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The GOP Is a Cult Worthy of Jim Jones

(Image: Lance Page / Truthout; Adapted: Terry Feuerborn, Gregory Hauenstein)

Republicans ARE drinking the Kool-Aid.

On Wednesday, Politico published an article in which John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff and current adviser to President Obama, said that Republicans are, “a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress.”

Those comments caused outrage with Republicans in Washington, and in the interests of political correctness and civility, Podesta apologized to Speaker of the House John Boehner.

But apology aside, Podesta was right.

The Republican Party is a cult worthy of Jim Jones, and all across America, it’s killing off its followers, just like Jim Jones did.

For reasons that typically have to do with god, gays or guns, low-income people across America frequently vote Republican, thus becoming Republican cultist followers.

And then, just like the followers at Jonestown, they let their leaders in the Republican Party pass out “policy Kool-aid” that actually kills some of them.

For example, right now, 23 states, led by mostly Republican lawmakers, are refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

As a result, millions of low-income Americans won’t have access to life-saving health care and medications.

And those millions of Americans include the “followers” of the GOP who helped give Republicans control of the House.

Meanwhile, as Republicans are taking away health care from their “followers,” they’re also taking away their food.

Last month, thanks to Republican opposition, Congress failed to extend food stamp benefits to more than 47 million Americans. For a family of four receiving food stamp benefits, that means 21 fewer meals per month.

And, 2.3 million children in California and Texas alone have lost access to food thanks to the Republican-backed cuts.

So, the Republican Party is killing off its “followers” by denying them health care and food. But it doesn’t stop there.

For “followers” of the Republican Party who are lucky enough to still have access to food, that food might be contaminated with diseases, parasites and other less savory things, because Republicans don’t want us to know where our food comes from, or what’s in it.

They oppose GMO and country-of-origin labeling laws, which would require all foods to be clearly labeled.

And since Republicans hate regulations, they’ve cut funding to the food inspection programs that keep us safe from contaminated, and potentially deadly, foods.

Take shrimp for instance.

Nearly 85 percent of the shrimp Americans consume is imported, and much of it is never inspected.

As Jill Richardson over at AlterNet points out, that means that shrimp is making it to the marketplace that all too often is riddled with salmonella, covered in antibiotics or pesticides, or contaminated with neurotoxins.

Not that much different from Jim Jones’ cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Yummy.

Republicans are also killing off their “followers” by taking away their homes and jobs, and condemning them to lives of poverty and despair.

They support corporations that lay off millions of American workers each year, and then ship their jobs overseas to the lowest bidder.

And when those millions of Americans get laid off, Republicans refuse to help them survive.

Yesterday, the Senate passed the bipartisan budget deal, but noticeably missing from the deal was the extension of unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans, benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.

Unemployment benefits were left out of the deal because Republicans think unemployment insurance makes Americans dependent and causes them to stop looking for work.

They think that Americans will magically find jobs if they aren’t receiving unemployment insurance.

But what will really happen when 1.3 million Americans lose their unemployment insurance right after Christmas is that these Americans will faller deeper and deeper into poverty, unable to afford the most basic things needed to survive, like food and shelter.

For those “followers” of the Republican Party who are lucky enough not to lose their health care, homes, food and jobs, they may still be killed by the party’s refusal to combat climate change.

Despite overwhelming evidence that climate change is very real, man-made, and that it could be devastating for the human race, Republicans continue to argue that climate change is just one big hoax, spread around by those “crazy” liberal scientists.

Republicans are content to let their “followers” die in climate-change-fueled massive superstorms and epic wildfires.

Finally, Republicans are killing off their “followers” by sending them off to fight unnecessary and illegal wars.

As of last month, there had been 4,489 American military deaths in Iraq since George W. Bush and his war-hawk cronies lied America into war in March of 2003.

While calling an entire political party a “cult” may not have been the best move politically, John Podesta’s comments in Politico were entirely accurate.

From taking away health care and food, to failing to fight climate change or give unemployed Americans assistance, Republicans are effectively killing off the very people who have helped put them in positions of power.

If that doesn’t scream cult, I don’t know what does…

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