IT'S ABOUT ECONOMIC INEQUALITY, STUPID: "Are you a have or a have-not? Because if you're a have-not, you've probably had it... whereas if you're a have, you've got it and are going to give it up sometime in the near future." -- The Clash
You can be a have or a have-not, but you don't have to be especially prescient to see where America's future is headed if we don't do something about our now early-1900's-robber-baron levels of income inequality, where upper-level corporate executives typically make hundreds of times what their rank-and-file workers do. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing while the rich enjoy undreamed-of lifestyles (even by the standards of the rich) at the expense of their countrymen.
But the desperation of oligarchs like the Koch brothers, Diane Hendricks, John Menard, Sheldon Adelson and their peers, who have steered our nation toward its ruin in order to make themselves obscenely wealthier, is beginning to show.
Rich Republicans successfully hijacked the Tea Party movement by convincing working Americans that their real enemy was public employees, not the extremely wealthy class that shipped their jobs overseas and steadily whittled their employment benefits down to nothing (the poster boys for this movement are, interestingly, both from Wisconsin: Scatt Wanker and Lyin' Paul Ryan). That bought the oligarchs another few years while angry working Americans started beating up on state employees, county health nurses, and (especially) schoolteachers... while the GOP continued to rob everyone but the rich and give all the money to (you guessed it) the oligarchs.
The GOP even managed, brilliantly, to build a reinforced shield around their treasonous employers: Instead of robber barons, they became "Job Creators"! Never mind that the majority of the jobs these folks created were either minimum-wage-slave toil or in some third-world nation--it was a great tag line, and just like the government-employee heist, working America fell for it. Lyin' Ryan used to get the masses pretty worked up with his "makers" (oligarchs) vs. "takers" (government workers, anyone on any type of public assistance) shtick.
But that couldn't go on forever. Eventually, even the least politically astute working American was going to start to smell a rat, especially as their lot in life continued to decline (this was especially true for the working class in GOP-ruled hellholes like Wisconsin, Kansas, and Indiana). It was only a matter of time before the forbidden question got asked: Hey, what the hell is going on here?
Enter two guys running for President: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
I have been saying this just about forever, and as a few voices in the media and the blogosphere begin to pick up my theme, I feel vindicated. Basically, the stunning success of both men--both of whom appeared completely out of left field--is largely due to their willingness to bring income inequality front and center, something which the mainstream candidates (Hillary helped her husband Bill, our 42nd President, restructure American banking law in favor of Wall Street--which was like handing the keys of an Indy car to a drunken high schooler--and ram NAFTA through Congress; Cruz/Rubio/Bush/Wanker is a generic sock puppet working only for the oligarchs) have "cleverly" steered away from.
But that ship may have sailed.
We are currently watching the extraordinarily painful (and in many ways, amusing) efforts of the GOP to put out the fire of the Trump rebellion. I suppose they will have their way in the end; after all, right here in Wisconsin we have seen how far the Rethuglicans will go (fixing voting machines, passing voter-suppression laws, changing any law that doesn't suit them) to please their corporate masters. Problem at the end of the day is that they're still stuck with Ted Cruz, a slimy snake-oil salesman hated by almost everyone who knows him, who makes up for being a little more cerebral than Scatt Wanker by being even less charming--and that is one hell of an "accomplishment".
And on the Democratic side? Everyone, everyone knows that Hillary is in bed with Wall Street. Oh yeah, she talks a great game about how much she cares about working Americans. So did her husband, who did much more to cripple blue-collar America than George W. Bush ever dreamed of (actually, Dubya seemed to genuinely like blue-collar people--I know, I've watched him mix and mingle with them).
These are the facts as I understand them: If Hillary Clinton--or, certainly, Ted Cruz--are elected President, we're just going to get more of the same old oligarchy. Nothing is going to change for the working man or woman, not one little thing--except that our lives are going to get even worse. The oligarchy knows this; if Cruz looks to be a loser (which is almost certain) in the general election, watch them go all hot and heavy for Hillary. Seriously. I stand on these words. You read it here first.
Because they will not, cannot, accept a change in the status quo--a change that would have working Americans have a real voice at the bargaining table. What do you think is behind Scatt Wanker and his systematic destruction of both public-sector and private-sector unions? It's all about the oligarchs setting the prevailing wage--and that, friends, is the minimum wage. Which is not going to be $15 per hour, so get over that little notion (here, the oligarchs have helped to insure that our minimum wage will not rise above $7.25 per hour. Try feeding yourself--let alone anyone else--on that).
I have some problems with Trump. I think he should be more accommodating of the Mexican illegals and at least offer them a path to citizenship. I don't think all Muslims are bad people (I have met a few who aren't, including the guy in my 92-year-old father's Veterans home). And I don't like the way he sneers at women.
But how is Trump more manifestly evil than people working full-time for the oligarchs? Answer: He's not. I think he genuinely cares about America, and that means he cares about the men and women who go out and do a hard day's work every day and don't expect a whole hell of a lot in return. At least he's listening to us--and in return, I'm listening to him.
But Sanders is really my man. As much as I might like to go after the uber-rich with a pitchfork and take back the money they stole from me and from so many millions of my fellow Americans, I know this is not what's best for the country. We want to avoid another French Revolution or Russian Revolution. The only way to avoid that now is to put either Trump or Sanders into the White House. Another four years of the status quo is a virtual guarantee that the pitchforks are going to come out, and the rest of us are going to take back what's rightfully ours. And it won't be pretty.
Posted by Alois on