Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GOP - Making Everything Old New Again

A Word Nibbled to Death by Time
It wasn't pretty, either. When definitions no longer exist, 
speaking louder and faster become the order of the day.

In the olden days there was, at least theoretically, an actual contextual meaning for the term "conservative." Even then it was a word usable only with only the most awkward style of comparative meaning -- that is, when considered by itself, a definition quickly became quite nebulous. To accommodate this "syntactic challenge," conversational references to, for example, "conservative" things or "conservative" values, for instance, usually descended quickly to "what it didn't mean" and were augmented by all manner of comparisons to to "things" or "values" which its antonym might suggest were present.

However, as time passed even the task of selecting the "correct" antonym began to also descend into the same uncertain waters. "Liberal" or "progressive" seem to be the most recent efforts to describe "things" and "values" which were, by definitions never really made formally concrete, antithetical to "conservative things and values."

Of course this modern hodge podge of twisted concepts and labored efforts to bias communication did not occur spontaneously, that is, did not occur as organically as mere "lillies in the field." Instead, the current dichotomy was patiently developed with long, tedious planning and at great cost in the public opinion manipulating bunkers of the billionaire class.

Whatever's on your mind. [image]
The result was that many voters who never before enjoyed access to words with so many syllables suddenly found themselves entirely comfortable with the use of this particular term, "conservative." In no time at all its casual definition [in its use by this crowd] was entirely "vaporized into the dusty annals of forgotten history" only to be replaced instantly by absolutely whatever meaning such minds might have sought to add to their discourse in the precise moment it was uttered.

Conversations including a reference to "conservatism" may as well have been drunken arguments conducted with a rapidly rotating Wheel of Fortune.

[There's absolutely not even the slightest reason to worry about hurting the feelings of any of these "word salad chatterers" by commenting about them this way on the blog. If for no other reason, the "syllable count" typical to these posts would have sent them scattering in confused horror after they had encountered the first sentence.]

Things of Today and Things of Yesterday
It will help to hide your calendar.

The mad rush "back to the imaginary past" was predicted long before the GOP's "girders popped" in preparation for this election cycle. In the darkest, most frightening days immediately after the Republican Recession's looting frenzy had cooled a bit, President Obama made a prescient comment regarding the state of mind of voters.

Among the "non-lobbyist" crowd, everyone who had possessed wealth in practically any form -- real estate equity, 401 K accounts, retirement savings, and so on -- lost 40% of everything in few weeks. The President accurately foretold that these brutally injured "Middle Classers" would be inclined to revert to furtive, imagined memories of their individual "good old days." Although few Americans realized this in the frightening days of 2008, experts have concluded that a full recovery from the disaster will at least take two decades.

"And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," Obama said. [April 13, 2008 - in the worst days of the Great Republican Recession - Christianity Today]

The New Dark Ages
The GOP's Twelve Step Program to
Re-institute History in Retrograde

Where in the world did they get these ideas? Oh, right.
The Dark Ages
[ image - jonasdero]
The term "Conservative" wordlessly embodies an eager rejection of the present reality and a full retrograde impulse to re-establish mythical conditions imagined to have prevailed in the past.

1. Invading the Middle East - Again

More than a few of the current GOP Presidential candidates are proposing another invasion of Iraq and Syria with a US land army. Predictably, the burden of revealing important details about such a military adventure are lost amid the propaganda. The Dark Ages were annotated by one Crusade after another to "liberate" Middle Eastern real estate into the hands of the Pope and the Nobles, but we don't have to travel that far into the past to understand this one.

2. Criminalizing Minority Status

This takes three main directions. A. Complaints from black Americans with respect to the wide spread police shootings are "dispatched" by GOP candidates by citing racist epithets. B. GOP politicians stubbornly adhere to complete opposition to any political resolution to managing the current immigration crisis. C. GOP political candidates openly supporting the establishment of "blanket" detention camps in the US for landed immigrants from specific regions.

3. Cultural and Religious Purity

Openly Dominionist GOP Presidential candidates espouse the specific supremacy of Christian [Western] values and policy. Kasich is supporting an international propaganda campaign to promote "Western" values, while Donald Trump has "quietly" [indecisively] supported a policy requiring religious identification tags on Muslims. Humanity's dark history is littered with such programs.

4. Reconstructing the Division of Berlin

Every time Donald Trump bellows about "building a wall" between the US and Mexico, MeanMesa cannot avoid remembering the wall which divided Berlin for years -- including the corpses strewn about on the Eastern side when desperate Germans attempted to run the gauntlet through the unmanned, automatic machine guns. Building an impenetrable wall between the US and all contiguous neighbors amounts to roughly the same thing.

The Berlin Wall was a constant reminder of why people wanted to escape the crushing hardship of an utterly failed social system. Ironically, within a few years after their construction, the Trump walls will probably be a constant reminder of the same thing.

5. Mutual Assured Destruction [MAD] 

People who clearly have no idea what occurs when an H-Bomb detonates over a populated area should not recklessly tease the Russian Federation. The United States and Russia still have -- by far -- the largest and most credible nuclear deterrent weaponry. Restarting the Cold War with the Russian Federation would initiate future decades of nuclear insanity -- not to mention gigantic arms expenditures crippling economic stability on both sides.

Those Europeans who lived in the Dark Ages were almost constantly threatened by unending wars -- the Hundred Years War, the Thirty Years War and more. The United States and Russia have been threatening each other [occasionally threatening more and less] with nuclear war for over fifty years.

6. Validating Cultural Supremacy 

GOP political campaigns are now openly promoting the psychology of [US National] exceptionalism based on biased interpretations of history. History reveals that when this becomes the national psychology, war inducing jingoism follows rather quickly in its wake. The psychology of exceptionalism "excuses" citizens who think that actually being informed about international realities is an unnecessary burden to qualify one to formulate an "informed" [valid/realistic] opinion about national policy.

7. Establishing Statutory Law Based on Religious Ideology

Although these ideas have been embedded in GOP political campaigns only at the level of innuendos, the trend is toward far more specific references. The GOP base responds well to the fantasy of Biblical credentials and Biblical policies when espoused by Republican candidates. Even the mere mention of creating statutory law based on admittedly ill defined Biblical principles excites poll numbers. To MeanMesa this is reminiscent of the suffocating Catholic theocracy in Europe during the Dark Ages.

8. Creating a Cynical Crisis in Trust 

We can only speculate the long term effects of a determined, well financed effort to fundamentally shake the trust Americans have traditionally held for their representative government. Nationally, there has never been a period entirely absent of complaints and suspicions, the the current wave of total mistrust exceeds anything similar in the past. The effort has employed every possible ploy including the "kitchen sink" to accomplish this among a nearly illiterate electorate -- raw xenophobia, intimations of God's wrath, nearly unilateral dread from no longer controlling the economy -- all driven to a fever pitch by an entire "news" network hell bent on completing the job.

9. Cultural Paranoia and Fear 

This refers to a general fear and anxiety. Americans haven't had a moment's rest of this onslaught, and the results are telling. Fear has become the "currency of the day." For perhaps a majority of Americans a television talk show which doesn't invoke even more fear is generally characterized as suspect or unrealistic. Although the President joked about this development with respect to the GOP Presidential candidates, the brutal reality of it stretches far afield  --- beyond just the campaigns -- to include an  un-examined fear of even the most innocuous daily encounters for millions of Americans.

The electorate has been groomed into a state in which fear and hopeless malaise can be turned to a political advantage.

10. Bigotry as the Status Quo 

The fear and xenophobia usher in raw bigotry. Americans who disapprove of police shooting among black citizens mitigate their criticism with rambling justifications -- shadowy justifications carefully designed and embedded into the back grounds of their minds by professional think tanks and other experts employed to mitigate public opinion. Anyone considering this to be an exaggeration or an embellishment need only listen for "buts." "Yes, it was awful, but..." "Yes, it was racist, but..." "Yes, it was unnecessary, but..."

Racism almost certainly has many foundations and derives from many social roots, but for oligarchs public opinion schemes validating racism, justifying it and even tolerating violent racism are "tried and tested" means for maintaining a divided electorate -- something necessary for them to accomplish their ambitions.

[Read more NYTIMES]

11. Lower Standards of Living and Poverty 

During the decade or so that the tea party has been holding political sway, the American population has descended from being the best fed in the world to a nadir which sees one in six children facing food uncertainty. Now, although the oligarchs have dispatched the tea party as no longer useful, the poverty remains -- and continues to grow. This tragedy may be shocking, but we can be encouraged by the fact that it is not an inexplicable "mysterious development." Both the process and the consequences are entirely consistent with the "larger plan" initiated by the oligarch class during the Reagan era.

Conditions of life during the Dark Ages were marked by a desperate "dog eat dog" poverty and superstitious fear conveniently induced by religion. The ambitious plan of the billionaires is to persuade Americans to accept oligarchy and dynastic wealth as a new, permanent status quo in the democracy -- in the same way that Dark Ages peasants accepted the "Divine Right" of the noble plutocrats who ruled them.

[GOP Poverty Report Washington Post]

12. Rewriting History 

Written history poses a far less serious threat to those who would rule men's minds when no one knows it, but if straight, out and out illiteracy can't be achieved, twisting the content of history books will do almost as well. This was, for example, one of the root causes of the sectarian violence after the US invasion of Iraq. For years Iraqi Sunnis had been taught that they represented a majority of the Iraqi population -- the opposite of the true distribution of Sunni and Shiite demographics.

In domestic education the Texas School Board's well financed effort to promote "conservative" ideology through subsidizing text books for other states is another example.

This leads to a patient effort which leads large numbers of "educated" Americans to fail to criticize the policies and individuals who have, frankly, damaged the country. The long term consequence is the creation of entire generations deeply saturated by such propaganda and as a result, a population no longer able to discern the qualities of character necessary for competent performance in a high office. Understandably, celebrity candidates, for example, are confused with those having competence for national leadership. 

[Read more - Think Progress]

The Vanishing, Existential Difference 
Between "Perfect" and "Failed"
Especially when discussing religion, politics, 
current events or policy... but probably not sex.

A few years ago the daily email orders from the GOP's think tank bunkers must have flatly stated that the use of the term "failed" would be injected into all Republican campaign rhetoric and public statements at every possible opportunity. As a result we now have a "failed" economic policy, a "failed" foreign policy, a "failed" immigration policy, a "failed" health insurance reform, a "failed" Wall Street reform program, a "failed" infrastructure reconstruction program and plenty of other "failed" things.

Wait. Would it be "out of line" to insist that anyone using this blanket condemnation of "failed" be also obliged to propose a "perfect" alternative? Or, if the "perfect" option turns out to be an unfair requirement, could some other option described merely as "successful" replace it?

MeanMesa suspects that such a demand would produce some serious "dead air time" in the relentless broadcast of the mouth junk emanating from the oligarchs' ideology bunkers. In fact -- it might produce a crisis-like "lock jaw" epidemic in the New York FOX studio.

In reality [where we have to live...] the FOX propaganda authors might be frozen in their tracks if they were suddenly required to begin describing policy promising "success" instead of simply those foretelling either already accomplished "failure" or future, inevitable "failure." In no time at all we will "re-arrive" at the point where those so enamored with "failed" seek ideological refuge in the syntactic quagmire of "Conservative."

Even after Donald Trump's "campaign" inevitably obliterates itself when not even the hill billies of the GOP base will remain interested in voting for him, the allure of the "imaginary refuge" promised by this retrograde fantasy will continue. MeanMesa suspects that not even the coming landslide defeat of the GOP in 2016 will significantly alter this carefully crafted mindset. It is simply too useful as a political manipulation tool for the oligarch class.

No matter how intently the sold out media promotes the fantasy, there really is a reality. It is all around us, and dealing with it is not optional or discretionary. The Republicans have systematically thrown every identifiable demographic "under the bus" at this point -- with the exception of the white, information challenged, illiterate racists and smelly, starry eyed fundamentalists. With this "retrograde fantasy" tactic, the brilliant GOP leadership has clearly decided to "split off" any rational base voters not yet thrown under the bus and...throw them under the bus.

At some point the plutocrats will finally take the "big step" of positioning themselves to ignore electoral outcomes, but in the meantime, they will hand FOX and the others the task of convincing those already "under the bus" by that time that they are not "under the bus."

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