by Luke Hiken
The world looks on in disbelief as the United States continues its inexorable slide into fascism. Which country will we attack next: Syria, Iran, Venezuela? Which continent will be the next target for our imperial assaults on “terrorists,” “drug dealers,” or whatever other pseudonyms the Pentagon prepares for Obama’s rubber stamp: Africa, Asia, Latin America?
It is not surprising that the unrestrained power of the 1% manifests itself in permanent wars or ever-expanding prisons. That is what one would expect from robber barons. Building a domestic police apparatus that makes past Russian or German police states look weak in comparison is a necessary prerequisite for those who own our government and military-industrial complex. That the rich would export jobs to 3rd world countries where they don’t have to pay minimum wages to their employees is a given. And surely, the super rich would attempt to cut public benefits, welfare, Medicare, and other social services paid for and earned by the poor. That is so predictable. What other position would the greediest thieves in the history of the world take?
Similarly, it should not surprise anyone that the billionaires would seek to deregulate every industry that they own and control. How else could they assure maximum profits with minimum responsibility or obligation? All of these make sense.
What doesn’t make sense, is why virtually the entirety of the Republican Party goes along with these rightwing positions, and acquiesces to every demand made by the oligarchs. There are such a significant number of sycophants and cheerleaders among the rightwing who take positions so contrary to their own economic and social interests that it is astonishing that they possess the intelligence to get up in the morning and put their clothes on.
For example, why do the rightwingers vote against their self-interest by helping billionaires destroy public education? Why are they universally opposed to reasonably affordable health care for all citizens? Why do they rally around the fascist attempts to prosecute and silence whistleblowers who expose governmental cover-ups and atrocities? Why are Tea Party Republicans so adamant about denying women the right to abortion? Why do they feel that gun control is such an important right, given the fact that it is the poor and unemployed who are the greatest number of victims of firearm abuse? Why do they rally around a religious fanaticism that abhors same-sex marriage or equality for gays and lesbians? And, the most obvious question of all is why they rigidly oppose taxing the super rich billionaires who are rapidly destroying the natural resources of the earth and undermining every aspect of their quality of life?
Given the behavior of the 1% during the last three decades, it is simply unimaginable that the majority of Tea Party followers really believe in the “trickle down” theory. No rational human being alive could honestly believe that the rich would share their wealth and privilege with anyone but themselves, or that they actually would create jobs for the unemployed. In reality, a “trickle up” theory is more likely to have traction than its opposite. How could workers not understand that if enough poor people were paid a decent wage and have assured wealth, the entire society would benefit from their purchases. These benefits outweigh anything the poor currently receive from the rich.
That rational voters would balk at supporting Obama, a weak-kneed, pathological liar with his kill lists and permanent wars, is easily understood, but that certainly doesn’t explain the absurdity of the Republican Party’s program. The suicidal, racist, self-destructive conduct of the rightwing voters in this country appears perilously close to watching lemmings clamoring to their deaths in icy waters. The masses of Republican voters are not being forced to take these irrational positions. The oligarchs can surely propagandize them, and try to persuade them that poverty, ignorance and disease are preferable to good health, educational opportunity and a comfortable old age. But it is simply impossible to explain why a significant number of brain-dead Republicans continue to follow misleaders year after year without a scintilla of critical analysis.
This nation’s rush to destroy everything in its path is seemingly without explanation. Perhaps Mitt Romney’s tax accountants can explain and justify the behavior of the Republican voters. After all, it is they along with the Wall Street corporate giants and their banks, who have made their candidate one of the richest men in the world.
Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law.
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