“People who grew up in public schools, run straight to the embassy the instant they get a runny nose overseas, stuff burgers down their throats without worrying about E. Coli and sleep happily in planes they know have been inspected by the FAA , can with straight faces make the argument that having to pay any taxes at all is tyranny. It’s almost as if people feel the need to announce that they don’t need any help with anything, ever – not even keeping bridges safe or drinking water clean.” Matt Taibbi
So now we come to the true heart of darkness in the conservative American voting psyche: complete and utter disregard for facts.
Here’s one such fact: pioneers of the Old West used to traverse the vast landscape in these things called “wagon trains”. Not “wagon families” or even just “wagons”. It was a GROUP of people traveling together, under the auspices of some dude who was designated “WAGON MASTER” who was experienced, knew the way, and how to handle problems that came up. Kind of like – a very small government! And, as is true of almost any group of people, diversity enhanced survival: some members had hands-on expertise to fix a wagon wheel or doctor an ox, while others had few skills, but a lot of money. They would pool their resources, hire the wagon master, and get going TOGETHER across the face of the nation. Gosh, our hardy pioneer forebears were fricking Communists!
Here’s another fact: back in the Middle Ages, before motors, oil, cell phones and even 8-track tape players, a good proportion of our ancestors lived in villages in England. These people did not scurry around willy-nilly planting beets here and barley there, according to their whim. No, there was a BOARD made up of respected regional farmers, who DECIDED who was going to plant what where, how much, what land was to be cleared and what land was to remain fallow, and TOLD YOU what you were going to do with “your” fields that year. If you think about it for even 2 minutes, obviously, it would have to be done this way, or a lot of people would starve. Who can live on just beets? And the more successful the village, the more people survived, hence the need for ever more efficient control over the flow of resources.
Yet we have the ignorant of America who say they are going to go “off grid” and sit on their porch with a shotgun to keep everybody away from their stuff. They say, for example, how they’re gonna hunt up a deer to eat. Great. Are you going to salt it or freeze it? One way you need salt, and if you live far from and ocean, where’s salt gonna come from? Not Morton’s, apparently, since they’re part of the infrastructure these guys want to live without. And freezing, well yeah. You can have electricity to power your freezer or you can have a generator. Either way, where will the energy come from? The evil infrastructure, of course! All that canning of preserves you’re going to do? Where’s the sugar come from? How about the little rubber lids for the jars? Guaranteed, most survivalists would die of food poisoning within a year, trying to make it on their own.
“Data so far suggests the conservative brain… is irredeemably incompetent at accepting scientific information that conflicts with their bias.” (Mark Hoofnagel, citing Chris Moody). This must be why there is a constant din from these people who claim, numero uno, that making it on one’s own is the natural free state of humanity, so screw government; and numero two-o, if bad shit happens, suck it up, because maybe your church will help you rebuild your house and the houses of the 200,000 or so other parishioners who need it too.
History demonstrates that this approach will not work. Experience demonstrates that this approach won’t work. Smarter people that you or me say that this approach won’t work, and Hurricane Sandy says this approach will not work. Yet ignorant human donkeys keep on blathering about zero taxation and government-free self sufficiency, as if wishing makes the concepts somehow more tenable.
Alexandra Pelosi made a short film about voters in Mississippi. There was one dentally challenged gentleman who carried on at length about all the “takers” and “leeches” in the system, sucking up resources they didn’t deserve, and how the government should get the hell out of the handout business. The filmmaker then said “But you told me you were on food stamps!” And the guy says – with a completely straight face – “Yeah, but I deserve it because ain’t nobody takin’ care of me!”
Can anyone forget the town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis (R-S.C.) to “keep your government hands off my Medicare”?
And then there’s Craig T. Nelson, Spokane local boy, who goes on Glenn Beck and says “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No. No.”
What is wrong with these people? And now we have a slew of new ones in the wake of Sandy, who are cussing out FEMA for not getting to them fast enough, even though they are completely self-sufficient Americans, and always vote against big government.
What can anyone say about this level of self-deception? It renders one speechless. But it does explain how it is possible for this election to be neck-and-neck when the challenger never served in the military, has gobs and gobs of money, has lived his entire life in the lap of luxury while exporting the jobs of thousands, hides bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, has a son “Tagg” who is embroiled in some pretty shady activities, has never done actual work that produced anything but more money out of auctioning off the assets of businesses, and has all the gravitas of the Upper-Class Twit of the Year.