Since the Civil War, and even well before, American Southerners essentially have had one fundamental political issue: Slavery.
This subsequently has broadened into more generalized hatred of non-whites, non-Christians, gays and foreigners, but it began with contempt for slaves. (Hatred does not accept boundaries.)
Because Lincoln was a Republican, the old “Solid South” voted against Republicans (i.e for Democrats) for nearly 100 years.
Wikipedia: By the mid-1960s, changes had come in many of the Southern states.
Former Dixiecrat Senator Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina changed parties in 1964; Texas elected a Republican Senator in 1961; Florida and Arkansas elected Republican governors in 1966.
In the upper South, where Republicans had always been a small presence, Republicans gained a few House and Senate seats.
Republican President Richard Nixon adopted a “Southern Strategy” for the presidential election of 1972: Continue enforcement of the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, but be quiet about it, so that offended Southern whites would continue to blame the Democrats, while talking up the Democrats’ increasing association with liberal views.
This strategy was wildly successful – Nixon carried every southern state by huge margins.
What formerly was Republican Lincolnian liberalism transitioned into Republican Nixonian conservatism. Today, the “Solid South” still votes hatred.
Nixon’s cynical pandering to Southern bigotry worked, and the same voters who were solidly Democratic are now solidly Republican.
But things change.
The nation’s population has become less white, and the nation, as a whole, has moved toward the liberal side of the spectrum.
Meanwhile, the nation’s richest .1% generally remain conservative, and their money (aka “free speech”) has moved the nation’s politicians to the right.
The leftward move of the population and the rightward move of the politicians is a dichotomy that never long continues.
Now, comes Donald Trump, a nominative Republican, who:
–donated money to Democrats
–does not subscribe to the conservative’s small government (code for “state’s rights”)
–likes single-payer Medicare and considers healthcare to be one of three federal responsibilities (along with education and the military)
–supports Planned Parenthood (except for abortion)
–historically has not adhered to the conservative agenda
In short, Trump, the anti-Cruz, still leans conservative, but is the most liberal of all Republican Presidential wannabes.
And, now comes Hillary Clinton nominative Democrat, who agrees with the Obama conservative agenda:
–cutting Social Security benefits
–budget-balancing deficit reduction and austerity
–coddling criminal bankers
–disagreeing with Bernie Sanders’ expansion of Medicare
In short, Clinton, the anti-Sanders, still leans liberal, but is the most conservative of the Democratic Presidential wannabes.
Are we witnessing the start of a trend, in which the Republicans become liberal and the Democrats become conservative?
A few facts:
*Congress currently is conservative.
*The nation, as a whole, has become far more liberal over the years.
*The population among the traditionally liberal is growing, while the conservative population is declining.
*The adoption of “Obamacare,” though invented by a conservative, still is a sign of growing liberalism
*The laws benefiting gays are signs of growing liberalism
*Even conservative media tend to lean liberal with regard to laws affecting the poor and middle classes
*Ted Cruz, the most conservative candidate, was soundly rebuffed by Republican voters
*Republicans hold their Congressional majorities only by denying minorities the vote and by gerrymandering
*Republicans only hope of a Presidency is via the non-representational Electoral College, counter to a one-man, one-vote democracy
While Trump drags Republicans to the left, Clinton drags Democrats to the right, and if the current course becomes a trend, and particularly if Clinton wins big, one easily could imagine a Sandersesque politician replacing Trump and taking over the Republican Party.
Politicians want first, to win. Pragmatic politics (realpolitik) may recognize America’s shift toward liberalism, so many conservative politicians could “jump ship” and decide, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
Or, the two parties simply may discard the extremes on both sides, and approach each other, in a Trumpist/Clintonist blend of ideologies.
This moderation could be reflected in the Supreme Court, currently divided equally between liberal and conservative ideologies (thereby demonstrating the farcical myth of “disinterested” jurists measuring matters of Constitutional law).
Today, a right-wing Congress refuses to consider any Justice nominated by a Democratic President. The nations voters, who usually display more sense and understanding of the Constitution than does Congress, may reject such ideological polarization.
In summary, the haters will continue to hate, but their influence is waning. Bigotry is less in vogue these days. Because politicians are the world’s best followers, and as they notice which way the political winds are blowing, they may do as they are wont to do: Switch positions.
Which leaves the question: In switching, will they overshoot, with the Republicans becoming less conservative and more liberal even than the Democrats?
It has happened before.
In 1951 Eric Hoffer published a book titled, “The True Believer” in which he . . .
. . . analyzes and attempts to explain the motives of the various types of personalities that give rise to mass movements; why and how mass movements start, progress and end; and the similarities between them, whether religious, political, radical or reactionary.
He argues that even when their stated goals or values differ mass movements are interchangeable, that adherents will often flip from one movement to another, and that the motivations for mass movements are interchangeable.
Thus, religious, nationalist and social movements, whether radical or reactionary, tend to attract the same type of followers, behave in the same way and use the same tactics and rhetorical tools.
Hoffer states that mass movements begin with a widespread “desire for change” from discontented people who place their locus of control outside their power and who also have no confidence in existing culture or traditions.
As examples of the interchangeable nature of mass movements, Hoffer cites how almost 2000 years ago Saul, a fanatical opponent of Christianity, became Paul, a fanatical apologist and promoter of Christianity.
Another example occurred in Germany during the 1920s and the 1930s, when Communists and Fascists were ostensibly bitter enemies but in fact competed for the same type of angry, marginalized people; Nazis Adolf Hitler and Ernst Röhm, and Communist Karl Radek, all boasted of their prowess in converting their rivals.
The “New Poor” are the most likely source of converts for mass movements/for they recall their former wealth with resentment and blame others for their current misfortune.
While mass movements idealize the past and glorify the future, the present world is denigrated: “The radical and the reactionary loath the present.” Thus, by regarding the modern world as vile and worthless, mass movements inspire a perpetual battle against the present.
Successful mass movements need not believe in a god, but they must believe in a devil. Hatred unifies the true believers, and “the ideal devil is a foreigner.”
So it has been and so it may be. The mass movement that created the hate-based Tea/Republicans may flip to a liberal, Lincolnesque Republican party, while the rich, ever conservative, may create a conservative, Clintonesque Democratic party.
Thanks to Trump and Clinton, Sanders and Cruz, we may see yet another reversal of fortune.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.)
Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. A common phenomenon is for the line briefly to dip below zero, then rise above zero, before falling dramatically below zero. There was a brief dip below zero in 2015, followed by another dip – the familiar pre-recession pattern.
Recessions are cured by a rising red line.
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..
•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.
•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
•Deficit spending grows the supply of money
•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
•The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
•Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest..
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..