Republicans insist that they stand against big government and regulations and protect free markets, capitalism, and the American way. They demonize Democrats for advocating for restrictions and regulations, but their actions speak louder than their words when it comes to the realities of Republican politics. Take a look at the money trail; it's easy to see that regulations are a cornerstone of the Republican way, just as long as they're the ones reaping the benefits.
Republicans use the terms "capitalism" and "free-market economics" interchangeably in a deceptive attempt to confuse the American public into thinking that we're all on the same side. But capitalism and free-market systems represent different economic structures. Republicans use terms like these to spread the idea that anyone can make it in America if they simply work hard to make it big. The reality is that many Republicans at the top built up monopolies and worked to control markets while subtly instituting regulations that ensure that no one else will be so lucky. While the courts, prisons, and schools fail the majority of the American people, Republicans at the top enjoy the best of everything; it's easy to see if you just follow the money.
Commerce: Republicans have no desire to create jobs if new jobs will create competition for the big businesses that line their pockets. Take Tesla, for example. The car company has been trying to sell vehicles in multiple states but cannot because they refuse to sell through dealerships. Many Republican-controlled states will not allow Tesla to sell directly to consumers, as this would conflict with the interests of dealerships.
Clean energy: As the cost of solar and alternative energies has become more competitive, sales have increased significantly. Instead of embracing the cheaper, carbon-reducing energy solutions, fossil-fuel and electric companies have mounted an all-out war on solar and renewables to preserve their profits. Republicans and lobbyists are creating new obstacles for solar power -- some states are adding solar taxes and fees for net-metering, while other states eliminate incentives.
Environment: There were more oil-by-rail accidents in 2013 than in the previous 40 years. North Dakota and Alabama have experienced railcar accidents that killed people, destroyed property, and created toxic messes in their communities because Congress won't require the use of safer transport cars for the oil-and-gas industry. Congress allows the transport of heavy, thick, flammable tar-sands and crude oil by outdated and unsafe means in order to save big business a few dollars at the expense of civilian lives and the environment.
Women's health care: The GOP seems determined to regulate every decision a woman makes about her body. If Republicans claim to be so against regulations and restrictions, then why do they feel the need to advocate for the regulation and restriction of the bodily autonomy of all American women?
Crime: How is it that a member of an ethnic minority caught with drugs spends more time in jail than a white person arrested on the same offense, while no one has been held accountable for the white-collar crimes leading to the biggest financial meltdown in recent history? Privatizing prisons is about nothing more than increasing profits at the expense of the rights of everyday citizens.
Farm subsidies: Massive farming and agriculture businesses have been the recipients of some of the biggest subsidies regulated and bestowed by the GOP. However, while supporting these huge institutions, Republicans have also dedicated themselves to increasing regulations and eliminating forms of food-related aid to America's poor. This may be the saddest path the Republican Party has taken, denying basic human rights to children.
Voting: Republicans are completely overhauling the voting system in order to regulate who of the American public should be allowed to cast their vote. In order to secure their power, Republicans are taking away the constitutional right through suppression and poll taxes.
International policy: Wartime economies have proved to be far more profitable for the Republican Party, and there is little profit to be made from peace. Why use diplomacy when bombs can offer profit, control, and power? Republicans seek to keep their weapons companies happy, their public scared, and their discourse strong in order to stay in power and continue amassing wealth.
Republicans are cherry-picking the best of America for themselves while regulating industries to strengthen their monopolies and interests. They are leaving a mess behind by taking from and destroying what is left of the public-school system, the environment, and more.
Despite their claims to the contrary, regulations and restrictions are a staple of the Republican agenda, and they always will be as long as the Republicans and their friends are the ones who benefit in the end. Just follow the very clear money trail.