All the Bad News Fit to Print

by David Michael Green

regressiveantidote.net

Sometimes, when certain species (you know who you are) are too utterly daft to recognize the obvious, the Universe sees fit to scream it out in the form of big, bold block letters.

Such was the case just last week, when all of the following headlines were published, by one journal alone (the New York Times), and just in one 24-hour period. Read them and weep:

“Poverty Levels in 2010 Reach 52-Year Peak, US Says”
“Obama Looks For Big Health Cuts, Worrying Democrats”
“G.O.P. Scores Upset, Claims Win As Omen For Obama”
“Two-Tier Pay Now the Way Detroit Works””In Suburb, Battle Goes Public On Bullying of Gay Students””Student Loan Default Rates Rise Sharply In Past Year”
“What’s a Presidential Library to Do? An Admiring Approach at the Reagan. History, Warts and All, at the Nixon.”
“Obama Offers Jobs Bill, And the G.O.P. Balks”
“Government Pays More In Contracts, Study Finds”
“Ex-Senate Aide Will Be a Lobbyist”
“Fast-Track for Disaster Aid Is Blocked”

How’s that for a litany of shame and destruction? I didn’t even include the garden variety domestic violence scandals of mayoral aides and schools cheating on standardized tests, or anything in the sports section.

What’s most amazing, however, is the degree to which the American public still can’t put it together. Imagine if you were capable of recognizing letters on a page, but not able to string them together into meaningful words. Imagine if you could identify individual biological organs but not add them up to constitute a person. Imagine if every Cheerio in your cereal spoon was a source of fresh wonder, as if you’d never seen one before. Now imagine 300 million people who can encounter news stories like the ones above and still not tie them together into a coherent narrative.

Let me make it simple, in case anyone wants to share this essay with their idiotic, Republican (pardon the redundancy) cousin Buford: The story of American politics over the last generation is the story of the transfer of wealth from the people to the plutocrats. If you think there is anything else essential going on here, you don’t get it.

Of course, you’re not supposed to get it. And one reason why so many people can’t put the narrative together is because there is no one in the political class who is articulating that vision for them to consider. Not a single one among the elites in American politics and government.

Here’s what’s not being said, and not being understood:

That, thirty years ago, the “heroic’, venerated, practically deified, Ronald Reagan ushered in the age of plutocratic piracy, artfully hiding it behind any kind of fear that would sufficiently stimulate the amygdala of your garden variety troglodyte enough to hide the real agenda. You know, commies, fags, fur’ners, whatever.

That the folks who had traditionally been advocates for the rest of us who don’t own yachts were now every bit as bought off as those in the more overly corrupted Republican Party. These Democrats would mouth the words about “fighting” (if I hear that word again from another politician, I swear I will projectile vomit) for the middle class, but that they would actually screw us at every opportunity. Have you noticed how when they don’t control the institutions of government they are always somehow unable to block the Republicans’ worst crimes. But when they do control these institutions the Republicans are somehow always able to prevail from a minority position. Go figure. It almost seems like the Democrats aren’t really serious about the rhetoric they employ. But, of course, that would be dishonest…

That regressive policies have, with almost no exception, prevailed in every contest over the last thirty years, especially on questions of political economy. Taxes? Regressives won. Deregulation? Regressives got what they wanted. Labor relations? What’s this thing they used to call the “union”? Privatization? Why not? Debt? “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter”. Trade policy? Dude, where’s my job? (Hint: it speaks Mandarin now.) Bailouts for big banks? A hundred pennies on the dollar. Need I go on?…(more)

(Boldface Font by BPR Editor)

Click to read entire article: The Regressive Antidote-All the Bad News…

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.

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