Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Very Long Rant About Republicans - WIP, but its late

I like to read a lot of conservative bloggers. I really do. Though I might be classified by some as left of center, I tend to avoid the "leftist" sites, the Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, Air America. You know, none of those really appeal to me because, I guess as a reformed fundamentalist, I don't like the choir getting preached at. Nope, I actually want and like my ideas challenged, unlike some conservatives. As one so succinctly put: "if there is one thing a conservative can't stand is to be disagreed with". Of course that guy doesn't really count, but I have found in some blogs this attitude about Barack Obama that he was always talking about his black heritage and was somehow ashamed of his white heritage.

This surprises me. Much in the same way some weird sect of Republicans like to bring up that it was Democrats who blocked a lot of civil rights legislation in the 40s and 50s and how that Senator Byrd from West Virginia was a Klansmen at one time. They conveniently forget THOSE Democrats were only Democrats because Lincoln freed the slaves, and who, like STROM THURMAN, left the party for the Republicans once the "judicial activist" were "legislating from the bench" when the "liberal intellectuals" thrust the horror of "racial integration and mongrelization" upon us.

"They" wanted then to "tear down the natural order of things" by letting black kids ride the same busses and use the same bathrooms as white kids. They seem to keep using the same arguments. Maybe its just convenient, and the Democrat's continual assumption of Black voter loyalty leaves them ripe for conversion should the Republican message be put in some kind of light that might actually serve the average African American.

The other day I learned about how someone I know from Alabama, now living in Kentucky, didn't think they were in "the South" anymore. But as far as I am concerned, my daddy went to Whites-Only bathrooms, drank from the Whites-Only water fountains and sat in Whites-Only seats below the balcony. Kentuckians have the guilt, they should have the label if they want it. Even I remember, but didn't think anything at the time, that the place my mom was a waitress at had that curious window in the back of the kitchen, like a concession stand. I'm not too sure that those windows weren't entirely closed even within my lifetime (though I was REALLY young then).

That logic, thank God, was alien in my family's house. I might guess that my dad's family suffered too much as Catholics among the 'anti-papist' Protestants to have put too much stock in the 'established place' of a person as might have been set by the majority of folks around.

But it is in that light that I know Mr. Obama is entitled call himself as black as he wants to be. Because in my father's lifetime, there was a time and a place in America, where it didn't matter a damn bit how white he was. People younger than I(37) just don't seem to realize just how close that time was it seems.

But getting back to Republicans, it just seems that a consistent message that I seem to get from the Republican party or at least the conservative movement is this: My civil liberties, my expectations of fairness, my rights as a stakeholder in all things public are subservient to the interests of big business. I have this perception, fair or not, and probably influenced by the "biased liberal media", that Republicans are for anything that Big Business is for, and that's ok they say, because they provide jobs and the free market is the answer for all ills great and small and don't EVER forget that rich people pay the most taxes. But I say they also pay more campaign contributions and as a consequence get better representation but that is something that should be counted as "intangible" I guess for the purposes of, well pretty much any discussion if you let them lead it.

I just don't buy that the free market is the answer to every problem. I might concede that it probably is a good solution ninety percent of the time. But some things just don't make economic sense. Take health insurance for the uninsurable. Take the totally unsupported fact that college tuition is growing at the rate of 7 percent while inflation grows at four and if that continues college will soon again be out priced for some of the poorest Americans or even the lower middle class. Take having the largest military expenditure of any country in the world even before we went to Iraq, that is definitely not a free market sustaining thing. These are things that seem to need a taxpayer supported solution. I will concede that these should include contracting private enterprise to provide support services where such contracting can be quantifiably more efficient, if it provides the taxpayers with more bang for their buck.

If free markets and unbridled capitalism were all Republicans were about, that would be OK, but they have co-opted all of these social causes and melded them into some kind of righteous front, so that they can co-opt a whole segment of the population that they have no interest in serving. Call me paranoid, but I think there is a portion of the conservative movement that hopes Roe is never overturned because it is one issue, like guns, that some people will not compromise on. And regardless of my opinion on the subject, I don't think they should. That is what being American is all about. But if abortion was illegal tomorrow, would the GOP be as appealing to some of its members who do not have significant investments that might be subjected to capitol gains tax? "Some people say" they wouldn't.

The sad thing is I agree with so much of what they say when I know its not a nod to corporate interests that, through sheer depth of their pocketbook alone, do not need the depth of "'republican' representation" in the small 'r' sense of the word that the ordinary citizen needs.

I believe that the best thing a person can do is learn to be self sufficient and independent and responsible for the things they do in life, the decisions they make, and even that they may be judged in a life to come for the things they do right now. I believe that the government needs to be smaller and we should keep more of the money we earn. I even believe that consumption, rather than income, should be the main thing from which our government's income is derived so that thrift and saving and conservation become incentivised by our tax system instead of being depressed by it.

I believe that a little capitalism goes a long way. Economics is a great way of working out inefficiencies, which ironically the faith in which is derived from Darwin. But I never was bothered by shoe factories going overseas because there was no reason someone in Indonesia couldn't be contracted to work on building shoes. One hundred dollar Nikes notwithstanding, shoe technology doesn't really change by leaps and bounds. I actually thought that given the depth of our schooling, Americans shouldn't be making shoes, we should be leading the frontiers of science and industry. I have started to back away from such "exuberance" now that IT jobs are being outsourced overseas.

That might have influenced my anti-corporate biasness tho'. I thought here you have the unsung IT worker, who suddenly becomes valuable, whose country's math and science investment was paying dividends in the form of higher pay and a larger and wealthier middle class, which should lead more of that country's workers to careers in IT. But corporations seem to abhor increasing the pay of anyone not a CPA or MBA or a lawyer so they go to the extreme of unloading substantial business interests on people who don't even speak the same native language! Not that there isn't sometimes a business case for it sometimes but it hardly seems a stroke of genius: Lets take something we can barely understand and have people we can hardly understand take care of it for us!!!

I'm starting to sound xenophobic, but really I'm just frustrated. I have nothing but respect for the Indians, Russians, Chinese, and, being involved with Agriculture, the Brazilians, who are my competitors and fellow IT compatriots but I don't like it when the local talent isn't utilized when it could be. Tech companies in the Bay area used to bitch about not being able to fill jobs with qualified applicants so the H-1 visa limits could be increased, yet plenty of IT people went extended periods not getting work. Did they suck? Were they acting all "entitled"? Did corporations exert some influence to get more H-1 visas allowed so that wages would be depressed?

In that vein I feel like the local Chicken processing plant might be able to get by without illegal immigrants if they actually paid more and chicken didn't cost the same thing my mother paid for it when I was a kid. You know Republicans always bitch that the price of goods is gonna go up and life will suck if the minimum wage goes up, but they don't give a damn that the inneffectual CEO who performed lousy gets a golden parachute that would have kept hundreds of people on the payroll who do provide shareholders with value-added services while working and paying to provide for their families. Shareholders should have some rights with regard to their companies handing out millions to people who already earned millions for losing their company millions.

I believe there is a balance of injustice in the world, and that it leans heavier on the poor side of humanity. Yet I read all the time that there is some horrible conspiracy that has filled the ranks of scientists with secular fundamentalist atheists, our journalists and reporters with liberals and our schools with communists who all are motivated to advance this humanist agenda for what I can only imagine is a higher rank in hell.

If there are actually any vast conspiracies out there, my money would be that they were not composed within the walls of any government, but rather within the walls of corporate board rooms, and their motivations will not include a love of the proletariat, but rather a love of the almighty dollar. Or Euro. Or Yen. Or whatever the case may be.



Blogger N. Hanks said...

Swamproot - this post appeals to me in a number of ways: as someone who grew up under segregation in the South, I always appreciate it when anyone points out that it was the Dems who upheld racist policy. Seems like it should be a "no brainer", but history isn't necessarily one of our strong subjects here in America!

Hope you'll have a look at my blog The Hankster, where I post articles and some opinion of interest to independent voters. Let me know what you think.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Swamproot said...

Thanks, Ms. Hanks.

I thought for sure this would be the least read post I had ever done, except maybe "Fun with Mapserver", which was really about just keeping some notes where I could get to them.

I'll check out The Hankster and the IndieCastle too.

5:44 PM  

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