Sunday, September 18, 2016

Reagan's Legacy

From an astute commenter on today's NY Times:

"For the white people who have never fully recovered from the economic collapse brought by G W Bush, Trump is a Teflon super-hero. You cannot reason with these voters or convince them how little regard Trump truly has for working people and how they are just pawns in his personal power game. 

We hold a mirror up to our society during an election. Is it really true that we see nearly half of our nation willing to accept an ignorant, hate-mongering fraud as their President? "

And it is that fact that scares me. I live in a country, maybe even a town, where nearly half the people, a dangerous many of them gun fanatics,  are so ignorant they are willing to risk throwing the baby of what's left of our democracy out with the bathwater of congressional failure and stagnation without ever questioning their own part in the decline of political altruism.  In Europe, a wave of frustration is exhibiting itself in right wing party electoral punch as well, but public support for such groups ranges below 25% of voters.

So if you're feeling a little blue, listen to Bill Moyers and what he has to say this week about the election.  He has the gift of humanizing any issue without sentimentalizing. I still miss his PBS show.

Here's a taste of what Bill Moyers has to say about the state of America today (link below)

"Looking back, you have to wonder how we could have ignored the warning signs.  In the 1970s, Big Business began to refine its ability to act as a class and gang up on Congress.  Even before the Supreme Court’s Citizens Uniteddecision, political action committees deluged politics with dollars. Foundations, corporations, and rich individuals funded think tanks that churned out study after study with results skewed to their ideology and interests. Political strategists made alliances with the religious right, with Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, to zealously wage a cultural holy war that would camouflage the economic assault on working people and the middle class. [Ah, Bill, we love ya when yer blunt.]

To help cover-up this heist of the economy, an appealing intellectual gloss was needed.  So public intellectuals were recruited and subsidized to turn “globalization,” “neo-liberalism,” and “the Washington Consensus” into a theological belief system.  The “dismal science of economics” became a miracle of faith.  Wall Street glistened as the new Promised Land, while few noticed that those angels dancing on the head of a pin were really witchdoctors with MBAs brewing voodoo magic.  The greed of the Gordon Gekkos -- once considered a vice -- was transformed into a virtue.  One of the high priests of this faith, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, looking in wonder on all that his company had wrought, pronounced it “God’s work.”"

And here's the link to the whole article. It's brilliant:

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