy expanding the military and turning ICE into the American Gestapo. The Trump GOP is pushing through all kinds of new laws and bills that will greatly restrict our civil rights and freedoms, especially if you’re in one of the groups they don’t like or respect (women, LGBTQ, POC, and non-white immigrants). They are also pushing through legislation that blurs the line that has always separated church and state in the name of “religious freedom” (which it’s anything but).
The endgame is an oligarch-controlled, evangelical “Christian” theocracy that wouldn’t differ much from living in Saudi Arabia under Sharia law — or Europe during feudal times.
So tell me again how Trump supporters don’t want big government?
Hell, they want fucking Big Brother.
Please stop calling Trump Republicans conservatives. They are conserving nothing.
Myth #2: Trump Republicans Want to Bring Back the 1950s.
Perhaps Trump Republicans like the idea of the 1950s — doting housewives whose lives revolve around husband and kids, husbands as the breadwinners, girls who look like girls and boys who look like boys, clearly defined sex roles, conformity, safe suburban neighborhoods, low crime; children’s books, movies, and TV shows that feature lily white protagonists; and little tolerance for cultural or racial diversity or “difference.”
The sexism and racism of the 1950s is well known, but was not really the result of oppressive policy, just the kind of culture we lived in at the time. Most people just took for granted this was the way things worked so it wasn’t an issue for most people — at least not for a few more years. Blacks were definitely discriminated against under Jim Crow, but women at the time for the most part welcomed the opportunity to marry and have “victory children” once their men returned from overseas in the Second World War. There were no laws that women could not pursue traditionally male careers or a more independent life; it just wasn’t something most women considered.
But the 1950s are also known for strong labor unions, higher taxes on the wealthy (in fact they were quite high!), well paying jobs that enabled even working class people to buy homes and new cars, New Deal policies that made it possible for the elderly to live (and die) with dignity and independence rather than be a burden on their children who were trying to raise their own families; affordable healthcare, doctors who actually spent time with their patients and seemed to care about them personally, companies that cared about their employees and offered good benefits and even pensions, good public schools and a strong emphasis on public education, a recognition that science and scientific research trumped superstition and religious dogma, a healthy respect for education and intellectualism, an importance placed on treating others well, having a moral compass and a sense of responsibility to the community, and a general acceptance by all that for the greater good, the rich should pay more taxes.
Hell, by today’s standards, the 1950s were downright socialist!
During the 1950s (and through the early 1970s), government worked for the people instead of the other way around. Our checks and balances were intact and working well. Sure, there were always problems — rampant sexism and racism, communist “witch hunts,” etc — but the gap between the rich and poor was low (much of this due to the rich being taxed at a much higher rate) and most people lived pretty well and felt secure in their lives. Even the less educated, working class could afford nice homes, cars, vacations, and were able to raise children who would later be able to attend college and live better than their parents. The American Dream was a real thing almost anyone could achieve, not the huge lie it is today.
Life was pretty good in the 1950s because of the things Trump and his staff want to take away from us: all the New Deal changes FDR made after the Great Depression, including Social Security and Medicare; high taxes on the rich and corporations; corporate requirements to offer certain benefits to employees, such as health insurance, overtime pay (time and a half) and holiday pay; a minimum wage that was actually a living wage that kept up with inflation; strong public schools, strong labor unions, federal grants for college, a GI bill that allowed veterans and military personnel to purchase inexpensive homes, large public works projects, public libraries, and a public interstate highway system; and all sorts of other things that made life more enjoyable and less stressful and made advancement possible for most Americans. In the 1950s, most people trusted the government, and the government believed that taking care of its people created a healthier and more productive society — as it does in all healthy democracies. We were the envy of the free world.
While Trump Republicans appear to bemoan the “traditional values” of the 1950s, they never stop to think about the fact that much of what Americans enjoyed then was possible because of a government that actually served its people, instead of one that expects to be served by the people.
Trump Republicans do not want to bring back the 1950s, because that would require them to do all the things they hate: raise taxes on the rich, offer more social programs, increase funding for public works projects, public schools, libraries, and infrastructure, raise pay for teachers; take care of the elderly, sick and veterans; improve our national parks and monuments (instead of destroying them and selling them off), encourage and support labor unions, and stop gerrymandering and suppressing votes. It would require the realization that enhancing the common good matters more in building a strong nation and a strong economy than rewarding and placing value on only wealth and power.
Trump Republicans may want to bring us back to the ’50s, but it isn’t the 1950s — it’s the 1850s right before the Civil War and the Gilded Age — or maybe even the 1350s, if the Christofascists ever get their way.