Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Political Musings from a Coffee Shop

What if the tea party, the republican party, Fox News - the staunchest defenders of America with a capital Fuck Yeah - were all part of a conspiracy to destabilise it?

The right wing makes no sense to me, I'll freely admit that. It seems to be selfish and underhanded in the same way that they probably view liberalism as overthinking and naive.

But I can at least see where the part of the right nearest the centre is coming from. They believe that making the rich richer is fair because it's better to reward hard work. From a strictly eugenic point of view, it makes sense, I just disagree with the brute simplicity of it. I'll never really understand racism, but there again the right is usually (with the exception of the EDL and such) pretty quick to try and disassociate themselves from it. And limiting the rights of people is a temptingly simple solution because I do believe that people are all idiots, including me. See, I'm typing in green now. Why am I typing in green. Now Blue. Clearly, I'm an idiot.

But what I don't understand are the Sarah Palins and the Sean Hannitys - the crazy right. The ones who think the female body can magically repel rapist semen, who think that 47% of the country they're trying to win over don't pay taxes. The ones who are currently shutting down the US government to stop free healthcare, despite two thirds of Americans being for it.

I mean, these people have to be funded from somewhere, but the majority are against them. If they're just taking advantage of the revelation that (in the UK at least) an obscenely rich minority have the majority of the money, then clearly we need to take a very close look at the word 'democracy, because the government is being run by a minority acting against the interests of the public.

Put it this way. We mock Americans for their attitudes towards war, their unfair healthcare systems and their megacorporations that make Ebeneezer Scrooge look like Oprah on amphetamines. But when have you actually met an American person who agreed with any of it? I mean I've met four Americans off the top of my head, and one of them was a fan of guns; but she was from Alaska where they do kind of need them. I have found all the individual Americans I've met to be reasonable, rational people.

But the news we hear from America is completely different, and it's promoted and funded and reinforced by the same network of attention grabbers, all acting like idiots. It's hard to believe they're not mentally ill, that nobody's sat them down and explained to them that we don't share or support these opinions. It's hard to see where the impetus comes from to keep putting them on our screens.

But... what if that's the point? What if they're elevated to these positions not to defend the US, but to give it a bad name? To tar it with a label reflecting the worst bigotry of the right wing? After all, we can agree that direct attacks of violence have failed. America does not negotiate with Terrorists. But it does love money. Mmm, delicious money. That's it America, dry roasted money in a delicate oil jus. It's their kryptonite. It's even green.

And given that attacks both direct and indirect have failed (modern espionage becomes pointless in an age where the NSA can tap into everything) the remaining option is to take a leaf out of the USA's own playbook: destabilise the government and turn the people against them. Just like in South America, just like in Vietnam. The Republican party is being led astray by the interests of healthcare organisations, most of whom pay their taxes overseas. Foreign interests paying for the US government. And the whole cycle of destruction is protected from repercussions because it's shielded by the money it accumulates.

We have capitalism actively destroying a democracy, and nobody's doing a damn thing.

I think what worries me most about the politics of this era is that governments are no longer listening to protest, and acting without mandate. Something has changed, and that has let them unleash their worst excesses - even in our country, we have the sale of the NHS, grants to energy companies for fracking and the destruction of the welfare state. And we are powerless to stop any of it.

I don't know. I said in an earlier post that that it's very easy to spot conspiracies emerging where there are none, but I think it comes from an in-built desire in the human mind to find patterns in the chaos. Somehow, it's more reassuring to imagine the secret terrorist bloc from Team America: World Police funding Bill O'Reilly's rants about the mentally ill than to imagine instead that someone genuinely feels those kinds of opinions are acceptable.

We're in one hell of a state when it's easier to believe we're being manipulated than it is to believe that we're choosing to act this way.