In 1953, Russell Kirk wrote the Conservative Mind a basis for today’s Republican Party. Kirk was later a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative think tank still influential today. One of the basic tenets he advocated is “a respect for the political value of prudence”. It means basically giving as little away as possible (to the poor and needy).
From the French Revolution to the Tea Party, conservatism has been a reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace. We’re talking about unions, funding for children and the poor and social security as the reason for the economic downturn. This is the message the GOP is pushing. They’re not blaming the banksters and Wall Street Hedge Fund gurus who made out with trillions! They blame the working poor. How do they get away with this garbage?
Let’s go back to 1843 to Dickensian England. A society where the landed gentry controlled a small middle class and a veritable majority of indentured servants. There was a maximum wage you could pay people, to prevent them from rising. People had no voice so they were stuck as veritable indentured servants of corporations. Sound familiar? Mitt Romney is against raising the minimum wage. His “I’m not concerned about the very poor, the social safety net will take care of them” comment was pretty harsh. Yes, we’ve finally gotten rid of Gingrich in the race. The guy who wanted kids to become janitors subsequently getting rid of child labor laws. All of these clowns seem to think the Ryan Budget, a budget heralded by Catholic bishops as “immoral”, will solve the problem. The budget will drastically cut programs to the poor while giving obscene tax cuts to the very wealthy and giant corporations. Of course the Ryan Budge will add $3.27 TRILLION to the deficit! Even Forbes Magazine touts the Ryan Budget A Mistake of Epic Proportions. These deficit hawks are sure not reading this budget they support.
But how have they convinced the poor to vote this way? Since World War II, and especially since the cultural wars of the 1960s, social “wedge” issues related to race and religion now play a more important role in voting habits than practical economic concerns. Take a look at Justice Roy Moore, the 10 Commandments Judge who helps demonize anyone who doesn’t believe in these Christian “Laws” and trounces on the principle of religious freedom.
They’ve convinced the people that everything is going to be good in America. All our problems are going to be solved. There will be no more illegitimacy, no more divorce, everything’s going to be fine if you follow our religious model. Partly because preachers tell them that the Democratic Party is a godless party. It’s also because the Democratic Party is made up of a large number of African-Americans, and working class whites just shouldn’t vote that way.
But it’s a religious comparison of convenience, not one that makes sense. Take a look below at this satirical portrayal of Obama vs Romney. How is it these evangelicals will line up, albeit reluctantly, behind Romney now? Simple. President Obama’s the black guy, the bad guy of the South, the enemy of everything the Confederacy stands for.
As preposterous as this may seem, is it so far fetched? I don’t believe it is. The Religious Right will cast all aspersions aside, hold their noses vote and for Romney just to get rid of that foreigner in the White House