The other evening I saw a wonderful documentary on Hugh Romney aka Wavy Gravy,
and it got me to questioning as to why I harbor such an animosity against the Right-Wing of this country, and, since they are usually all Republicans, why I harbor such a deep dislike in general of the Republican Party. Firstly, let me say that I know now for certain that after being exposed to the way Wavy Gravy has lived his life of “protesting” for world peace and sanity that I am far from enlightened, and far from wise. Were I so, I would not have this abiding anger towards this political party.
I am a child of the 60’s. I grew up idolizing FDR and The New Deal. In that world, where all was far from perfect, government still managed by presidential and congressional action, to actually provide for the common good. Government was actually the guardian of the welfare of all its citizens, and government actually created jobs by the millions. I am an idealist, and, as the right-wing would label me, a bleeding Heart Liberal. I am proud to wear that union label. In my youth I had such high hopes for my country. I believed, as did my contemporaries, that peace in the world was an achievable dream, and that people, in this country at least, and perhaps in the whole world, could live in peace, free from want, from need, be educated, be productive…in short, I imagined what John Lennon imagined. In the 50’s, like others, I managed to not go to war in Korea, a war presided over by Democratic President Harry S, Truman I might add, realizing it was a part of the cold war’s trumped up “Domino Theory” and, as such, didn’t pass the smell test. It wasn’t my fight, and I believed that if the politicians thought that killing people in Korea was so important, they should strap on a rifle and go kill them themselves. It’s interesting to now see all the Korean products on our roads and shelves. In the 60’s I marched for peace, and was arrested in Washington D.C. during the May Day protest against the Viet Nam war, and was part of a class-action lawsuit brought against the government for false arrest – which we won. So yes, in many ways this is an amazing country. But that was then, and this is now. Now the country I love is much less amazing. Now my constitution has been violated by people who’ve no clue as to its real intentions, and instead use it to further their mean-spirited agendas. Not only has peace not been achieved, but we now fight three wars at once, and the current Republican desired and designed wars in the Middle East, and their terrible waste of people and treasure, are ludicrous in their transparent lust for hegemony and oil – even as Republicans thwart every effort at alternative energy sources. Also, as far as “terrorism” is concerned, I’ve always thought it a job for Interpol – not whole armies. But of course Dick Cheney, he of Halliburton stock profits, would strongly disagree.
The case for where we now find ourselves as a country can be made against the Republican Right vis-a-vis the accumulated product of the callous, mean spirited, greed inspired, Right-Wing Republican policies over the course of the last half-century. If you check the statistics of job creation by Administration over the last 40 yrs you’ll find that the most jobs were created in descending order, by Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy, and the least amount of jobs were created by Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and, worst of all, Bush II. This alone speaks volumes as to where the Republican bread is buttered. I know that there is enough in this world for everyone never to go hungry, or go without shelter, or medical attention, or an education. Nor is there any rational reason for someone who wants to work to go without a job because they are uneducated or untrained. I know this. No one can tell me otherwise. And yet there are people in this country who think that providing whatever training, or education, or help, there is to all of us is somehow against the “spirit” of laissez-faire Capitalism. Against the “spirit” of the free market because, being the pirates that they are, they see the world as a dog eat dog place, and these same people profess without the least trace of irony, or shame, or embarrassment, to be Christians. This is surely a joke. Please understand, I have no quarrel with wealthy people who are not greedy, who are philanthropists, generous and giving of their time and money as many are. My brief is against the wealthy and connected who can never have enough, and who use their power and position to the detriment of the public at large. Witness their current attack on our working class. Of course, the poor never enter into their metric at all. How these people can bear to see so many in this country go without and continue in their selfish pursuit of power and money above all other things is obscene, and, to me anyway, convincing evidence that they are the most worthless humans among us, and worthy of my abject contempt. Of course these same Right Wing “Christians” who decry Socialism as “dangerous” are not above receiving bail-outs from the Government i.e. Wall Street, and AIG. To the contrary, that form of Socialism – Socialism for the rich – is quite alright in their minds, but paying off people’s mortgages with that same money, or using that money to re-build our infra-structure, and in doing so provide jobs – that would be a kind of Socialism they never could abide to this day. They are the biggest of hypocrites whose only objective is to “game” our system, which laws they have rigged to make it easier for them to do so, in order to amass, and protect by any means necessary, including whole armies, that which they have gained in too many cases by immoral, illegal, or borderline illegal, means. These selfish criminals, who would go to the lengths of pre-emptively starting a war to protect their positions, and profit by this war as well, without the slightest twinge of conscience as to it’s bloody consequences, have managed through the years to turn Socialism into a dirty word. These people persist in their mad uncaring lust to amass more than they could ever need in four lifetimes, and not only amass, but take away from others less fortunate than they by continuing to thwart the chances of people who are in need. And children go hungry; families go without homes, without work, without an education, without hope, just…without. But wait, the Right-Wing does care…they care if gays get married, they care if workers can bargain collectively, and they care that women should not have the right to determine what to do with their own bodies, even in cases of incestuous rape. Of course, these are truly large concerns when placed in juxtaposition to silly things like jobs, homes, education, basic necessities, etc.
This morning’s news has just informed me that one of the richest, fattest Republican pigs, Newt Gingrich – the very name makes my skin crawl – a candidate for President of this country, has been quoted saying of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, “go get a job, after you take a bath.” This person, who, by the way, has a million dollar Tiffany charge account, has the sensitivity to say this to a nation whose unemployment number stands at 13.9 million people. Another prominent Republican, Tim Pawlenty has said “suffering is not only necessary, it is essential.” I would have to be forcibly brought to the table in order to ever sit down to dinner with people like this…and then, I could not be civil. As I said above, I am not enlightened enough to be nice to people of this ilk.
There are many reading this who will disagree with me, and that, of course, is their right. I am only trying to explain to you all why I hate the Republican Party with all my heart and soul.
P.S. As of this morning the super committee charged by President Obama with coming up with a plan to reduce the deficit is at an impasse over three major points. The Democrats are unwilling to seriously revamp Medicare and other health plans, and want extensions in unemployment benefits, and the Republicans insist on a deal that will extend the Grover Norquist Republican pledged Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (which repeal would automatically reduce the deficit by $3.9 trillion over the next ten years). Can you see the difference in priorities here?
© tony powers and Barking in the Dark, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to tony powers and Barking in the Dark with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
How can you defend the constitution and imply it is the government’s role to create jobs? Do the voices in your head argue frequently?
if the government can create jobs why not? is that such a bad thing? oh yeah, i forgot- we don’t want no stinkin’ SOCIALIST jobs. as usual, people like you hide behind the constitution in their petty mean spirited little ways. (which, curiously, has nothing in it about bailing banks out either- or originally, allowing corporations to contribute to elections) you’re a comedian right? do me a favor – get lost.
P.S. i just noticed you’re from texas – that great intellectual bastion that gave us george w. bush, and now, rick (i can’t remember…) perry. you’ll have to excuse me – i can’t type anymore as i am doubled up with laughter.
Tony, I think I love you.
I really enjoyed this piece. I was raised by the American Dream as saw it come to fruition. My dad, an ex-Marine (actually, they say once a Marine always a Marine), went from a dock manager trainee all the way to CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He loves Bill and he is a Republican supporter. He isn’t religous. He lived the American Dream and was rewarded by the systems in place. He came from humble roots. My grandfather, who was a science teacher and football coach, didn’t have much money. I was very close to my grandfather. He taught me a couple things. First, make sure you like the guy looking back at you in the mirror. Second, he said he became a teacher because he could make a positive impact on another person’s life. Third, he said when ever you start to think you are really something, go outside on a dark clear night and look at the stars.
I am 40 now. I feel like my soul is split in half. I have seen two sides to the same story through my Dad and grandfather. What I see before me now is a complete disaster. I fear that only a radical development backed by intelligent leaders AND an intelligent populace could turn this ship around…not only in America, but the the world at large. For the problems that face the human species is world-wide and we are all inter-connected.
I have to say that although I was brought up under the mentorship described above (Dad/Grandfather), that your above essay hit home with me. I have been rewarded by the status quo most of my life, but my heart was often in conflict, and when I followed my heart, I paid and am paying the price.
I think we need a new party. The democrats and many liberals, the good guys, often can afford to be so. Look at Hollywood. Once they reap the millions they can afford to be the good guys. I don’t like or trust either party. I don’t like or trust any news network because I can see the bullshit they are spewing out of their mouths. We need authentic good people in leadership and the populace. Often, in my darkest moments, I dream of a re-set button.
Enough. Great post. And I like your humbleness. I too realize I fall way short of “knowing”…which is why Socrates is one of my favorite wisemen.
Thank you Tincup, for this elegant, thoughtful response. I was actually just thinking about what the GOP has come to. It used to be populated by men like Eisenhower, Teddy R., Bob LaFollette, Warren P. Knowles, Jacob Javits, the list goes on. These are men I could, and would have voted for. Of course, no one, least of all I can blame you for the distrust of both parties. To your points,; I feel the more thoughtful, intelligent people in politics right now are the Democrats, and I certainly agree that money changes people, but the thing is, to my mind when liberals do come into money, they seem to be more willing to share, to spread the action around, to try to cover the less fortunate among us, they don’t appear to be as arrogant or mean spirited as this current crop of Republicans. Of course we need a third party (but not the Tea Party please – I say that because they seem to fighting against the very things that would benefit all working people, all the middle class.) I wrote a blog call Instant Run-Off Voting which would be another solution, and would, in effect, instantly create a third party. Yes, a reset button would be wonderful…and I believe the Occupy Wall St. protesters would agree with you as well. Thank you again for such a heartfelt, valuable addition to the dialogue. continue…
I can see that side of the argument…there are those that have plenty with good hearts, and those with plenty that don’t care — case in point Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. I guess I suffer from idealism as you do. Based on my short life experience, it seems like you have to sacrifice some inherent right/morals to become really really successful…I am not sure any man or woman that has acheived great riches, power, and fame has done so with a pure conscience. And, all members of congress are very rich and successful regardless of party. But again, I don’t know if my above maxim is true.
i do not know why my comment above is from “anonymous…’tis i…tony.
the world needs more idealists TC. continue
Wow, Tony, I’ve got to totally agree with you. Yes, it’s not always best for one’s health and physical constitution to get angry. It would be so nice to “rise above everything” and maintain one’s cool. But I think anyone who doesn’t feel absolute OUTRAGE at what is going on right now in this country is putting blinkers on because otherwise it would hurt too much. It is time to rage, howl and fight back. I can’t state it any better than you did right now. It’s late at night and I’m too tired to even begin to enumerate all the many ways I am incensed by what is happening.
But I have recently: marched, visited OWS in my neighborhood, signed petitions, made phone calls and written letters. The really chilling thing about the pepper spray incident at UC Davis is that Pike did what he did with the full knowledge that he was being recorded and with a feeling of total impunity. I called the UC Davis Police Dept. to say that I thought he should be prosecuted. But it’s really a bigger issue than one man, as perfect a poster child as he is.
And don’t even get me started on Newt Gingrich. Take a bath, indeed! I feel like I need to every time I witness his ugly, doughy, flaccid, pampered face. At least an Occupier who has slept in a tent overnight can get clean by taking a bath. There is not enough soap and water in this world to clean the stench from Gingrich’s fetid soul. He is the very essence of rot and decay and filth.
amen sister. Thank you for reading this, getting all worked up (sorry) and writing me, and for getting yourself out there and fighting the good fight. continue…
Two words that make me cringe: Republican and christian. Together? Lets just say I have a garlic necklace and silver bullet handy. Well thought out (again). I liked Sparks In Shadows definition of Repulican/Democrat, i may have to borrow.
MJ, happy u appreciated this, and thanks for the funny comment. continue…
I’ll take a slightly different line and look at the state of the world through the capitalism/socialism lens. The reason I do this is to make the point that excess of any kind are Wing-neutral. If we take politics out and trace the development of the world, the present soup that the globe finds itself in comes as no surprise whatsoever. Where we diverge is the manner in which we apportion blame.
Let’s take the OWS situation. London folks have joined in demanding the City’s head. Participatory democracy seems destined to be played out on the street. These movements have such viral-value that similar movements have cropped up in countries which remind the world of their socialist history (India), which is really a plutocracy masquerading as a socialist-democracy.
It is now fashionable to pin the blame on Alan Greenspan for ushering in an era of low interest rates after the 2000 bubble. Borrowers, many of whom are part of the OWS crowd, loaded up on debt, when times were rosy. Nobody complained about rock-bottom interest rates during the Greenspan era, when they went about accumulating homes, second homes, cars, college degrees and so on (debt funded). When the inevitable consequence came knocking, they trained their guns on…Wall Street, City and Greed in general.
If we stretch the timeline to the 70s, we’ll notice a long period of falling interest rates. This change in perception towards debt, fuelled prosperity. Unfortunately, throughout history, neither political systems, political parties nor regulation has succeeded in putting a lid on human greed. This alteration in perception towards borrowing, you’ll notice, is independent of political affiliation.
Cycles are all-pervading. Prosperity –> Greed –> Pain is as inevitable as death and taxes. Nearly 40 years of generally uninterrupted prosperity led to excesses, which is now culminating in the inevitable correction.
To be sure, I’m not, for a moment, defending the actions of some of the Wall Street ilk. Not all among the wealthy lot are bad apples (a point you allude to as well).
FDR is somebody I greatly admire. Churchill is another widely loved gentleman. But an Englishmen living through the late 1920s would probably give you a very different opinion. There’s much they got right, and there’s much they blundered over. Two sides to everything.
The circumstances that were incident on FDR are vastly different from those prevailing today. History will be the best judge on Bush-II’s policies. History is likely to reminisce about Obama harshly. But the hand that he was played was, undoubtedly, an awful one. Had a Republican been elected, the outcome is unlikely to have traced a different path.
Suffering is optional, pain is constant.
PS: On a humourous note, the Capitalist is a man who takes great pains to promulgate capitalism as he ascends the wealth ladder. Once he reaches the peak, he amazingly and inexplicably turns socialist, denouncing wealth accumulation! Many Capitalists are closet-Socialists in this regard…and vice versa.
Cycles manifest here too. Post 1929, Socialism was the in-thing, Capitalism was out. Till the flavour of the season changed…now the same cycles are playing out.
PPS: I wonder if you have ever read Stuart Prebble, Grumpy Old Men. Making no allusion here mate, but I think you’ll really enjoy reading this one (I loved it.) When problems are constant companions, humour is the balm that assuages the soul.
Pardon the length. I enjoy reading you and life’s liveable when we have a healthy banter going.
Thoughtful, well reasoned comment…and again, were I truly enlightened I would be able to live what I know to be, which is that none of this means much in the scheme of cosmic stuff, and that it’s all an illusion anyway…I agree healthy banter is a soothing balm when smeared over the pain caused by witnessing the human comedy/tragedy which is essentially an ever revolving wheel. I have a feeling that like me, you are also somewhat aghast at what we do to ourselves, and where it leads us. Namaste. continue…
P.S. HL, thank you for taking the time to comment…it is appreciated. continue…
You expressed my feeling for the republican party so well that I have nothing to add.
Thank you V. they are a sorry ass bunch eh? continue…
I worry about the future of America. I’m watching from Australia and your subject line makes me despair. Change a few words around and you could be on Fox News.
Democracy requires compromise and you are so convinced of the divine justice of your point of view that it seems highly unlikely you will find compromise with the evil people and their evil positions on the other side.
The logical extension of your position is the pigs should be eliminated.
So the real point of my note is that if it does turn into a fight to the death and your side is not doing so well there will always be a spare bed for you here. With it’s own bathroom.
Davo, with true respect, it’s always my side that compromises…we have compromised ourselves to the edge of the cliff, and now we’re in a barrel and on the way over. Witness the current Republican Congress refusing to compromise on not ONE single thing! (don’t mean to shout mate) but these people deserve all the vitriol we can muster. They are perfectly willing to destroy my country in order to discredit Obama and thus win an election so as to continue their destruction of the working class, the destruction of our social safety net ,and the privatisation of everything…and yes, they should be eliminated – by the ballot box – and even then the right-wing Supreme Court sees to it that they win by gaming the vote. see bush v. gore. Education of the electorate is the only way. So the Republicans continue to defund education! Getting all Corporate and Union money out of elections is another way…oh yes, the Republican right wing Supreme Court decided that one too. How is one to react to a candidate with a million dollar account at Tiffany who arrogantly utters of the legitimate Occupy protesters “go get a job, after you take a bath,” this, as 4 million are jobless?Does the name Marie Antoinette ring a bell? Does this not make you angry? Information to, and education of, the electorate seems the only possible avenue now and yes if I have to sensationalise .a headline a la Fox to get someone to read and maybe pick up a nugget of info otherwise unavailable to them on Fox I will. I have to. As I say, I am not enlightened enough to smile and just list facts…I am angry…I am willing to get into the gutter with these people and call them out for what they are. Petty, greedy, mean spirited, destructive, even willing to declare a war based on what they knew was a lie…knowing how many men, women, and children on both sides would perish in their trumped up escapade, and doing it anyway? How can a person remain civil in the face of all this. Maybe some can…I can not. It’s my unenlightened nature. And thanks for adding the bathroom onto that sweet offer. With sincere love…and a big thank you for looking out for my mental, and physical health. Hi to all, your mate, tony
Tony, I don’t disagree with anything you say. We should all be furious. However, the big questions are 1) where will a furious response take us, and 2) what are the alternatives to a furious response likely to deliver the outcomes we want. With regard to 2) I really don’t have a clue. It is possible that democracy and it’s attendant freedoms have given us an increasingly selfish populace convinced of their right to say and do the most selfish things. And by that definition of democracy anyone who suggests moderation of thought and action is the enemy of America. For me the most worrying aspect of our times is the loss of respect for reason. It seems that it is enough to want or feel something for the ensuing actions to be justified. Only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that my daughters are going to make it all right one day. Davo
The loss of respect in general, and the loss of the ability of the electorate to think critically and thus connect the dots…altho’ a lot of people get only propaganda. Mostly I agree with you David, but again, i see my job as one of the many sounding the alarm…something i’ve long done – only now more pointedly as befits where we now find ourselves, and I think, given the present state of affairs, is quite a reasonable thing to do. This country was birthed by people sounding the alarm. And yes, the tea party shouting down the debate is not a reasoned response, whereas the people protesting by sitting quietly in UC Davis is reasonable and THEY get pepper spayed. Is this equitable? Is this a “reasoned” response? Was invading Iraq a “reasoned” response? And which side is absent reason here? I refuse to say that because Fox News is propaganda that all news is…and I can not say that because one side has become completely unreasonable that both sides are…because it isn’t the way it is. David, the cards are stacked…I’m not certain I recognise this “Democracy” we speak of. It is a wonderful concept in theory…but as to it’s working for all these 4 million jobless, all these kids unable to get a quality education…i don’t know. And, while I know Zoe and Lola will be fine, I sympathise with other, less fortunate parents, taking a look around at where we are, and where we are going. I wish we could have this conversation in person because it is lively, and my fingers are exhausted mate. Maybe I’ll finally attach the Skype thingee. xoxoxoxoxo
I’m right there with you. I couldn’t help but cheer a little as I read. I suppose my issue is with conservatives. The Republicans, however, have wrapped themselves so tightly in that blanket that I can only see them as the poster children of the ultra-conservative movement. New Deal vs Trickle-Down Economics (Voodoo Economics, same thing). The fight to grant eveyone their civil rights vs stripping us of our civil rights. Creating an environment where everyone has an opportunity vs protecting the fat cats money and power.
Now you have my blood boiling and I have to stop. I’ve deleted the four paragraphs of rant, because I couldn’t say it any better than you have.
yeah Dee…i know how angry they get me…anyway, thanks for allowing my rant to annoy you, and as always, i appreciate your comment. continue…
I remember when my daughter was about eight years old and asked me what the difference was between republicans, democrats and independents. I swallowed hard and told her a slightly simpler version of this:
‘Republicans want fewer laws and regulations on business so the businesses can make more profit and hire more people so we can all have jobs and take care of ourselves. If many people fall through the cracks in that system because most businesses share their excess profits among the heads of the business and their higher ranking executives, republicans still believe profit at all cost is best. They also want government to stop helping individual people in need.They want families, charities and churches (the collective goodness of people’s hearts) to take care of people in need because they don’t think that’s any of the government’s business.
Democrats understand that many people won’t help others if they don’t have to. They want to legislate to make a lot of things more fair, but sometimes go overboard without consolidating legislation for best effect and budgetary reasons. Sometimes, republicans make it impossible for them to do that by voting against helpful legislation or taking the teeth out of it before they’ll let it pass.
Independents tend to want the best ideas anyone has to offer instead of following some strict party line.”
Then I told her she had to listen carefully to any politician, and study issues by getting facts from a lot of different kinds of sources before making decisions and voting. She’s a grown woman now and says I did a real good job of explaining it to her. She’s said she’s amazed that I didn’t just tell her the republicans were assholes, but agrees that some of the specifics would have scared her when she was so young.
I’m sorry to put such a long comment here, Tony. I guess it wasn’t really necessary to say all this to let you know that both my daughter and I agree with you on this.
Re…but it’s so beautifully put…and all so very right (correct that is…not “wing”) thanks for the comment…as always well thought out, interesting, and much appreciated. continue…
Oh, and still drooling for a VBA badge to place on my blog. No money for down-home Republican bribery but I do make a mean Beef Stroganoff.
Not sure how it will arrive given the Post Office treatment of soup, stew, cookies, illegal drugs, small children and even junk mail.
It’s the deranged thought that counts.
Rachael, u got it (cause you deserve it) just added yoyodyne to my VBA post, check it out.i’ll bet the Stroganoff is real good too. continue…
Sent you my Atheist, Pagan, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and personal factotum email of thanks. Hell, why take chances on blessings. And am always up for a good ritual (killing).
When my daughter was about 10 she said ‘Mommy. where do Jews go when they die?’ Now, she’s Half-a-Hebe and it so happened there was a good friend of mine (another non-practicing Jew) and at the same time we exclaimed… ‘they Rot!’
The kid laughed… and is now an independent voter with a full scholarship ride to a good University and a rabid distrust of Republicans.
My job here is done.
More blessings and Stoganoff to you.
R., thanx for both. continue…
Janece, thank you for wading through this. Yes, there are people at fault on both sides of the aisle. But, in general, it’s the Republican Right that is, to my mind, far more damaging. As i just now added in a postscript to this piece;
“As of this morning the super committee charged by President Obama with coming up with a plan to reduce the deficit is at an impasse over three major points. The Democrats are unwilling to seriously revamp Medicare and other health plans, and want extensions in unemployment benefits, and the Republicans insist on a deal that will extend the Grover Norquist Republican pledged Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (which repeal would automatically reduce the deficit by $3.9 trillion over the next ten years). Can you see the difference in priorities here? ”
That last question not in response to you, but is in the post. Again, thank you Janece for the thoughtful comment… I too hope for some positive changes. More “ballads” next. continue…
Fabulous article. I’m so sick of being bombarded by idiotic jingoism and other Ronald ‘McDonald’ Reagan was a god crap via a certain social network site that I’m about ready to close my account.
Bravo for speaking your beliefs.
That’s some fine police work there Lou
thanks Rachael, i appreciate your props. continue…
Your feelings are certainly understandable, Tony. (And Newt was aptly named for the reptile that he is, although I feel sorry for the cute little critters that share his name).
My only other comment would be that while I share your disdain for the majority of Republicans, my vitriol is a little more fair and balanced. There are people on BOTH sides of the aisle that are worthless bags of self serving crap.
But perhaps that should be a blog post of my own. LOL
Keep the faith. We may see some positive changes after all. We can always hope.