Thursday, February 19, 2009

Right America: Feeling Wronged

HBO’s Alexandra Pelosi does some good stuff. Her latest documentary on HBO chronicles the attitude of Conservative Americans who supported John McCain and Sarah Palin.

To be honest with you, I’m not sure how representative Pelosi’s snapshot was but interestingly enough I’ve encountered virtually all of the types she presented.

First you have the economic conservatives who have been sold on the idea of Supply side economics. To them you solve the economic problems by making more capital available to corporations and you make more capital available by cutting corporate taxes and taxes for the well to do.

There’s only one problem with that. That kind of solution works well in an inflationary spiral where demand exceeds goods and services. It allows production to catch up with demand, gets inflation under control and fosters a rapid growth spiral. Corporations expand, jobs are created and there is even more demand as unemployment drops.

The potential problem is that the increase in goods and services outpaces the growth in demand. If it didn’t, the increase and goods and services would accelerate until it did. At some point growth has to slow down as supply starts to catch up to demand. Unfortunately corporate “success” is gauged by growth. While the gap in demand is being filled, growth comes relatively easy. But once that gap is more or less closed, growth becomes hard and corporate boards start looking for “creative ways” to grow.

This looking for “creative ways” to grow is exactly what got us into the current mess.

At the moment we have an excess of goods and services and are in a downward spiral. The economy is shrinking. If you make more capital available to corporations what the hell are they going to do with it? They can’t sell what they’re producing now. What you have to do is expand the demand side which is precisely what Obama is trying to do. If we can get demand to once again exceed supply, then corporations will see opportunities in expansion, jobs will be created which will provide more demand.

Obviously this is a serious simplification but the basics are sound. The bottom line is that not all problems are a nail that require a hammer as a solution. The right economic policy in 1980 isn’t necessarily the right policy in 2009 (at least I hope it’s not or we’re royally screwed because the administration, for the most part, is putting its eggs in a different basket).

The second group was the Christians. One lady expressed things as the country needs to learn that there is one morality and one path to salvation. No surprise here that the average trailer camp religious coo-coo supported McCain and especially Palin.

The third group was the blue collar gun totin’ rural folks who felt that Obama, and others of his ilk, in other words city dwelling well educated white collar types, didn’t really understand them. These people have a point. Of all the groups represented they probably had the most righteous case.

Then there were the folks that bought into the lies about Obama not saluting the flag, not wearing a flag pin or being a Muslim, the pure racists and the totally over the top religious kooks who believe that Obama is the anti-Christ. And that’s not to mention the wide ranging disdain for the so-called Liberal media. Fox appeared to be the news source of choice. Lots of people appeared to be upset with Kathy Couric because she had the audacity to let Palin talk.

These people are scary. They’re uneducated, ignorant religious yahoos that I wouldn’t trust to walk a dog never mind vote in elections that might determine the future of my children. I’ll bet 80%, or more, reject evolution even though they don’t understand it. 100% appeared to reject socialism even though they had no idea what that was either.

There were lots of good reasons not to vote for Obama, and a lot of intelligent people chose not to; like I said before, the blue collar contingent probably had a good point. Never the less, these people really need to ask themselves who was actually trying to help them and who is really on their side?

The really scary point is the knowledge is that the more you try to reason with these dodos, the more they’ll dig in their heels and be convinced they’re right. Of course they won’t have the faintest idea what it is they’re claiming to be right about, or be able to explain why they're right but they'll be convinced they're right never the less.

Perhaps the most telling visual, which may have summed it all up, was that as Obama was calling for support and bi-partisanship in his speech in Grant Park, a camera scan of McCain HQ showed it empty and Obama's plea being unheard or ignored.

Someone said on a forum the other night that it appears that the Republicans would rather see America burn than Obama succeed. And they call themselves Patriots.

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