Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fighting the Future

The Conservative agenda.  To fight tooth and nail to bring America back to some alleged "better time," (conceivably when women shut the fuck up, gays were buried in the back of the closet under a blanket and a dozen pairs of shoes, negroes knew their place--at the back of the bus--, and those who disagreed with the status quo knew how to keep their traps shut).

They claim to want to "take back America."  From the "socialists," conceivably.  Certainly from us liberals--you know, the people who gave the world the reformation, the enlightenment, modern democracies and republics, the industrial revolution, an end to slavery, woman's suffrage, child labor laws, workplace safety regulations, The GI Bill, pensions, health plans, clean drinking water and other environmental protections.  Not to mention social security and unemployment insurance.

Sure, the corporate fat cats bankrolling the Republicans and the whole Tea Party morass want you to swallow that many of these things are UnAmerican, but we argue 'what's more American than justice?  Parity?  Making sure people get a fair shake?  They'd like to take us back to a time retirees were lucky to survive on something better than cat food.  They say "it's your responsibility to plan for retirement" and yet attempt to pay people as little as possible.  Doing it through the power of taxation allows for a shield from the vagaries of fate.  One cannot be destitute for life because of a single bad decision, or a stroke of ill fortune.  For every person who could (theoretically) manage their retirement better than, say, social security, there are several who would choose badly.  For all intents and purposes they might as well suggest the "Circus-Circus Retirement Package."

They don't believe in regulation because they believe that "market forces" will somehow balance out the profit motive, ignoring exactly how effective Madison Avenue and advertisers have become.  BP caused the greatest environmental catastrophe in American history and still people are buying their products.  "What, ARCO is owned by BP?  But they have the cheapest gas..."  And, after all, didn't BP suffer enough?

Here's a clue.  Rich Republicans don't give a SHIT about any of us.  Can't say for sure that rich Dems do either, but they'll at least suggest and support legislation about more than giving away the treasury to their rich cronies.  They know what lending a helping hand means.  Republicans know how to help themselves, and suggest to the rest of us that we do the same.

They scream about anything that "smacks of socialism," but the fact is that anyone with even the slightest brainpower knows that the current model is unsustainable. It assumes an infinite supply of material, an infinite supply of capital, and an infinite space in which to dump goods once we're no longer satisfied with them--once the planned obsolescence has kicked it.

People might well decry me as a "socialist" for even saying so, but anyone willing to look at the current model with an ounce of honesty will realize that something has to give, somewhere.

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