THE POWER OF MONEY & PROPAGANDA: SUBVERTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE
AND IT’S NOT THE UBER-PATRIOTIC TEA BAGGERS WHO ARE BEING SUBVERTED
If you've heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Tea Party types who blather on and on about how the will of the American people is being subverted by liberals. Or “Libruls” as Rush calls us. Well, I’ve just undertaken a bit of research and judging by the facts (data, statistics) it’s not them who’s being crushed. With just a few pertinent questions and trusty Google researching, I've discovered a starling reality that no Tea Bagger worth his or her Obama-Hatred stripes is going to accept. (No surprise here. This is how conservatives respond when confronted by those nasty alien cosmic particles called: FACTS!) Here’s what I mean:
Now to hear Republicans, conservatives, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Freedom Caucus and right wingers in general, one would think that the vastest majority of Americans want Planned Parenthood not only defunded but closed down and all their nurse technicians shot at sunrise. But, oddly enough, that’s not what the data tells us. And, Republican led state legislatures in Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Utah have passed de-funding laws based on the false claims of the Center for Medical Progress in doctored videos. So much for the will of the American people.
Are Americans Against Raising Taxes?:
And here's another issue that many of our sitting representative - Republicans for the most part, also seem to get wrong - Taxes. And since every yazhoo Republican running for the office of the Presidency is committed to cutting taxes because "cutting taxes creates jobs" as they say, I wonder what the American people feel about taxes. Well, here's some views:
Nearly all polls have the same result. But pretty much every member of the U.S. Congress has signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes. Ever. Under any circumstances. And every conservative believes firmly that cutting taxes rather than raising taxes is the right way to go. And one more time, it would appear that our political system is out of synch with the will of the American people.
Is Climate Change Real?:
Climate change - a huge issue now for a few decades. We know that Republicans don't believe that it's a problem and most Democrats and Liberals do. But what do Americans think generally about the issue?
But even though the majority of Americans not only believe that Climate Change is real, we believe that it poses a significant threat. So why is it that all those politicians don't think that climate change is real?
What Do Americans Think About Race Relations?:
The issue of race, is a big one certainly ever since Obama was elected President and Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman back in 2013. Despite claims that it's only because Obama is fanning the race flames, apparently Americans think somewhat differently:
So it would appear that most Americans do indeed believe that race relations are still a problem and not some fantasy issue ginned up by Obama to divide the country.
Do Americans Support Obama's Agreement With Iran?:
The much maligned Iran deal that Obama worked out as one of his major foreign policy initiatives? If you listen to Rush, Fox and every Republican member of both the House and the Senate, one would think that this agreement was the worst deal since the Soviet Union signed the non-aggression pact with Germany in 1939. (It didn't work out all that well.) But despite the Republican insult to Obama by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, what did the rest of us think about the agreement?
So I guess that all of the hysterical fireworks during the negotiations with Iran by conservatives, wasn't all that much reflective of how most Americans actually felt about the deal. Once again, politicl bullshit actually defying the will of the people.
And then there's the Tea Party. Tea Party membership is only 8% of all Americans today. On the other hand, the Tea Party does have an outsize grip on pubic policy - like cutting taxes, like smaller government, like reducing government regulations, like dismantling the EPA, Voter ID Laws, to name a few. Why does the Tea Party - and their philosophy seem to be the predominant force in public policy today? Money. Pure and simple. The anti-union drives undertaken by Scott Walker in Wisconsin, for example, are being funded by the Koch Brothers. Indirectly of course in our age of Citizen's United. It is estimated that the Koch Brothers will spend upwards of $800 million dollars in this years election to get their way. On the Democratic side in comparison, one of the left's largest contributors, George Soros, has estimated that he will spend some $30 million this year, a paltry pittance compared to the Koch Brothers.
Although Koch Industries was founded in the early part of the 20th Century as a gas and oil production enterprise, Koch products today include a wide range of paper products including such brands as Georgia Pacific, Brawny and Vanity Fair. Their old-timey oil and gas industries include Conoco, Chevron and Phillips 66. Koch Industries is the second largest privately held corporation in America and ranks as one of the nation's worst polluters of the environment. I have posted pieces about how the Koch Brothers have waged war against solar power here in the U.S. and how they along with ALEC have been instrumental in anti-union efforts and the criminalization of whistleblowers.
It is in the Koch Brothers interests to deny climate change, to decry government regulation, to thwart efforts to clean up the environment, to keep taxes on corporations low and to ensure that low wage jobs are the norm in America. It is through their funding of "issue" organizations - The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works - that the Koch Brothers are able to influence pubic opinion and more importantly public officials from the local level, through the state level all the up to Congress. The Koch Brothers are generous funders of the Tea Party and have been credited with both their emergence on the American political scene and their continuing outsized influence on American politics.
It is, therefore, no huge surprise that the 8% of the American public that pledge allegiance to the Tea Party, have, with the Party's well heeled funders, an influence over public policy far and beyond what their paltry membership might suggest. And until Citizens United is overturned, this outsized influence will continue.
So when you hear Tea Party accolades, the Freedom Caucus, Conservatives decry that the "will of the American people" is being ignored, what you are really hearing is that their ultra-conservative, no government, no tax, no regulation, fuck the environment agenda has not yet fully overtaken every facet of the American life. That's what they mean but in contravention of what the American people actually want. That is, if you would rather rely on facts and data rather than billionaire funded slogans and platitudes.
Remember, when you hear the phrase, "The Will Of The People" spouted by Trump, Limbaugh and the rest of the right wing conservative crowd, what they really mean is their will, the will of 8% of the American population.