17 Days to Go: End the Politics of Stupid, Part II

As I said yesterday, this election is our opportunity to end the Politics of Stupid, once and for all. And don’t say we can’t do it. Our parents and grandparents did so in 1932, when the inaction of the GOP failed to put a dent in the Great Depression because their approach was really dumb, especially looking back on it with 20/20 hindsight. With the attack on Pearl Harbor and our entry into World War II, we found out, once and for all, that government spending, including government debt, could have a positive effect on the economy. For many years before that and after, Republicans have operated under the ridiculous notion that government cannot create jobs, and we have proven that repeatedly since then.

The idea that government spending is somehow revenue neutral and somehow not part of the economy is certainly part of the “politics of stupid,” since it seems to be an unshakable belief among Republicans and it is constantly proven wrong. In fact, businesses run by Republicans make shitloads of money from government contracts every day, which proves that wrong. When a government builds a road, a whole lot of people make a good living.

When government builds infrastructure, it makes it possible for millions of people to get to work, and it makes it possible for businesses to move goods and perform services more easily than before. Without a coordinated government response, there would be little or no infrastructure in this country because “the market” can’t possibly do what the government can do, if for no other reason than profit is a major motive, and we can’t expect “the market” to make shit for free. They have to make money, and they have to pay employees enough to live on; it’s the least we should expect from “the market.”

And that is another aspect of “the politics of stupid;” this idea that “the market” can save us all, and that includes the idea that, somehow, a CEO would be the perfect president. While I don’t think being a CEO should disqualify anyone, the very idea that a CEO, whose job entails making sure his company’s shareholders are happy, is the perfect person to “execute” the laws passed by Congress is absurd on its face. Plus, the last two presidents who were CEOs before they were elected were Trump and Bush, Jr., and they sure as hell don’t make the “CEOs are perfect” adage anything close to true. Character still matters, and very few would argue that CEOs tend to be the most character-driven people on the planet. They are driven by “success,” and their definition is based on making a profit only, which has nothing to do with leading a government.

Face it; government is a service organization and a for-profit corporation is not. Oh, sure, in order to make a profit, many companies have to provide great service, but it’s not the sole purpose for the operation. If you run the U.S. federal government, you are hired by the 320 million people in the United States, and you are beholden to them, and only them. Not just those who voted for you, and certainly not just those who donated a lot of money to your campaign. Republicans these days seem to think they can ignore the majority and only appeal to other Republicans in order to win. This is despite the fact that the GOP has spent the last 56 years trying to recover from their humiliation in the 1964 election, by purposely recruiting the worst Americans in our nation, so they can win every election even though they’re the minority party.

This is why they work so hard to suppress votes. They are a minority party, often by a wide margin. When white people become a minority in the next 20-30 years or so, they can’t just rely on their extremely narrow base to win anything. They have absolutely no desire to make sure everyone can vote. Republicans and their white racist base know Thai time is almost up, so their attempts to prevent immigrants from immigrating here and to limit voting among Black and brown people are becoming increasingly strict and desperate.

The “politics of stupid” has become ingrained in American politics, primarily because the Republican Party has controlled a far-too-large portion of the government. They have dominated the politics since at least 1980 and, frankly, I trace it back to 1968. It’s the fault of white liberals. Too many of my fellow white liberals learned the wrong lessons from the 1950s and 1960s, and we are as responsible for this mess as anyone.

There is nothing that is naturally appealing about Republican politics. They only care about winning, and they don’t care about making sure the government functions well when they’re in charge. In fact, since one of their major positions is something along the lines of Sat. Reagan’s admonition that government does nothing right, their time in office is spent proving that correct.

Think about it; they create most of the deficits and they pile on government debt, and then bitch and blame it on Democrats. No one spends more money and reduces revenues than Republicans, and yet, they get away with calling Democrats “spendthrifts,” even though there is no basis for it. And we cannot dismiss out part in perpetuating the “politics of stupid” because a lot of our rhetoric about Democrats matches theirs. When Hillary was running in 2016, Bernie supporters sounded very much like Trump supporters when discussing Hillary. Even now, when we have little choice but to support the Democratic nominee, I still see a lot of unicorn “progressives” whine about Joe Biden, as if he was some sort of “traitor.”

That sucks. While Biden is a little old, and while he does have a few things in his background that would disqualify him in a race where we had dozens of choices for President, he is among the most liberal Democrats out there and he was good enough to be a strong Vice President for the very progressive President Barack Obama. And see? I can already read the reaction, with so-called liberals – white liberals – insisting that Obama wasn’t a “real progressive,” as if there is such a thing.

This is our chance, folks. In a little more than 2 weeks, we can begin to vanquish the current incarnation of the Republican Party and get rid of the worst president we will hopefully ever see in our history. But we have to do it, and we have to make sure our version of the “politics of stupid” goes away with the right-wing version.

November 3, 2020, we must change history for the better. We have no choice.

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