Thursday, November 18, 2004

What's the Matter With Blue Collar Republicans?

Or "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"

Thomas Frank recently appeared on Comedy Central's THE DAILY SHOW WITH JOHN STEWART in support of his book, "What's The Matter With Kansas?"

I've read transcripts of previous interviews on the book and reviews of it as well. In the book, Mr. Frank makes a case for the heartland of American being the victims of a political "bait and switch" by the Republican party.

You see...the Republican Party plays up their positions on Godly issues (anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality, pro-censorship/decency laws, anti-gay marriage, etc) to sway the blue collar, God fearing voter to choose Big Red.

But, upon getting into office, those same Republicans can't deliver any changes on the issues (and some suggest they don't want to). See...it is almost impossible to legislate any changes on these Godly issues. The will of the people is too divided on these issues for us to come to a consensus that will change them and principles of democracy demand that we err on giving people free choice rather than on telling them what is good for them. So, there is really nothing that can be accomplished by sending elected officials to Washington for issues of morals.

Well...our GOP friends have been elected to office, but can't change anything on these issues...what to do with the rest of their time? Why, follow through on the rest of their platform, namely the economic issues that are pro-corporation, of course...often at the expense of the same blue collar, God fearing voter that elected them.

This happens time and time again. Are the Republicans just that good at pulling the wool over the eyes of the voter? No...they have plenty of help from the Democrats.


Over the last few decades, Democrats appear to be moving more towards the middle economically while staying to the left on social issues. They think that they are trying to broaden their appeal to Republican voters, but all they really accomplish is further polarizing the voter on the social issue...since the differences there standout the most.

Thus, a blue collar worker votes his spiritual conscience on Election Day and votes his or her way to a decreased paycheck or to no paycheck at all.

And I blame the Democrats for their slow abandoning of the blue collar worker and the unions.

1 comment:

Luke said...

And I blame the Democrats for their slow abandoning of the blue collar worker and the unions.You are so right. What is needed is a grassroots rebellion from within the Democratic Party. I suggest you run for Congress yourself, starting now, on a platform that combines economic populism and traditional morality. Here are some possible planks. Feel free to steal.

Platform


1. Immigration Moratorium. I support an indefinite pause or timeout of all immigration into the United States, to give this country time to assimilate the 30 million foreign born citizens we already have. In particular I believe that unrestricted immigration from Mexico is bad for the United States and bad for Mexico; it drives down the wages of the least skilled and most vulnerable Americans, while at the same time siphoning off the most ambitious and energetic citizens of Mexico, retarding that country’s economic development.


2. A national I.D. card. To make it impossible for terrorists and illegal aliens to operate in this country, I support a national I.D. card: a foolproof form of personal identification which must be carried at all times by all adult American citizens and legal residents in this country, without which they cannot cash a check, hold a job, sign a lease, open a bank account, acquire a driver’s license, use a credit card, etc. America for Americans.

3. A security fence with Mexico. As an additional measure to keep terrorists and illegal aliens out of this country, I support an un-breachable security fence on our Mexican border.

4. Fair and Equal Tax Enforcement. Currently the IRS does not audit or enforce tax law against the 10,000 wealthiest families in America, resulting in an estimated loss of $300 billion dollars a year in uncollected revenues. This is money that has to be made up by everybody else. It means that roughly a third of the taxes paid by every honest and not-so-honest taxpayer goes to subsidize criminals and cheats. This abuse of the American people -- tolerated by a majority of members of Congress in both the Republican and Democratic parties – has got to stop. I support steps to reform and end corruption in the IRS.

5. End bank secrecy. Tax cheating, drug dealing, and the finance of international terrorism are all made possible by the use of secret, overseas bank accounts in places like Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Caymen Islands, and elsewhere. The rest of the world must be told that we will no longer tolerate such secret banking accounts, and that any country wishing to do business with the United States must end them. An individual’s right to privacy ends where the public’s welfare begins.

6. Family Wage Support. I support a federal program of wage supports to protect American families from the ravages of free trade and low-wage competition abroad. Such a program will guarantee that every worker in America – and not just the wealthy few – will share in the prosperity made possible by the expansion of international trade with countries like China, India, and Mexico. This used to be a middle-class country. We can afford to be a middle-class country again.

7. A national marriage amendment. I favor a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Such an amendment is necessary not only to prevent not only gay marriage – a cultural absurdity – but to head off the much bigger threat of polygamy, made possible by the presence in this country of several million recent immigrants from cultures where polygamy is the norm. As a cultural practice, polygamy is incompatible with sexual and social equality, and would therefore undermine the foundations of our culture and civilization.

8. An End to Racial Preferences. I favor a constitutional amendment banning racial discrimination in all federal and state institutions, and in all private institutions that accept state and federal tax dollars. Such non-discrimination should have been a consequence of the 13th and 14th amendments to the constitution, but the Supreme Court has chosen to interpret them otherwise. We should therefore make clear to the court the will of the people: that there are no legal minorities in America, only Americans.

9. Local Community Standards. I favor a constitutional amendment making clear that the first amendment is not to be interpreted in such a way as to allow the broadcasting of pornography and obscene language into every home in America, without regard to the wishes of the local community. The purpose of freedom of speech and freedom of the press is to allow free and open debate in the realm of ideas, particularly ideas relating to the best way to organize society, including some that may be found offensive by parts of the population. Such freedoms have nothing to do with any right to pollute the public or to violate the norms of modesty and polite society.

10. The Pledge of Allegiance. I favor the language of the pledge, “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” The phrase “under God” should be understood as an historical reference to the religious traditions under which our country was founded, according to which there is a moral law that exists prior to, and independent of, the state, to which the laws of our country aspire. However, I favor taking the word “indivisible” out of the pledge, it being redundant and well-understood.

11. Bible in the Schools. I favor teaching the Bible in the public schools as a basic part of the history curriculum. I justify this on the grounds that the Bible is itself a history book and a primary document of Western culture and civilization, from which our Western ideals of freedom, justice, and equality are largely derived. The Supreme Court has already ruled that such an approach is constitutional, and we should take them up on it.


12. A New Homestead Act. For persons so desiring, I favor a 20 hour week plus federal assistance in moving to new towns in the countryside, where a new three-generation form of the family might be established. The idea is that working parents would have more time to spend with their families, and that parents and grandparents would be able to help care for their children and grandchildren (and vice versa) as an alternative to day care and nursing homes. Such an arrangement would also help deal with the looming Social Security crisis, since retirement would not be such an urgent necessity with a 20 hour week, and inadequate Social Security benefits could be supplemented with part-time wages.