That future of global human rights and a global economy, perhaps even someday a global government just became something that is no longer imminent. The Way-Back machine has won and people who hoped for a world that cooperated to save itself realize that we won’t be going there right away. Recent events suggest that the future that was barreling down the pipeline will be delayed indefinitely. It will now require a plan with a long view to evolve a governance that benefits all the world’s people.
GOP Long Plan
Charles Blow talks this morning in the NYT about what the people in power hope to gain through regression. They want, not surprisingly, to retain their power and to keep a world around them that looks like the world of their youth. We call them conservatives but they are really reactionaries. They did take a long view. They were horrified by the many signs that they were losing their grip on power. They met in their conservative groups and their think tanks and they plotted for ways they could reverse the trends they were seeing.
Conservative politicians joined forces with conservative billionaire corporatists, and evangelicals with views of religion so regressive that they did not even believe in keeping government separate from religion, as the freedom of religion guaranteed in our founding documents implies.
So we saw groups like the Freedom Caucus keeping Congress from passing any law that could be considered part of a futurist agenda and the Koch brothers working to win state houses and legislatures to the conservative cause. A recent article even suggested that the Koch brothers are meddling in federal legislation and have big plans for influencing the midterm elections. See these remarks in the Congressional Record in the section with the title “Dark Money”
Right wing politicians legislated about money and they pledged to Grover Norquist that they would not raise taxes.
They turned the NRA into a rabid lobby group to pretend that the 2nd Amendment rights of Americas were under attack and to foment hysteria.
They passed laws that allowed corporations to give as much money as they wanted to political campaigns and then yelled bloody murder when Democratic billionaires did the same.
They gerrymandered voting districts to make them reliably Republican, they suppressed votes in key Democratic districts by making it harder for minority voters to get to the polls.
They kept the pressure on against Roe v Wade with things like trap laws that forced abortion clinics to be judged by the same rules as large hospitals, knowing they would not be able to comply and would have to close their doors.
They stopped President Obama from filling the seat of Justice Alito when he died unexpectedly by adopting a totally transparent policy to not allow a lame duck President to fill a seat (which was not a rule until they made it one).
They also want to allow religious bodies including churches to contribute to elections in the same way that corporations can.
They lost a few – the Affordable Care Act, Same Sex Marriage and equal rights for all sexual identities – and they have never stopped moaning about it and they will, most likely, overturn both of these laws that they hate, if they can.
We may even become a Christian theocracy.
Much of this seems to have been set into motion by demographics – first of all the data that predicted that white people would soon be the minority in America, and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center that set off alarms that there were Muslim people who wanted to turn the world Muslim.
Coup de Grace
Republicans and Trump have been busily stuffing the Federal district courts with conservatives (the more conservative the better). But the big prize has always been the Supreme Court. Stuff that court with Conservatives and they serve for life (or until they retire) and you get your way for at least a generation. If you stuff the court with young Conservatives you can control the US government and the US people even longer. We have arrived at the tipping point with the resignation of Anthony Kennedy. The Conservatives will now have an absolute majority on the Supreme Court. It’s the cherry on the sundae.
Remorse, Bitter Remorse
Everything that I was keeping an eye on, everything I was hoping would not happen has pretty much happened. The future is not now. However inevitable the future is, and young people will keep inventing it with all their energy and optimism, these old men have managed to put the kibosh on the future for now. Now I will not get to see the future happen. What comes next will not be pretty. A blue wave would certainly put a crimp in their style and not allow them the perfect victory, the victory without opposition that they have been plotting.
Trump does not deserve much credit for the way our government is currently configured – all one party, no appreciable checks and balances – but he did have whatever it is he has that makes him the most successful con man in America. He managed to get himself elected just as the Republican plans created the red wave that supported him and he is helping the Republicans turn back the future because that suits him to a tee.
America is not the only country that is pushing against the future, trying desperately to create walls, both real and metaphorical to keep the past, and not necessarily even what is best about the past, but whatever keeps these old reprobates in power. You might want to check out this article from today’s NYT about why Erdogan won his electionin Turkey despite his authoritarian bent.
If we flee to our religious roots and entwine them into our government, then we have much more to be nervous about. Evangelicals are militant and judgmental. If we find ourselves governed by a Conservative Evangelical theocracy then we need to remember that the GOP and the CIA used torture techniques on foreigners who may or may not have been terrorists. Would they stop Evangelicals from conducting an inquisition against folks with other beliefs? Far-fetched maybe, but not impossible to imagine.
Added 7/2/2018 Adult Content
Photo Credit: From a Google Image Search – mad over brand