“American Right Wing Distaste for Government” by Stellaa

This is a post from Stellaa’s blog that I think deserves consideration:

 

Although this is indirectly about the healthcare debate, I want to step back and ask my friends on the right about their ideas on “government” and the Reagan cry that you hold dear: “government is the problem, not the solution” 

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I am confounded by a paradox in thinking by conservatives and libertarians.  Let me see if I can break it down and not fall in the pit of confusion and distortion that they come seem to embrace with gusto.   

This is how the conservative thinking goes:

  • American conservatives seem to own the symbols of patriotism.  The flag, the national anthem, the militaristic rituals, statues, songs and just patriotic bravado– oh, they own the “founding fathers”.  

  • Yet, these same people despise their government.   The very government, that is the instrument the US Constitution, the mechanism by which our democracy is implemented.   The thing that has kept the “democracy” alive.  

  • They deem this “government” incapable of any competence, except of course when that government goes to war, puts people in jail   or executes them.  Somehow, in their minds, government does that just fine.  

  • They seek to strip the government of all powers and privatize all activity.  This sentiment, of diminishing powers is only when the other side wins.  Privatizing the government services is a constant theme, public goods should be for private gain.  

  •  They cite the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, yet, they do not tell us, if we did not have a government, courts, legislators etc, who and how would that Constitution  be protected and or enforced?  Yet, unlike me, who only has a distaste for the second amendment, they would gladly trim the sails of all the other amendments.  So, why should government define marriage?  Why should government be involved in their reproductive decisions?  Why should government be entrusted with god?  Why should government control what we see, hear or read?  

  • If it’s the size of government they dislike, then why do embrace corporate bureaucracies?  The corporate bureaucrat does not have a public process where at least the citizen can file a complaint and get a hearing.  Public bureaucracies have provisions for change of unjust rules.   

So, Mr. Reagan and all his followers who blindly believe that “government is the problem”, pray tell, how do you suggest we manage this democracy, this nation?  What are you offering to replace government?   Why do you trust and embrace government when it comes to imposing your values and yet you distrust government in mechanical functions?  

Think of a simple thing like building codes.  If we stripped those powers, tell me, tell me how the free market would make sure that the materials and the builders built habitable and safe buildings?  

 I have worked in government and have fought with government for decades.  I have little faith in the talk of change as long as we have elected officials who receive contributions and depend on being reelected.  

Of course I am cynical about many aspects of how this nation is governed, but damn if I am willing to give it up to a bunch of looneys with guns, corporate boards and “that void of the conservative alternative”.   

What the f*** do you guys want?   How do you suggest we do this?  If tomorrow we eliminated all government in the US, what would this world look like?

Yes, there is the odd anarchist who will chime in and tell me how the whimsical free thinkers of the world will all hold hands and make sure, because they are such spiritual and righteous beings.  Trust they say  people will just do the right thing.  Yes, right, now go off and do a pantomime and wear some fairy wings and as soon as you are done, get married and become a meaner and nastier bourgeois pig than I could ever be.  

I often find that for all the claims of “godliness” that the right-wing in politics and specific people on the internet / media are some of the most hostile, mean-spirited, spiteful and unhumble people one could find.

I have posed the similar questions as well, when confronted with this.

With no coghent reply, ever.

I’ve decided this is all fine and dandy. The day they all burn their Social Security Cards, State Identifications, and Passport–then swear off all government roads and all government connected service–is the day I will start taking them seriously.

As for now they are acting as nothing less than unpatriotic traitors exchanging politics for fear-mongering.

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Bill Clinton Downplays the Anti-Obama Rhetoric

Bill-Clinton-3-08

Former President Bill Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press and when asked about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ that smeared him during his presidency he said this:

GREGORY: “Is it [the right-wing conspiracy] still there?”

CLINTON: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was, .. I mean, they’re saying things about him [Obama] — you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did,”

I agree with the former president’s assessment that we have changed demographically as a nation and that the virulence of the right-wing smear factory is as virulent as ever, but Clinton failed to touch on two critical points surrounding this current crusade of baseless slanders against these two democratically elected leaders.

Point One:

The major platform to carry the broken logic of these claims was primarily talk radio when Clinton held the White House. Today these same kind of untrue slanders are carried by FOX News Talk Radio, FOX Cable News, and other talk mediums that include satellite broadcasting which did not even exist within the time he was in office. Then add on top of that a new spinster has come to rival Rush Limbaugh: Glenn Beck.

Point Two:

The McCarthyist and anti-democratic rhetoric coming from the right-wing did not start until several years into the Clinton presidency but have begun almost immediately in the Obama presidency.

Likely he seeks to try to disempower the media-jackals of FOX News, by evading the heart of the matter of the foundation-less smears directed against President Obama; he is trying to avoid giving them bait.

But it must be said: these smears have propagated themselves in much more virulent manner and much sooner than they did for Clinton. It took them years to get around to accusing him of anything even half as extreme as some of the myths about Obama that have been floated around from several months back.

What is worse is the very foundation of this conspiracy is not the same as the one that attacked Clinton. Only the tactics and one of the actors (Limbaugh) remain from that old sideshow.

This is far, far worse and I can not label it anything less than fundamentally un-American.

It seeks to undermine our very system of democracy and our very system of public discourse.



The government is trying to kill you and everyone not with you is a “shill”.

Or … if it’s not the wild conspiracy theories of those like Alex Jones, it’s the equally wild claims of those like Glenn Beck.



The government is trying to control your life and everyone who doesn’t think so is a “Marxist”.

All of this is simply designed to sow fear and distrust for both anyone who supports any not of their opinion then simultaneously spread fear about the government at-large.

In a democratic society we cannot afford to simply forgo coming to the table to discuss our positions with facts and reason then replace this with media-crusades and continuous vicious untrue labeling without dire consequence.

Those who refuse to educate themselves except from known liars need to be recognized as dealt with non-credible.

The insidious plot that is in play here is of another caliber entirely.

It is a giant media body larger and the message is wholly anti-democratic, then you add that we have race baiting going on against the first African-American president by both Beck and Limbaugh, but nobody on the right wing ever cares that they engaged in it and continue to do so at their whim.

A certain element of racism exists not just in what Jimmy Carter said about some white people in the US not feeling a black man should lead this great nation, but also within this intense rush to judgment of Barack Obama in terms of the full scope of his presidency.

The matter of those on the right who wished to keep their children home from school because Obama would address the class in a video is more short-term example of this same rush to negative judgment.

I personally will allow no person to wrap themselves in this claim that anyone is saying that everyone anti-Obama is by value of that a racist.

What is disturbing is the number of people who obviously have never looked into what people are calling “racist” or “racialist” on the left but truly have a high level of indignation more about the fact that the issue is being discussed than anything else.

To not even entertain thought long enough to form any kind of argument begs the question if they are within heavy stages of denial.

Make no mistake, once these neoconservatives no longer have an enemy to publicly defame and lie about they will go right back to trying to get people to vote for The Republican Party.

And the media in general is not helping by providing massive double standards in their intense questioning of Democrats, but constant softballs to Republicans.