Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Opposite World

This isn't really an original observation but it's worth reminding ourselves periodically that the essential nature of conservative political rhetoric in the United States is inversion of the truth.

A key to the Republican electoral success in 2010 was a massive campaign of TV advertising claiming that Democrats wanted to drastically cut Medicare and deny life saving procedures to old and sick people. Now that their claim to be the protectors of Medicare has gained them control of the House, they propose to do away with Medicare altogether. They don't even want to bother with the death panels, they just want to let poor old people die on the sidewalk in front of the hospital.

Ed Brayton quotes from Glenn Greenwald's new book (no more direct link is yet available it seems). Conservatives crave strong, masculine leaders, so they pretend that their draft dodging chicken hawk politicians are actually macho war heroes -- viz. the draft evading George W. Bush landing on an aircraft carrier with a sock stuffed in his crotch -- while deriding actual war heroes like Max Cleland and John Kerry as weak and effeminate.

Conservatives seized on public outrage about the taxpayer bailout of Wall Street grifters (signed into law by George W. Bush, as we are expected to forget) as additional leverage to win the House, and of course the first thing they did was to block meaningful reform of financial regulations and make sure that the Wall Street grifters had nothing to fear from Congress.

They claim to be champions of liberty and small government, and of course they are the ones who want to regulate our sex lives and force their religion on everybody else. They seize on the resentments and anxieties of the imperiled working class to insist that rich people shouldn't pay taxes, and that future economic security depends on taking away the very government benefits and services that give them a chance for a decent old age and an education for their children. They claim that Christian values demand that we not guarantee health care for everybody -- that Jesus wants you to be on your own.

What I don't really understand is why this standard procedure of proclaiming the precise opposite of the truth is so consistently successful. Of course the corporate media enables it by declining to assess truth claims, but are people really that stupid? Well, I suppose they must be.

1 comment:

roger said...

cutting money for education is then part of the planned dumbing down of the country.

i can't even feign fake shock anymore.