Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Just What Was Going On With the Republican Tax Overhaul?
By all accounts the Republicans' tax coup d'etat is massively unpopular among the American people. Given that its benefits will mainly flow to corporations and the 1% that's not surprising.
The question becomes how do the Republicans feel electorally secure enough to do something so contrary to the public will? Look at what they have pulled? A tax bill that was never circulated. No hearings. No consultations. It was simply sprung on the American people and rammed through before any objections could permeate Congress.
It's a work of social engineering and the Republicans seem proud to acknowledge that. Of all the developed nations, America has the most serious levels of inequality - of wealth, of income, and of opportunity - and those are worsening. This tax swindle throws fuel, gallons of it, on that fire. What other word is there for that but "perverse"?
Here's another question. What is democracy without informed consent of the public? Can there be democracy based on manufactured consent? Most of the tyrants of our day stand for election and, predictably, do insanely well at the polls. That includes Putin, Orban, Erdogan and, to some extent, Trump.
Politics has always been a game of hustlers and pitchmen. Look at the fanciful promises Trudeau made to get elected only to renege on them at the first opportunity. Today, however, we've crossed a line in voter manipulation that goes beyond hustling into the realm of brainwashing. Data mining, computer psychology that plumbs your individual psyche, ferreting out and playing on your preferences, your biases, your neuroses with powerful, individually-tailored messaging designed to exploit your every weakness and vulnerability. This is how you create a world in which the political caste can do as they and their benefactors like without regard to the needs, interests and will of the public.
There was a time when votes could be bought for cash handouts or when political liquor flowed freely on election day. We wound up outlawing that because it undermined democracy. Yet what's going on today is worse, far worse and yet our political elites stand mute. Democratic restoration from that gang, are you kidding?
My point is that, if our elected elite won't defend democracy and protect our electoral process then they're preying on us. If they're not introducing legislation to prohibit this sort of brainwashing then they have to be taken as supporting it. And, if our elected representatives won't defend democracy then we either do it on our own or forfeit it. What's it going to be?