Thursday, March 22, 2012

1984/2012


See, this is the kind of thing that drives me absolutely nuts: in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the guy who's so far given the most money to right-wing superpacs says this about our president:

"Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama," Simmons told the Journal (subscription required), in what is the piece's most provocative quote. "Obama is the most dangerous American alive … because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country."

Never mind that, according to the first-linked article, the man's wealth has more than doubled under Obama. Never mind that, given the option to do something that actually could have been characterized as socialism, Obama instead made the ACA entirely based on private insurers. Never mind that it doesn't matter if the guy believes what he's saying or not (I have no idea, but, based on a line in the article, namely "The 80-year-old Texan takes his political advice from Karl Rove," I'm guessing he knows better): he'll feed money to those that will repeat his claim over and over, the more untrue the better, to the willing and eager-to-be-misled audience, patiently and carefully crafted for the purpose by Rove, Roger Ailes, and the unified chorus of right-wing screamers.

That Barack Obama is not a socialist is clear in everything he's done. That he understands the central role of free enterprise in our economy is as obvious as a dog on the roof of a car. But, like special sauce in a Big Mac, Republican lies are what sell the product. In this case, rather than cholesterol, which is known to be deadly, the product is crafted to hide the truth doubly: not only is the message patently false, it's not about the message at all. It's about stealing by getting the victims happily to open their wallets while thinking they have them still in their pockets. It's about making sure the Republican vision of the future -- which, it couldn't be more clear (read their budget proposals), is to take money away from our future and lay it in the hands of the presently wealthy -- comes to pass.

And the only way that can happen (sadly, likely will happen) is by the constant selling of a lie to a public only too willing to take it in. Willing, because they've been carefully sold a bill of goods, slowly, for decades; and now they're too endumbed to notice or care.

Truly: I'm beginning to think it's not only a waste of time to say anything, but that the country isn't worth saving.


8 comments:

NILBCNU said...

Something to consider now that you have come around to realizing and admitting that perhaps the country really isn't worth saving (he asks rhetorically):

How much of your willingness to make this admission do you suppose is actually due to the escalation of the level of chicanery on the part of the right wing, and how much of it do you suppose is due to their relaxing the camouflage with which they have been surrounding their rhetoric all along - to the extent that more and more of us are finally able to peer through the vanishing veneer so as to be able to visualize the engine that has been running beneath it all along?

Given the sophistication of the American Political Socialization Machine - which has relied upon the finely honed expertise of the most highly educated and sophisticated social scientists that money could buy - we did learn, after all, to recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" before we began questioning the validity of Santa Claus. And it is worth noting also that so many of the other supporting seeds of our cultural beliefs were planted at this same time into our impressionable little minds as we were indoctrinated to accept, internalize, embrace, and worship the central themes of "The American Way" - most central of all is the acceptance of the sanctity of the worship of boundless greed. Of course, we were also guided to believe that there was a sense of greater good serving to steer the moral compass - which somehow seemed to provide some (perhaps warped)justification for the validity of the greed and this involved a variety of concepts including: democracy, motherhood, school spirit, the glorification of corporate spectator franchises & the ensuing nationalism, the existence of some god or gods + its supporting structure, and, of course, apple pie.

But now comes the stark realization that in internalizing all this, we helped to create the monster with which we are confronted today. Only now do we recognize that we were encouraged to BELIEVE that we were participants in a democratic republic but which has revealed itself to be nothing more than an oligopolistic plutocracy wherein our own participation serves not toward affecting the outcomes of broad elections, but only to offer them a sense of legitimacy so as to force each of us to accept and embrace their outcomes. Therein, we have done little more than to follow the ancient highways of social control which have served for countless millennia to maintain the basic structure of wealth, political control, and “social order” firmly anchored in the hands of a very small minority. As my father was fond of saying, "Noting new under the sun - just a new crowd doing it."

Sid Schwab said...

Points well taken, and expressed. Maybe it's just a matter of degree, nowadays: but in my lifetime there actually were people in Congress willing to compromise, to work across party lines. I think there's both a quantitative and qualitative difference now.

And I think the deliberate -- and highly successful -- attempts to make the public stupid are unprecedented as well: never has there been the universal dissemination of such blatant propaganda as seen on Fox and heard on right-wing radio; and never has it been so relentlessly reinforced, nor found such fertile soil in so many minds. Minds made deliberately receptive by carefully demonizing expertise, knowledge, science.

Sure, saying the pledge was naive back then; and it's a mild form of brainwashing. But compared to now, I think it all pales.

Layni Cade said...

I can't imagine his wealth has anything to do with Obama not being a Socialist. Nor does the ONE thing you listed Obama did with the ACA make him not a Socialist. I appreciate your colorful metaphors, but fancy talk doesnt change a polecat into a persian. Obama is not good for this country and that is the bottom line. That 80 year old Texan knows good and well what he is talking about.

Sid Schwab said...

The difference between you and me, far as I can tell, is that I provide facts and you provide opinions. Which makes you an excellent example of today's R party, if not of one who understands the meaning of socialism.

Layni Cade said...

I saw a lot of words...not a lot of facts; sorry. Proud to be an "R".

Sid Schwab said...

Well, how about pointing to a single thing Obama has done that fits the definition of socialism.

And then let me know of what you're most proud: is it a candidate who lies daily, repeating the same lies no matter that they're debunked (the list is long, but you could search this blog for "lies of Mitt Romney," or read the many articles out there, like this one, or just listen to the guy. Or is it the R war on science, or the budgetary approach that will ensure our inability to pay for education, health care, infrastructure, research, in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and increases in defense? Or might it be the way they've used the filibuster more than any time in history, after, during the previous administration, demanding "up or down votes?" Is it their love for denying rights to same sex couples, or is it the voter suppression laws that you like more? Just curious. There are so many choices.

Maybe it's when Mitt said his policy toward Israel will be to do the opposite of everything Obama has done, which would mean ending all financial aid, stop selling them weapons, sending ambassadors to help work out a peace agreement. Or, perhaps, it's how all the guys who voted against the recovery act show up in their districts to take credit when the checks arrived. I dunno, really, there's gotta be tons of stuff. Is it how they cow-tow to Rush? Is it the ending of 200+ years of willingness to compromise in order to get things done? The Norquist pledge, ceding legislative power to one guy like that?

Tell me. I can't wait to hear.

Sid Schwab said...

Extra credit, for reading a non-preferred news source.

Sid Schwab said...

Extra extra credit. Still waiting....

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