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View Diary: The Republican Party's transparent agenda of class warfare (107 comments)

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  •  The Irish Potato Famine (4+ / 0-)

    While there was famine in Ireland, and some were apparently reduced to cannibalism (on the dead), Ireland was a net exporter of food.

    •  Indeed. And I think that is a good analogy. (1+ / 0-)
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      But I suspect the those among the elite who did well by the famine were perfectly able to justify their wealth, and the peasants' poverty, by the standards of Victorian morality - which is not so different from the social Darwinism now in vogue in the US today. The elite of any nation will tend to be self-serving - as will we all - especially when unchecked by the voice and the power of another.  

      But we live in a democracy, while the Irish did not.  The scales will never fall from the eyes of the Kochs by any action of yours or mine.  But it is not they who need convincing: it is the great mass of the electorate who continue to vote for the Right.  The "average Republican voter" identifies now with the arguments of his economic and political masters: he believes his liberty is curtailed by the government, and that is why he is struggling economically. He believes welfare is a system that steals his hard earned money to give to lazy cheaters.  He believes "government regulation" is killing prosperity, rather than saving his life from the built-in malfeasance of the profit motive.

      It is no surprise that an average voter might feel this way: for that is what he has been taught to believe for over thirty years now - or for 70 years, if you want to take it back to Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" and Rand's "Fountainhead".  The Democratic Party dropped the economic ball in the 1970s and ceded the ground to the Republicans, and they have crafted from it the agenda and the political language that still governs this land.

      Our job is to make the counterargument, to reframe the story, to remake the language.  Our job is to recall what our party has forgotten: that there were good reasons for erecting a system of social democracy in the US (as in England, France, Germany, etc).  Our job is to patiently explain, and then explain again: No, it is the concentration of private power in the hands of a tiny elite that is the source of our gravest ills, and so we need a redistributive tax and regulatory system that penalizes excessive profit taking and pays ALL working people a LIVING wage. Our job is to engage with the other, our presumed enemy, as we would have them engage with us - as thoughtful, dignified human beings deserving of respect - because that is the basis of our creed: to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

      The process has already begun; but it has only just begun. It is too early for despair.

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