Every now and then I have a little epiphany, usually from reading something, that makes me realize that the way I, and almost everyone else, is thinking about something isn't right. Sometimes politicians and the media have changed the discussion (to deficits rather than job creation, for example) to further their own goals. Sometimes the discussion has just drifted and the focus has changed to something insignificant.
The Rude Pundit blog is, well, rude, and it's often funny, and it pulls no punches, and sometimes it's very insightful. It's difficult to link to the particular post that snapped me out of my "stinkin' thinkin'" so I'll except some key lines below.
(If you want to try to find the entire post go to http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/ for 9/5/12 and look for "DNC Day 1: Now That's the America We Know:" He doesn't post a lot so it should be easy.)
From The Rude Pundit:
The RNC's narrative was based on a fantasy, that the country is made up of entrepreneurs and entrepreneur-wannabes, a bunch of gun-toting freedom loving men whose wives proudly give birth to whatever children are ejaculated into their wild, untamed vaginas, a white rural fantasia where all anyone needs is to be left alone in order to fulfill one's destiny, the chimera of rugged individualism never so seemingly at odds with the true day-to-day lives of Americans.
The truth is something so very different and so very messy compared with the neat, white fictions the RNC laid out. The truth is that most people don't want to start businesses. They want jobs or better lives and if they get it through the government, then at least it's a fuckin' paycheck. The truth is that most people won't ever need a gun, even if they pretend they do. The truth is that this is a messy country, and stories move forward, into a hard-fought and unsure future, even if the GOP is stuck in a flashback to a nation that not only never existed, but could only exist in the most extreme dictatorial state. The RNC portrayed the citizens of the country as being in a locked battle with an evil government, as if the Obama administration was the Assad regime in Syria and they were just meagerly armed rebels, the better to appeal to the knuckle-dragging Tea Party, who were barely mentioned but whose neanderthal gruntings echoed constantly in the speeches. The Democrats, last night, at least, called "Bullshit" on their war.
Michelle Obama rebuked the notion that the greatest good is making money, that financial comfort and material accumulation is the only measure of success. There is more, she said, there is family and love and community, and, goddamn, isn't that worth more than another ten million? When Republicans tried to say such things, they came across as winking jokes.
End of Rude Pundit blog quotes.
Whether you make $10,000 a year or ten billion dollars a year almost everyone wants to make more money. But ever since the Reagan/Ayn Rand 1980s and the Me Generation, all the talk from politicians, the pundits, and the media has been about money. (The Religious Right has tried to bring social topics into the picture, and that's been allowed if it was beneficial to Republican elites, and a few the Democrats have brought a few social issues to the fore, and that's been allowed if it was beneficial to the Republican elites, but that's about it.)
In good times and bad the news is all about money. But not everyone, as the Rude Pundit points out, is about money. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. In fact, the majority of Americans don't.
As much as the media loves to run with the subject of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (a 1980s TV show) and the 90,000 square foot house in Florida, Americans know that that's not for them. They would like more money, sure, but they're not going to lose their lives to get it. They care about family, community, a decent reliable job and friends and relationships, security, affordable health care and living a normal life. Watching the extravagances of the sociopathic greedy is interesting, maybe even fun, but virtually no one wants to be Mitt Romney.
The discussion has drifted – and I don't think it's accidental – to a point where the only factor in judging a person is how much money they have. That's an anti-human, Republican way of looking at life. And it pervades all our media, all our entertainment, all our conversations. Everything, it seems, is filtered through the mesh of money.
The objectives are to create envy and admiration of the 1%, to make them appear superior to the vast majority of citizens who have chosen a different path, and to change the national focus to the only thing that makes a Republican tick: money.
But Americans aren't Republicans. They're not worried if they've got enough heavy armament and ammo. Americans may be angry about government, but they're angry that the government isn't doing more, not that it's doing too much. Americans simply want a nice, stable economy; they're not interested in further unleashing Wall Street, hedge funds, and too-big-to-fail banks.
Sure, I've long believed that the Republican philosophy is out of touch with America (as is the media), and that they only succeed by having far more money and lying, but with the barrage of news and talk and magazine articles and blogs about money, plus the Republican Recession, it became easy to forget just how un-American the Republican Philosophy is.
The huge majority of Americans aren't supporters of a Libertarian philosophy of might makes right. They're not into much of any political or economic philosophy. They just want a decent life.
The Republican party has always been the party of the rich; the Republican party is now the party of the rich; and the Republican party will always be the party of the rich. But not many people are rich and most people don't expect they will become rich. And the voters who vote Republican have to be tricked into doing so.
Again, Americans may be angry about government, but they're angry that the government isn't doing more, not that it's doing too much. Americans simply want a nice, stable economy.
It was good to be reminded of that.