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The Big Conservative Lie

August 21, 2013

    I thought that after such a long absence, I should re-post some of my earlier essays as a way of re-introducing myself, this blog, my ideology and positions. I have updated some of the content, but it is essentially the same. The original posts are still available in the archive. This one, for instance, was the very first post on this blog and originally appeared on January 3, 2010.

After George W. Bush won in 2004, I was dumbfounded. Literally, I was unable to express my disbelief, frustration and irritation with the voting public. I wasn’t sure if I was more concerned about living through another four years of his disastrous administration, or having to live among a population that was short-sighted enough to elect this man again. I believe I would have voted for just about anyone other than Bush and Cheney. Actually, I might have voted for a chimp. (By the law of averages, the chimp should have made the right decision about 40% of the time.) Furthermore, everyone I knew, literally everyone, felt just about the same way – even my old Army buddies.
I had just gotten back from a little over a year in Iraq, and I knew, perhaps better than many others, about the great lies that led us there. I was the Public Affairs Officer for a major command in charge of a large portion of Iraq, which included the better part of the “Sunni Triangle”. I sat in on meetings with most of the major players of both the American forces and the Iraqi peoples. I knew, for instance, that nobody, and I mean nobody, in a position of authority took seriously the “search” for weapons of mass destruction. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, our command didn’t search at all for WMD. Tips we got from Iraqis about the possible location of such weapons went largely ignored. Command meetings discussing the day-to-day activities and progress of the command, never included discussions about WMD.
By the time I returned home, bitter and dejected, it seemed the rest of the country was also beginning to demand answers as to why we had yet to uncover any WMD, any evidence, in fact, that the Hussein regime even had a WMD program. And so the election results of 2004 came as a great, disheartening and unpleasant surprise.
After an appropriate mourning period, I began to ask how this atrocity had occurred. How the American people had been duped a second time by this snake oil salesman from Texas? How could so many people still believe that Iraq had something to do with the terror attacks of September 11, 2001? How could so many people not understand that giving every American $800 during the worst budget deficit in American history was simply buying votes, with your own money no less? How could so many middle and working class Americans vote against their own interests? How could anyone believe that a multi-billionaire oil man was deregulating and “detaxing” huge corporations was doing so in the best interests of the working class?
And despite vast historical evidence screaming against their brand of economics, we voted Reagan into office twice and the same with G.W. To me it defied logic and common sense. What the hell is wrong with the American population?
So I asked. I asked a lot. I asked everyone I knew and many people I didn’t know. The answer that I got most often, that made any amount of sense, was that moral and social issues such as abortion and gun control were more important to many people than economics and foreign policy that they didn’t understand. Further, many of them believed the right-wing media echo-chamber of Fox News and talk radio.
Sure, a lot of dupes gave economic reasons, but that could only be because they were in fact dupes and had no notion of the history of the Republican and conservative historic romance with big business, which has NEVER helped middle class America. I don’t just say these things; they are facts – all there to be discovered by anyone willing and smart enough to read.
So, I’m left with pro-life, pro-gun, anti-evolution, pro-school prayer issues. Oh yeah, and one HUGE LIE.
I began to look into this. Despite having won 5 of the last 7 presidential elections (excluding the current Obama administration), the conservatives that working class America have put into office haven’t really done a damn thing about the issues they claim to care so much about. G.W. had the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court in his back pocket, and still made no changes to Roe v. Wade, gun control laws, or the reintroduction of prayer in public schools. And this does not take into account the fact that, while the Clinton White House was liberal on these social issues, it was more fiscally conservative than Reagan or either of the Bushes.

After more than 10 years of the lowest taxes in decades, what are those “job creators” doing with all that money? Click the pic.

What they have done, however, is deregulate big business, cut the taxes of the richest Americans, pull the carpet out from under organized labor, castrated government agencies that protect the consuming public, workers and the poor, run the economies of the nation and many hard-working families into the ground. And while they have been pissing on our collective leg, we are being told over and over and over again that it’s the rain of free market capitalism we feel. That these warm nourishing drops of golden nectar are fertilizing the soil of our economy by allowing big business to be free of regulation, free to earn more money which will allow them to be free to create more jobs. Really? I mean REALLY? Well, where are they? Wages have been dropping in real dollars for years. Job creation, when there has been any, has been mostly in the service area (by the way, GW was the first president in history to have a NEGATIVE job growth statistic. There are only so many Wal*Marts our country can support).
I saw a glimmer of hope when President Obama rolled over the Republican Party twice. Many voters have lost the faith. Partly because he hasn’t yet miraculously put to right the financial mess that George W. took eight years to create (to be fair, conservatives had been bringing it to a boil for years before “The Decider” took the oath). But beyond Obama not being able to perform miracles, and I believe more to the point, conservatives continue to lie! And too many Americans choose to believe it.

Who really spends more, and why are we still being told about a “Deficit Crisis”? Click the pic for some answers.

The version of conservative governance and economics sold to Americans is a lie. It is not simply a valid theory competing with Keynesian economics; it is an intentional, purpose-driven manipulation of facts, untruths, and populist emotional triggers. It is designed to do just what we are seeing in cities like Detroit. Conservative policies have vaulted the profits of the ultra-weathly into the stratosphere by constantly eroding the wages, stability and protections of the lower economic strata. To the great benefit of corporations and their shareholders, our jobs, that were once the envy of the world, have been shipped overseas. Our public education system, that was a model for other nations in the 1950s, now does not even place in the top 10 world-wide. Our infra-structure continues to crumble before the eyes of the millions of unemployed. The concentration of wealth and opportunity in the US has never been greater, except for the period leading up to the Great Depression. The very policies that pulled us out of the economic crisis of the 1930s and 40s and created the middle class are being systematically dismantled, often with the help of a very patriotic, but severely misguided American voting public.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 23, 2013 2:15 pm

    Glad to see you back Dave. Your voice has been missed.

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