THE CONSERVATIVE STRANGLEHOLD ON AMERICA
MORE THOUGHTS AND MUSINGS
It seems as if there are cracks appearing in the right wing’s ironclad vise grip on America. Wait. First let me note at the outset that Rush Limbaugh is not ready to revise his “liberals are destroying America” theme since he just endorsed Rand Paul who, as we know, wants to get rid of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I’m assuming Obamacare as well. Be that as it may – I don’t expect the blowhard radio and TV pundits will ever be satisfied until America’s working and middle classes are reduced to working serfs indentured to our corporate overlords precisely in line with the Koch Brothers’ vision for America.
But, happily, there have been a few – and just a few – signs of late that the thirty year darkness of conservative social and economic policy we’ve been living under is beginning to weaken. Not, of course, in the fantasy world of the Tea Party acolytes or in the pseudo reality of those conservative economists who insist – still – that cutting taxes creates jobs. And there are plenty of Republicans sitting today in the new Red Congress who are evangelical believers in the most outrageous social and pseudo-scientific theories (vaccinations come to mind here) hard data, facts and scientific evidence to the contrary.
First and foremost are the marriage rights that the LGBT community has gained despite the vituperous and vicious thirty year campaign waged by the American Family Association and their vile ilk. Thirty-seven states and DC now sanction same sex marriage (due primarily to lawsuits rather than legislative support) and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case. And isn’t it amazing that not a single heterosexual marriage has been harmed by this radical liberal development! Then too, while there are still plenty of climate change deniers serving in the House of Representatives today, it seems that slowly but surely – just like the slowly melting polar ice caps and slowly rising sea levels – the consensus of 90% of climate scientists and 80% of all scientists who believe that the earth is warming and that man is contributing to this change, is gaining ground. Gaining ground, I might add, after thirty years of simply ignoring the issue. But still the conservatives have pledged to get rid of the EPA. I guess they either have short or no memories and think that all historical data is just liberal made up stuff. If you’ve forgotten how badly our lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and air were polluted prior to the EPA, it’s worth refreshing one’s memory.
And look at the fact that now, again after thirty years of do-nothingness and denial, the US is not only pretty much energy self-sufficient today, the use of alternate energy sources has tripled during the past six years of the Obama Administration. Today every single car maker manufactures a Hybrid and/or electric vehicle. Gas mileage standards are now set at an average 28 miles per gallon and will climb even higher in the next five years to 35 mpg. And yet, and yet, car manufacturers are doing gangbuster business these days. So I have to ask, couldn’t at least some of this progress been achievable over the past thirty years if not all of it? Yes of course it could have. Now, I could be called cynical by assuming that during the two Bush Presidencies there was too much in the way of oil profits at stake for alternate energy research and development. But then that doesn’t account for the Clinton Administration’s lack of progress on this front as well.
The economy. It’s 2015 and six years after the horrendous worldwide crash of 2008 the economy is back and employment is up. Yes, I know that the right wingers point our that the U-6 unemployment figures are much greater, there are millions of folks who are no longer in the job market, and wages haven’t risen. You know, it takes a warped mind to twist some of the best economic news we’ve had since Obama was elected into some negative news. But, then, Obama is our first Black President and, in the view of the right wingers, because he’s Black he must be incompetent.
I turn your attention to Western Europe. As conservatives here in 2008 bullied and screamed about austerity, Germany insisted that austerity was the only solution to get the EU economies back on their feet. Six years, ago that is. Today it’s quite a different turn of events and in the EU nations and the EEC stimuli and easing is all the rage now since the austerity measures haven’t worked especially compared to the US where we followed a course of limited government intervention. Guess what? All the right wingers who were predicting disaster as a result of these socialist policies, were wrong. Dead wrong. And, of course, while the volume of “tax cuts create jobs” has reduced a tad of late, this economic strategy seems to be the only one that Republicans have in their arsenal. Odd, since I don’t know of a single study showing that tax cuts lead to increased jobs. What we do know for sure is that tax cuts as our tax code is currently designed mainly benefit the already rich and not working and middle class folks. And we have the data that proves it.
So come on Hillary, let’s do something about it!
Okay. That’s enough for today. The death grip of conservative social, political and economic policies seems to be lessening a bit. But only slightly. And, a good sign I suppose, we aren’t hearing as much this year about how women can self-abort or shut down or somehow magically end a pregnancy resulting from rape. Of course it’s very early in the Red Congress reign so I’m betting we will hear more from this corner of the darkness.
Have a good day!