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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Here We Go Again…

The President has come forward to say that his view of same-sex marriage has evolved to the point where he is now in support of same-sex marriage.  Thank God we have a President who is able to speak the truth about his beliefs, even when they change, and when they are in conflict with the viewpoint of  about one-half of voters.  Unlike Mitt Romney, he doesn’t change views to satisfy whatever audience he is in front of; he takes stands that sometimes are difficult, but which are necessary, right and just.  Jack Cafferty on CNN thinks this is simply “pandering” to certain voters, but ignores those voters Obama stands to lose because of this decision. 

This is a prime example of getting side-tracked into areas that don’t speak to the needs of most people.  Same-sex marriage is a side-show for most, but politicians and pundits who don’t have the real interest of people at their core, are easily led down a primrose path to think that this is somehow important to our well-being.  It may well be important in certain people’s lives, but it is not of consequence politically because the whole matter has been left to the states, and continues to be their decision.  Little will change just because the President has evolved his viewpoint.  The states still have the ability to decide what to do about this issue.  And, so far, the score is 32-0.  Thirty-two states have decided that marriage between a man and a woman is the only acceptable standard.

So, if you want to decide your vote on the basis of this one social issue, and ignore all the other critical issues that are confronting our nation at this time, then you deserve every bomb that radical Republicans, who support traditional marriage, can throw at you:

  • Destruction of social security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
  • Protection and enhancement of the rich in every way possible at a cost to workers and middle class
  • Elitism at all levels: education, health care, housing -- too many of the rich want special privileges for themselves only -- YOU they don’t care about!
  • Use of government structures and power to control aspects of your life that they believe should be controlled:  no more abortions; no more easy access to contraception; greater control over immigrants and all minorities, such as using the judicial and prison systems to incarcerate - and thus remove - “them“ from society; segregated housing as much as possible; segregated public schools - or better, private schools that cater to the elite and are not run by government no matter who goes to them;  no marriages except heterosexual ones;  maximum health care only for those who can afford it -- much less for those who can’t (minimal vouchers from the government to buy inadequate insurance); fundamentalist religion as the arbiter of morals and politics. 

It comes down to a few in this country controlling the minds and the actions and the lives of the many.  It’s known as Plutocracy or Oligarchy - the rule of the rich or the rule of an elite few over all others.  But, it’s worse than that:  at its foundation, this ideology -- these principles -  are part of the root of socialism or communism.  Radical Republicans want you to focus only on what they regard as socialism:  government control of services and of industry and production.  However, that is only one aspect of a socialist or communist state.  The more important element is the control of your mind, your heart and your everyday life.   

That is what Republican radicals are after, and that is what they will drop on you as soon as they get the chance.  These radical Republicans are not out to give you more “freedom;” they are out to limit your choices, to control your actions, to standardize your religion, to take away whatever bargaining rights, appeal processes, choices you think you have, so that their ideology and their ideals and their opinions will determine how you lead your life. 

Their chant of “more Freedom” is a sham.  They use that word to lull you into complacency.  They want you to believe that voting for them will lead you to a greater openness, with more choices and opportunities available to you because some large government is no longer telling you what to do, or coercing you into certain large systems like provision of health care or public schools.  But you are being led astray. 

You believe they mean what they say.  But they have proven over and over again that what they say is not what they mean; their very phrases are propagandistic:  “the Red Menace” - the “Evil Empire” - “government takeover of health care” - “Pro-Life” - “weapons of mass destruction” - “job creators” - “the national debt is strangling us” - “social security is going bankrupt” - Medicaid is out-of-control” - “reduce taxes on the rich and jobs will be created and all will prosper.”  I’m sorry:  these false aphorisms go on and on, but accomplish nothing other than the capture of unthinking minds.   Ask yourself: am I being bamboozled?  Taken in?  Led down a primrose path?

Of course you are.  Radical Republicans are notorious for diverting your attention from important issues.  They would rather agitate your mind with the issue of “religious freedom” when what is truly at issue is women’s rights.  They would rather divert you from the growing gaps in our society between the haves and the rest of us who make up the vast majority, by convincing you that there is “class warfare” being perpetrated.   Their very favorite is, of course, to convince you that there is some kind of government plot or cabal or movement designed to strip you of something:  “Obamacare” - “government takeover” - “fraud, waste and abuse” - “welfare queens” - “illegal immigrants” - “attack on Christianity” - “global warming myth.”

One of the great scare tactics and diversionary tactics is their insistence on the national debt as the worst possible situation we face as a country.  Once they convince you of the absolute urgency of tackling that problem with immediate budget cuts (austerity measures), the closer they are to ridding us of all the governmental programs that are in place to help the less-than-elite among us.  That’s right.  The national debt issue, and the drastic cutting of government programs to alleviate that debt, hide their real intent: to void all the Democrat programs of the past that they believe re-distribute their wealth to other “classes” of people. 

So, let me ask you.  When has the national debt not been alleviated and resolved by a steady and persistent effort applied over several years?  We do not burden our children and grandchildren with the national debt.  It gets resolved by prudent government control of spending, by taxing all at a progressive rate, by reforming and restructuring how we do business as a government, by asking for certain targeted sacrifices as temporary measures (such as the 55 mile an hour speed limit during a gas crisis; or, a rationing system on one or more commodities; or a rule like the “Buffet Rule” The “Volker Rule” or “Glass-Steagall”-- rules that limit the exploitation of one group of us by another).

The national debt is a ruse - but albeit a problem to be solved judiciously over a period of time - but it is not the crisis for our children or for us that you have been led to believe in order to get you to back the real agenda of the destruction of government programs for the middle class, the working poor and the very poor.  (More to come on this in future blogs). 

And so, we come to a final thought.  Radical Republicans are your worst enemy because they want to use government to control you, but not in the ways that they rail against.  They want to use government to: re-distribute all wealth to the wealthiest; promote an evangelical religion as our standard and as a pervasive force in government; control our ethics; force minorities into restricted ghettos (including privately-run prisons so they can make money off their captives); take away consumer protections so that businesses and banks and brokerage firms can operate in an unfettered manner; make our education system one that the elites control and use to their advantage while the rest of us have to struggle just to pay tuition; reduce women’s rights (one of the most common aspects of dictatorial regimes is their insistence on the abrogation of women’s rights; the diminution of their place in society); and, force austerity measures on all but the military.

But government is there for other reasons: to prevent chaos and plunder; to protect the vulnerable; to provide for the sick and the indigent; to protect the basic rights of every citizen; to insure opportunities for a better life, especially through the best education possible; to defend the citizenry and the nation against forces intending to do us harm; to encourage the development of business and labor; to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit; to make our environment safe and eminently livable;  to encourage research and development in order to enhance our lives; to control the forces of greed and corruption that want to swallow us whole; to promote conditions that help create jobs.  These are a few of the legitimate reasons why we have governments, and why we hand over to governments some of our “freedom” in order to enhance the welfare of us all as a nation, as a commonwealth, as a familial entity.

So, do not be taken in by the propaganda of the Right-wing.  They are the true socialists; they are the true abusers of governmental power; they are the fomenters of class warfare; they are the believers in government of the elite forced upon the rest of us.  Do not be Bamboozled!