Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Democracy Reviled

This year may be portentous for America. For months now, the Koch brothers, and others of their ilk (Karl Rove, for example) have been taking advantage of the Supreme’s Citizens United ruling to pollute the airwaves with misleading claims and pseudo-facts aimed at dismembering the democratic party in general, and Obama in particular.  Using the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare as it has come to be known) as their main wedge issue, the extreme monied set has been waging war on democracy and the American people.

We have, it would seem, a kind of Perfect Storm going on, one which may well overwhelm our democratic system altogether.  What would replace that system, if our enemies of democracy succeed is a bit ambiguous at the moment. It would seem that the GOP now seeks a system in which, while remaining nominally a democracy, the United States government would become a true plutocracy, with nominal leaders in seats of power, from the president on down, but wherein those “people of power” would in fact be answerable mainly, if not solely, to the richest 1%.
Their purpose in seeking such power seems to be something like this:
1.       The government should never interfere with the operations of private sector business, ergo, the regulatory powers of government would be largely undone;

2.       The government should refrain from taxing the incomes of the very wealthy, so tax rates at the highest levels would be minimized;

3.       Systems that now operate as governmental systems, e.g., Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, et al, would be transferred to privately operated systems of care involving voucher-like approaches, giving the plutocracy an easy approach to restraining or reducing the costs of those systems.

4.       Public systems of education, i.e., the public school systems, would gradually be phased out in favor of privately operated charter and/or religious school systems;

5.       All voting districts would be rearranged (gerrymandered) so as to favor the continuance of GOP control;

6.       Obamacare would be dismantled altogether, and the system would revert back to what existed in years gone by, i.e., the uninsured would obtain its health care by relying “on the kindness of strangers”;

7.       The military is at least somewhat ambiguous. The GOP leadership seems to love launching our military at anything that moves, but they are also singularly reluctant to devote any of their money (or flesh) to these causes, so it is a bit up in the air how they might shape and use our magnificent military machines;

8.       Lastly, perhaps, they would, of course, fill any vacant Supreme Court slots, and several are coming open, with hard right justices who will do their bidding (although the Supremes are a bit unreliable in that regard).

9.       Oh, and all members of the GOP would continue to speak as one, with all remarks scripted carefully by Mr. Murdoch’s screen writers. No deviant views would be permitted of course.

I have doubtless missed some of their more interesting ideas for replacing our current system of government with their own approach, but what the hell, I’m just one old guy.
One can predict some consequences of such a plutocratic approach to our government. One imagines, for example, that our cities would become something like Chinese cities—covered in a shroud of pollution; our waters may become soiled to a point of unusability; our middle class may quickly disappear, as the United States becomes a two-class society, the very rich and a class of serfs. Unemployment would doubtless increase, as we continue to move jobs overseas and as we destroy the public education system, thereby reducing the workforce quality. Perhaps most of the poor serfs could become migrant labor and household staff to the very rich.
I imagine over time, companies would become larger and larger, as the concept of monopoly disappears as a negative term. Maybe we will all enjoy “Wal-Mart—The Store for all your needs”. And the Faux News Network, owned and operated by Mr. Murdoch from his hideaway in the Cayman Islands, would become our only TV carrier and station. Newspapers will probably become extinct, and we will get all of our news from Mr. Murdoch.  Won’t that be fun??
So, I think I’ll just go find a little corner somewhere and suck my thumb for a couple of years, while the boys reshape our formerly great country.
Ta ta . . .
Post a Comment