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Sunday, October 16, 2011

For the Record

I have been completely opposed to the death penalty my entire conscious life, at least ever since I was probably about 15 years old and began to enter into discussion of politics, religion, and other existential matters. For me a person’s views on the death penalty serve as a litmus test for their overall political character.  If someone is in favor of executing criminals for any reason I doubt that we will be able to agree on anything; it’s like something has been set in a person’s DNA. I don’t know why I bring this up other than to have it down in writing for my own sake, like I am painting a self-portrait and don’t want anything left out.

To be in favor of the death penalty seems just about as stupid and illogical as many of the stances taken by the American far right. I watched Bill Maher’s mostly-ridiculous political talk show, Real Time.  During the puerile back-and-forth misinterpretation of dubious statistics I was able to catch a further glimpse of right wing stupidity and their completely rigid stances on a number of issues. Let’s just take two matters on which the right has chosen to take a very firm and uncompromising position: the climate change debate and income inequality in America.

Is there a single environmental regulation that conservatives can live with? Name one. I’ll wait. The moronic American Spectator’s moronic John Fund was arguing in favor of American conservative’s relentless attack on the Environmental Protection Agency by saying that the Chinese are not burdened by any regulations and therefor are trumping the US in manufacturing. These are the same idiots who years ago bullied us into accepting globalization and completely free trade without requiring that we buy only from nations with environmental laws similar to those we have in the West. China is the perfect state as far as American conservatives are concerned. It’s basically a fascist regime dedicated to making money at any cost with little or no regard for the individual.  I’ll bet that the ruling Chinese elite call themselves the “job creators.”

Our free fall into levels of income disparity not seen in American history since the days of plantations is another area where conservatives have dug in their heels and refuse to budge. I have been asking conservatives for years a simple question: Is there any point at which income disparities will become a problem? What about if 1% of the population owned 99% of the wealth? Well folks, we are on track for that eventuality. In very recent years even some of the most ill-informed members of our society have been able to see the damage to our democracy being perpetrated by the ruling economic class.  This free-fall began with Ronald Reagan so for conservatives to speak out against it would be to criticize their patron saint but even all but the staunchest Republicans are beginning to feel a bit queasy about where this trend is headed.

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