Saturday, September 11, 2004

What's the Matter with Kansas?

Ok, so I did make you all wait a little while for this post, but here it is:

This book is very interesting and I think more than anything points to the future of how politics are going. The general notion of this story is that Republicans have convinced poor and lower-middle class Kansans to support them based on social issues while the Republicans screw them on financial issues. However, this isn't nearly the complete argument. Frank just helps identify the trend within the state he grew up in, but this is a larger nationwide issue.

You have Republicans passing law after law that destroys the 'homeland' by turning independent farmers into sharecroppers or by having to sell out to conglomerates. Time after time, pursuing an open market or the global market has undermined the traditional blue collar workers that have defined middle America. Yet middle America keeps re-electing Conservatives to fight the 'liberal establishment'. Is this the same 'Liberal Establishment' that doesn't control the House, the Senate, the White House or the Supreme Court? Of course. The Conservatives get elected on social issues then do nothing but undermine their own supporters. It really is an amazing feat.

What we really have is some of the conservatives largest supporters being responsible for things that incense the conservatives solidifying their power. I think the perfect example of this would be Coors. They are huge benefactors of the Conservative establishment (not in Kansas but in general) yet at the same time run commercials that revolve around drunken behavior and twins with big breasts. Viewers get so outraged by these lack of morals they donate to Conservative candidates who cater public policy to fit their large benefactor, Coors. This is not a rare trend. Look at Fox TV, the lowest moral standards on the networks yet they tell people to support Conservatives. Where is the outrage? Why doesn't the 'Liberal Establishment' do something?

Frank is very liberal (borderline socialist in my opinion) which helps him to identify just how centrist the Dems have become. Democratic economic policy has become nearly indistinguishable from the Republicans, leaving the only real issue they differ on is how much we will underfund the state. Frank is particularly alarmed by the decline of unions which has helped to decimate the middle class. The trend that appears to be emerging is that traditional Republicans might start turning toward the Dems to balance the attacks on their social rights. Many 'Rockefeller' or fiscal Republicans are becoming alarmed at the erosion of their civil liberties. I foresee them moving to the left over the coming decade and we'll be looking at a country where the entire middle class and educated lower class move to the left for social rights while the lower class by and large gravitate to a Right wing that is underwritten by the elite of the elite. This will put us in a position where nobody at all represents workers' rights and labor rights, a very scary thought that shows just how effective the super-rich have been at using social issues as a wedge to consolidate power.


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