Turkeys, toffs and toughs
By Raymond Freeman 11/27/2013
Thanksgiving is that wondrous time of year when America’s fat cats sit down and give thanks that Republicans as poor as church mice are the stupidest people on earth. These dimwits reliably vote to make the fat cats fatter and themselves poorer. It’s like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving. The 10 poorest states voted for Romney even though the blue states subsidize them. Poverty is the greatest in the red states. Upward mobility is the lowest. Education is the worst.
But your own Thanksgiving won’t be wondrous. You’ll be having it with Uncle George again. He’s a Tea Party fanatic, impervious to reason, and in some “church” that preaches hatred. Usually, people let him drone on. But last year, you’d had just enough. You let him have it.
He proudly announced he’d been “stocking up.” You thought he meant food, for emergencies. Then you realized he meant ammunition. He told the company that he’d “be ready if the time came” (when government agents come swarming down from black helicopters) and insinuated that anyone who wasn’t “ready” was mentally defective. So you asked him how one man could fight off the U.S. Army. Ignoring you, he said, “Freedom isn’t free,” referring to his noble sacrifice in buying all that ammo. Gosh, there’s only so much freedom and “They’re taking it away every day!”
So you asked him, who said, “Freedom isn’t free”? He didn’t know. You said it was about paying taxes for rearmament in Britain in the 1930s. You added that taxes under Obama are the lowest they’ve been in 50 years, and ridiculously low by international standards. So hadn’t the Tea Party been ginned up under false pretenses?
You pointed out that corporate profits are at an all-time high as a share of national income but corporate tax payments are at an all-time low. Productivity’s at an all-time high, yet workers’ share of the pie is at an all-time low. The GOP blatantly wants to make the rich even richer, even though the “trickle-down economics” experiment failed miserably. Shouldn’t average Americans be seeing more of the money? You said you were fed up with subsidizing fabulously rich companies that pay workers so little they have to get welfare. You were fed up with “socialism for the rich.”
This unleashed a tirade that “Obama’s a socialist” and how “socialism” is making everyone poorer. So you asked him why, with all that “socialism,” the stock market was at all-time highs. And wasn’t it under George Bush Jr. that banks were collapsing in record numbers? Silence.
Then you added that Obama’s “actually a moderate Republican,” as he’d gut Social Security to get his “grand bargain” with Republicans. And Obama refused to promote meaningful health-care reform. Obamacare’s a rerun of Romneycare, itself a copy of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s proposal.
Bless his soul, he came right back: Obama’s running up national debt. Gosh, it’s bankrupting the country, and we’re passing it on to our children and our children’s children! Didn’t you know that’s what was dragging the economy down? You asked how, precisely? The cost of servicing it hasn’t really changed, since interest rates have fallen. Then, for fun, you asked him why Reagan tripled national debt and Dubya almost doubled it. When Dubya left office, a phenomenal 70 percent of all national debt outstanding since 1836 had been racked up by three Republican presidents in 20 years. Iraq alone “would add another $5 trillion, long term.” Silence.
Sure, debt’s increased under Obama but this came from cleaning up Bush’s mess: tax cuts, two stupid wars, an economic crash, lower tax revenues, bank bailouts and the stimulus package to prevent economic meltdown. The stimulus saved the economy from collapse, in the consistent opinions of the Financial Times and The Economist. Both blamed Republican policies for causing the Great Crash. Silence.
Given dirt-cheap money now and so much unemployment, you said, shouldn’t we be investing in the infrastructure to fix 40 years of neglect and get people spending again? Didn’t he know the wages spent by the Hoover Dam workers got Las Vegas going? Didn’t he know that Henry Ford paid his workers well, so they’d buy more cars? It’s the lack of demand, from low wages, that’s holding us back. “It’s the economic inequality, stupid!” you said. And Republicans’ letting China into the World Trade Organization “did a number on our economy.”
You pressed on. The GOP consists of toffs like Mitt Romney, chicken-hawk toughs and turkeys who vote Republican even though it makes them poorer. You asked if was he “a turkey, a toff or a tough.” Or was he just a “useful idiot” and “bootlicker to a toff,” thinking the more he licked the richer he’d get?
The silence was deafening. He almost passed out cold, whereupon Aunt Laura said firmly, “Well, that was interesting! We’ll continue next year!”