Just over 100 days into the Obama Administration and America's right-wing Republican/Conservative legion is being fed a massive dose of propaganda. The line goes like this: "Americans have learned what the Democrats' promise of 'change' really means -- an assault on capitalism, free enterprise and fiscal responsibility," not to mention "individual liberties sacrificed at the altar of collectivism." That great heaving hulk of ignorance and arrogance that passes as "the silent majority" is being fed huge portions of historical revisionism and washing it down with a heady brew of distilled delusion.
Stupid America, at about 50 percent of the population– most affiliated with Republicans/Conservatives reeking of religiosity –are being told to vote Republican next election because the $787 billion stimulus package contained "pork" and allowed bonuses for AIG officers via loophole. That the stimulus package was made necessary due to nearly thirty years of Republican fiscal mismanagement, of unchecked greed and avarice of the financial class, of Republicans getting all they wanted and more since Reagan, matters not at all. Nor does the fact that the so-called "pork" accounts for less than a percent of total. Nor does the fact that the faulty "loophole" was made possible by the malfeasance of the Bush Administration by way of one of the greatest transference of wealth mechanisms (from the many to the few) ever devised viz., TARP.
Nope. Obama and his ilk are at fault. Ilk? Yes… that other half of the country receptive of "Obama Democrats' dangerous liberal agenda" hell-bent on "fleecing (Americans') freedom and values." According to the propagandists, the Democrats are responsible for the huge debt, the budget deficit and a "destructive tax, spend and borrow agenda." [All above quotations from Michael Steele, RNC chairman, in a letter requesting contributions to help win back both houses come next election cycle.]
The fact that "supply side" economics (lowering income tax and capital gains tax rates for the wealthy as well as reducing regulation even as federal deficit spending increases thereby spurring supply side investment) has been a Republican/Conservative mainstay for thirty years seems irrelevant. The fact that both size of government and spending has increased exponentially under Republican Administrations apparently is irrelevant. The fact that debt has soared under Republican rule isn't relevant.
As one Republican/Conservative pundit opines, "I would love it if the GOP dedicated itself to cutting government by two-thirds, leaving only a minimal social safety net, a big honking military and a few other bells and whistles for promoting the general welfare. My ideal ticket in 2008 would have been Cheney-Gramm. That's right, Dick Cheney and Phil Gramm: two old white guys who would crush our enemies and liberate our economy while shouting, 'You kids get off my lawn!' at the filthy hippies who would inevitably accumulate outside the White House like so much bathroom fungus."
That was Jonah Goldberg, a member of the Conservative Ignorami that passes itself off as the right-wing's intellectual brain trust. Just 100 days into Obama's Administration and the above is what you get from those who have been in power and fucking up royally for three decades.
The putative, reigning king of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh, claims what is needed isn't the current GOP "listening tour" (The National Council for A New America) but rather a teaching tour where Americans will be taught to recite the above distortions and outright lies as profound truths. Can't happen? Think again, dear hearts, for it happened in the small town I live in; GOP fabrications of such ludicrous proportion that the Dems refused to believe anyone could believe such outrageous claims so did nothing to counter the distortions and were promptly voted out in a sweep of historical proportions; that, after nearly two decades of building the case of GOP atrocities against town residents that ultimately resulted in a Democrat majority for the first time in fifty years. The moral of the story? Don't underestimate the GOP's willingness to lie and the stupidity of the "average" American.
No, this writer didn't forget that Clinton, a Dem, presided for two terms. But, as written in this space prior, Clinton did more to undermine middleclass Americans than any Republican would've been able to accomplish; well, any Republican other than Ronald Reagan, that colossus of mental acuity that prompted his supporters to chant, "Let Reagan be Reagan" until the addle pated headcheese spoke off the cuff and it became glaringly clear that his faculties (never honed anywhere near sharp) were atrociously atrophied from lack of use. Hence, why he is Sarah Palin's patron saint; she soooooooooo gets him! As does the "working class," Joe-the-Plumber's crowd, their greatest complaints centering on paying too much taxes (transfer of wealth) for bloated government that hinders job development; jobs they so desperately need. Hmm…One of Reagan's first acts was to fire all air traffic controllers for striking thereby crushing a union to serve as warning to all other union members (Reaganism: Fuck the working class). One of Reagan's other acts was to pledge and carry through on Federal tax reductions which directly led to the increased need for localities to substantially raise school taxes (Reaganism: Thieve from the poor give to the rich). Granted, the Gipper did make Americans feel good about themselves. Well, at least those scrubbed clean, crew-cutted, flag-waving patriots felt better after enduring a decade-and-a-half of having their self-centered shortcomings and provincial views (anti-feminist, anti-black, anti-gay, anti-third world) taken to task by "filthy hippies" who had taken to heart all the bullshit the American public was spewing and, upon attempting to implement those grand sentiments via application in the real world, found the "Greatest Generation" were frauds; their parents liars for talking the talk but then wanting to break the legs of those whom would walk the walk. Don't forget one of the biggest marketing coups in American history was the transformation of the 70s one-world generation to the "me" generation; that generation, fixated as it was on global considerations as a restraint against American adventurism abroad, classified as narcissistic miscreants unworthy of all but scorn from the "silent majority."
Another point well worth noting: Nothing in American politics is actually about Republican v Democrat ideals. It's about the few aiding the fewer at the expense of the many; Capitalism the coin of the realm. Both sides of the aisle are to blame for the failed conditions of education, housing, employment, taxation, health care, etc etc as applied to the "average" American. Yet, "average" Americans continue to rally behind their favorite ideological façade as if either side truly were working on the average Americans' behalf.
Doltism is alive and well here in the United States of America, for sure. Warning: Don't ever, ever underestimate the power of stupid people to band together and thwart the best intelligence a species has to offer.
It's happening right now.