Monday, November 1, 2010

1 November 2010 And counting…

From the Washington Post 31 October 2010

I have always tried to avoid using copyrighted political cartoons in this blog. It seems somehow less honest than quoting paragraphs of text from copyrighted sources. It actually is no different in nature or in intent, as I try to identify and cite sources for anything I pull from the media, and make no attempt to pass others’ work off as mine. Further, I sincerely doubt that the very few people who make any attempt to read what I write will ferret me out for failing to gain permission to insert a political cartoon into a blog.

There is reason to use this cartoon. Auth has nailed it. Too few people will see the cartoon. He’s aiming at a target audience that will rapidly associate it with a series of movies. Even though I’ve seen only one of the movies, I can make the association.

For me, the “Mad Hatter” is a stronger association than is the movie trilogy. I’m an older boomer and my movie associations are much less defined than are those of my children’s generation. I think Auth must be targeting them. They are the adults who grew up with Reagan in office, who somehow were taken in by the increasingly senile performances that passed for press conferences. While my children were encouraged to regard anything uttered by Reagan as a lie, far too many of their friends and fellow gen-Xers were sucked into the “greed is good” credo and came to believe that trickledown economics would somehow make them wealthy. Today, many of them are Republicans because they somehow identify the doddering Reagan with their childhood. They were convinced to vote for the interests of the wealthy and of corporations rather than for the interests of blue-collar working people and the middle class. They voted for the people who outsourced and off-shored the nation’s jobs.

Now they are waking up to find no jobs but lack the intellect and memories to recognize what they did to their selves and everyone else looking for fulltime work. Because they were short-changed by going to public schools that spent more time teaching self-esteem than history, ignoring science for theocracy under the misdirection of local school boards; their analytical skills and actual understanding of history has led them to join the mob of pseudo-patriots that are being stirred up as useful tools to, once again, vote against the best interests of every American citizen except the very wealthy. And vote for corporate greed and corrupt legislators they will. The GOP and its corporate sponsors have spent billions trying to confuse issues, to deflect awareness of corporate and political party guilt away from the GOP and Tea Party mobs. They provided months of lies, misinformation, fear mongering, and deliberate obfuscation. They’ve stirred up racism, bigotry, religious fundamentalism, xenophobia, homophobia, and anti-intellectualism.

The dangerous and disconcerting truth is that the propaganda campaign will most likely work. Once again, a majority of Americans will be convinced that voting for tax cuts to the very wealthy and the corporate giants will somehow result in jobs and prosperity. The voter base is too poorly educated to ask:

”Where are the jobs that were supposed to magically appear when the Bush tax cuts were first passed? Why are we all unemployed now, with those tax cuts still in place? How are we to pay for foreign wars without raising taxes?”

I find it overwhelming that none of the rank and file GOP, none of the Tea Party mobsters, can make this association. It’s an easy reach, doesn’t require any college level thinking. It seems to be consistently above the intellectual capacity of the GOP/TP voter base.

As November rolls around, I sit here shaking my head at the lack of voter intellect that has brought us to this point. We’re counting down toward what will probably be one of the more disastrous mid-term elections I’ve ever encountered. The GOP will most likely gain control of the house. Then they will spend the next two years trying to undo everything Obama has managed to secure for the populace.

The rabid Tea Party elected will be too full of their own elections to be willing to make any compromises concerning taxes. They will insist upon tax cuts, with no real idea as to what can and can’t be cut. They will lack numbers to force anything through; but in concert with the GOP will be able to obstruct and delay any meaningful and necessary legislation. They will demand that Social Security, Medicare, and other social safety nets be dismantled in order to prevent the “lazy and the deadbeats” living on the dole. They will make every attempt to shut down our government without understanding how it works and why it needs to work. People who have never spent a day in the nation’s uniform will be demanding control of our armed forces and our national security. People who can’t read beyond a 6th grade level will be demanding their pitiable attempts at legislation be passed. People who can’t pronounce half the words in the Preamble to the Constitution will suddenly be trying to repeal Constitutional amendments and determine whether or not something is “constitutional” (not Congress’ job to begin with – See The United States Constitution.)

We’re going to empty the asylums and hand the inmates the keys. We’ve only begun to imagine how much damage they can create in two years. The Tea Party mobsters and their companion theocrats will attempt to undo 234 years of progress toward modern statehood. We’ve no clear estimate of how much havoc they can wreak, how much harm they can visit upon this nation. I’m afraid we’re going to find out. It may be a very short slide into third world status.

Or, if each of us badgers, begs, drags, and otherwise convinces every one we know with a modicum of intellect and a desire to thwart the GOP/TP/Corporate monster to the polls to vote tomorrow; it could be, just might be an unexpected denouncement of the GOP's intentions for America.  We can, and should, vote against all the GOP and Tea Party mobsters.  At the same time, we should let any Democrats who win their seats know that we demand the concern for our citizens and our nation that they were elected to secure in 2006 and 2008.  Both parties need to be used rudely and dragged into reality. 

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