Down to basics
Today's all-words-all-the-time political discussion centers on Comrade Obama's "controversial comment" made in a closed meeting... about how the blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania see their jobs disappearing for decades, become justifiably bitter, and take out their bitterness against The Other
. Leaving aside the academic Leninist terminology, the "controversial comment" is mainly true.
Unfortunately, the Republican brand has the wrong answer. Rush, Beck, Ingraham, Doyle, etc, are all continuing the Pouty Pangloss
routine: "Everything is absolutely perfect in this most perfect of all possible countries, except that I DON'T WANNA PAY TAXES! WAAAAAA! DON'T MAKE ME PAY TAXES, MOMMY! WAAAAAAA! But aside from that, everything is peachy keen in this most peachy of all possible countries. Don't ask the government to solve your problems, solve them yourself! WAAAAA!! I WANT MY MONEY, MOMMY!!!!!"
This doesn't make a lick of goddamn sense, but even if it did make sense it wouldn't begin to answer the question.
Fact is, those ex-auto workers in Detroit, ex-steelmen in Aliquippa and Wheeling, ex-loggers in Bend and Yakima, ex-programmers in San Jose, all know the truth. They know that their problems were CAUSED by government action or by deliberate and wrong-headed government inaction. The government has failed to protect American workers against foreign companies. The government has chosen to protect the interests of the United Nations and the WTO and Mexico and Arabia and India and China and the spotted fucking owl and Al Gore's bulging wallet, instead of protecting the interests of human beings in this country.
THESE PROBLEMS WERE CAUSED - or at least not mitigated - BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Older workers remember a time when our government did impose tariffs on foreign companies, remember a time when our government conserved the wilderness without tearing down human work, remember a time when our government supported technology through defense contracts.
Since we know from FDR and Eisenhower that the gov't can in fact do these things right, and since we know from the Bush and Clinton dynasties how to do them wrong, plain old logic and justice tells us that the problem created by gov't must be solved by gov't.
When the brand-R talking pointheads insist that the problem doesn't exist, the workers stop listening.
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Addendum: Hillary's response to Obama is just right. She acknowledges the existence of the problem, gives the workers a dose of respect to counter the Leninist crap about The Other
, and appears to understand that government must fix the problem it caused. I might even believe her.
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Addendum 2, Sat morning: Fox News is interviewing some actual small-town Pennsylvanians in a diner. Though they aren't Obama voters, they all say that Obama's Controversial Comment is basically true. They've seen the wreckage caused by "free trade", and they're bitter.
Told ya so.
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Addendum 3: One of the Fox hosts gave away the game in an interesting way. While introducing a pointless "debate" between R and D talking-point-heads, she said "Obama implies that instead of voting on economic issues,
voters are more worried about God, guns and gays." Voting on economic issues? Voting on economic issues??? BOTH PARTIES ARE FERVENTLY LOYAL TO "FREE TRADE", IN OTHER WORDS FERVENTLY LOYAL TO CHINA. Both parties are totally in favor of Open Borders, in other words fervently loyal to Mexico. Neither party has ever done anything meaningful for energy independence: nothing to expand offshore drilling, nothing to encourage nuclear power. In other words, both parties are fervently loyal to Arabia. So voting on economic issues
is simply FORBIDDEN. We have never been given a choice in this matter, which means that destroying America is a vitally important goal of both "parties". (See Polistra's discussions of Manweller's Rule
for more on this principle.)