Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where The Right Gets It Wrong

I might be tarred as criminally insane by some for attacking the conservative movement in America so vigorously, but I take any damnation of my calling out their hypocrisy as solid praise, for I have struck a nerve to have bothered anyone by my admonitions. For surely, in a world where reason was ascendant, it would be obvious when the fool and the huckster were attempting to woo us with sweet lies and grand obfuscations.

In our world, though, reason has taken a back seat to ignorance. The masses are more concerned with the petulant bombast of drug-hazed actors and the latest tiny glowing box to be foisted unnecessarily upon them to eat up their remaining credit limit, than they are the real and important state of their government and their nation. The victory for independence won over two hundred years ago, they feel no need to be engaged, considering all the important work done as long as they can continue to buy their over-priced, faux-Italian coffee.

The Right -- a misnomer if there ever was one -- has taken advantage of the vapidity and malaise of many Americans, to stoke the fire under their base of support, and ride them to victory in local, state, and Federal elections, while so many others, apparently hung over from the euphoria of 2008, stayed home. The end result was a false dawn, a "mandate from America" for "changing the course of the nation" away from the "path of Socialism." Since coming to power at all levels, conservative Republicans have begun to dismantle the machinery that has provided for the general welfare for decades, while reducing the power of the middle class. The ultimate goal is to increase the gulf between rich and poor to such an extent, that ninety-eight percent of the United States becomes the de facto indentured servants of the other two percent.

However, as is being seen in Wisconsin, Illinois, Maine, and other states throughout the nation, the citizenry is beginning to fight back. Legislators, all Democrats, have abandoned their legislative posts, rather than countenance or be part of the attempt to wash away worker's rights or dismantle social safety nets. Constituencies are rising up, casting aside the Republican candidates that were allowed to occupy key government positions, and beginning recall campaigns, to remove them from office. Like many a foe before, the Republicans who seek to hand over power to their corporate masters have underestimated the resolve and fight of the American people. The mistakes of November 2010 are being corrected in the Spring of 2011.

In Washington, D.C., a Republican majority in the House, which ran on fiscal responsibility and job creation, handed a huge tax break to the Monied Powers, and has yet to bring forth one bill to create jobs. Instead, they have spent their time assaulting, yes assaulting, women, the poor, the middle class, all at the expense of keeping the military over-supplied and pandering to their base before 2012. They have no interest in setting the affairs of State to rights, only to carve up the pie into smaller pieces for anyone not in their circle.

What the Right seems to be missing, is clarity of vision. Surely they have read their history, but then again, perhaps not. Perhaps they have not heard the old saw about "those not learning from history being doomed to repeat it." As they streak toward a government shut down, as the job forecast slowly brightens and President Obama begins to show signs of stirring, they are treading the same path they did in 1996, which led to the re-election of Bill Clinton. That Newt Gingrich, the man who made the ill-fated decisions that wrecked the short-lived rise to power of the Republicans, still does not see it, is testament to their narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness.

In the process of wrapping themselves in the American Flag and the United States Constitution,the Right has blinded itself to the meaning of those things as promises to all Americans, that they shall share in the blessings of freedom, liberty, and justice. Conservatives would have you believe they were elected sole guardians of the nation, and that the Constitution contains some special, hidden clause that says it is their way or the highway. Where the written word, the law, or the truth is inconvenient, they attempt to obfuscate or prevaricate, looking to find someone else to blame for our misfortunes, rather than taking a good look in the mirror in the morning. They are happy enough to call on The Bible when it suits their needs, even though what they are talking about violates the very spirit of Jesus' teachings.

The Founding Fathers handed control of this nation to her citizenry, as both promise and punishment. Promise, in that we could have a nation wherein any person could rise to any level by their perseverance and hard work, unencumbered by class, with equal opportunity under the law. Punishment, because should the citizenry shirk its responsibility, it would be faced with a relapse to the same type of tyranny that they had fought so hard to throw off. This nation would be built up by the industry of all its citizens, or dragged down by a lack of attention to the details of running it.

We stand at that crossroads now, and the Right would have you believe that going back the way we came is the answer to all our problems, allowing the robber barons and steel magnates to run the country through their political proxies, for it is they who "know what's best for us." But this country did not put men on the Moon or deal with polio or expand into the international superpower it is today by going backwards; indeed, the "halcyon" days the Right pines for were darkness compared to the relative gloom we live with now. We must continue forward, because only there will we find the answers and the solutions to our common problems, not just for our country, but the world we inhabit.

The Right gets it wrong, because they do not see the big picture, only their corner of it, and that self-interest blinds them to the reality of our situation. They cling desperately to the same tired tropes, of "free" markets, and low taxes on the wealthy and corporations, and an end to or reduction of social programs, and then even when they get them and these things do not work, they refuse to give them up. The right is not interested in the individual American, unless that American has influence, power, or a vote that can be bought. They are no longer interested in civil rights, reducing poverty, or strengthening the backbone of our nation, the middle class. Despite their belief in a direct lineage from the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers would no doubt look upon their selfishness and disregard for their countrymen as signs of weakness and cast a baleful glance in their direction. The Right must stop pretending to be lords of the manor, and begin the difficult task of governing our nation, or face extinction as their patriarchal and parochial views cause them to be left behind.

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