Populism is afoot in the land.
Populism, taken simply, is a political ideology grounded in the belief that some elite somewhere runs things for their own good, inevitably screwing the deserving groups of society. Populist movements occur when groups of people band together seeking to overthrow this elite in the name of the “people.”
But it turns out the story is more complicated than that. Populism comes in at least two varieties: left-wing populism and right-wing populism. They share important features in common, but differ in politically significant ways.
Left-wing populists believe that society is unjustly run by an elite of corporate and wealthy persons in cooperation with their enablers in government. This cabal of “bad guys” systematically screws over the mass of people—poor, working and middle class people just trying to make a living, build good lives through access to things like public schools and affordable higher education, and enjoy the fruits of labor over the whole course of their lives.
Sound familiar? It should: I’ve just summarized the populist part of the Occupy movement.
Right-wing populism shares a skepticism of government with left-wing populism, but holds a very different group of people accountable for society’s ills. In right-wing populism, the bad guys are society’s unproductive, undeserving groups (the poor, public employees, and others who live on the public dole) along with their enablers in government. This cabal of bad people works to take money from deserving, productive people (the employed and yes, even corporations and the wealthy) to give it to people who have demonstrated their failure as people in the fact of their needing or asking for help.
Welcome to tea party America.
So it turns out that leftists and rightists share a lot in common in American politics. They both sense the good people of society are being screwed over by the bad people of society. They just define each group differently.
Need final proof? Check out the picture at the bottom of this post: it is a mashup of signs from tea party rallies and anarchist rallies against the G-20 and globalization.They say politics makes strange bedlfellows … and this time, they’re right.
Does it diminish the Tea Party’s populist appeal that they are incontravertibly, uncompromisingly wrong?
That they are not a grassroots movement, but a mere astroturf created by the conservative media; living off the rich veins of classism, racism, misogyny and fear of Government in all forms which permeate American society; That their influence pushes conservatism to unforeseen heights, towards caricatures of politicians who, frankly, make Reagan look like a moderate?
Does it diminish the Tea Party’s populist appeal that they are the direct cultural offspring of Timothy McVeigh?
Take your pick.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the GOP.
This photoset makes my head hurt. And my heart.
I fear for the future of this country.
The Ron Paul quote. Dear fucking god. They are all beyond horrible but I think that one wins for worst quote.
[Image is the Gadsen Flag, a yellow background with a coiled snake. Text reads “Don’t tread on me? You’ve never been trodden on in your life”.]
Follow-up to previous post.
We have a dysfunctional element in our Congress. While America strives to “form a more perfect Union”, the Tea Party is out to dismantle the social safety net, default on our Country’s obligations, and pathologically create a crisis where there is none in order to “ransom” a “hostage” that is our Government, which is “we the people”.
Never forget. #2012RecallRepublicans
I found this little story I think is very fitting of Mr. Obama. Here is what will happen with this administration and his congress and senate. And the story is so true.
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan.”
What the writer is calling socialism is not socialism, nor is it communism. In fact, it is a gross misrepresentation of the two, actually more akin to capitalism. Socialism is a system whereby a person’s effort is reflected in their earnings. Socialism encourages people to work hard by eliminating the benefits and incentives that come with easier, higher paid jobs.
For example, in capitalism a miner can toil hard seven days a week and earn next to nothing, while an investor can sit at their desk and earn ten times that amount not by effort, but by playing with numbers in a way that only capitalism makes possible. Even worse, someone who is sufficiently rich needs not to work at all, but may earn as much in a day as the miner could in a year simply on interest alone. In a socialist society, this is not possible because equal pay means equal effort, so the harder people work, the more they are paid.
The odd thing in this instance is that what he is actually representing is not socialism, but the failure of capitalism. We can equate born intelligence with inherited wealth, revising for exams with effort and the results as earned wealth.
What it shows is that those born without inherited wealth (natural intelligence) will not be motived to work (revise for their exams) as hard because they can’t possibly earn as much (achieve as highly) as those born with inherited wealth (natural intelligence). Those born with inherited wealth (natural intelligence) don’t have to work (revise) as much while still earning (achieving) more, because they entered the world with an advantage. While intelligence is something that people are born with, and that can’t be changed, wealth is something that can be given or taken away, and so while intelligence is simply a natural advantage, inherited wealth is a socially unfair advantage.
If the teacher really wanted to demonstrate Obama’s welfare policies accurately, rather than just level the grades and upset those with natural intelligence, he would have asked the naturally intelligent higher performers to help the dumber student out with their revision. The average grade would have risen and the students would also get to know each other better because they were being brought closer together. If we refer back to our metaphor, this would mean a richer society overall.
I’m not saying for a second that socialism is perfect, but I wanted to make it clear that what the teacher demonstrated was not socialism.
So much this
a hs teacher posted this on fb once and i was like lol no
i hope the econ professor wasnt a fucking moron because he fails to understand the very subject he is teaching
The linked anecdote, like all conservative “let’s have this obviously fabricated and unverifiable classroom scenario smugly show liberals how childish their views are” chain emails, fails to cogently explain even its most basic premise.
Sounds like the dumb chain email about “Einstein” proving God by saying he’d never seen the Professor’s brain.
But yeah, seriously, if the apparent lecturer wanted to show the current plan, he would have sectioned the class into groups. One infinitesimally small group - whose parents had taken that same class, most likely - would be given passes right off the bat. A large group - including all of the students of colour, most of the female students, international students, and a large portion of the white male students too, would have to achieve 99% correct answers to pass. A third, smaller group, about an 8th of the white male students could get a pass from 50% correct answers. And a final group about a quarter the size of the last group, would be able to get a pass from 25% correct.
If this class had 100 students, 80 of them would be in the lowest bracket, and it would be basically impossible for them to pass. The next group up would be 15 people, then 4. The smallest group, the top group, would consist of only one person.
The top 20% earners own 93% of all the wealth in the US. The top 1% of earners, own 43% of all wealth.
That is Obama’s plan, because that is the Norte Americano plan.
"I think in America from time to time we have to go through some difficult times — and I think we’re going through those difficult economic times for a purpose, to bring us back to those Biblical principles of you know, you don’t spend all the money. You work hard for those six years and you put up that seventh year in the warehouse to take you through the hard times. And not spending all of our money. Not asking for Pharaoh to give everything to everybody and to take care of folks because at the end of the day, it’s slavery. We become slaves to government."
Texas Governor Rick Perry, explaining being freed from government slavery as the silver lining of the most devastating financial crisis since The Great Depression.
I’m sick of privileged, rich white men claiming they’re “enslaved” by taxes. Seriously? Slavery - You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
I really don’t know what to say any longer…