Previous presidents, whether you agreed with them or not, all operated within the normal range of American political discourse. Maybe some tested that range, but they still had the ability to be civil and comforting when the country needed it. You know what needs to be “great again”? The American President. ... See MoreSee Less
Human beings are amazing. And I don’t discount myself from that statement, but I try really hard to not assume I know something to be true when it is in direct conflict with the experts of a given field. But for Republicans and conservatives, they have no problem “knowing” they are correct about something, even when they admit they are not experts.
Free market conservatives say government cannot address the problem of poverty. They say government can’t create jobs. They assume all people who are not making a living wage must not be working, or working hard enough, and so that means they are undeserving of any government assistance. And they say government cannot give to someone unless it has taken from someone else.
Okay, I did say it’s inexplicable, but let me take a stab at it anyway. Republicans are opposed to extending unemployment insurance because it does not solve the problem of joblessness. Fair enough, I can agree unemployment benefits do not lead directly to job creation, but that itself is not a reason to deny people those benefits. It’s not like jobs aren’t being created because unemployment insurance is a thing.
One of the tenets of free market ideology is consumer choice. The idea goes like this. Empower citizens to make their own decisions and they will have greater freedom, greater prosperity, and businesses will live or die at the will of the consumer. Therefore, corporations and executives are in effect beholden to the consumer. Sounds good right? Who could be against that?
Free-market capitalists, which apparently is just about any Republican these days, tell us government is too burdensome to businesses and we need to cut taxes. Their standard message for how to get the economy moving is to cut taxes and get government out of the way. There’s just one problem, the economy, at least as measured by the major stock indexes, finished 2013 with tremendous gains, and that means the personal economy of so-called “job creators” is doing quite well. How’s your personal economy coming along?
You know what I’ve had just about enough of? Pipe dreams sold to the masses by the narcissism fueled by greed and wealth. Or in other words, I’m tired of hearing the phrase “job creators” and I’m both fatigued and annoyed every time I hear someone say the wealthy create jobs. And I’m overcome by a fierce rage when I hear yet another gutless politician say we need to give more tax breaks to companies and individuals who are already hoarding large sums of cash so that maybe, just maybe out of the kindness of their gold lined hearts they might see it fit to create a job or two. But oh yeah, then reality intrudes, and I’m reminded that they aren’t going to create those jobs if there isn’t the demand to justify those positions in the first place.
America is exceptional all right, its exceptionally jaded, exceptionally cynical, exceptionally resentful, and exceptionally callous. We are so judgmental of others, so righteous of our own strengths, so high on our own self-worth, we believe we need to be exceptionally tough when it comes to anyone who does not measure up. And nowhere is this more true than America’s “tough on crime” stance. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have laws. I’m not saying criminals shouldn’t go to jail. What I’m saying is we need to take it down a notch or two or a thousand. And we need to stop taking discretion away from judges and juries with “mandatory minimums” and other similar legislative “solutions” to crime.
If you are not a card-carrying member of the wealthy elite, and if you see yourself as middle class, or even if you are honest enough to admit you might not quite be middle class, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I have a simple message for you. —