There is a perversity afoot amongst the readership here in idyllic, semi-rural Virginia in that the ardent supporters of the rightwing Republican lifestyle and secular religion are demonstrating with utmost fidelity the governing meme of 1930’s Germany, as explained so well by Herr Josef Goebbels. That isn’t to say a significant element of said readership isn’t tolerant of opposing points of view, or civil in their tolerance, and less pushy about insisting on the righteous rectitude of their positions. And thankfully so, but for this latter group, there isn’t perversity but paradox: oddly, these people will largely remain silent when they must not and cannot if their government and culture is to be anything at all like what they’d hope it to be, and what the founding fathers (and all the immigrants drawn to this country from the very beginning) wanted it to be.
Since I began to write opinion pieces like this, I’ve been struck by the courageous and colorful cloaks (like early pamphlet writers, n’est-ce pas?) of anonymity used by those who don’t debate but instead take the bumper sticker flavor of the month and ride it, huffing and puffing, as if it were a fundamental truth like gravity or sunrise, not a jejeune (oh, look it up) oversimplification.
In other words, my dear friends of the Republican right, you’ve let yourselves be dumbed down, brainwashed, Sun Myung Moon-style, though you’re so far removed from the people actually pulling the strings you might just as well be on another planet. Which, in their eyes, you are.
An illustration of this big lie two-step is the rabid exaltation of “Job Creator”. What exactly is a job creator, and why exalt that particular species? Is a job creator exalted for paying employees less than they need to live on, simply because people in India, China, and third world countries haven’t yet achieved the standard of living we have here in America. Or shipping jobs overseas? Or to be exalted for cutbacks to healthcare benefits while simultaneously protesting Obamacare, postures that would otherwise signify a defiant mean-spiritedness and completely unChristian regard for the suffering of others. Isn’t it a mystery how these people attend religious services so piously, yet show no outward signs of hypocrisy, like a scarlet ‘H’ on their forehead, say.
Ask any rightwing lemming why job creators are more exalted than job doers, (or artisans or even the much-maligned union laborer or NEA teacher) and they’ll tell you, probably, that their contempt for non-job creators is rooted in the fact that these cretins all sup gluttonously at the public trough. Never mind that the most gluttonous of the sup-pers at the public trough are large corporations who work against regulations promulgated for the public good, or who evade the taxes levied for the own and the public good, or who oppose spending on the infrastructure and social fabric that supports the democratic, secular society where job creators can actually thrive.
That would be, as Al Gore once famously said in a different context, An Inconvenient Truth.
David Brooks and Mark Shields are commentators who occasionally share a common viewpoint and from whom, I freely admit, the idea of challenging the false and fulsome praise now being heaped on “Job Creators” came first. In their view, and mine, there are fundamental flaws that operate against exaltation of this so-called Job Creator species.
Foremost, as Romney himself acknowledged, and Obama then underscored (look that up, too), you don’t create jobs without infrastructure and a rule-based society. And we aren’t all job creators: we need job doers – teachers, and cops, and butchers and bakers, and social workers. We can’t create jobs without a properly educated, safe and motivated workforce to perform them. While robots will perform many blue-collar labor functions over time, maintenance, installation and re-configuration efforts are part of any foreseeable automation model. Try doing those jobs without skilled people, lacking a proper education, not in good health, and eating tainted food.
Though drones and battlefield robots will challenge the pre-eminence of “warriors”, a term so condescending I cringe and use populist terms of my generation (“grunt”) and my father’s (GI), the same needs apply, overlaid by bravery, willingness to sacrifice and patriotism. Predicated on what – making the rich richer? Kowtowing to Job Creators? It’s an outrage to exalt Job Creators while denigrating others, especially vets, and especially after Rummy countenanced inadequately armored vehicles for so long and Congress shortchanges vet care and counseling even now.
We need to offset the toxicity of rightwing Republican brainwashing on the fearfully vulnerable, you know, on the evangelicals, the retired military and the Fox demographic. Not all in those groups, certainly, but those who’ve never been taught or who steadfastly resist critical thinking. Otherwise what we’ll continue to see instead are big lies and knee-jerk vituperation responding to letters like this that challenge what rightwing Republicans swallow as politically correct.
So, exalt Job Creators? Sure, but not uber alles, and not at the expense of the bedrock.
The Plains, Virginia