“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, to the world-famous Museum of History’s Failures! Please excuse the dust on some of the exhibits. We try hard to keep everything spotless, but some displays just attract the dust of uselessness like a magnet.
“The first stop on our tour is the exhibit we call “Failed Free Market Practices”, an archaic form of economic system that prevailed from the beginning of the industrial revolution through the beginning of the 21st century. You will note the small children working, with sweat pouring off their filthy faces as they toil 14 hours a day in a stuffy unsafe factory, known as a sweat shop because of the hot and stuffy working conditions. Also note the industrialist factory owner in his expensive clothes, counting his money as he laughs at the the children working below him.
“Next is a replica of a conference room on Wall Street, New York at the beginning of the 21st century. Note the seated folks devising methods of offering no-down-payment mortgages to people who cannot really afford them. Press any of the sound buttons and you will hear them discuss how much money they’ll make when the mortgage rate jumps from the unrealistically low initial 2% to 24.99% after three years. Yes, folks, these things really did happen, and it caused millions to lose their homes. And the entire world was ultimately plunged into a recession. Over two billion lost jobs by the time it was finally over.
“Who asked how people allowed this to happen?… Well, son, it turns out that there was a political party back then known as the GOP, for “Grand Old Party”, which was actually the Republican Party. Please walk this way as we make our way to the GOP exhibit, as I explain the rise and fall of the GOP.
“In President Abraham Lincoln’s time, it was the party of liberally social ideas. But something happened to it. It became more and more conservative, believing on the one hand that personal liberty and freedom were very important, but that government’s only real function should be to defend the country from outside military threats, and not much else, including personal liberties. GOP began to believe that taxes should not fund anything else.
“In 1980 a charismatic actor named Ronald Reagan, also known as Ronnie the Ray-Gun because of his love of star wars, became president. He pushed huge tax cuts to the rich under the later-proven false premise that if the rich have more money, they’ll use some of it for more and better-paying jobs for the poor and middle class. He never told anyone is that the rich would use the money to get even richer, by exporting American jobs overseas where they could re-institute sweat-shop-like factories at a fraction of the cost of American factories. So they became richer while the middle class became poorer.
“Under the Ronnie Ray-Gun administration, the United States also got poorer, because tax revenues were reduced by the rich tax cuts, while the federal budget grew hugely, resulting in the biggest budget deficits and national debt in history. Yet, that was nothing compared to what happened next.
“At the opening of the 21st century, another GOP-republican became president. George W. Bush, known to millions simply as W (for whacked) came into office in history’s closest (stolen?) election and proceeded to start an unnecessary war with a country then known as “Iraq”, whose leader had once tried to assassinate W’s father.
“W gave the rich another huge tax cut, yet he raised federal spending and the budget deficit and national debt to new and unprecedented heights. The GOP controlled the US Congress for six years of W’s eight years and rubber-stamped everything W wanted. While all of this was happening, Wall Street was stealing the country blind with their greed-driven policies, as you all saw in the last archaic history exhibit.
“Additionally, W gave the fundamentalist religious extremist right-wing fanatics of the USA unprecedented control over the running of the federal government and its agencies, laws and policies, negatively affecting everyone.
“All of this was so bad that it drove the GOP into its ultimate extinction.
“By the time W’s reign of terror was over, only 20% or so of America’s citizens would even admit they were republicans, mostly from the southern, formerly slavery-supporting states. The rest of the GOP supporters began realizing that the party was “W”hacked and wanted no part of it.
“Ah! Here we are: the “Arlen Specter ‘Flip GOP the Bird'” exhibit. Notice the formerly republican Pennsylvania senator standing in the Capitol building, middle finger of his right hand raised in a ceremonial rejection of an elephant photograph, which was symbolic of the GOP. Standing next to him is Olympia Snow, the now-formerly republican senator from the state of Maine, awaiting her turn to do the same. This display represents the beginning of the mass exodus from the sinking GOP.
“Any questions? No? Then let’s proceed to the next exhibit called “Before Universal Health Care”, which displays folks dead or dying from swine flu after they lost their jobs and health care in the recession…remember that?…and couldn’t afford basic human medical care.
“I know I know. Incredible, the brutal past, huh?”