I’ve written a lot about how the Clintons, Obama, and the the other corporate Democrats have led the way to the current political catastrophe. How they sold us out, deliberately betrayed us.
Let’s briefly outline how all of the other equally guilty parties have totally screwed us. This covers so much territory that it’s necessarily schematic. If you doubt any of this — it’s a matter of abundant public record — please, please investigate everything I say here. Facts are facts, “alternative facts” are just lies.
Here we go.
- Racism. The Voting Rights Act of 1964 severed the Dixiecrats from the Democratic Party. Almost immediately, the Republicans instituted their racist “southern strategy.” Until recently, it was mostly implemented via dog whistles: Willie Horton, “welfare queens,” etc. The Republicans have now reverted to overt racism. Who knew that the racism of the Christian South ran so deep? The Republicans did. LBJ thought the Democrats would lose the South for a generation because of the Voting Rights Act. He was wrong. It’s been more than half a century.
- Anti-intellectualism. To put it more baldly, pride in being ignorant, pride in being easy for scumbuckets to manipulate. To put it in Republican-speak, pride in being “just plain folks,” not having any “fancy book learnin’.” Pride in ignorance stupidity ain’t a good thing, folks. But it’s a dominant trait in America. Admiration for Donald Trump, a dumbshit real estate heir with a fourth-grade vocabulary, an IQ probably in the 90s, and a transparently phony “just plain folks” schtick, provides a good illustration of this.
- Industrial-Strength Ignorance. Decades ago, George Carlin said, “Think about how stupid the average person is, then realize that half of them are stupider than that.” As an example of this stupidity, an appallingly large percentage of the population thinks that the American military is weak — while that military accounts for nearly half of world military spending. They’re stupid enough to buy the obvious bullshit assertion that the way to create jobs is to give ever more money to “job creators.” They evidently think that rich jerks, upon receiving taxpayer largesse, say to themselves, “Yeah, first thing I’m gonna do with this is drive up my labor costs by hiring more people.” (News flash here, folks: Demand drives job creation; tinkle-down economics doesn’t. (hat tip to Jim Hightower)
- Assaults on Higher Education. Thirty years ago the U.S. had the highest proportion in the world of adults with college degrees. At last count, the U.S. rankded 17th, largely because of the skyrocketing costs of higher education (annual increases averaging three times the rate of inflation. Why would the Republicans, with the collusion of all too many Democrats, permit, indeed foster, this? In general, the less educated people are, the easier they are to manipulate.
- Disinformation. Manufactured “news.” This has been going on for years. Let’s start with the Acorn deliberate disinformation campaign, accusing this in-part moderate voter-registration campaign of fraud. The Republicans produced no evidence of this, but Fox “News” destroyed this voter-registration campaign in large part because the corporate Democrats were too gutless to call them on it.
- Voter Suppression. The prime example beyond the Acorn debacle is the utterly evidence-devoid charges that there has been massive voter fraud at the ballot box. Again, no evidence whatsoever. The result? Voter ID laws that have resulted in the disenfranchisement of millions of poor, mostly nonwhite, and elderly people. (My mom, who died last year at 99 , and who never had a driver’s license, would have had to produce ID.) At the same time, Bush stole the election in 2000, and Dumbshit lost the election by almost three million votes in 2016.
- Taxation without representation. Millions of people in the U.S. are disenfranchised, largely because they’ve been sentenced to prison time despite having done nothing to hurt others. We’re talking about drug “offenders” here, folks. The assertion that they “forfeited” their rights by doing or selling drugs is no more valid than the assertion that their self-righteous accusers “forfeited” their rights by being authoritarian assholes. In other words, prove the assertion. Goddamn it. Prove it.
- An Undemocratic Voting System. People here have a choice between bad and worse. Is it any wonder that 41% of eligible voters chose not to vote in the last election? A proportional or ranked voting system would have encouraged participation. As is, the voting system discourages participation. One minor example of this is that voting happens on a fucking Tuesday with no provision for people to take time off from work to vote. Are you kidding me? Do you want people to vote or not? (The question answers itself.) And let’s not even get started on the Electoral College–a national disgrace for over two centuries.
- Koch Whores. At this point, money buys elections. Here in Tucson, Kock Brothers’ money bought a house seat for Martha McSally. Same thing across the country. The corporate Democrats with their superpacs and deep-pocketed corporate donors aren’t much better than the Republicans — overall, they just get less money.
- Authoritarianism. Probably around 30% of the American electorate are desperate for a “strong man” to goose step behind. Authoritarians want easy answers, want to abandon their responsibilities as independent, decision-making adults, and quite often are driven by sadistic, bullying impulses, impulses which immersion in the authoritarian herd allows them to give vent to.
- Religious Fundamentalism. By its very nature, fundamentalism — blind acceptance of the commands in a “holy book” or from a “holy man” — is authoritarian, anti-intellectual. It demands blind faith and discourages, all too often physically, free inquiry and a questioning attitude. It’s no wonder fundamentalists are such enemies of free thought and free people, and want to impose their views on others: a moment’s consideration shows that their beliefs are contradiction-riddled insupportable bullshit. Is it any wonder that they flock to mean-spirited, slimeball charlatans who screw them (and their kids and neighbors) economically, but promise to impose their theocratic “moral” dictates on others. In the last election, 81% of American fundamentalists voted for Donald Trump. Trump received the votes of 26% of those eligible to vote (Clinton got 28%, and over 41% didn’t vote at all), and almost half of his 26% came from fundamentalists. Nearly a century ago, Clay Fulks, in Christianity, A Continuing Calamity, nailed it:
Having fundamentalists in a nation is like having congenital imbeciles in a family–it’s a calamity. Allow their mountebank, swindling leaders enough control over society and though religious faith would flourish fantastically, society would revert to the sheep-and-goat stage of culture . . . Wherefore it is perfectly irrelevant whether your fundamentalist is honest or utterly hypocritical in his religious beliefs . . . It just doesn’t matter. The question of his intellectual integrity will have to wait until he grows an intellect. In the meantime, however, what the forces of reaction are doing with him constitutes a continuing calamity.