First, let's set aside once and for all any consideration for the possibility that the Republican party is motivated by their desire to address the government debt, the fiscal situation of the country, and in helping create jobs. What they are doing is simply a power play driven by ideology. It's mainly a Southern-tinged ideology. For a caricature-vision of that ideology think Calvin Candie.
To understand that ideology look no further to what Republicans are doing in states they control. Their policies disenfranchise minorities and the poor, oppress women, and exploit workers, while enhancing the wealth and power of the ruling elite.
Think about something... The entire economic philosophy of the South was based on enslavement and exploitation for hundreds of years, until a few decades ago. What's happening right now could be interpreted as the remnants of a conflict we though ended in 1865.
To the adherents of this type of mentality, the whole idea of progressivism is anathema. This world view is also highly influenced by the very strong legacy of puritanism in American culture. It's a hard, fire and brimstone, apocalyptic view of the world, where the pious and God-fearing is blessed, and where those who succumb to sin and debauchery are punished.
This ideology, of course, served the exploitative ruling elite perfectly. It became just one more artifact to condemn an entire segment of the population to servitude.
It is undeniable that poverty and crime are highly influenced by factors such as institutionalized racism and discrimination, under-funding of government services such as public education and public assistance to the poor, and predatory practices by those in power.
This situation then makes certain segments of the population more vulnerable to the effects of crime and poverty, and deprivation.
In the twisted logic and world view of the Confederate South, imbued by puritanical thought, poverty and misfortune itself is the result of sin, and irresponsibility, and wealth and power are the results of piety, hard-work, and entrepreneurial skills.
And so the progressive world view which seeks to confront corruption, and injustice, and inequality, represent a direct affront to the world view that evolved from the Confederate South. Programs that help the poor and infirm are then seen as interfering with God's will, where people who are lazy, and irresponsible should pay the consequences.
Again, in order to fully understand where these people are coming from, one would only have to see Calvin Candie in action; the way he talks; the way he thinks about money and power; his sadism. Somewhere I read that some critics were equating Tarantino's intention as the flipping of a big middle finger to the South. That explanation seems plausible to me...
It is within this context that the NRA has been able to thrive and accrue so much (financial, and political) success, much of it by intimidating and corrupting the two wings of the Corporatist party, the cowardly and complicit Democrats, and the outright fascistic Republicans: The NRA vs. America - RollingStone.
Though Barack Obama had campaigned on modest gun-control proposals, he ducked any fights over the issue. "His view was never that we shouldn't move on these things," political strategist David Axelrod says. "His view was that such moves would be largely symbolic because of the power of the gun lobby to stop them."The emphasis is mine...
Bloomberg doesn't buy that excuse. "The first two years of the Obama administration, the Democrats had the White House, the Senate and Congress," says Bloomberg. "And they did nothing." In early 2009, after Attorney General Eric Holder casually mentioned that renewing the Assault Weapons Ban was a priority, Rahm Emanuel, then the president's chief of staff, sent a characteristically profane message to Holder on the gun issue: "Shut the fuck up."
In fact, Obama moved to expand gun rights as though Bush were still in office. He signed laws to allow guns in checked baggage on Amtrak trains and to allow conceal-carry permit holders to pack heat in national parks. In 2009, the Brady Campaign gave Obama a report card with seven F's.
This total abdication of duty by cowardly and corrupt politicians of both parties, kowtowing to a ruthless, opportunistic, and avaricious entity, has brought us to where we are today: on the cusp of a very dangerous situation where threats of violence and intimidation against those who oppose the NRA can become a destabilizing force.
At the end of the day, it's all about money and power....
But over the past decade and a half, the NRA has morphed into a front group for the firearms industry, whose profits are increasingly dependent on the sale of military-bred weapons like the assault rifles used in the massacres at Newtown and Aurora, Colorado.This is just another example of what happens when people try to appease megalomaniacal and nefarious actors. Hopefully, once the NRA is totally defeated, along with the multibillion dollar gun industry, politicians would have learned their lesson, and will come to a full understanding that their cowardly abdication of their sacred duty as public servants result in devastating, truly horrific consequences for society.
DANGER OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION
I remember watching a documentary about Nazi Germany not long ago. One thing that struck me was that once the conditions were ripe for their putsch, one of the first things that happen was a sudden rise in incidences of intimidation against not only Jews, but against labor leaders, liberals, and social justice activists.
Of course, that all escalated into actual extreme acts of violence, some of which involved groups of armed thugs hunting down and shooting activists... We all know the rest of that history.
I know this is very sensitive territory, so I'm going to try to be very careful in my analysis...
I will skip all the details about how hate-radio, and propaganda organizations like FoxNews are doing their level best to incite fear, anger, and paranoia in millions of people around the country. We all know about the lunacy of the right-wing gun-nuts. That's a given.
A more ominous clear and present danger is the fact that the gun lobby, organizations like ALEC, and other moneyed interests have banded together to push for very disturbing and potentially-dangerous laws, including the so-called "stand-your-ground" laws, which in the final analysis are really "license to kill" laws.
They have also push for laws allowing people to carry conceal weapons everywhere, including bars, government buildings, public streets, and business establishments.
So what we see here is that the stage is being set for the normalization of the eventual intimidation, and possibly, violence against certain individuals that are perceived as a danger to freedom, i.e., gun control proponents.
Some may ask, "How could people feel justified to commit horrendous acts of violence against entire groups of innocent citizens?" All they need is a justification; an excuse; a plausible rationalization.
Through propaganda, and through unprecedented control and influence over our sorry, cowardly, and corrupt crop of "political leaders" in both parties, the environment where there could eventually be a tipping point where people star shooting, is being set, right before our eyes.
One seemingly-ambiguous sign of intimidation at this level is the publishing by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action of one some have called a "Hit List." It is an extensive list of what the NRA calls "National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies."
What's chilling here is that the list goes beyond just listing organizations, and also names private individuals.
Within the context of all the heated rhetoric by the NRA, hate-radio, FoxNews, et al, and given incendiary, provocative and threatening statements by so-called gun-nuts, this list can't be nothing more than another attempt at intimidation--not just an effort to affect legislation.
A potential nexus for possible violence could be caused by an emboldened, and armed right-wing, confronting social justice activists directly.
As the Occupy movement and other social justice groups gear up for another necessary round of peacefully assembling to petition the government to stop the reign of plunder and corruption (by the same forces that are pushing all these fascistic laws to begin with), one could envision situations where conceal-carry, and stand-your-ground laws could set the stage for the justification of intimidation, and in some cases, the actual use of gun violence.
Some peaceful protesters could engage in civil disobedience acts, and groups of armed "citizens" could confront them, feeling totally justified to do so in the face of what they perceived to be disorder and chaos. These situations could quickly escalate... All it would take is a few incidents of actual shootings to create a wave of intimidation and terror within the social justice activist community. This could in turn push some to armed themselves as well... Which could take us back to my opening statements.
I've made the arguments before, and some people dismiss them as totally unrealistic, and alarmist. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows, but when I put all this stuff together, what I see are very dark clouds coming, way beyond the horizon. Others may open the door, step outside, see a beautiful sunny day, people shopping, drinking coffee at Starbucks, and say "You're crazy man, I don't see anybody shooting." To that I say that that's like going outside in winter and seeing a huge snow storm, and use that to make fun of "global warming" or the now more politically-correct, "climate change."
I don't know if these thing are going to happen, or what are the probabilities for them happening, but when I put it all together, and analyze it, that's what I see coming.
And unless the political class all of the sudden grows a pair of cojones pronto, and also while they are at it, see if they can also get a vertebrae, with a little dose of a sense of duty, and commitment to the concept of being true public servants, I think we are in a very dangerous time.