While we are all laughing at or crying about the political circus of this electoral cycle, significant changes are taking place. So, what’s new? After all, changes got us to this point.
Those wishing to deny change began to change things a few years back. If I have to pick a starting point, Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign is a likely spot. That’s when the crazy’s became prominent. We’ll ignore ‘Tailgunner Joe’ McCarthy, as that is a horse of a slightly different, but complementary, color.
The conservatives claimed ownership of the United States. They asserted that others (the sane people) had stolen their country and they wanted it back. They could not tolerate the most dynamic economic growth in the nation’s history, or people who were not pasty-faced voting, or geezers having healthcare, or not having the right to make everyone subject to their ideological fantasies.
President Johnson, with the passing of the Civil Rights Act, gave them the perfect recruiting tool. The GOP had no trouble enticing the racist gulls to their party. It was no trouble to convince these patsies that Ho Chi Minh was ready to invade Dallas, or tax cuts will eliminate the debt, or that policies favoring the plutocrats will benefit them, or that being in favor of capital punishment was pro-life, or that their hatred of their fellow citizens is true patriotism.
They gave us St. Ronnie. He gave welfare to the plutocrats. He gave more to their corporations. He promised to eliminate the deficit by cutting taxes on the wealthy. He attacked the unions. Household income went down, so tax revenue suffered further. The acting president was almost able to triple the debt in only 8 years. So much for tinkle-down economics. Just because it didn’t work prior to 1933 meant it should have worked in the 1980s, didn’t it?
What is an appropriate moniker for the super gull, Paul Ryan? Paul comes from the Latin for small. Ryan the Small. As he stands 6’1″, it must reference his demonstrated limited intellectual capacity.
Although it was politically necessary to downplay his idolization of Ayn Rand, he hasn’t really disinfected himself of her juvenile ideology. While denying she is still his guiding star, he admits that Atlas Shrugged is the book he rereads most frequently. He requires his staff to wade through that piece of garbage and gives it as a Christmas present. His and her opposition to Medicare and Social Security are difficult to square with her letting Medicare pay for her heart/lung transplant and cashing her Social Security checks every month. I think neither is intelligent enough to be a hypocrite. That’s just what that ‘philosophy’ does to one.
Poor Johnny One Note seems to fit. His primary focus for his entire career has been to cut taxes. His constant attempts to redistribute wealth from the poor to the plutocrats suggests Bizarro Robin Hood.
A perversity of a significant portion of our electorate has allowed him to climb to the position of 3rd in line for the presidency.
Putting Ryan’s obsession into practice has helped Bobby Jindal turn Louisiana’s surplus into a disaster. Ditto for Sam Brownback in Kansas. These simpletons never learn. They would do well to consider the tax structure during the 1950s and the results – the most dynamic economic performance in history. But that doesn’t fit an economic philosophy that predates the Stone Age.
A large portion of the populace bought into this nonsensical, abject devotion to tax-cutting for the plutocrats and corporations. It is a simple construct. It appeals to the intellectually lazy and the simpleminded.
A few of these people see that this economic joke has worked to their detriment but most are not so clear-eyed. This part of the electorate is declining. They are heavily skewed towards white and old. The conservative establishment found a ready market for their appeals to fear. And why not, the conservative philosophy is founded on fear of loss.
Now comes a new trend. This year is seeing an increase of about 10 million registered voters. Two-thirds of those are of color. This group’s demographic has a greater representation of youth. The youth, the Latinos, the Blacks, the Asians, all lean to more progressive positions. The old and the white lean to the conservative. The former is an increasing demographic; the later is decreasing. Pushing 80, I don’t expect to see the effective political death of conservativism but even that distant prospect is encouraging.
The results of decades of conservative nonsense have left a decimated middle class, crushing student debt, good jobs replaced with lower-paying ones, barriers to voting and welfare for the wealthy and corporations. Strangely, those developments have upset some people. That, in large part, explains the appeals of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. They rightly blame the establishment.
Don’t be fooled. You’ve heard the blather about a nonexistent liberal media. The major media is owned by conservative corporations. Americans lack an international perspective. They fail to realize that essentially the entire political spectrum in this country sits to the right of center on a global scale.
An untutored reaction against the establishment can lead to support for Trump. The difference between the solutions Trump proffers and those of the establishment are more apparent than real. In my role as a former practitioner of the occultic economics, you have my assurances that The Donald would be a catastrophe. More of the same from Trump is not a rational alternative to the conservative establishment. They are simply continuing to buy into the cause of their complaints.
The world is complex. It is not amenable to simplistic cant. This country is large. It’s problems are large. The answer is not smaller government. The answer is better government. Better government will not happen by constant carping about big government. It will not happen by depending upon an ideology that has proven wrong and destructive for centuries.
We do not need more demonization of the government. The government gave us the Internet, GPS, self-driving vehicles and more. Nearly 90% of drug research is paid for by the government, despite what the pharmaceutical corporations claim. Do you benefit from public education, police departments, fire stations, highways, sewers, water from faucets? More than 90% of us geezers give Medicare a thumbs-up. Ditto Social Security. Those criticizing the government don’t contribute to making it work better.
Those criticizing government just don’t want to pay the taxes for all of the benefits they get. They are freeloaders. They are parasites. The government needs more revenue for what it is already doing. The reason for the debt is primarily due to tax cuts. More tax cuts are not the solution. They are the problem.
The government should do more. It should repair our infrastructure, make college affordable, or free, provide a single-payer health system (which would actually save money) and much more. Paying more in taxes may not look that appealing but the benefits certainly are. The trend to a more progressive electorate will be a trend to fewer conservative parasites.
Join the trend. Don’t fight against the future, the young, those of color, those who are not exactly like you . . . the people.