Monday, April 22, 2019

Economics Seen Through The Right-Wing Kaleidoscope

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Mike is a writer, animator and the creative director of Rebel Dispatch. He works in Washington, DC as a visual effects artist and freelance web designer.

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December 2, 2009
Filed under Politics

We have seen this played out over and over again. As soon as Liberals take majorities in the Legislative Branch and control the Executive; the Conservative Movement, like an octopus stalking its pray, camouflages itself as the exemplar of fiscal responsibility and political incorruptibility. While squids feed upon hapless shell-fish, the conservative, Republican Party feeds upon the ignorance, fear and  identity politics of its hapless herd. So, we have had a few Republican dominated decades. What’s the big deal? Well, check out what has happened to our national debt over the past three decades.


As you can see, while current republican politicians claim to be deficit hawks, past history indicates they have no qualms running up the taxpayer credit card when they are in power. This in and of itself is not what irks me. It is the non-sensical hypocrisy of a group of ideological hypocrites that feign responsibility, competence and restraint and show none of those traits when they exercise power. I would be quick to laugh if people’s attention spans were not so short and their minds so willfully coerced. There is a large minority that does not realize they are being consumed by the same people and ideology that is largely responsible for the current financial crisis, two wars, torture and threats to the Constitution (see Patriot Act).

Anyways, to continue:

The favorite, fake concern right-wingers love to bring up when opposing those “evil” Liberals are issues of economics. They largely contend that conservative principles applied to issues of finance and monetary policy are not only an embrace of the Free Market, Capitalism and the american way of life but essential to our economic success.  Seen through the right-wing kaleidoscope, the manufactured associations between issues of economics and our american identity, are purposeful distortions that belie the nuance and complexity inherent to these issues. This serves only to inculcate Conservatism into the American identity regardless of whether or not those values can contribute to effective national policies. Some things are just not as simple as some may have you believe. More importantly, if complexity is intrinsic to that issue; (and national issues like health care, taxes, financial regulations are complex issues), one should question why some people would rather simplify an issue and play to raw emotion.

So, what we get are people like Larry Kudlow who claim American patriotism and total faith in free markets as if they go hand in hand. When you challenge their beliefs regarding economics, Conservative pundits like Larry Kudlow will cry fowl, feel the need to  reaffirm their patriotism and hypocritically claim that the critiquer’s motives are suspect. In reality, what is suspect is a man’s ideology that precludes him for any critical thought to the strengths and weakness of our economic system and  allows him to make specious claims like the Dow hitting 50000.  Larry Kudlow is just a cheerleader who shakes his pom poms regardless of whether or not his team is playing fairly or is cheating.

To continue, why do some people like Glen Beck and his Fox News cohorts misdirect populist anger away from actual outrages like Goldman Sachs’ fleecing of taxpayers and just blame an imagined Progressive conspiracy? Because Glenn Beck and Fox News are part of an ideological mindset that lionized the same people and corporate interests that threw the American taxpayer under the bus. As a right-wing media outfit, it makes perfect sense to Fox News  to blame the Government as a whole when Progressives have a chance of passing real regulatory reform.  Most of the right-wing media and Conservatives politicians have facilitated and capitulated to the same corporate and private interests that brought on this economic disaster.  In order to protect those interests and their own, they will lie, distort and polarize the American people.  And, like those corrupt interests on Wall Street, they have enriched themselves by selling this snake oil.

Furthermore, if Obama was the mad Progressive some have made him out to be, he would have sought legal repercussions for the people and institutions responsible for this crisis and do his best to squelch the unholy matrimony between maleficent, parasitic Business and Government. Republicans, if they were real Conservatives, had thirty years to clean up Washington and better regulate the private sector, and they did nothing. In fact, they only made it worse. (see Graham-Leach-Bliley Act).

While Glenn may want you to think this is an example of Government failure, I  think this is an indictment against the Republican party and Conservative Ideology. In fact, they are very open about it. Government  should not solve your issues or anything else for that matter. As history reveals, this horrific, nihilistic mind-set only leads to suffering and abuse. (just look at Bush’s administration – a noticeable portion of whom work at Fox News BTW)

We have to believe that we can work together, help ourselves  and contribute something in order to improve not just our individual quality of life but help those around us. Without these aspirations, society would be meaningless. The advantages we gain from living together  we would no longer be able to take advantage of. If people like Glenn Beck and those in the Radical Right had their way, authoritarianism,  chaos, suffering and anarchy  would be the rule.

So, I propose to you 2 simple questions: Do we indulge the better angles of our nature, help ourselves and each other? Or…Do we listen to the likes of  Glenn Beck, recoil in fear and lash out at somebody who asks for or offers a helping hand?

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