I’ve been reading the morning paper after a call with my parents, catching up on the week’s news back in the US. I am discouraged about the turn of events, the battles for scarce funds and individual rights in the state legislatures and the appellate courts, the anti-labor rallies in Wisconsin, the recent votes in the House against health care reform and to gut federal programs and state grants.
There’s no doubt that the populist Tea Partyers are making the most of the levers to power that they earned in the last election.
Yet, throughout, it’s astonishing to me that these people so blindly support people who support policies that are antithetical to their own self-interests.
- A party that opposes unions, even though organized labor is a necessary balance against corporate excess and shareholder greed.
- People who oppose policies that make it easier for them to own homes, to send their children to college, or to amass critical savings needed for their old age.
- A party who opposes extensions of unemployment and low-income health aid that they rely on when time are hard.
- People who decry socialized government-supported health care while they, themselves, rely on Medicare and Medicaid.
- They support people who support American involvement in foreign wars, even though their sons and daughters are disproportionately the ones sent to fight and die.
- A party who opposes the refinancing, reregulating, and reorganization of banks, auto companies, oil drillers, and other industries, encouraging free-market failures, blue-collar job loss, and global outsourcing.
- People who side with the rogues in the financial industry, who continue to corrupt politics, regulation, and academia, cutting ordinary jobs and pensions while increasing their own salaries and bonuses
- A party that opposes health care reform, leaving them at the mercy of insurers who refuse to pay legitimate claims, after they have paid into the system and are left with bills that they cannot pay on their own.
- People who aim budget cuts directly at them while pushing tax and regulatory breaks to business and the rich under the false banners of job creation and economic growth.
- They cheer blood sport in political debate in legislatures and the media, with shameless misinformation being thrown at every level,while discrediting responsible and informed voices and the truths of investigative reporting.
- They support every-more intrusive measures to curtail privacy, expression, arts, and diversity while fretting endlessly about terrorism, Islamism, gays, and immigration.
These are the threats that these populists are fighting against.
…and their elected delegates are selling out their interests at every turn.
‘sorry to write a Sunday screed, but I just don’t understand what these people are thinking.