The Koch brothers, whose money is life blood of the modern GOP, regard themselves as in the vanguard of a movement of sorts. They are “neoliberals.”
Many Americans, no doubt, haven’t much of a clue what neoliberalism is and would guess wrong if pressed.
Neoliberalism isn’t primarily an economic theory, despite the fact that “the market” lies at its center.
Neoliberals are convinced, or claim to be convinced, that maximizing the number of decisions made as “voluntary” transactions in “the market” maximizes freedom. Neoliberalism, then, is a political philosophy focused on maximizing freedom.
But whose freedom?
Take healthcare, for example. Leaving the question of who gets healthcare to “the market” means inevitably that the people who can afford healthcare get healthcare. How does this maximize the freedom of the people who can’t afford healthcare?
Neoliberalism’s claim to maximizing freedom might look elegant in theory, but in the real world — the world in which we actually live — neoliberalism distributes freedom, extending the freedom of the high rollers at the expense of a whole lot of the rest of us.
Two people were walking their dogs. One dog, growling and pulling hard at the lead, tried its best to get at the other dog. The second dog, initially determined to ignore the provocation and walk on, eventually had enough and began to bark. The owner of the first dog chastised the owner of the second dog for its incivility.
Trump and his band of knaves and knuckleheads have had the floor for two years. On Monday, I shall have the floor. Early voting begins in Georgia. If there is a line, I shall relish standing it, as I might to grab tickets for a Dylan concert.
A Republican pollster tweeted this morning that Americans are fundamentally conservative. Are we?
I’m quite confident that Americans on the whole are fundamentally not on board with the interminabl Left vs. Right political theater.
The majority of Americans want to be, and to be regarded as, decent and fair. And these impulses are not inherently either conservative or liberal.
The people you see behind Trump at the rallies are not representative of the American majority. They are a low and bitter lot, judging by their behavior. They may represent local majorities in the American vastness, but they are not “the real Americans.”
Are Americans opposed to “political correctness”? Of course. Who wouldn’t be. But are Americans opposed to the goal of treating one another with equal dignity and empathy and courtesy? Hell no. People didn’t like “Obamacare,” but they support what it actually is.
Over the next few weeks, the GOP again will do all it can, using the millions in campaign contributions from the Koch crowd, to gin up the white resentment vote, especially in the South, Appalachia, and the Midwest. The Russian trolls will flood Twitter in aid of this.