Sleight of Hand

0

 

Conservatives are a distinct minority among American voters. Nonetheless, amidst a laundry list of hypocrisies, gerrymandering, voter suppression, collusion, obstruction and dark money, they control all three branches of government and most of the statehouses. In their lawless quest, they have poached supreme court seats, stacked the lower courts and shoplifted elections. This scorched-earth conservatism has rigged the system, pillaged our institutions and deconstructed democracy.

The harsh reality is they now have the power, the wealth and the influence. However, the one thing they lack and the only thing they fear is the collective vote of the majority. Which is precisely why they are resorting to a relentless campaign of distraction, deception and division. An errant crusade that furthers their agenda of betrayal and privatization. The conservative party has been tutoring its supporters on nationalism, religion, militarism and limited government for years. Prophesizing terrors of marauding immigrants, radical Muslims, gay extremists, socialist healthcare, Marxist unions, fraudulent climate change and welfare mothers to an indoctrinated base. In turn, they have managed to convince this gullible electorate to dig their own graves. This is what a major party with conservative values and a religious fringe looks like, when it becomes a white nationalist party with religious zealots who no longer feel marginalized on the fringes of society. They finally have a dime-store Mussolini in the oval office, who thinks like them, acts like them and talks like them.

Although the Trump regime is trying to distract us from an agenda rife with conflicts of interest and self-dealing by stoking the flames of racism and xenophobia. The real threat to the American way of life is the kleptocracy of charlatans, who pander to a ruling oligarchy. It is they, who are exploiting Trump, to distract voters from their agenda of privatization and the entwinement of religion and government. This cabal of religious extremist, Libertarians, conspriacist, white nationalists, corporate plunderers and laissez-faire tyrants are creating a new radicalized form of government that is pilfering our rights, spilling our blood, looting our treasury and destroying our environment.

However, all of this didn’t just happen overnight. Conservatives and by extension the Republican party, has been peddling the empty promises of trickle-down economics, perpetual war and limited government to uninformed working-class stiffs for decades. This perverted doctrine seeks easy answers to complex problems by substituting cooperation, equality and compassion with competition, fear and religion. A corrupt philosophy that forfeits the country’s future for the financial gain of its benefactors. The result is an easily-swayed electorate, who have bought into the false notion the U.S. can maintain the highest healthcare costs and the most expensive military in the world, with the lowest tax rates in history. In turn, this bumper-sticker constituency has been duped to believe the federal government is weak and ineffective and therefore, billionaires and privatization are the best solutions to the nation’s economic and social problems. Millions of Americans are now convinced that status and privilege are linked to individual worthiness. Therefore, if you’re poor you deserve it; even if this belief contradicts your own station in life. Consequently, the Trumpian supporters are willing to vote against their own best interests and even harm themselves economically- if it means they can harm someone else, who is even less-fortunate, more. These anti-middleclass policies bludgeon consumer protections, proliferate gun violence, deny climate change and borrow trillions-of-dollars in debt from China; just to dole out trillions more in tax cuts to the wealthy. The result is redistribution of wealth from the bottom up not seen since the gilded-age.

In a nation, as wealthy as ours it is inconceivable that we have the world’s most expensive healthcare system conditioned on the privilege of employment instead of the right of citizenship. It’s unimaginable that we would have the smallest and least effective social welfare system in the world. That a family working sixty-hours a week would be living in poverty. That taxpayers continue to subsidize welfare benefits to the employees of global conglomerates- because their employers refuse to pay their workforce living wages. It’s inexcusable the middleclass is held hostage to corporate tax policies that pit states against one another- contributing to over $800 million-dollars annually in corporate welfare benefits. Between 2016-2017 alone, the average CEO compensation increased by 18% in comparison, the average worker’s salary grew a scant 0.2%. Unfortunately, Americans have now come to expect CEO compensation rates three-hundred times the median worker’s salary.

We’ve acquiesced to the thousands of small, incremental and seemingly unconnected actions over the years that have created a culture of economic volatility, gratuitous violence, illicit self-dealing, fear and perpetual war. Acts that are intended to strip-away the rights of the majority and replace them with the aberrant patriotism of white nationalism, the gradual creep of authoritarianism and the governing power of the oligarchy. This clandestine agenda is designed to weaken federal agencies, institutions and labor unions to the point they become ineffective. Then the conservative republican party blames these same entities, for being weak and ineffective. This relentless gas-lighting has sowed the seeds of discontent among an unaware populace who have been convinced entire institutions like; public schools, libraries, roads, healthcare, social entitlement programs and even the military should either be eliminated or replaced with privatization. Just in the last several months of 2018, while most of the country was distracted with racial, gender and political division, the republican congress has quietly and methodically introduced legislation intended to terminate the EPA. Privatize public schools. Eliminate the Department of Education. Repeal the affordable care act. Hurl even more tax breaks at the wealthiest Americans, defund planned parenthood, repeal national right-to-work by eviscerating labor unions and of course, the criminalization of abortion.

It is time to vote against this onslaught of unfair taxation, economic exploitation and privatization. Choosing not to vote is a dereliction of duty that creates space for political opportunists who cater to our worse instincts. This fight is not between Democrats and Republicans; the struggle is between people who care about the future and those who don’t. The ruling oligarchs and those who protect their power, will never freely give up their control. We must wrestle it back and rescue democracy from the grasp of economic, political and environmental catastrophe. Only then, through the force of the collective vote can we once again ensure the equality, liberty and protections we seek.

This November will likely be the most consequential election of our lifetime. In the 2016 presidential election 47% of Americans who were eligible to vote didn’t bother to show up. This November mid-term elections, all 435 House seats are up for grabs.  Thirty-five of one-hundred Senate seats are at stake. Thirty-six of fifty governor seats, 82% of all state legislators and 26 mayoral elections of the largest cites are holding elections. If moderates and progressives come up short again on November 6th the republican wrecking crew will surely feel embolden to fire Mueller, Rosenstein and Sessions. They will push climate change to an irreversible point. The new republican order will completely eviscerate labor protections, further restrict voting rights and pass additional trillion-dollar tax breaks for Americas wealthiest individuals and corporations. In turn, government services and infrastructure will be slashed, employee healthcare and prescription drug prices will continue to rise, the concentration of wealth will expand and they will dismantle healthcare for millions of Americans and begin their final assault on Social Security and Medicare. If all of this sounds apocalyptic, that’s because it is.  This is our last chance to make a difference. Should we fail, history will never forgive us.

 

Leave A Reply