Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Crushing Tea-Party Republicanism. Democrats have done an astoundingly inept job of alarming the electorate about the insane regression the Republicans are trying to carry off this year. It's not about "fiscal responsibility" or "restoring democracy" or any other legitimate idea they hide behind. It's about undoing the 20th Century and returning us to "the good old days" of robber barons, 72-hour workweeks, and $10 a week payrates, with no Social Security, no Medicare, no OSHA worker-safety protections, no food inspections, no regulations of any kind on businesses, which are to be free to stomp on working people to build mega-mansions for the super-rich in gated communities protected by private armies of security guards to keep the starving at bay.
The Tea-Party Republicans want to set class against class, race against race, sexual orientation against sexual orientation, and ethnic group against ethnic group so they are so busy fiting among themselves that they cannot unite to crush the rich and put an end, once and for all, to Monster Capitalism.
They pretend that laissez-faire capitalism is the best of all possible worlds, and that it is Nature in economics, in which the fittest survive, the rest die — and that is supposed to be good! Mind you, the same people who refuse to embrace the "theory" of evolution worship at the altar of the mechanism of evolution, "survival of the fittest". If people cannot pull their own weight, they should die. No one else has any obligation to help anyone, ever, unless they choose to do so as an act of charity, and the recipient of such assistance is never to think such assistance a "right" but always to know that it is charity that the rich have absolutely no obligation to give and for which the recipient of charity is to bow down and kiss the feet of the rich, chanting "thank you, thank you, thank you" endlessly.
The Tea Party wingnuts want to destroy the social compact and replace it with the Law of the Jungle. That is their idea of "conservatism". But since we do not now have, nor have in the past century operated under, the Law of the Jungle, they are not preserving or conserving a thing, but regressing to a pre-civilized state that they pretend was better than the "socialist" "aberration" that was the last century. Now the electorate is presented with a stark choice: progressive or regressive, and the progressives are actually the conservatives because they wish to retain all the hard-won gains of 120 years of American history.
This is, alas, not in the slitest overstated. Let us examine the radical Tea Party program publicly embraced by the Radical Right.
- Abolish the minimum wage, so malevolent corporations can reduce workers to slavery;
- Repeal antitrust legislation, or block enforcement of existing legislation, so corporations can grow as large and anticompetitive as they want, raising prices in collusion with each other and becoming "too big to fail", so Government will have no choice but to bail them out every time they make a catastrophic mistake; (I bet the Tea Party naifs don't realize that allowing corporations to escape antitrust "regulation" would practically ensure future bailouts!)
- Repeal Government regulations that keep food supplies safe, protect water and air from being polluted, protect worker's rights to a good day's pay for a good day's work, keep consumer products (like cribs, cars, and baby strollers) safe; protect workers from unsafe working conditions and hazardous materials);
- Privatize Social Security, so that if the stock market crashes, everybody loses everything, or a person who puts all of his or her money in one stock or one market segment and that company or the few companies they are invested in fail, they lose every cent of their life savings and their earnings from Social Security and become homeless and helpless public charges — except there won't be any social safety net to take care of them, so they will have to beg for charity from the rich;
- On healthcare: restore to health insurers the right to refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — Mike Huckabee, who has actually dared to run for President, compares people with pre-existing conditions to cars that have been totaled in accidents, and compared healthcare to automobile insurance, assigning to people no more dignity nor rights than a hunk of metal; allow insurers to force 18- or 21-year-old children off their parents' insurance policy, leaving them with no insurance whatsoever; allow insurers to reimpose lifetime coverage limits, so people who need expensive procedures simply die;
- Abolish Medicare;
- Close all public schools;
- Destroy PBS (public television, including Sesame Street and all the children's programming that gives kids a head start on reading and math);
- Repeal the progressive income tax, so that the super-rich pay almost nothing, and all the expenses of Government fall on the poor and middle class;
- Inflict religion upon everyone, in schools and everywhere in government, and thus give us a future of endless religious war — what a good idea, to replace peaceful relations between religions, and between the religious and the antireligious, with strife that can create the United States into a SUPER-Lebanon, or Northern Ireland, or Germany during the Wars of the Reformation;
- Roll back civil-rights legislation to permit resegregation of public accommodations;
- Impose poll taxes to stop poor people from voting;
- Allow foreigners and foreign corporations to interfere in U.S. elections by attempting to buy votes with scores of millions of dollars of campaign ads whose sources of funding are secret;
- Prevent any campaign-finance legislation from being re-passed (to override the Supreme Court's illegal voiding of the McCain-Feingold law to limit campaign spending, or even just require entities that put out political ads to identify who gave them the money for those ads). Money in campaigns has become an obscenity that permits foreigners and the rich to try to buy elections. And there is no check on lies in such ads. No one is held to account for the most scurrilous and dishonest assertions, but any advertiser can commit systematic libel and slander with impunity. That's not free speech; that is a course of conduct punishable by law — if the slanderers can be identified. Nor is flooding the airwaves with lies bought by secret donors democracy, one person one ad, but oligarchy and plutocracy, in which the super-rich can create fake organizations to camouflage the fact that one person is pouring millions of dollars into a campaign of lies.
People who try to tell them "You're being used" aren't heeded. We who share their frustration want to wake them up to the fact that they are being used to do exactly the opposite of what they think they're doing. They don't want to hear it. They believe words rather than deeds, so when Ronald Reagan said he was for smaller government and fiscal responsibility, they believed that actor playing President, even as his Administration TRIPLED the national debt.
The Tea Party and Radical-Right Republican Party candidates will not confess to backing every single one of the insane proposals listed above to undo all the progress of the past 80, 100, or even, in the case of antitrust legislation, 120 years, but if they accept the backing of, and name of "Tea Party", then they must ALL be assumed to favor the most extreme Tea Party program, which includes all the items above.
Democrats must forthrightly tell voters,
If you want to see a Nation in which the poor and middle class are made even poorer, and in which people of different races and religions are set at each other's throats so they don't unite to destroy the exploitative rich who advocate unfettered Monster Capitalism, vote Republican. If you would HATE to see the United States become the most heartless monster in the industrialized world (tho how long the U.S. could remain sufficiently advanced to remain part of the industrialized world if the Tea Party has its way, is hard to predict), you MUST vote Democratic, and urge everyone you know to vote Democratic. Don't throw up your hands in disgust. Don't opt out and stay home. If the good people stay home, the monsters win the election and start dismantling every institution that has made us a powerful and prosperous Nation.Voting is a tiny exertion, but it makes all the difference in the world. If the people cannot achieve justice by ballots, they will attempt to seize it by bullets. A word to the wise would be sufficient, but the rich are stupid. Time after time, in society after society, on continent after continent, the rich push their luck until people start shooting them or chopping their heads off. As Spanish/American philosopher George Santayana observed, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The rich don't believe that for a second.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing."
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,427 — for Israel.)
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