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I keep waiting for that lightbulb moment. When people might finally realize that a dangerous ideology has become a political reality in this country.
During the Clinton years millions of dollars flooded into creating a conservative network; a giant teat for conservatives to feed, that pushed a pro-business, anti-government message.
(Apparently, taking government handouts make you feeble-minded, while sitting pretty at a think tank funded by wealthy donors makes you a free market revolutionary?)
And people bought this crap? This was written back in 1997:
Rather than a triumph of good management, FEMA has simply been converted into a political cotton-candy operation-and is working overtime to turn the American people and local governments into federal dependents.
Read that again.
The how dare people expect the government to do anything useful for them indignation is so palpable. The very idea of a federal government has become symbolic of tyranny and oppression. In response to the excess of the soviet era, conservatives have decided that it would be best for everyone involved if we took the power of self government out of the hands of the (poor) people.
"What?" My few conservative readers might be asking, "We're about freeing people, not taking away their choices!"
But yes you are.
Why else would you want to strip the government of the means to provide services that people may, through their representatives, ask it to perform?
Because its not in the constitution!!!
Because people might ask the government to address a grievance, the government may act, people might like it, and they'll ask for more?
That must be stopped.
People must not be allowed to use government to improve their situation. Because we all know what would happen, millions of poor people would decide to use the power of government taxation to improve their own circumstances. They might decide that everyone deserves the right to stay healthy without being screwed up the ass by insurance companies. They might decide that prescription drugs should be affordable. They might decide that companies should be held liable for the crimes they commit against people and the environment. They might decide that transportation should be affordable and not subject to the whims of giant oil companies. They might decide that people deserve a fair compensation for the work they perform.
How dare they!
We all know that this is backwards. We know the rich use the power of government taxation for their own benefit. They've realized what is obvious to anyone who bothers to look; that government can be of an enormous collective benefit to the people that control it.
(Amazing that the government only needs to be small when it comes to helping people, but can be a huge bloated handout machine when it comes to helping the largest corporation in the world.)
So instead of good healthcare we get an overproduction of weapons. Instead of a well prepared response to natural disasters we get a fool's war to secure oil resources.
Small government conservatives are a bunch of tools. Quite literally. The goals of the corporate funded war against government are twofold; to protect the enormous profit generating enterprises that would go down in flames without the support and protection of the government, and to restrict freedom to only those that can afford to buy it.
Take some personal responsibility!!
To blame the resultant chaos in the immediate aftermath on the Bushies is to argue implicitly that you expect your federal government to act as a surrogate parent, not as a smaller, hands off federal entity that defers power to local governments.
Let's rephrase that shall we? Maybe people expected the federal government to act as an entity responsible for the health and safety of the nation's citizens?
How did so many people get the misguided notion that our very own government might be responsible for such a thing?
Not our job, say the conservatives running the country. We got rid of all that shit to pay for that big ass tax cut.
Flash back to 1997 when this movement was still gaining steam:
FEMA's expansion symbolizes the proliferation of acceptable political pretexts for one citizen to stick his hand in another citizen's pocket. FEMA's popularity is one more sign of the decline of individual responsibility-or even a semblance of respect for such responsibility-in American political culture.
When small government conservatives talk about "personal responsibility", they are saying that only people who can afford life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness deserve it. The rest should just learn to suck it up or die. Its all very coded to appeal to the fear of well off people who fear that the masses of poor might rise up and take all their cool stuff.
The rich deserve what they have because they are better, the poor must be stupid, lazy and criminal?
If you can only afford to live in an area prone to flooding, you deserve to be trapped without food and water for days.
If you can't afford a car and rely on public transportation, you deserve to be treated like cattle in the aftermath of a hurricane.
If you can't afford to have health insurance, you deserve to suffer and die from a preventable illness.
... and hat's off to Kanye West, ballsy!
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