Stockholm Syndrome

For years I got ignorant pushback from people who wagged their finger at me as a liberal who wanted to redistribute wealth. Never mind that government programs are tantamount to insurance: money goes into a common pool and if disaster strikes – unemployment, illness, natural disaster – you draw on the insurance. And never mind that such government assistance helps distressed communities, most of them in conservative districts, and lifts others along the way.

That black welfare queen driving to the store in her pink Cadillac with white wall tires and buying steaks with food stamps earned by your tax dollars? (A racist meme, by the way, started by the be-sainted Ronald Reagan). Well, fine, let’s accept the stereotype. That welfare queen is also ensuring that the grocery store will stay open, the meat packer, register clerk, and shelf stocker have a job, and that your local gas station will stay afloat. She may even be ensuring that some Jack-Ass rancher like Cliven Bundy can even sell his cattle at a profit in the first place. Government subsidies help and stimulate the private economy, including pseudo-cowboy types like the Bundys.

But that is not my gripe about President Elect Flibberty-Gibbet and his band of flying monkeys today. Today let’s talk hostages who identify with their captors, to wit, Stockholm Syndrome, or better yet, Stockholm Syndrome on crack.

So after years of listening to intolerable drivel from the GOP about how we redistribute wealth, taking from honest hard working tax-payers, what do we get? We get the Ryan Plan.

First of all let’s get this straight and crystal clear. Ryan is a promoter of savage policies. He is proposing not just a repeal of ACA, but a phase out of Medicare and a drastic reduction in Social Security. Recall, President Elect Flibberty-Gibbet campaigned on protecting Medicare and Social Security. The promise was false (Shocked! Shocked I am!!!), and now Ryan who is playing Narcissus, Pallas, and Polybius all rolled into one to president elect Claudius, has government programs into which we have paid for years in the crosshairs. That’s your money. That’s my money. Why?

Apart from the fact that he enjoys pulling wings off of flies, surprise surprise, Ryan needs to fund a massive tax cut for those in the very highest percent bracket. If you are reading this then you are probably not getting one of those. That is to say, he intends to pay for his tax cut by cutting your Social Security and Medicare, my Social Security and Medicare, and, hell, everyone’s Social Security and Medicare.

Note to conservatives: trickle down does not work, never has, and even Milton Friedman, by his own admission, was dubious about the long term prospects of his theory, which was never genuinely functional. How do I know this about trickle down? Um, I’ve sorta lived through that failed theory in the 80s and 90s and 00s.

“Oh this is absurd, you’re a libtard who’s been brainwashed by the liberal media”, you’re saying (although probably not, because if you’re a conservative your head has already exploded and you’ve stopped reading). Um, No.

I’m on news blackout for the next few days to give myself a break – it just happens that I read an outline of Ryan’s plan yesterday. So all of these allegedly poor, distressed working class white voters (although I don’t buy that assessment entirely) just voted to transfer wealth and security from themselves to the billionaire class, because they were stupid enough to believe a rich socio-path reality television star, and they just wanted to have a temper tantrum against coastal liberals who made them say “people of color” instead of something more derogatory that disallowed their frisson.

Here is a word of advice that I doubt any of them will head: read. And don’t just read, but read smart. A general observation: I’ve been in the houses of conservatives who have almost no books on their shelf, but there it always is: the Bible, and then the random titles by Sean Hannity, or Ann Coulter, or Roger Stone, or Bill O’Reilly, or any number of hacks. (Yes, it’s anecdotal, but that has been my experience, so there it is.) How about some Shakespeare? How about Plato? Geez, at least try a Dickens novel.

And they tell me I’m brainwashed.

Now I am not unaware that all of this sounds about as liberal elitist as you can get. I don’t care. And I don’t care because the truth is that those who read lead. I recall an ad campaign years ago to get us to read as kids. “A Public That Reads: The Cornerstone of Democracy”, or something to that affect, was what the ad stated. An educated public is a free public, so maybe you should let those who read their science, math, and history homework made public policy. Otherwise . . .

But hey, you got it and now you own it: A rich reality TV star for president. What could go wrong?


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