Tuesday, March 01, 2005

 

"...if you're rich!"

Funny - and apt - post at Democratic Underground:
How To Make A Republican Tell The Truth

I heard this from someone else over the weekend and it is brilliant:

It works just like the Salada Tea Bags lines, or that game people play with cookie fortunes, where you add the words "between the sheets" to make a meaningless platitude much more interesting.

All you have to do in order to make Republican domestic policies make sense is take their talking point and add the words "...if you're rich!"

For instance: "Privatizing social security makes a lot of sense...if you're rich!"

Or, "Our health care system is the best in the world...if you're rich!"

Or how about, "The economy under Bush is the strongest it's ever been...if you're rich!"

Just add three little words, and all of a sudden, these bastards are telling the truth.

It's most fun if you do it in a group with one person beginning the talking point and everyone else finishing it in unison. I think it coudl be productively adapted as a protest tactic for some of those Social Security meet-ups Santorum and friends are doing now, for instance.

Whee, The Plaid Adder
The problem with this is, simply (albeit truthfully) labeling the Bush administration as exclusively on the side of the rich is not the absolute condemnation we liberals think it is. Most Americans, for whatever reason, don't appear to give a damn. The right wing and their gelded press have successfully turned such accurate descriptions of George W. Bush into a positive for their man. When we point out that he doesn't really give much of a damn about anything but his wealthy owners, they shriek "Class warfare!" as if that were enough to discredit the criticism of their boy. And America bobs its head up and down in slavish agreement.

Also, many many Americans apparently think of themselves as, if not rich, then potentially rich. They don't want to soak the members of a group they have every intention of joining. And you can't point out to them how unlikely it is that they will achieve this aim. Optimism and hope are good things, but not at the expense of realism - or of being used, manipulated, discarded when your usefulness is over, and sneeered at all along.

Plaid Adder is 100% correct, and it's good for us to keep this salient fact in mind (as if we did not already know it), but its political utility is extremely limited. People in America admire the rich and protect them. They don't want to undermine them - they want to join them.
Comments:
This is all sad, but true. Most Americans still labor under the illusion that wealth and plenty are possible for all, like in a Horatio Alger story. The economic system itself makes this necessarily false: without people to work the check out counters and push the brooms (no longer, I'll note, in the mills) at low wages, this economy will grind to a halt.
What's really unfortunate about it is the misunderstanding of class warfare. As Paul Krugman pointed out in a recent op-ed in the NYT, the neocons' legislative agenda is class warfare, albeit of the upper, owning classes on the working and professional classes. As per Marx, these classes are arranging to claim an ever-growing piece of the country's economic pie for themselves. There's nothing to be ashamed of in fighting against this; although, that is the message that the neocons and their supporters send, and that too many of their victims buy into.
 
Marx also pointed out that it is the genius of any ruling class to make its own narrow class interests appear to be the general, national interest of everyone. The rich control the media and, given that a number of top media figures are also major earners themselves these days, they are able to fool masses of people into thinking that what's good for the rich is good for everyone. And they get a lot of help from ultra right wing Christian Koolaid drinkers who vote against their own economic interests because they think they're defending their cultural values. Meanwhile, the rich who pretend to be in favor of ultra right wing Christian values sneer at the manipulated right wing Christians they've just betrayed.
 
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Comments: "
This is all sad, but true. Most Americans still labor under the illusion that wealth and plenty are possible for all, like in a Horatio Alger story. The economic system itself makes this necessarily false: without people to work the check out counters and push the brooms (no longer, I'll note, in the mills) at low wages, this economy will grind to a halt.
What's really unfortunate about it is the misunderstanding of class warfare. As Paul Krugman pointed out in a recent op-ed in the NYT, the neocons' legislative agenda is class warfare, albeit of the upper, owning classes on the working and professional classes. As per Marx, these classes are arranging to claim an ever-growing piece of the country's economic pie for themselves. There's nothing to be ashamed of in fighting against this; although, that is the message that the neocons and their supporters send, and that too many of their victims buy into.
 
" "
Marx also pointed out that it is the genius of any ruling class to make its own narrow class interests appear to be the general, national interest of everyone. The rich control the media and, given that a number of top media figures are also major earners themselves these days, they are able to fool masses of people into thinking that what's good for the rich is good for everyone. And they get a lot of help from ultra right wing Christian Koolaid drinkers who vote against their own economic interests because they think they're defending their cultural values. Meanwhile, the rich who pretend to be in favor of ultra right wing Christian values sneer at the manipulated right wing Christians they've just betrayed.
 
" Post a Comment

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