From Regression to Rot
“America is the most advanced country in the world.” So we hear. Even if it is so, it is so, perhaps, and only perhaps, on average. Seems the majority of the population does want to progress. Also seems that a significant minority of the population is, has long been, inclined to regress. Moreover, many of this same minority are inclined to want to impose regression on the rest of us. And, while these folk may like technology and all the other benefits of science well enough; many, though not all of them, are inclined to not trust science. Lastly, many of this minority group are inclined to think that reality is fungible; to believe that more than one version of reality is possible and that these different versions can coexist. These inclinations make them vulnerable to manipulation.
Though present in all social strata, in all subcultures, throughout the United States, this regressively inclined minority tends to be regionally concentrated. This demographic combined with flaws in the Constitution (see Dearly Beloved) accords them inordinate, disproportionate, political clout. Politicians of low character find this combination of inordinate and disproportionate political clout and the group’s ambivalence toward reality and disdain for science particularly attractive. Once in office, the politician of low character stays aboard the political gravy train by peddling his or her vote to the highest bidding special interests for campaign financing; then campaigns pandering to the regressive inclinations of the voters ‘back home’ for the votes needed to get reelected. It is this combination of the demographics of the regressive minority and their low-life politicians, leveraged by the flaws in the constitution, that makes them inordinately and disproportionately powerful. Together, in a mutually beneficial collaboration, they use this inordinate and disproportionate political power to impose regressive policies on the Nation whilst contributing little or nothing to its governance. Other taking away someone’s rights, they are inclined to the impedance of governance. Together, though representative a minority of Americans, they are, have been for some time, tyrannizing the Nation. Something that does not bode well for the future of our democracy, our Nation.
A few present-day examples of these politicians of low character include: Senators McConnell, Paul, Cruz, Hawley, Graham, Thune, Kennedy, Cornyn, Blunt, Wicker. Hyde-Smith, Blackburn, Cotton, Lankford, …, and …; and, Representatives McCarthy, Jordan, Gohmert, Carter, Taylor-Greene, Boebert, Sessions, Hice, …, and … . Past examples of such politicians of low character include such as Talmadge, Stennis, Thurmond, Sessions, …, … . Past and present, all are (were) practitioner of the big lie. All protestations to the contrary, all are (were) completely devoid of virtue. All take (took) advantage of the regressively inclined. Dead or alive, any and all would gag a healthy maggot. These days, they can often be found fighting amongst themselves over the dunghill that was once the Grand Old Party. And so it goes; first the flies, then the eggs, then the maggots; then more flies, …. Lest there be any doubt, watch any of the above present day examples in action during Committee Hearings, or in appearances on Fox News. Similar performances by politicians of low character from the past can be found on YouTube.
So, which of these collaborators is the knight in shining amour on the white horse? Maybe both. But for those regressively inclined having ridden to the rescue, the Republican Party would have long been history. For the regressively inclined, for whatever it is worth to them, they get the opportunity to impose their regressiveness on the rest of us. To the regressively inclined, seems bringing the rest of the Nation down to their level is winning.
Though above described as being a bilateral, mutually beneficial, the collaboration is in fact a mutually beneficial trilateral one with the third party being the special interests that put up the money for campaigns and the swaying of minds; the money that is the glue that holds the minority that is tyrannizing the nation together. Gluing that has been much abetted by the Citizens vs FEC, 2010 decision by less than honorable Supreme Court of the United States. For the special interests, this collaboration is an investment with a tremendous rate of return; for the politicians of low character, a livelihood; for the regressively inclined, seems a little stroking goes a long way.
While America burns, under this tyranny by this minority, the most important issues of our times: Climate Change, Gun control, COVID, Women’s rights, and Voting Rights, go unaddressed or disabused. To those inclined to regress; their right to AR-15s, to not get vaccinated, to deny service to those with whom they disagree, to impose their beliefs on others, deny some their right to vote, and to pray of the 50-yd line, are most important. To their elected pols, nothing is more important than getting reelected; to stay at the trough. For the special interests; getting a 10:1 or more rate of return on investment is not too shabby.
When interviewed: The pols of low character assure the interviewer that they do understand the issues and their importance (that they really aren’t stupid). It is just that they don’t care what happens in the long run, what history will say. The regressively inclined usually recite their verses. Special interests don’t usually do interviews.
Not all of these politicians of low character are old. What will the younger ones tell their children? Grandchildren? Was this what caused Sen. Manchin to compromise on legislation meant to lessen the damage to the Climate — an action that would have caused great hardship, cost the nation trillions and trillions of $dollars, cost millions their lives? How will Senator Cruz explain his votes, his comments to Supreme Court Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, …, to his daughters?
Most of the six conservative majority Justices of the current Supreme Court will live long enough to see history record just how it was that they destroyed the Court; just how wrong they were on so many important issues. Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! The speed of history is not a constant.
*The Washington Post and the New York Times each recently published an article about the influence of the Claremont Institute on the Republican Party, and about its connections to the January 6, 2021 insurrection. The Claremont Institute, another right-wing self-proclaimed ‘Think Tank’, is located in the southern California city of Claremont.
The Claremont Institute (79)is another example of a minority that subscribes to a regressive ideology; of one that wants to impose their regressive ideology on the rest of us. They hold that we would be better off if we adhered to the Constitution as written and approved in the 18th Century; i.e., it is, as they see it, sacrosanct. Something akin to the ‘originalism’ espoused by the Federalists Society (and by the current Supreme Court majority). The Claremont Institute and the Federalists Society, founded 1979 and 1982, respectively, are of a time. Neither represent a particular demographic; neither is representative of very many. Neither finance political campaigns. They get paid to influence opinion. Both write tons of Amicus Curiae for cases before the US Supreme Court and other Courts. Both hold seminars and actively recruit in law schools. Both are regressive and seek to impose this regression on the Nation. Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! When the Constitution was written, the question was, “How should it be?” Still is.
Most advanced country in the world? Far from it. The US is the only developed nation without universal health coverage. It has the highest level of belief in creationism and other anti-science idiocies of any developed country. It ranks at or near the worst among developed countries in infant mortality, vaccination rates, life expectancy, economic inequality, and a dozen other indicators of development. It doesn’t even have real high-speed rail. Its view of itself as most advanced in the world is a relic of the reality of decades ago. It is the most militarily powerful in the world, but that’s far from the same thing.
Much of this is due to the influence of that reactionary minority — but that minority is part of the country, just as much as the rest of us.
I find nothing you say to be in error. It is precisely correct. We have an economy and a military,