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The 2012 Election and BeyondWhy the Selfish Coalition of the Superrich, the Fundamentalists, and the Closed-Minded Should Be Defeated
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Gieseril
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Chapter OneSelfishness versus Unselfishness
There are reasons how and why a selfish coalition of the superrich, the fundamentalists, and the closed-minded came about. People who are superrich (and in general, those who consider amassing huge amounts of money and wealth to be the primary or only goal on this earth) are usually programmed to pursue an education and work life aimed at amassing wealth at any cost. This hoarding, shields them from being concerned about the serious problems of mankind—especially the problems of those who do not have much. For the superrich, it is all about money—and more and more of it for themselves. It does not matter to them how their money-making actions affect others. It is not their problem. In fact, they justify their behavior by rationalizing that it is how business works. (Anyone remember the infamous quip, "Don't they know how business works?") One gets ahead by putting others out of business. It is their philosophy. They would even claim that this country is built on that principle—it was the wish of our founding fathers. That is the American way, they say.
They give little importance to the well-being of all citizens, including the middle class and the poor. Their singular aim is to make as much money for themselves as possible. They seek to hold on to that money and make more and more for themselves before handing it over (with the accompanying philosophy) to their descendants. In this way, they hope to perpetuate a family dynasty committed to their philosophy. Anything else they do is essentially related to this ideology, which is the central theme of their lives. Unfortunately for them, in a democracy they cannot accomplish their goals on their own. They are a small minority—the 1 percent, if you will. They need to form a coalition that will support their philosophy, and they find two groups that will help them accomplish their goals. One group is brainwashed into believing fundamentalist philosophies originating thousands of years back (when there were no scientific facts to support a rational view of the world). What one has to come to terms with as a result of a rational or scientific inquiry about man's predicament may be painful to accept. But facts are facts, and painful as they may be, we shouldn't embrace fantasy instead of them.
Our forefathers also looked for comfort in supernatural and religious beliefs. But it is better to accept scientific facts and try to improve our lot in this world than force ourselves to believe in some fundamentalist ideology that leads to terrorizing others.
Unfortunately, the fundamentalists refuse to accept scientific facts, and they are determined to maintain their irrational thinking and force it upon others by influencing policy. Related to this group are those who have a very narrow approach to anything new, especially anything that is scientific and rational. They may not be exactly fundamentalists in their religious beliefs, but being closed-minded makes them very similar to the fundamentalists in terms of how they approach issues. They reject new understandings, especially any knowledge that comes through progress in science, scientific ways of thinking, or what could be learned from history.
The superrich use these two groups to create a voting bloc, and they support them with money. They use the two groups to accomplish their goals (based on the selfish principle of amassing more and more wealth). They ignore all else, particularly the plight of those who have much less—in spite of their hard work—such as those without jobs and the poor. It is not that the superrich have any particular philosophical or religious affinity with the fundamentalist group—after all, greed and apathy toward the poor goes against most religious tenets. They associate themselves with such closed-minded groups for one purpose only: to gain political power and protect their interest in making excessive amounts of money at the expense of others.
I call this coalition of the superrich, the fundamentalists, and the closed-minded the coalition of selfishness because they make life all about themselves. They desire to make excessive amounts of money at the expense of others and to thrust their fundamentalist and closed-minded ideology on others at any cost (including bringing the government to a standstill if they can't get their way). It is their way or no way. They reject compromise, which is essential for democracy.
The question before us in the coming election and beyond is this: Are we going to be a nation of selfish people who are concerned only about our own welfare, or are we going to be a nation of people who are also concerned about the welfare of those less fortunate than many of us? (By less fortunate, I mean less fortunate in circumstances of birth, wealth, ability, genetic endowment, innate intelligence, physical health and predisposition to illnesses of body and mind which ruin a person's chance to have a reasonable life, and less fortunate in the circumstances that make it difficult to get integrated into the main stream of society - whether it be issues of skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation with which we are born, or in the unlucky turn of events that may come our way in life, over which we may have little control.
More than anything else, this issue—whether we are going to be a selfish people or a people concerned about the welfare of those less fortunate than we are—may be the key factor that distinguishes and defines the opposite sides arrayed in this election. We already know what the selfish coalition would be for. We know the selfish coalition sees the less fortunate as inconsequential or a threat to society. They explain away all problems of the less fortunate by calling them willfully lazy or irresponsible.
This issue of selfishness versus concern for the less fortunate may be the most infrequently mentioned theme in the present election for various reasons, but it may nevertheless underlie all the topics that are being hotly contested in this election. For example, how should we aid our ailing economy? Which and how much resources should we allocate for what? Which tax and spending cuts should we make, should we maintain the opportunity for all of us including the presently uninsured, to obtain health insurance or whether we will repeal the law that provides such opportunity, because many of us already have insurance and we are selfish and don't want to jeopardize what we have, by providing coverage for those who have none, or even consider the plight of the uninsured not a concern for us, as it is their problem only. Also think about these questions: Should we spend money on education or give tax cuts to the superrich (leaving nothing to spend on programs that are vital to society)? Should we claim that our belief system is better than someone else's? All of these questions will be directly or indirectly related to this central theme: Are we going to be a nation of selfish people, or are we going to be a group of people also concerned about the well-being of those who are less fortunate than we are?
Whether the coalition of selfishness couches their arguments in terms of keeping government out of all aspects of our lives or in terms of safeguarding our liberty, the issue is the same: Are we going to be a selfish (me, me, and only me) nation, or will we have concern in our hearts for those who are less fortunate than we are?
So now we have the two opposing groups arrayed in the battle of the 2012 election. Let us be very aware of the choices: The coalition of selfishness led by the superrich and accompanied by the fundamentalists and closed-minded are on one side. On the other side are those who are less selfish, those who have an open mind, and those who are concerned about the less fortunate. This is our choice in the 2012 election.
This is the ideological battle of the 2012 election and beyond, and yes, it is about more than the economy.
In this ideological battle for justice and fairness for all, our votes will matter—a great deal indeed!
Chapter TwoThe Economy
During the past several years, from the time of the previous administration, which represented the coalition of the selfish and landed the country in the horrendous recession we went through because of their selfishness oriented philosophy, which states that, if the government makes it possible for the wealthy to become more and more wealthy, everything will be fine with the country. Essentially, the coalition under discussion here, the one consumed by selfishness, believes in that same philosophy and wants to take us back to the catastrophic policies of the previous, failed administration. But they want the conditions for the ordinary people and the poor to be even worse, by favoring the superrich and the privileged even more than the previous administration did. According to this philosophy, the more prosperous the rich are, their attempts to make more and more money will result in more jobs and opportunities for ordinary people and the poor (and thus the whole country will be just fine (think "trickle down").
However, what happened as a result of that ideology (when it was tried the last time by the previous, failed administration) was a disaster, from which we are still reeling. Such a philosophy, combined with other reckless actions favoring the high and mighty, made the economy weaker and weaker until the economy of the whole country crumbled. That philosophy ushered in the "great recession," from which we are only just beginning to recover. With their policies giving the superrich everything they asked for and more and the loosening of regulations that allowed the high and mighty to play as they pleased, the economy crumbled, the housing market was ruined, and unemployment shot up. Households were left impoverished and people lost their houses, savings, and pensions. Young and middle-aged people—even the very educated—could not find work, could not support themselves, and could not get health insurance. By the time of the 2008 election, the country had collapsed. The country was in a terrible condition, the likes of which we have never witnessed in several generations.
Fortunately, the coalition of the superrich, the fundamentalists, and the closed-minded lost the 2008 election and the country got a breather—a second chance.
The damage done to the economy by the philosophy of selfishness was so bad that an avalanche of ill effects was unleashed. The coalition's reckless actions made recovery from the economic disaster extremely difficult and slow, in spite of several programs instituted by the present administration to help the recovery. Fortunately, we started seeing some signs of recovery from the severe recession, in early 2012, though the problems of other regions of the world, especially Europe are hindering our recovery at the time of this writing. Overall there has been resurgence of hope for ordinary people and the need for a government concerned about their well being and with an urgency of purpose on their behalf is more essential than ever before. This is no time for "trickle down."
Our work remains incomplete, and we can't let the philosophy of selfishness drag us back into the ditch they left us in before the 2008 election. Of course, the coalition of selfishness wants to misguide us by touting the same philosophy that ruined us—as if it were a panacea for all of the country's problems. They champion this philosophy even though it is the same one that almost destroyed the country and made America the laughingstock of the world by 2008. They do not want us to remember what was happening before 2008 (and that it is their failed philosophy that caused ruin and destroyed us). Now they want a rerun of it, except they want it to be a worse "hunger game" this time around.
Due to the propaganda of the coalition of selfishness, many of us misunderstood the slow recovery from the last economic recession as the result of the ineffectiveness of the present administration. Many of us fell victim to the propaganda unleashed by the coalition of selfishness. Since the 2010 interim congressional elections, when the coalition of selfishness took over Congress, they have opposed practically every positive suggestion put forth by the present administration and the progressive majority in the Senate. This has produced a stalemate. Their aim is to keep the economy weak and joblessness high so that they can blame the present administration for that situation. That would allow them to get back into power by winning the 2012 election, capturing the presidency, and gaining a majority in both the Congress and the Senate. In this way, they could reinstate the rule that brought ordinary people misery. This time they want it to be harsher for ordinary people and the poor. The coalition wants to cut whatever the ordinary people have gained through generations of effort and struggles. They want to repeal the health care law that gives the uninsured a chance to have insurance for the first time in the history of this country. In my mind, the health care law is the single most important achievement of the present administration.
They brag about denying health insurance for those who do not have it, as if that were a great feat to accomplish. Taking away the right of the uninsured to have insurance, they claim, would be one of their greatest achievements. They take pride in having a harsh philosophy that does not concern itself with those who have less. As long as they protect the rich and privileged from paying their fair share in taxes and keeping their perks, they are happy.
Their economic agenda, in brief, involves an ideology, laws, and regulations that favor the rich and the selfish and cut benefits for everyone else. They have no interest in fairness.
The coalition of selfishness wants to brainwash us with their propaganda that government should not be involved in economic matters, except to make it easy for private corporations to make greater profits. They also say we should leave everything but the defense of the country to be run by for-profit, private companies. The only role they see for the government in economic matters is to loosen all regulations that were created to protect the average person from exploitation by those who are consumed by greed.
The selfish coalition wants government to make it possible for individuals and corporations to pursue profits with no limitations or rules (and with little concern for what happens to others in the process). They want a slash-and-burn philosophy to rule, whereby anything goes in the pursuit of wealth. They have little concern for what happens to others in the process, what happens to the workers, whose toil—more often than not—allows them to amass their wealth. They would like to claim that all wealth is created by their genius in financial matters. They interpret the phrase pursuit of happiness to mean pursuit of money at any cost and without consideration for anyone else. Hence, they feel that government should stay out of their way and let them run amok. In order to achieve this, they want to take over the presidency, the Congress, and the Senate. In this way, their ruthless philosophy could once more rule the country and allow more cash to flow into their pockets. The poor will be left with less and less. It is fine, they say. It is what this country is supposed to be all about, according to them.
We beg to differ. We don't mind a country that gives plenty of opportunity for those who think making money is the most important reason for human beings to be on this planet. We don't mind them keeping a fair share of that money. But we also want it to be a country that gives the ordinary person and the poor person a chance to improve his or her life situation without having to depend on the kindness of the superrich. That sort of dependence, our recent history has shown, will never work. The members of the coalition of selfishness (led by the superrich) are only concerned about themselves and their own philosophy. They believe nobody is responsible for others—no matter how weak or unfortunate that other person may be. They assume everyone is born into this world with equal ability and in equal circumstances and if someone can't make it, it is his or her fault. They don't mind that unfortunate people suffer and even die without health care. (Remember the applause in their debates!)
Any improvement in the plight of ordinary people and the poor, they want us to believe, should not be a concern of the government. They want us to believe that, once the wealthy become wealthier, with cutthroat tactics and minimal regulations, they will have so much left over that the ordinary and the poor will automatically get a bit of it. Thus, everything would be fine, they say. "Government, just stay out of the way and all will be as it is destined to be," is their mantra.
Excerpted from The 2012 Election and Beyond by Gieseril Copyright © 2012 by Gieseril. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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