12.22.17 Song: Santa Claus, Robin Hood
In the caption from the AP file photo above,* President Trump is quoted as exclaiming, "How dare you! You are a nonconformist and a rebel!"
His anger was directed at the great socialist Santa Claus... but it could've been anyone, really. Eisenhower. Roosevelt. Jesus.** Or the subject of this year-end song by the world's greatest rock and roll band...
Rise like Lions / Shake your chains / We are many, they are few / Take from the rich and give to the poor
As 2017 fades, that song sounds right right now. I spent last year examining intentions. I crawled through the muck of some truly odd calculations and policy documents. I wanted to understand. After a year of objective scrutiny, the gist of the GOP successes can be succinctly described as such:
Weak Consumer, Environmental, & Worker Protections + Staggering Deficits + Wealth Inequality + Erosion of Social Safety Nets and Public Institutions.
A third-world country.***
Last year, I labeled Republicans anti-science oligarchs and white-supremacists. I wasn't simply name-calling: some statehouses actually outlawed the words "climate change" and The President of the United States retweeted neo-Nazi propaganda. Multiple times. With misspellings.
Given their triumphs, I think the most succinct label is "dicks." It's inelegant and crass, but fitting. In 2017, Republicans were dicks. The GOP even managed to avoid renewing our Children Health Insurance Program. Instead, they loaded those poor kids with trillions of future debt.
But it won't last. Gerrymandered districts will be redrawn. Pragmatists and moderates will find a way. Maybe we'll even get respectful Republicans to respectfully debate again. Words like Generosity and Empathy will make a comeback.
In the meantime... Robin Hood! Happy Holidays. Cheers, Todd
* Feel free to share. I'll vouch for its authenticity... I mean, just look at the hands.
** Socialists, all. The Eisenhower era 92% tax bracket for the upper 1% was certainly wealth distribution. Teddy, he of the national park, threatened to nationalize much of our energy industry. That would've saved us a bundle (current annual US oil subsidies amount to about $30 billion annually. The profits go to oil company shareholders. The costs to us.). Jesus. You know He'd take a knee... and object to giving corporate banks a tax break in their most profitable year.
*** We already rank among the third world in gun violence and declining life-expectancy. Over 50% of our waterways are too polluted to fish. We're teetering. Something to consider: all that separates us from, say, Haiti are enforced regulations.