I Don't See the Conflict

From yesterday's WaPo piece, After Charlottesville, Republicans remain stymied over what to do about Trump.

In the aftermath of the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Republican lawmakers and leaders face the most unpalatable set of choices yet in their relationship with President Trump. They are caught between disgust over his failure to unequivocally condemn neo-Nazism, a desire to advance a conservative agenda and fears of rupturing the Trump-GOP coalition ahead of the 2018 elections.

The article continues with an amazingly detailed, angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin analysis of just how horrible each Rethuglican elected official they could get on the record "thinks" the Pumpkin is.

Here's what they are missing: not one of these capitalist tools genuinely gives the tiniest little rat's ass about this issue.  They each have to make just enough noble-sounding noises to avoid awakening their dupes at home.  Mainly because, this country is not yet at the stage where you can steal an election without having some base of support among the under-educated.  The level of support they are willing to voice for Pumpkin is directly tied to how monochromatic and racist their particular base is.

But the corporatism and fascism underlying the Rethuglican agenda remain unchanged, and have little to do with whether we are a Nazi regime or just a genteel racist one.  The vision is, a desperate work-force willing to give all the labor needed to enrich the capitalists, that costs no more than is necessary to avoid starving it to death.  One that manufactures its own replacements by breeding, so that maintenance costs are low.

The slavery that dare not speak its name.

To keep this on track, certain policy goals become very important:

  • Women must not have reproductive freedom.  A mother will be desperate to keep her babies from starving, so will be willing to work for less.  Defunding Planned Parenthood and opposing all but the hilariously ineffective "abstinence-only" sex education suddenly makes sense.
  • The state must never intervene to prevent starvation.  A population in fear of starving is less able to negotiate decent wages for labor, but has to take whatever they can get.  The opposition to WIC, SNAP, a living minimum wage or a universal basic income suddenly makes sense.
  • Health care must stay expensive, and tied to employment.  A population in fear of loved ones dying from treatable conditions is less able to negotiate decent wages for labor, but has to take whatever they can get.  The rabid hatred of even such a wimpy half-measure as the ACA suddenly makes sense.
  • The conditions of employment must be completely at the whim of the employer.  Workplace safety or wrongful termination enforcement by the government is unacceptable.  Mockery of OSHA suddenly makes sense.
  • Government's sole function is to protect the property rights of the capitalists.  The Golden Rule is absolute.  Bizarre legislation like the DMCA suddenly makes sense.  A willingness to destroy the ecosystem in pursuit of the next quarter's EPS suddenly makes sense.

This didn't start last week.  Last week just shows how well it's been going.  Racism is not all that important to the real goals, but it's a dandy way to keep the base distracted from rebelling against its enslavement.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F