Noam Chomsky on the Republican-Democrat Divide

This morning I watched a Noam Chomsky interview on Al Jazeera UpFront. Moderated by award winning journalist Mehdi Hasan, they touched on topics surrounding the 2016 US Presidential race and fundamental ideals that separate the Republican Party from the Democratic Party.

I’ll be honest to say that it doesn’t take a world renown political theorist like Chomsky to help identify these differences. I could easily recognize them through my own experiences, research and just by simply listening to the candidates. But, it did take words from Chomsky to help explain these differences in laymen terms — in a way that it just “clicked” — at least for me anyways.

When asked if he would vote for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton if he lived in a swing state, Chomsky says: “Oh absolutely… my vote would be against the Republican candidate.” But why is that? Simply put, “what every Republican candidate is saying is ‘let’s destroy the world.’”

Chomsky refers to Senator Ted Cruz who suggests to carpet bomb the Middle East (which violates the Geneva Convention). Cruz also wants to repeal the Iranian nuclear deal puts limits for Iran for the next ten years. A former American negotiator explains “even if Iranian leaders, after 15 years or more, believed their national interests were best served by having nuclear weapons, they would run major risks in going forward, with no guarantee of success.” So, if we ask ourselves, “how do these actions work to bring the international community to work together,” the answer is, they don’t.

Donald Trump hints at the possibility to take the United States out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Granted, the United States contributes to about 73% of the military expenditures for NATO. However, NATO is divided into three budgets: civil, military and NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP). These are the percentages of contributions, valid until 31/12/2015, for the 28 countries:

The USA is indeed the main contributor, around 22%. Then comes Germany (14.5%), France (11%) and UK (10.5%). And, considering that the contributions are based on the GNI, it’s not likely that the USA provides 73% of the funds any time in the future. Overall, the suggestion that the US remove itself from its international responsibilities with NATO is not a constructive move or one that unites the global community.

Chomsky continues to explain the biggest problem we face on a global scale is the destruction of the environment, where every Republican presidential candidate and ones in office are a denier or a skeptic of climate change. “What they are saying is, ‘let’s destroy the world.’” Thankfully, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have both stated their intentions to sign the Paris Agreement on April 22nd, Earth Day, the first day the agreement will be open for State signatures.

What the interview did not cover, that I believe falls into the category of the divide between the Republic and Democratic parties are a great deal of social justice issues addressing oppression of minority populations: LGBTQIA rights, women’s rights and abortion, and the Black Lives Matter movement to name a few.

Republicans will tell you they defer to their greater moral character that is influenced by the good grace of God and his Word. Democrats explain these rights to be basic human rights that shouldn’t not be encroached nor infringed open regardless of religion, political or philosophical opinion. Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, author and speaker questions a person morality that is against abortion:

Within that conversation, we must address the socio-political bridges that author legislation’s effects on the communities we live in. When we consistently have a group of people pushing their religiously moral agendas on minority groups, we must stand against this oppression to hold bilateral and multilateral conversations that work to unite and increase the bonds between us. Working to extinguish oppression may feel like rights being stripped away if you’re the oppressor, because they’ve grown accustomed to being the oppressor. However, that’s actually called privilege, when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally. Working to end oppression is called fighting for equality.

What the privileged is actually feeling is the discomfort of losing a little bit of privilege — much like when an only child feels when he/she goes to preschool and discovers that there are other kids who want to play with the same toys as they do. In the grand political scheme, the Republican party clenches on to their grip of oppression and privilege.

Concluded, the sheer irony that Republicans, like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, make arguments to use utter destruction and violence against itself is laughable. Chomsky says, “The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.” Another fault we can probably find in the pro-religious/Christian political platform, but that’s another argument for another day. But it helps to highlight mindset where the Republican party stands on the issues. This is why I vote Democrat. They continuously argue and vouch for civility, discourse, and united efforts to strengthen our communities.

Contributions of this article also come from:

Mehdi Hasa, Noam Chomsky on Clinton Vs Sanders

Jean-Christophe Chazalette, Why should the US continue to supply 73% of NATO Funds? Shouldn’t Germany step in and spend more?