Sunday, February 16, 2020


Are there any Ideologues left in America?

As an observation of effectual power, maybe not so many, but by self-labels we are crammed full of ideologues.

The Bernie Sander's lot would probably protest that they are committed to their democratic socialism, and if the memes and passions I see and read from them mean anything,  they could make their case.

The Cult of Trump are so certain of their glorious conservative designs, that they broker no suggestion that the observable shortcomings are anything but fake news.

As for myself,  a self described right of center zealot all alone,  ideology is a good story but isn't necessarily what I worry about anymore.

I'm fairly certain however, that I am in a decent sized company of powerful people who having recognized certain inalienable facts of governance, have decided that they who want it, can have their ideology,  power is indifferent to these intellectual constraints.

What I mean is that by understanding the scope of government, and the power of government in today's America, by working along with that power it allows for a different set of considerations than what a pure ideology would.   Its becomes about pragmatism, rather than ideals.

For example,  how does one's ideology color one's expectation of, or support of government budgetary matters?

People of power, and I'm talking about money power of course, see the federal budget as a source of opportunity and growth.   Ideology has little place for them.   Powerful people hire influencer's to work that budget towards their goal of obtaining more money and thus more power.

Your ideology be damned,  but when largess flows towards the military industrial complex or the monied interest in Silicon Valley, those are wins that ideology can attach to, but really, in essence its about protecting, building, investing, and growing the communities where largess flows to and to hell with whether its beyond small government platforms, or contradicts an anti-corporate welfare screed.

Do you know what ideology gets you in America today?

It gets you living in a small, rural, and declining town somewhere in the rust belt, listening to talk radio and the Fox news millionaires who pound on the 'conservatism' of Reagan, Levin, and Hannity  enough to convince millions of people that the best thing for their communities is to limit, or even diminish the size of government largess flowing in their direction.

That's what ideology gets you.

Ideology has become the base stoking of envy that causes misguided thoughts on what pragmatically would work the best for these communities to reverse course and grow.   Ideology has created what we euphemistically have been calling people who serve the interest of others, but not themselves -- tools.

When the lobbyists for big Tech or big Military work their way in D.C. and win huge budgetary perks for their select communities what you are witnessing is a modern success story.  Of people who recognize what's important for their communities and win at getting even more than their fair share --  money.

When ideologues who call themselves 'conservative' consider that the best thing for their communities is to cut welfare, food stamps, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to name a few,  that isn't called winning, that's what called cutting your own throat.

I never kept count of how many 'conservatives' I've asked if they ever called the welfare fraud hotline, but the answer has never  risen above zero.

I never kept count of how many 'conservatives' I've asked if they have a goal in mind whereby when that floor of entitlements spending in reached, they can happily move on to more pressing issues to consider their votes in favor of,  but the answer has never really been considered.

But I always get the impression that there is a count being made, vague for sure, but nevertheless a tally, and that the number is always too high for what this nation can afford to just give to people.

In other contexts, this is called penny wise and pound foolish.    Personal welfare is a pittance,  corporate welfare is astronomical.

The simplest way to start transforming small communities across America is to spend more in those communities.   One easy way to arrest the decline is to NOT make slashing welfare an ideological necessity.   In real, pragmatic terms  when people have money they spend it.  Spending money in declining areas is itself declining, it's called a downward spiral.  It's not going to end via thoughts and prayers, that is for certain.

A reply that corporation hire more people when they get tax cuts, and no poor people ever created jobs is quaint and an indication of ideology.   What works better for job growth over tax breaks?   Increased revenues.

But that is where ideology gets you in America, adhering to a set of ideas for a system that long ago established money is power,  and a system where the winners don't look like ideologues at all.

No one has to like welfare,  but as I think pragmatically,  its gotta be the easiest way to reverse course for so many communities....if only they would stop cutting their own throats over it.

No comments:

Post a Comment