Talk:Banana Republicans (research notes)

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Suggest some topics for Banana Republicans

Attempts at takeover or neutralization of the mainline Christian denominations: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists. Strategy worked out thirty years ago in takeover of Southern Baptist Convention. Goal is muting the moral witness of the mainlines. See Institute for Religion and Democracy, American Anglican Council (and various affiliates), Presbyterian Layman, et. al.

Taking back God from the warlords: See "Bush versus the Pope" at

how'd the warlards get her?
really. And just how powerful is this God that become a pawn between the warlords and whoever plans to take God from them?
mebbe it's not the God after all; mebbe it's Cheney.

Banana Republicans thrive and depend upon, and also actively promote, a reckless escalation of adversity

this claim seems so naively biased, as if progressives have never used the politics of hatred and public unrest, it practically invites counter-propaganda. I can practically hear the deaf junky pundit pontificating about it already...
progressives is peaceful, bra
You'd better believe it. ;)

... wondering about "selective disregard of important realities", the faith-based governance by fantasy rule ...

at any rate, this could be an exciting project

... perhaps a topic about how Propaganda becomes Deceit becomes Fraud

relatedly, manipulation of science detailed at

... please don't forget the "faith-based social programs" that force anyone in need to seek the help of some religious group and be propaganda-cized further.

You'll find a very interesting article on this here. --Menchi

...Please take the 'faith-based' a little further. Break down the fundamental concepts of separate religions, then put it back together, evaluating how separate 'faiths' are really just market-share of the same thing, and that people have been led to believe that they must belong to one of these captive markets in order to 'cross over'. In reality, we either all get it, or none do, but either way, religion is just marketing and cashflow in itself. ...The key to changing the system is getting people to 'opt-out' of it. Simplicity, nonconsumerism, and non-conformity, including local economic solutions ( are a real active movement, which can be enhanced by the FairTax to discourage consumerism and competition for the sake of economics. ( Thanks.

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today.

Bush/Cheney's 30 "Greatest Accomplishments".

Walter Cronkite: The Unilateral President.

As a woman, I would like to see an analysis of how the right wing/religious right have silenced women through use of religious arm twisting (or, in a few cases, allowed shrill right wing women to be their only vocal female voices...) Thanks, and thanks for continuing to challenge/analyze their disgusting take over of our country)

It seems that a war on dissent is going on under the guise of a "war on terror".

I think book needs to go beyond just the GOP. Although the Republican Party has become the main party to push the elitist agenda, even the Democratic Party has slid, with such examples as the Democratic Leadership Council. What you really have is the corporatization of the U.S. and the electorial corruption of a two party system.

Another item is how the Bush administration is restructuring governmental institutions (with little press) to push a social conservative and corporate agenda. This is evident with science and medical institutions like the NIH and the CDC along with agencies like the EPA. The administration either inserts persons friendly to industry or social conservatives with definite conflicts of interest or the administration underfunds various agencies and programs that they become ineffective.

Wrt "Undermining elections" it is probably important to talk about the move to electronic voting machines. Not only are the systems not secure, the makers of the systems have clear conflicts of interest, with Diebold being the most known example. --Termigator

A good site on this issue is: They are working on this problem, and are always happy to have volunteers and other support.

I agree with Termigator: while it may be interesting to write a book on the republican party, an exclusive focus on the flaws of republicans lets democrats off the hook easily. Just the fact that the Florida 2000 elections is still brought up fairly often whereas the exclusion of Ralph Nader (and Pat Buchanan) from the debates only rarely receive mention should give one an indication as to the balance of power: those who don't have power are rarely, if ever, heard.

It's a bit of a straw man argument to say that the book as we've described it will have an "exclusive focus on the flaws of Republicans." Read the outline of the book in this article. One of the topics we list for exploration is the idea that the Democratic Party has become a "loyal opposition" that lets Republicans set the agenda and doesn't offer a meaningful alternative.

I sense an expectation that we should "balance" our criticism of Republicans with an equivalent criticism of the Dems. The reality, however, is that the Republican Party is governing the United States today, not the Democrats. Republicans control both houses of Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, and more than half of the the state legislatures as well -- on top of which, I'd say they have an advantage in the mass media. This degree of one-party control is unprecedented in American history. --Sheldon Rampton 05:03 27 Nov 2003 (EST)

Government for the people, by the people does not exist today in the United States of America. Today's government operates under the control (more than just influence) of large corporate interests, and for the express purpose of those same interests, all of which are contrary to the rights and interests of the people, and to the competitive fundamentals of a strong capitalist economy.

That description, as sad as it is true, may be a valid part of what defines a "Banana Republic". Both democracy and capitalism continue to suffer from this trend toward extinction.

The "two party system" has worked valiantly to ensure that no additional "parties" are allowed to participate fairly. Of the two, both are equally responsible for turning away from their responsibilities to the people; but only the Republicans take such a prideful delight in doing so. They in fact insist upon being honored for it of all things. --Maynard 08:28 27 Nov 2003 (EST)

The war-on-freedom myth promulgated by George W. Bush as an explanation for why anybody would fly planes into the World Trade Center, has been his biggest lie ever. [1] Scholars and other people "on the left" have known this since the moment they recovered from hearing it the first time. Early public indicators of this fact (the fact of the lie) were immediately ridiculed as treasonous. The willful perpetuation of this myth may be deserving of a separate chapter in the legacy of the Banana Republicans. It could tie to the matter of how how Propaganda becomes Deceit becomes Fraud as a way of life

The book should include a critique of the WTO and IMF and how they pose a threat the democratic form of government in general around the world. Multinationals are overriding individual countries' environmental laws and violating human rights and are getting away with it in the name of globalization. Jihad and al Quaida have been a response to this "savage capitalism" and will continue to spread if we, the people, cannot do something to control corporate greed.

... which of itself is interesting in light of the premise of bringing democracy to the rest of the uncivilized world, i.e. democratization is as much of a lie as the war on freedom myth. ...

... and let's not forget the road map to peace (BTW: is that available at or will I have to go to Borders or B&N?) ... 11/28/03 AI

Not exactly on subject, but thought I'd add this resource to the list for those who may not have accessed it: Anti-War / Foreign Policy / 9-11 / Middle East Links. AI

Some more Bush/Republican initiatives ("from the White House perspective"): moved to separate page in order to promote (rather than dilute) succinct suggestion and discussion thoughts on this page.

exactly. Anything that tends to redeem the opposition goes against the propaganda strategy of demonizing the opposition. Consideration of Bush's accomplishments promotes balanced thought, and would tend to attract readers who want to consider both sides of a conflict, as represented by the respective parties themselves. Such open-minded thought is completely unacceptable in a propaganda operation like PR watch, which relies on the authority of a leader and on a self-styled truth to keep followers in line. Any contributions to PRWatch's latest contract publication need to contain a steady tone of ridicule. While this comment contains the appropriate dehumanizing, ridiculing tone, it targets the wrong people, and can be considered an example of how not to act if one wants to infiltrate a propaganda front.
you miss the point completely. The list of accomplishments is referenced here, and detailed separately, not omitted all together. The list is just way too long to insert here; and while reference to the list is on topic to the page, the list itself is not.
The Bush list of "accomplishments" is easy. He ignores and denies reality; destroys the economy and ecology; lies about or completely misunderstands everything; converts watchdogs to lapdogs; sucks ass of his corporate sponsors;
and is in all other ways functionally and rationally inept; though perhaps he does a good job of doing what he's told.
And now the new page has a back link to this page, so those readers who would be attracted to such a list will be able to find out about and hopefully join the discussion here. This hopefully will resolve the issue the issue the original comment is concerned about.


History will mock a book that focuses on the faith of one political faction while the book is marketed to a similar but independent faction that also relies on the authority of bizarre beliefs to attract and hold followers. What better means could there be to defend one's reliance on imperialist culture and technology than by pointing the finger at one's imperialist leaders. Rampton and company seem primarily interested in recruiting participants for the American political process, which is prima facia evidence that Rampton and members of his propaganda cell are fascist recruiters working to block cultural revolution that could undermine the oppressive Western economic systems. We should review how neccessary New Age thought must be for the success of fascist front organizations like PR Watch. We probably need to take a better look at who funds PR watch and at the political histories of PR watch's in-house propagandist. Banana Republicans could be the first in a series, which could include texts on "Mississippi Democrats" and "German Greens".

Noticing lack of available dictionary and/or excess cable 'news' ...
"history will mock"
"faith of one political faction"
"authority of bizarre beliefs"
"reliance on imperialist culture"
"fascist recruiters working to block cultural revolution" referring to self-proclaimed progressives
"that could undermine the [evil]" !?!?!? funny thing for a revolutionary to do
I suspect that you're (all of you 'we') welcome to investigate all you please; just follow the links and read the materials.

"In his Jan. 2001 State of the Union address, President Bush announced that the primary U.S. objective in Iraq was "regime change," not destroying weapons of mass destruction, which became the main justification for ousting Saddam. Bush made it clear he would no longer negotiate with Baghdad when he included Iraq in the "axis of evil" along with Iran and North Korea." Wolfowitz Doctrine Sinks in the Iraqi Quagmire By Jalal Ghazi, Pacific News Service, November 25, 2003.

Propaganda is generally a term reserved for the self promotional activities of a competitor or idealogical enemy, whereas , usually the activities of 'one's own' is refered to as 'public relations'.. When appealing to the masses it is often considered to be fortuitous to develop popular chants or slogans that attempt to convey either support of the chanters agenda or simple condemnation of the chanter's chosen target. As in a current trend to attempt to push an idea of Banana Republicans to somehow associate the republican party with the notion of South American countries that are run by a self serving elite. By the establishment of 'parties' we are left with intents and endeavors to support the party platforms and agendas , forever losing sight of the individual constituents of those parties. Seldom does a party embody en toto the exact ideals and individual agendas of the members therein, but is more likely only to provide a general framework that is in the greater part acceptable to each member. Given that scope, it is possible that no one is represented in entirety by the government but only to one extent or another. The trilling and boring rants based on nothing much more than envy that ones enemy party has succeded often and regulary resorts to lies, constructs,fabrications,inuendo and disingenuous claims of illegitimacy of the opponent. -- by . .

nail, head, HIT, there 66.36.etc!

The first rule in analyzing political rhetoric (for legitimate analysts - not for the counter-propagandists who sponsor thi... I mean, not those which you mention) is to discard the content and to analyze the format. Be wary of generalizations, slogans, totalistic comments, personal attacks, ridicule and derision.

...This is only a vague idea I've been toying with, but I think America badly needs a vacation from "world leadership," even "leading by example." What kind of an "example" have we been setting recently? Specifically for this book, to what extent has America's "world leadership" been used, deliberately or not, to distract Americans from all the ways they're being screwed by the corporatist state? "Yeah, you have to work two jobs to keep living indoors, but you've still got it better than all those others because you're a citizen of the world's only superpower!" Ties in with, "They hate us because of our freedom." -- Mutternich

More than 200 years ago, the focus of reformers (which is what we all purport to be) was to abolish the link between the church and state. Furthermore, Consitutional and legislative requirements were introduced to protect the rights of individuals.

Today, it's not the church that threatens to undermine everything that the creators of U.S. democracy strove for. Instead, it is the plethora of organizations, including the church, but more importantly corporations, unions, lobbyists, charities, special interest groups and other organizations that influence (monetarily and otherwise) decision makers and legislators.

As a result, the 'waters have become so muddied it's no longer safe to swim'. Simply put, the right of the individual no longer exists.

This has to change.

With this in mind, the purpose of this book should not be one party vs. another and who's right or left. Instead, the focus should be on how individuals can exercise change, how they can demand democracy. It should also look at solutions that will reduce the influence of corporations, including campaign contributions (ie. they should be eliminated), increased liability, the potential to lose corporate status if regulations are broken and so on.

Great changes are possible, but only if people know how to make it happen. You have a great opportunity to help people understand the roadblocks to moving us all forward and leaving partisan politics and corporate greed behind.

I'm not convinced that national political parties are contributing anything positive to the situation at all; and would happily consider their abolishment.
Neither am I convinced that nationalism is any part of the answer. I similarly reject that party founded by the German general who committed suicide - the one named after a color. Contributions that return power to individuals will create local infrastructure in which the individual will have a chance of participating without bringing to bear vast economic resources. Widespread organization of community corporations, community banks and community land trusts would be more likely to make a difference than would the election of Christ, Mohammed, Confuscious or Bhudda as president of the US.

You need somethingon the "National Security Strategy" -- how it is an Unamerican (in terms of "first strike", something we have never endorsed until now) and Unchristian (in terms of "Just War Theory" -- it clearly violates the accepted standard). Add to that the perversion of Military Reform and you have full chapter. You should be able to get lots of info from Gary Hart and FAS


The discussion about the "banana republic (cans)" misses the point, because the situation is far more serious than the term seems to indicate. One should perhaps look more closely to the German history, e. g. the so-called "Ermächtigungsgesetz", which gave the German gouvernment the right to establish laws by procedures not covered by the constitution. The Patriot Act fits the scheme, and when you look for the philosophical underpinnings you will find figures like Carl Schmitt and his permanent "state of exception" etc. In his very impressive but not much cited book, Bertram Gross (N.Y.: M. Evans & Co.,1980) coined the term "friendly fascism" (book title), meaning the consolidation of the common interests of Big Government and Big Business, which results in an increasing curtailment of individual rights (how about Iraq and Halliburton & Co.?). It's not the classic fascism of Germany or Italy, because they didn't have the sophisticated methodology of technological and political manipulation (Hitler had his Hugenberg press empire, but this is nothing compared with the empire of Murdoch!) and they had also to use crude street force (but look at Miami recently!?). The common important point is the continuing erosion of personal liberty and democracy in the USA. So Gross would be worth re-reading in view of the "new face of power in America" (subtitle of his book). A bit of theorizing couldn't be a mistake..... (2003-12-19, Nikolaus, old European).

Specifics on what each of us can do, individually and collectively, toeffectively counteract the movement to silence public citizens who are not sympathetic to the narrow interests of the right wing, and to reverse the travesty of massive manipulations for right wing takeover of our culture.


On the subject of "Loyal Opposition" I voted for Nader and of course have had to to deal with numerous criticisms from friends that voted for Gore claiming that my vote helped Bush win. Nevermind the mis-votes for Buchanan, the hanging chads, the purging of thousands of African American voters, etc...

What I can't figure out is why no one seems to focus on the ridiculous handling of the Democrats election strategy. It seemed from the beginning that they wanted to lose because they had Gore abandon his well received semi-populist stance early in the race and adopt a more moderate position.

IF they had really wanted to win, why did they choose Leibermann, at best a Repug in cleric robes, as VP running mate??? After Clinton, wouldn't it have been a better nod to women if they had chosen a female running mate?? Sorry, but I think the Democrats wanted to lose because if they had chosen any woman other than Hillary, it would have been a shoe-in! And why do the Democrats refuse to form an alliance with Greens and Independents if the Democratic Party truly is for things like unions, environmental protection, social responsibility, responsibile welfare??

Loyal Opposition is a fitting title and I think you should run with it! The Dems have been in cahoots with the Repugs for decades and until they are held accountable, they will not change. Take away their Repug whipping boy and rub their noses in it! -D. Jackson (

You might want to include information about former USMC general Chesty Puller (Fuller?) He basically said he was the Al Capone of Central America at the behest of the USA after he retired. It would work well as introductory material on the theme of "Banana Republics."

Some miscellaneous thoughts I haven't seen already (and hope I didn't miss):

Legislative fear of media reprisal that influences their vote (there's a very real fear that if the media aren't happy with your vote, you will be vilified, and they become increasingly more powerful and influential as a result)

The strongest lobby against public campaign financing: media (campaign ads are a huge source of media revenue)

Supreme Court Justice Scalia and Thomas's failure to recuse themselves from the case that led to George W. Bush becoming president

Justice Scalia violated federal statutes when he failed to recuse himself from the election case. Eugene Scalia, Antonin Scalia's son, is a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the law firm that represented the Bush campaign in oral arguments before the Court. When the press got wind of this, Eugene told reporters that he was not working directly on the case. The federal statute on this matter requires that a justice recuse himself from any case in which their spouse or child is "known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding."
UNITED STATES CODE: TITLE 28 - Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, Pt. I - Organization of Courts, Ch. 21 - General Provisions Applicable to Courts and Judges, Sec. 455. Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate (

Justice Clarence Thomas had an even more serious conflict of interest which violated federal law. His wife, Virginia Lamp Thomas, was (and is) gathering and processing applications for the Bush cabinet. The federal statutes are crystal clear that it is the relationship itself and not whether any "discussions" take place that determines when a justice is required to recuse himself. Despite the clear-cut violation, of course, Justice Thomas heard the case and voted with the majority in favor of his wife's ultimate patron.

Excerpts quoted from "Supreme Court (In)Justice," John Dee

Money! vs. integrity The far right has loads of money thanks to their massive exploitation of people and resources. Unless you reduce yourself to the same level and compromise your integrity in the same way, it's practically impossible to compete (maybe part of the Democrat's confusion? They feel they need to compete but can't do it and still maintain their integrity, so they end up doing neither one very well?)

This leads to an incredibly unbalanced playing field between those who want to make the world a better place and those who care only about personal gain (which, I think is the real distinction - not right v. left, corporations v. people (corporations are run by people, too), or Republican v. Democrat; it's just that the Republicans in control of all branches and the media seem to be from the "exploitation for personal gain" category) --Debbie 8 Feb 2004