Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Nature of the Beast

As we near the equinox, the daylight hours are rapidly shrinking, and the hours of darkness are rapidly increasing.  What this means is I once again have leisure time when I first awaken, time in which I can stir the old sludge bucket of my brain and see what rises to the top.

The problem with writing for print media in the internet age is, the work is already getting obsolete by the time it gets printed.  But no problem; I can always spew online in real time.  So maybe I'll be doing this more frequently now that I can't stumble outside in the darkness and try to start working.

I've always been fascinated by the undercurrent of fear and madness that infects the white working class-cracker-redneck culture in this country.  People who in the past would go to church on Sunday and lynch them a nigger on Monday.  People who can be outwardly gracious (if you're a fellow white person), but are inwardly pinched and hard-bitten.  People who virtually annihilated the American Indians, kept slaves, and -- particularly after World War 2 -- exploited an entire planet for their benefit.

I know these people well because that's where I came from.  On my mother's side of the family, I'm the grandson of a Texas oilfield worker who became a foreman in due time and eventually got his gold watch from Texaco.  Staunch Baptists, all.

Joe Bageant specializes in these people.  He's on my internet must-read list.  Check him out: .

Getting to the point of this little essay:  Do the Republicans have a strategy, or are they just expressing inchoate white people rage, slinging shit around to see what sticks?  They are definitely nihilists, that's for sure.  On the face of it they're in a pitiful position.  Their de-facto leader is now TV ranter "crazy Glenn Beck."  Their only secure power base is the South plus a few low-population strongholds like Utah and Alaska.  If it weren't for the pathetically undemocratic nature of our archaic and fossilized political institutions (specifically, the U.S. Senate), they would have no power on the national level at all.

Yet they remain a potent political force, and all they have to do is say "no."  Of course it helps that the corporate media amplifies their every word, while ignoring the libruls whenever possible.  Corporate TV is filled with has-been Republican politicians -- Newt Gingrich, John McCain, Tom Delay -- whose opinions, remarkably enough, are taken seriously.

The number bandied about is that 30% of Americans self-identify as Republicans-conservatives-teabaggers.  This may seem like a low percentage, but consider -- one out of three people you meet at random is, in some compartment of their personality, completely off their rocker.  And these people overwhelmingly have the civilian guns and ammo.  And they have radio and TV hosts, from crazy Glenn Beck on down, actively fomenting revolution.

I'm assuming that when the economy finally starts to tank in a serious way (what we've encountered so far is just the beginning), the Republicans will make their move.  People will be fearful, angry, and betrayed.  "We're WHITE people, goddam it!"  I've always assumed that all those guns would be used against libruls, not against the gummint, which has unmatched firepower.  But them libruls, they gonna sling cups of latte at you, or what?  Buncha pussies.  Thirty percent is plenty to do a revolution with.  The Republicans have an unmatched propaganda machine; the corporate media supports their pro-corporate agenda; they have a base of many millions who've been successfully indoctrinated with an alternative narrative.  For all intents and purposes they're living in an alternative reality, and they intend to impose it on all of us.

I think the Republicans are biding their time, keeping their base riled up, never cooperating with the hated libruls.  When the economic stability we've taken for granted finally turns into chaos, then WHAM, checkmate, our fascist overlords finally manage to get rid of this pesky democracy nonsense.  Or so goes the theory.

But who really knows?  These are just morning speculations with my second cup of tea.  We'll follow the trendlines for the next month, six months, year, five years, and see where all this seems to lead.  In the meantime dawn is breaking (that was the crashing sound you might have heard a couple of minutes ago), so it's time for me to get dressed and meet the day.