Don’t Believe It

 

I wonder if the younger people here in the USA have noticed, or will notice, that the current dreadful political climate has been carefully engineered? Here’s what I see, because I’ve been on the planet for a while:

The middle class has less and less buying power each generation, as the real tax breaks, opportunities for education and advancement, housing, a comfortable yet affordable lifestyle, and other perks of “the American Dream” are systematically being siphoned off from them by all politicians and corporations, who are working at the behest of the mega-upper class. Yet, politicians, with the help of their campaign managers and the media and their donors, are telling us that the upper-middle class / middle class lifestyles are diminishing in reward because of the welfare system and the undocumented who are “stealing their livelihoods.” They’ve created a war of the Not-Haves-So-Much against the Have-Nots against the Have-Even-Pitifully-Less. While we’re fighting with each other, down here among the six-figure incomes to the five-figure incomes, to the tragically poor, those who are reaping the benefits of our misconceptions are the seven-figure, eight-figure and beyond incomes.

One example? There was no tax break for the middle class. I’m sorry. We’ve been told it happened, but it did not happen. There is no trickle-down. It’s trickling up. Look at it carefully. While it may appear we got a tax break, other tax deductions were taken away. And Congress recently sneaked into one of their new laws a re-defining of inflation. What does that mean? Older adults will not get the same cost-of-living raises on their social security. Minimum wage workers whose pay is increased incrementally based on same will also get less. I could cite other examples, but it just gets confusing. These will make themselves clear as soon as they go into effect. You’ll see it on that pay stub, or social security check. Or maybe you won’t notice, because it will still go up, but not as much as it would have before inflation was redefined. It was clever, for sure.

The other huge problem is that the Republican Party has been hijacked by hardcore evangelicals, fundamentalists who have such entrenched, zealous beliefs about “what God wants,” and “what the Bible says,” that they will lie down with any sleazy politician who makes promises to them in exchange for votes. And what do these zealots want? Roe vs. Wade overturned. Planned Parenthood abolished. The right for gays to marry denied. In short, religious civil laws, an alliance of state law with that of church dogma ─ their specific religious dogma. And while they’re rallying for that, they still want churches to be exempt from paying taxes. In other words, separation of church and state only when and where they want it. That’s what they aiming for in the United States, and they’re pulling out all the stops to get it, including backing politicians who have broken many of the biblical laws they claim to value, and sucking in the poor, immigrant minorities with out-and-out lies and propaganda.

Remember this: Fanatics of all stripes vote more than any mainstream groups. They don’t think for themselves. They just obey and follow. They even term themselves as a “flock,” and that flock votes for whom they’re told to vote. They won’t let themselves worry about getting fleas from any scoundrel politician who makes promises to their group, because the ends justify the means to these unfortunate people who are being indoctrinated into blindly obeying their religious leaders who have distorted and utilized Bible passages to wield power and control over them, as well as over you and me, and over the entire country.

Those born in the 1980s and later will not be able to see the difference in the Republican party, but I do. The political descriptions of “Conservative” “Republican” and even “Libertarian” have all been redefined, but many people ─ many decent people ─ have not gotten that memo as yet. It’s hard to see it when it happens over time, when you get used to something being what it is, and don’t notice it changing. But those terms and their descriptions, their actual meaning, have mutated. And older people who say they’re Republican, who have voted Republican all their lives; only some of them are only just now starting to realize that what they mean by being Republican is not what Pat Robertson means or Steve Bannon means by being Republican. The same holds true for the term “Democrat.” Use a check list and look at these politicians and how they vote or not on issues that affect us all.

But you have to take a very close look in order to see what I’m saying.

In the meantime, the so-called “liberals” have not yet figured out that if they want a more balanced Congress, they had better oust “their” politicians, rather than excuse them, when they don’t follow through on what they should do. The idea of “the lesser of two evils” is a fearful idea that forces us all to live under evil.

If we want less police brutality, or better funding for libraries and schools, calling people names and mocking them is just a childish, momentary satisfaction that changes not one single mind. We’d do better to concentrate our efforts on convincing and/or helping a more moderate base to be equally as zealous about voting ─ not just in presidential elections, but in local elections.

I.e. — who is your local police chief? School board members? Do you know? Did you vote for them, or do you only vote in the big elections? Corruption starts locally. Fanatical groups, such as fundamentalist religious groups, back LOCAL politicians first, who then make their way up the political ladder and end up in Congress, and once they’re in, they have to do something truly big to be removed. We’ve seen this.

I guarantee you that a good number of Americans who voted in this last presidential election or the one before that knew only which president they wanted and which representative in Congress. The local town council members seem irrelevant. They’re not. Not at all.

But those in this country who will be most affected by the latest deluge of tax laws, healthcare laws, Supreme Court picks, the dumbing down of education, diminished civil rights, etc, are people who are much, much younger than I am. I post this to them ─ to the twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings, and even the forty-somethings ─ especially:

Question everything you are hearing, seeing, reading, and being told. Stop watching and reading “news entertainment” shows and websites. There should be no liberal or conservative reports. There should only be facts reported that you, by yourself then decipher. You don’t need Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity to decipher facts for you. They all have their own agenda, and your well-being is not at the top of their list. Register to vote, and look at what’s in that voting packet ─ what bills they’re trying to pass, what those bills actually mean, which candidates from school board to local sheriff and above are in line with your beliefs and needs. Not your parents.’ Not your friends’. Not your church’s ─ yours.

You have a brain and a moral compass of your own. Stop listening to what others think. Don’t be a parrot. Be that student of life who the average classroom teacher might find irritating because they have “an attitude.” Have that attitude. Think about everything you’re told by everyone in charge at your school, at your religious organization, in your political party. Work and career might be the only place where it’s excusable, and often wise, to “listen to the boss.” If you do it everywhere else in your life, it’s harmful to you. Slogans are harmful. Soundbites are harmful. Blind belief is downright dangerous.

So, question, question, question. Do research. Go to the library. It’s so easy to look up what so-and-so stands for, what such-and-such a bill is about, or to find analysis of same. Don’t say you don’t have the time. It’s crucial to your future, to the choices you’ll be able to make and the lifestyle you’ll be able to have, to make the time.

Your life is really just beginning. Make it your best life. Have as much compassion as you can, work as hard as you can, fight as hard as you can for what’s right, and don’t let these people in charge ─ any of them, whoever they are to you, wherever they are ─ mislead you.

Comments

  1. I began to notice this “plan” from the time of the early Reagan campaign. The middle class and small business were simply not able to provide the traditional campaign funding that the GOP felt they needed. So they sold out to the super-rich and corporations. And little by little, the GOP coup d’etat proceeds.

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