THIS is the God of the Tea Party and the New GOP… Almighty Mammon the Great… don’t be fooled by their cries of “Jayzuss”… they’re about as Christian as Anders Breivik was… that is, not much…
Here are the guts of it all:
“I know you’re scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, and your hope. This was a disaster, but it wasn’t a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. However, it didn’t work out. Moreover, it didn’t work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. Nevertheless, we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we’ll draw on their wisdom. We’ll restore business confidence the old-fashioned way… by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can’t promise that we won’t make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they’ll be honest mistakes and that your government has your back again”.
A story isn’t a policy. However, that simple narrative… and the policies that would naturally have flowed from it… would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two-and-a-half years of failed government, idled factories, and idled hands. That story would’ve made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this wouldn’t be a power-sharing arrangement. It would’ve made clear that the problem wasn’t tax-and-spend liberalism or the deficit… a deficit that didn’t exist until George W Bush gave nearly 2 trillion dollars (58 trillion Roubles. 1.4 trillion Euros. 1.2 trillion UK Pounds) in tax breaks largely to the wealthiest Americans and squandered 1 trillion dollars (29 trillion Roubles. 700 billion Euros. 600 billion UK Pounds) in two wars. Perhaps, most important, it would’ve offered a clear, compelling alternative to the dominant narrative of the right; our problem isn’t due to spending on things like the pensions of fire-fighters, but to the fact that those who can afford to buy influence are rewriting the rules so they can cut themselves progressively larger slices of the American pie while paying less of their fair share for it.
However, there was no story… and there’s been none since. In similar circumstances, Franklin D Roosevelt offered Americans a promise to use the power of his office to make their lives better and to keep trying until he got it right. Beginning in his first inaugural address, and in the fireside chats that followed, he explained how the crash had happened, and he minced no words about those who had caused it. He promised to do something no president had done before… to use the resources of the United States to put Americans directly to work, building the infrastructure we still rely on today. He swore to keep the people who had caused the crisis out of the halls of power, and he made good on that promise. In a 1936 speech at Madison Square Garden, he thundered, “Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me… and I welcome their hatred”.
There it is in a nutshell. One of the reasons that we’re in the straits that we’re in today is that Barack Obama is trying to be kind to those who have no other desire but to slice off his balls. He’s trying to conciliate the irreconcilable. Look, these people are greedy and grasping nutters, that’s all there is to say. They want to gut social welfare programmes to enrich the affluent, and that’s that. They want a world were everyone is the Step n’ Fetchit of the Five Percenters. In short, they want a plutocratic dictatorship based on Ayn Rand’s perverse philosophy… a dictatorship that would make the solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short life available to one under the state of Hobbes’ Leviathan look positively alluring. Ponder this… most of those who follow this perverse credo also claim that they have “a personal relationship with Jayzuss” (an aside to my Orthodox readers… good examples would be phonies like Jonas Paffhausen, Terrence Mattingly, and Rod Dreher). THAT tells you much about American religiosity. You don’t honour God by kicking the unemployed full-force in the face! That’s all that there’s to say on the matter. We can fight for what’s right, or, we can bow down before Satan and worship naked greed… that’s the alternative. What do you want? I know what I want… and it’s not THAT!
Monday 8 August 2011