In view of the massive amount of hot air billowing forth from the Republican Party, I am revisiting an oldie but goodie that I recorded a couple of years ago. I think that you'll find that it's still highly relevant today.
Most of you know that I like the Republican Party about as much as I like root canal or an elephant taking a poop on my shoe. Now that in the interest of full disclosure I've told you my perspective, let's continue. You might think that the sole purpose of the Republican Convention is to select, nominate and present their candidates for President and Vice President. In reality, the main purpose of any political convention is to present the platform of its political party and win potential voters over to its candidates.
If a political convention is a marketplace of ideas and ideals, the GOP convention is selling spoiled merchandise. Its collection of ideas and ideals are literally a gathering of evils!
Here are just a few of them:
My list of evils is by no means all inclusive. As you watch the convention, you will see more evils than you can count, making it truly a gathering of evils!
In commenting on Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his VP, John Boehner said that Romney and Ryan will “get the federal government out of the way of small business job creators.” I want to take exception to that on several levels. First of all, the greatest hazard that small businesses face these days is competition from giant corporate “job creators” or, to be more accurate, job exporters. Those giant corporate job exporters have been coddled by government for years. When I say government, I'm including the electeds of both parties, but especially the Republican party.
The small business “job creators”, the people who actually do create jobs are another matter. For the most part, our electeds, especially Republicans, treat small business people exactly the same way they treat ordinary working people, they ignore them. Big corporations who have high-powered lobbyists are another matter, they get almost anything they want. Do they want to offshore our jobs? No problem! Do they want deregulation that gives them an unfair advantage in competing with small business? No problem! Does small business need regulatory protection from unfair corporate competition? Problem!
Which brings me to this question: If the post Reagan implementation of Republican style “free” market economics for all these years hasn't helped small business, but has actually hurt small business by subjecting it to unfettered competition from mega corporations (can you say big box stores?), how will more of the same help? I think that the Republicans should come up with a new catch phrase, “job creators” has worn out its welcome!
Believe it or not, years of watching television have conditioned most Americans to think of and classify everything in terms of brands. This branding process doesn't stop with boxes of laundry detergent or cans of cola, we even classify politicians and political parties by the identifying characteristics programmed into our heads from watching years of campaign advertising. What comes to mind when you visualize the two political parties and their candidates? The GOP wants you to think that it and its candidates stand for mom, the flag and apple pie. The Democrats want you to think that they are the party of working people and the poor.
The stereotypical classifications of Democratic politicians as being the saviors of working people and the poor and Republican politicians as being patriots are deceptive at best, dangerous to democracy at worst. Those popular perceptions are borne out of years of political ads and carefully controlled public relations campaigns. The reality and track records of both parties should tell most Americans that nothing is further from the truth. Both parties are just assuming their traditional identities and playing to their target audiences: In the case of the Democrats, that would be working people, the retired and the poor. In the case of the Republicans, that would be the rich and the Archie Bunker variety of working people.
In the mind of their target voters, each of the two parties represents the previously mentioned characteristics; the Republicans represent patriotism, the Democrats fight for working people. Much in the same way that a certain brand of cola and a certain lemon-lime soda have their own specific taste profiles, voters expect each of the two brands, Republican and Democratic to stand for their implied values. When the Republicans rant about patriotism, but support “free” market policies that enable outsourcing jobs overseas, a decidedly unpatriotic act, it dilutes the Republican brand in the minds of their target working class voters. Similarly, when Democrats “compromise” with the Republicans on cuts to Social Security and Medicare and support job killing “free” trade agreements, it dilutes the Democratic brand in the minds of their target working class voters.
The subliminal message that political brand dilution delivers to prospective voters is that neither party delivers on their promises. That kind of message leads to passionless voters who feel that they are voting for the lesser of two evils and feel that once again, the system ripped them off. We have reached the point where one more disappointment might be the straw that broke the camel's back and be the tipping point that triggers a majority third party movement! The only thing that will prevent that from happening is for Democratic politicians to be authentic Democrats and truly support the working people who faithfully supported them. That would entail curbing job offshoring by restoring trade tariffs on imports to pre-Reagan levels, supporting pro-union legislation, fighting for Social Security and Medicare and remembering that the Democratic party is the party of FDR, not Herbert Hoover! One more thing, will Democratic electeds please stop making comments that venerate Ronald Reagan?
I want you to try this one one on for size. Since Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are embroiled in a seemingly endless political ad battle about outsourcing jobs overseas and both seem to agree that outsourcing hurts the American middle class, we have the rare opportunity to get both candidates and their political parties to put their money where their mouth is by having a truly bipartisan effort to end job offshoing. Instead of both candidates and by extension, both parties accusing each other of promoting job outsourcing, let's see the electeds of both parties take immediate concrete steps to curb job offshoring. I want to see President Obama propose trade tariffs on imports to bring manufacturing and jobs back to the USA. I want to see Congress and the Senate write legislation to bring those tariffs to life. I want to see President Obama sign that legislation.
Rest assured, trade tariffs will bring jobs back to the USA in droves because no corporation wants to lose the American people as customers. Foreign corporations will even open factories here to avoid the tariffs only this time they will be paying decent wages because they will be competing with American owned corps. for workers. We will have jobs, jobs, jobs and the American dream will return.
What's that? Do I hear murmuring from Republican and Democratic politicians that tariffs won't work because we live in a "global" economy? Well in that case, just keep signing those "free" trade agreements that gave away our jobs in the first place and we will assume that those political ads are just empty campaign rhetoric. We will then elect the customary lesser of two evils and use the next four years to grow an all powerful third party that really listens to working Americans!
Did you ever write a letter or an article and realize that you just scratched the surface on the subject? Here is a quickie discourse that will tie all of the information of my previous posting together. What if the “two” party system was created to control a nation's populace? Please understand that the theory that I am going to present to you is purely hypothetical. - - OR IS IT?
Just imagine that you are corporate and banking wannabe oligarchs. You make massive campaign contributions to and do other things to curry favor with BOTH political parties of a nation's “two” party system. Obviously, after making that investment in the future of BOTH parties and their politicians, you expect a decent return on your “investment.” You want that return to come in the form of little things like:
The key thing to remember is that this kind of “two” party system, which is really a virtual one party system, is the ideal way for corporate and banking oligarchs to take control of a country. The corporate and banking masters of the universe find it to be preferable to a one party system because it give the illusion of democracy, while it divides and conquers the citizenry. If voters are given the “opportunity” to pick one corporate and bank backed candidate from one corporate and bank owned party, even the most thick-skulled voter would realize that he or she has been had. The “two” party deception serves the corporate/banking oligarchy well, by having two corporate and bank backed parties that play one group of voters against the other group of voters in a double version of good cop/bad cop.
I hope that this food for thought hasn't given you indigestion.
As you know, I am more than just a casual observer of the political scene. In fact, I have spent most of my life watching the comings and goings of our two party system. As such, I don't claim that I am the most qualified to make some keen observations, just that I've seen a lot of things, for a lot of years and kept my eyes and mind wide open.
Over those years, each political party seemed to have its own unique identity:
The current GOP/corporate strategy seems to be to attack every Democratic initiative individually, using the same scare tactics they used during the cold war when they painted themselves as the patriotic bulwark against communism. They did their dirty work by reducing every Democratic initiative to a derisive slogan and elevating every GOP protected species and sacred cow to a glorifying slogan, healthcare legislation = Obamacare, job offshoring corporations = job creators. If you think that this tactic makes the Republicans seem like they are the only bad guys, read on.
The Democrats forgot who really put them in office when President Obama, with the huge momentum of a solid victory that was a repudiation of Bush and Republican policies, threw away that bully pulpit by stating at the outset that he's “everybody’s President.” Well “everybody” didn't elect him, we did! When he spent the next three years trying to “compromise” with the GOP, he was “compromising” our futures and our families. That “compromise” lowered the bar in negotiating with the Republicans and allowed them to set the agenda! If you think that the whole thing looked like a fixed boxing match, you could be right.
If you take away nothing else from this, I want you to realize that the extreme posturing of the GOP electeds made the apathetic indifference to their REAL constituency of the Democratic electeds look benign by comparison. All of that reminds me of a boxing match where the champion is “asked” to throw the fight by an unnamed “benefactor.” Corporate backers? Wealthy backers? Who knows? The evidence is circumstantial.
We now find ourselves smack in the middle of an election year. We are being held hostage by the “lesser of two evils” meme that's been spewed out, ad nauseam, by numerous O-pologists! Until unions and other groups step up to the plate and sponsor their own candidates who are NOT part of the rigged duopoly that is basically corporate America's surrogate in government, we are doomed to living with and by the dictates of America's real rulers, corporations and the rich!
This article is going to expand on my earlier article, Obama, Social Issues vs. Pocketbook Issues.
If you haven't read that article, please do so now and meet me back here when you are through.
Both political parties are playing a giant corporate controlled shell game. Each party tries to energize it's base by making a lot of noise about social issues. The Democrats support social issues like supporting the pro-choice people or being for gay rights. The Republicans play on their voter's fear of those issues. Economic issues are the peas that are hidden underneath those shells.
Economic issues are the meat and potatoes political nasty business that goes on behind the veil of social issues. The corporations that influence (control) the political policies of BOTH parties through their lobbyists usually have little or no interest in the social advocacies of the Democrats or the opposition of those advocacies by the Republicans, they only care about issues that affect their bottom lines. Do they care about Roe v. Wade? Yawn. Do they care about gay rights? Ho hum. Do they care if a "free" trade agreement that helps them to offshore our jobs passes? HELL YEAH, many corporations consider labor to be just a commodity that should be bought at the lowest possible price, regardless of any consequences to America's future and our future! Do they care if a health care bill is passed that nationalizes health care and cuts insurance companies out of the picture? HELL YEAH, they think that insurance companies are ENTITLED to make a profit! Do they care if the Employee Free Choice Act that empowers unions to more effectively organize and raise the living standards of working people passes? HELL YEAH, they don't want unions to proliferate!
With our present virtual one party system being what it is, the last two of the last three items will never see the light of day, but the "free" trade agreement will be acclaimed by BOTH parties!
What that means is that it costs the corporations NOTHING to be magnanimous and allow the politicians that they own or should I say lease to support or attack this or that social issue as a nod to their party base. To quote a line that John Belushi was saying in Animal House as he was handing one of the pledges a beer, "take one, it don't cost nothing". The economic issues that members of both parties concede to their corporate friends cost those of us that are not part of the top 2% plenty. Those issues can cost us our jobs, our homes, our futures and even our health!
Our two party system in it's present state can be compared to old time comedy pairs like Abbott and Costello. The Republicans are the political version of Lou Costello, they say and do inane things like screaming for severe budget cuts while demanding tax breaks for the rich. Incredibly, the mainstream media actually gets many people to take them seriously and vote for them. The Democrats are the Bud Abbott, straight man half of this political comedy team, they give our political system credibility by saying all the things we want to hear like how they are against tax breaks for the rich, etc. Oops, didn't they extend tax cuts for the rich as a concession to the Repuiblicans?
The point of all this is that the same corporate lobbyists visit the politicians of BOTH parties. Democratic blue and Republican red always gets mixed with corporate green! The Republicans are the corporate shock troops that promote the wildest of corporate ideas, bouncing them off the wall to see which ones stick. The Democrats fit into the corporate big picture by acting as the Judas goat, telling us what we want to hear then compromising with the Republicans, giving the corporations what they really wanted in the first place. They tell unions that they are pro union, then support job killing "free" trade agreements that would make Reagan blush. Hey union people, did the Democrats get The Employee Free Choice Act passed yet? Didn't think so!
I am writing this article exactly three hours before President Obama's State Of The Union speech. I am going to go out on a limb and say that he will proudly tell the world how the South Korea US Free Trade Agreement will create new jobs. Many union people have carefully examined this agreement and realize that it is another NAFTA! The President will also abandon many of his original supporters by saying things that establish him as a newly minted centrist President. Ladies and gentlemen, after carefully
examining both parties, I think you'll want to establish a third party and do it before the middle class no longer exists!
Flash!!! This Just In!! As of 8:26 PM EST, I have had a chance to look at the President's prepared State Of The Union speech. I want to take issue with his false assertion that Labor approves of the South Korea US Free Trade Agreement. Only a few unions approve, the AFL-CIO, labor's national organization strongly opposes it! Shame on you, Mr. President!
As we approach the mid-term elections, it becomes apparent that many of our elected officials from BOTH parties, have taken a condescending, we know what's best for our constituency approach. The Republicans want voters to forget everything that happened during the eight years of the Bush administration, the greed and the get rich quick schemes that were allowed to run wild in the financial sector. They want voters to forget how they encouraged Americans to run up a credit tab to give the illusion of a middle class lifestyle. They want voters to forget that they ran up a huge deficit. Yeah, it's tough trying to finance an expensive war and give tax breaks to the rich at the same time! You have to make many references to 9/11 in your speeches to keep something like that going!
Bush's party had and has the nerve to blame all of those deficits and everything else on President Obama. They even blamed him for a bailout that started during the Bush administration when, even Bush finally realized that his policies brought us to the brink of financial Armageddon! The Republicans spent almost every minute of President Obama's term trying to derail every bit of meaningful Democratic legislation that came before Congress and the Senate. Never mind that, especially in these economic hard times, America needs meaningful health care reform to protect it's population. Never mind that we have massive unemployment partially because the private sector is fond of outsourcing it's manufacturing and jobs overseas and gets tax breaks to do that. The Republicans back and endorse all that as being part of "free" enterprise! They even had the nerve to try to block unemployment extensions for the casualties of their economic policies!
The Tea Partiers talk a good game but are about as populist as the Fortune 500. How can a "grassroots" movement that is purportedly bankrolled by the wealthy, represent the wants and needs of John and Jane Q. Public? Now onto the Democrats who were compromised from within by their blue dogs who were in reality, wannabe Republicans. They just kept on trying for "bipartisan" solutions that hindered their ability to be true agents of change. Translation, someone needed to remind them that they won! Because of that, almost every piece of legislation that would have brought meaningful, indisputable positive change to our country was diluted beyond recognition. If every Democratic legislative initiative was passed as originally written, the results and benefits to the average person would have been indisputable and every Democratic Congressman and Senator would have probably gotten a ticker tape parade in his or her home district instead of having to worry about where each vote is coming from.
For the above reasons, plus the massive lobbyist influence in Washington, we didn't get the change that we were promised, we got SMALL CHANGE. Nonetheless, as working people, we have to make the only choice that will preserve what's left of the American dream, we have to vote Democratic and after they are elected, hold them accountable!