GOP elite's only hope is misdirection
MARTY MOOREThat the GOP's old guard has no functional constituency beyond its aging, homogenous country club power merchants is attested to by the lack of enthusiasm by base Republicans for its choice of president, Mitt Romney.
Published: April 13, 2012
Published: April 13, 2012
So now that conservatives have had their fling with Bachmann and Perry and Cain and Santorum, it's crucial the establishment reels them back so the adults can get down to the real business of the party. The GOP is very good at what it does and what it does is precisely what every party of the affluent and powerful has done throughout modern history, protect its elites' ability to make, retain and increase their wealth.
But the only way the corporate moneyed class, which after all comprises at most 20 percent of the population, can hope to control the levers of political power and protect its privileges is to convince enough working stiffs to support policies essentially not in their best economic interests. Amazingly, it's not all that hard to do.
Now one might think blue collar families earning, say, less than $65,000 in this toxic climate of evaporating jobs, underfunded pension plans, unreliable employer health insurance and anemic consumer protections would welcome government intercession as the only counterweight to corporate ascendancy by bringing some security to their lives.
But not in Slime World. Since 1972 GOP operatives have been exploiting a brew of coded bigotry, uber-patriotism, Christian zealotry and gay and immigrant bashing. They've been translating irrational fears, prejudices and cultural biases into Republican votes to advance the very agenda that created the middle class's economic plight in the first place. The GOP establishment, by the way, couldn't give a rat's patootie about any of that claptrap.
You see the rich have their stock options and trust funds; their gold-plated health care plans and A-list doctors; their prep schools and Ivy League colleges; their limos and personal jets; their gated communities and private security forces. They don't need government safety nets or secure pension funds or job training or Medicare or universal health care or tuition assistance or mass transit or mortgage interest deductions or community policing, all of which are decimated in the Paul Ryan budget.
All they need is to convince enough middleclass voters they don't need those things either.
So if your guys are greedy, deceitful and callous and would sell their grandmother for a buck, then you better damn well make your political opponents, whether it's Rick Santorum or Barack Obama, look even worse! Tell enough lies; create enough suspicion; manipulate enough facts; spread enough misdirection; and spend enough cash to offset your numerical insufficiency.
Told you it was easy.
Columnist Marty Moore is a freelance writer living in Port Richey.