I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.
-- Robber baron Jay Gould (also quoted in Gangs of New York)
It's election day here in Wisconsin, and all eyes in the world are focused on my little state. This election is pretty much to determine whether entire state governments can be bought and sold like stock futures. Bases on the early information, the answer will probably be a resounding yes.At least the heavy-handed cloud of political propaganda will lift for a couple of months. Wisconsin residents have been browbeaten with dozens of robocalls per day over the past several weeks. Maybe it's time to admit that democracy is a failed system of government.
This weekend I saw a fellow perched at an intersection with a giant crudely hand-painted sign reading "Democrat Perversion No Homo Marriage", and a lovely symbol of two men with the "not" sign around them. Apparently he had nothing to do but stand on an urban streetcorner on a hot summer day with his sign. From the looks of him, I'd say he was probably a payment or two from foreclosure. Later that day at the gym, some guy at the front desk was having an animated conversation, ranting and raving about how Obama wants to "reallocate wealth" and how the democrats are the most racist part in history. He was bearded and seemed to be dressed as a painter. His ravings were discursive, rabid, and semi-coherent. Of course, he was absolutely convinced of everything he was saying, most of which was verbatim from talk radio. At least the guy behind the counter was a little more perceptive, arguing that both parties have it in for us. It confirmed my suspicions that while the Democrats may be beholden to big-money, the GOP is now a big tent for all the worse impulses in the American psyche. Corn-pone Nazis, here we come.
That's the nice thing about America - the semi-homeless minimum wage laborer and the billionaire are equally adamant that socialism is the greatest threat to the human race. And they're equally adamant that the wealthy should keep every penny they earn and that redistribution is immoral. Yes, once again the middle class will slit its own throat, as it's been
doing pretty consistently over the last forty years or so. And so we head to that last round of Monopoly...
Of course these were just a couple of people. but these are the people that participate in politics today. These people vote. The worst are full of passionate intensity...
We are a crude, stupid, ignorant people, and we'll continue to get the government we deserve.
So we in Wisconsin, unless there's a surprise, can probably look forward to being the incubator for the Tea-Party's brave new world of no unions, minimum wage, lousy education, bought-and-sold legislators, no taxes on the wealthy, no public transit, and privatized everything future. We can look forward to every ALEC-sponsored bill sailing through the legislature, turning the state that launched the Progressive movement int a banana republic. But don't worry - it's coming to a state near you very soon.
VIDEO: Scott Walker's Divide-and-Conquer Strategy Is "The New Model for the Country (Mother Jones)
The Dark Money Behind the Wisconsin Recall (MJ)