In the 1950s, the science fiction genre was at its highest popularity with movies depicting aliens from other world coming to earth to take over the human population for various reasons ranging from food to slave labor, to the total annihilation of the human race.
My all-time favorite Sci-Fi movie is the classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In that story, alien creatures invade a small town in California and the aliens create duplicates of the town’s residents that are devoid of emotion or individuality.
Of course there was no invasion; America was not taken over by aliens, but parts of America have been taken over by fundamentalists who want to instill their theocracy on the American people. Those theocrats posing as members of the Republican Party have hijacked the party of Lincoln, and now the GOP resembles nothing like the party of Goldwater, Rockefeller and Reagan.
Today’s GOP is a party of neo-cons and religious fanatics, obsessed with the Military Industrial Complex, abortion and a black president. There is no middle ground when it comes to the 21 century version of the Republican Party. The presumptive leaders of the Party, Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, have views that would make both look like radicals in the eyes of 1950’s GOP leaders.
In 1963 Barry Goldwater, author of “Conscience of a Conservative,” ran against Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society. Today Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are running against the New Deal, the Great Society and Obamacare. Senator Goldwater, a war hero in his own right, was a pro-choice Republican who favored open dialog on issues facing the American people, and he was open-minded on issues of contraception and the rights of the American woman and minorities of all colors.
At the end of his presidency Dwight Eisenhower warned the American people against the growing trend of ultra conservative neo-cons and the Military Industrial Complex. During an address to the nation, Eisenhower stated that, if left unchecked, America was heading for a constant state of war and social unrest.
Eisenhower, the man who sent the U.S. Army into Little Rock, Arkansas to protect the right of African-American students in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education and the ending of “separate but equal” provisions in the law, stood up to southern segregationists, bigotry and hatred. Today, Mitt Romney and his GOP cohorts use racial euphemisms to describe the first African-American President and question everything about the man from his birth to his intellect.
Today’s Republican leadership welcomes the segregationists and the ultra conservatives into their fold in an effort to keep political power and to keep their slew of billionaire donors happy. This election season has seen GOP senatorial candidates express their radical theocratic ideas along the campaign trail in the form of anti-abortion and anti contraception rhetoric. Congressman Ryan has injected that life begins at conception and under no circumstance should there be a termination of a pregnancy even in the wake of rape, incest or the safety of the woman.
This past week Indiana Secretary of State and senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock stated that when a pregnancy occurs after a rape, that is a gift from god, and the rights of the fetus outweighs the rights of the victim of this most heinous crime. This is not the first time a GOP candidate has expressed such radical theocratic views. This ultra extreme view of women and their reproductive rights goes back to the same era as those old Sci Fi movies, to a time when women were thought of by many men as inferior and in need of subjugation.
Mitt Romney who, at one time had more liberal ideas on the rights of women, has shed his past views like trees during autumn shed their leaves. He now has taken on the more conservative stance on women’s rights and walks lock step with the Akins, Bachmanns and Mourdocks of the Republican Party. His ever-changing views on social issues are now a redundant subservient theocratic view of women and their basic human rights to self-determination, independence and economic freedom.
In “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” the main character played by Kevin McCarthy is seen at the end of the movie screaming at anyone who will listen that aliens have arrived and are taking over the body and minds of Americans. Little did I know that his make-believe warnings of an alien invasion would become reality 50 years later in the form of the Republican Party.