I’m a progressive. And through this medium, I’m attempting to fulfill my duty: release people from their shackles. However, these shackles are internal. From childhood on, we are asphyxiated with the noxious messages in the form of commercials and other ads. Not many realize that they are being subjected to propaganda that has changed our social psychology. Corporations promise happiness through external means. Success is measured by money, not good moral behavior. In fact, immorality or amorality can be an asset in a society in which entertainment consists of promiscuous girls from New Jersey and their salacious encounters with random men.
Turn on Fox News: The commentators are always angry. O’Reilly and Hannity are in a competition. Who can come across as more angry? Who can spew the most vitriolic, angry rants at guests with opposing opinions? And of course there is O’Reilly’s attempt to dehumanize progressives by referring to them as pin-heads; in war or in the commitment of genocide it is necessary to make the enemy less than human by referring to them as “gooks” or “hajis.” O’Reilly is rich and successful (successful in the pseudo-capatlistic sense), not because he is a decent human being, but because he realizes that there is a huge audience that truly believes his act–his anger, his vitriol. O’Reilly doesn’t care that his circus act is damaging to our democracy; he cares about getting paid–about being rich. His audience is susceptible to this bullshit because they sense that there are deep flaws in our democracy, our social psychology, and our economy. This makes them angry–it makes me angry. O’Reilly and conservatives have found a way to harness this anger to their advantage. They offer red herrings as to why our country is in peril: gays are allowed to marry; Roe v. Wade; Obama is not an US citizen and he is going to take our guns, tax us to death, and socialize medicine. To the uneducated, these fallacious fear-tactics make for powerful propaganda. In the mind of conservatives, the far-right (is there any reason to write “far-right” anymore? The moderate wing of the Republican Party is either non-existent or voiceless), yes, the far-right has inculcated the susceptible to believe that progressives are responsible for our crumbling democracy–our crumbling society. These fallacious issues repeated ad nauseam by right-wing pundits have created a lower-middle class and working-class conservative base. As I stare through the looking-glass and find that the plutocracy, and their corporate economic wing, has formed a coalition with the working-class and lower middle-class, I wonder how progressives let this happen, and how we can win back the backbone of America–the working-class–before the backbone of America is broken. Progressives wonder how working-class people continually vote against their own economic interest.
We thought that the union-busting in Wisconsin orchestrated by the Koch Brothers would wake people up to the true aim of conservatism. The plutocratic Koch Brother know what they are doing. They are intelligent, but instead of using their intelligence to free people from the shackles of ignorance, they employ what Fromm calls “manipulating intelligence.” Not all intellectuals are empathic. Instead, the Koch’s use ignorance to their advantage. There plan seems obvious to me: The Democratic Party depends on donations from unions to try to keep up with the bottomless pit of corporate donations that propelled some of the most conservative Congressman into power (This is the proper point to express my ominous feeling that with the slow extinction of the unions, the Democratic Party will be beholden to corporate America–I am not so naive know that this is already happening).
To explain the Democratic Party’s sudden exigency to find people and institutions that will pay big bucks for campaigns that could shift the balance of power in Washington, we must revisit the Koch Brothers master plan to turn our country into a corporate plutocracy. The Supreme Court created a perilous situation with the Citizens United decision. Our democracy is in a very precarious situation; The Koch Brothers (who by the way have been hit with 350 criminal violations of the federal environmental laws–the biggest polluters in the United States) hired the most expensive lawyer in the United States to argue in favor of Citizen’s United. And that lawyer just happened to be the General Counsel of Koch Industries.
The Koch master plan should be clear to you now: 1) Win Citizens United in order to fund the most extreme right-wing candidates (Tea Party candidates) 2) Use their billions to elect gubernatorial candidates willing to destroy unions 3) With the destruction of unions, progressive candidates lose their source of funding. The plan worked in 2010. Moderate Republicans were swept out of office (believe it or not, their biggest opponents were from the same party, not the Democratic Party). Multiple extreme right-wing Tea Party candidates were sworn in 2010. Unfortunately, this was a census year, and these Tea Party extremists were able to re-draw their own districts, making them more difficult to beat in the next mid-term. Now the Tea Party has 51 seats of 182 Republican seats in The House of Representatives.
They refuse to compromise on anything, including the debt ceiling limit. It is absolutely vital to raise the debt ceiling limit in order to pay passed bills Tea Party Republicans are willing to play economic brinkmanship with the President, ignoring the Constitutions “Full Faith and Credit Clause” (Article IV Section I). The reason for the Tea Party’s recalcitrance on the current budget issue is even more egregious. The “Full Faith and Credit” Clause is Hamiltonian economics at its best. As long as we continue to pay our bills–the interest on borrowed money–institutions and other governments will continue to invest in the United States. This clause and our adherence to it makes the United States one of the safest and best investments in the world. Investors realize their investment is always safe–until now.
The 51 Tea Party members of the House of Representatives have for the first time in US History threatened not paying our bills as a bargaining chip to push their extremist agenda. The Tea Party has continually brought the world economy to the precipice of world-wide economic meltdown (please trust me that this is not hyperbole. I care not for extremists on either side. I have not criticized the moderate-wing of the Republican Party whom seem to be willing to compromise. It is the Tea Party that I see as a threat to our democracy.)
Their myopic, egregious reason for threatening economic brinkmanship, is to force the Administration to abrogate a law that was passed in 2010–a law that has seemed to have multiple names; the most poignant being Obamacare. I humbly as you to put politics aside for a second. There is of course a lot of debate surrounding Obamacare. I ask you, even if you disagree with Obamacare, is this the way to go about reforming the health care law. To threaten the United States economy by saying “we’re not paying the bills, because we don’t like this law” This is a threat to our democracy and our economy. It is uncivil, and it is a “tyranny of the minority.”
Obamacare passed both house of Congress; was signed into law by the president; was upheld by a conservative Supreme Court. Not to mention, Obama had to run for re-election after signing this bill into law. The result was a landslide. If this is not a mandate then, I don’t know what is. Still we suffer from the tyranny of the majority, who are egregiously bending the legislative process to push the agenda of their benefactors–The Koch Brothers.
I sincerely thank you for reading my point of view, and I hope that you will comment despite your political leanings.
(In my next blog I will explain the idea of the “internal chains” that I had mentioned in the first paragraph)