Coastal Voices: Panning conservative ideology

By Bruce Kerwood October 06, 2011 05:20 pm

I began to read Dale Bohling’s Coastal Voices piece of Sept. 29 with the expectation of a cogent argument from the ultra-conservative sector of the Republican party.

His response to a previous correspondent’s opinion began reasonably. Unfortunately, it descended into the usual argument to which we have become accustomed, namely that the current president is responsible for all the problems of the modern world, including immigration, narcotics and foreign policy. Mr. Bohling attempts once again to resurrect the “birther” argument against President Obama.

He fails to realize that he is beating a bare patch of ground where only three years ago there lay a dead horse. There’s just no evidence whatever that will satisfy the uncompromising and authoritarian conservative. The social conservative would have us return to the 1950s, when conformity and “togetherness” were expected of everyone, the all-but-official state religion was Christianity, and we knew exactly who our enemies were.

Muslims in the ’50s were unknown or ignored, homosexuals were demonized and harassed, unmarried cohabitation was shameful, and women were largely second-class citizens. (Think of “Chairwoman Mrs. John Jones” or “Mrs. John-Boy Doe” — no identities involved save those of the spouses.) Back-alley abortions and shotgun marriages were the remedies for an unplanned pregnancy. The social conservative is a stern and uncompromising nanny; it has an agenda for imposing strict order, but no plan for creating wealth.

The fiscal conservative is a less complicated but more cunning beast: it is a hoarder, it loves money, is a blatant liar and insists that the toilers in the trenches pay for the profligacy of the fiscal conservative’s own misrule. This is done by withholding food, commodities and services. The money rises to the top, and there it stays.

The fiscal conservative, as its pastor Grover Norquist has written, has the ideal of shrinking government down to a size that it can be drowned in the bathwater along with the baby and thrown out. Grover has exacted written promises from his followers to suffer no contribution from any citizen to sustain the safety nets for the middle and lower castes, and certainly none from themselves. It ensures that no impediment exists to the upward flow of beneficence.

For nearly a hundred years, middle and working class Americans have been subject to a tax system that wrings as much revenue from small businesses, family workers and the rest of us as is consistent with keeping us just below the level of revolt but hostile to any systemic change, which would immediately be perceived as something worse.

The term “job creators” is a spinmeister’s coinage to euphemize U.S. corporations and conglomerates that conduct business multinationally and ship corporate liabilities to foreign soil. From the corporate standpoint, jobs for humans are a liability because they lower profits. Automation replaces people, is less expensive to run and maintain, and it doesn’t require high-premium medical insurance.

Moving customer service offshore takes advantage of low wages in foreign countries, increasing profit. These corporate entities do in fact create jobs, but precious few in the U.S. If any degree of altruism or charity is present, it is the raising of wages in a poorer country (and the serendipitous public relations profit demonstrating that the socially responsible corporation is doing much to help third world economy.)

All political administrations, regardless of ideology, use the middle and working class and the small business as the cash cow because there are far more of us and much more revenue to be extracted from us than would be generated by those most worthy of all Americans, the “job creators,”€who are by virtue of their scarcity and their effective representation deemed the überworthiest and exempt from taxation.

Like Mr, Bohling, I do not find much solace in the state of the economy, but for far different reasons.

Bruce Kerwood is a Klamath resident.