Summary: Conservatives expect to see long-sought social changes from their coming electoral victories. Liberals expect insane policy changes that wreck America, based on lies about history and irrational believes about the world. Both are wrong, IMO. Here we speculate about the future, extrapolating current trends.
- The Right takes power the traditional way, by effective propaganda
- The good news
- The result: fixed citizens in a different America
- Other posts looking at the future of America
(1) The Right takes power the traditional way, by effective propaganda
The Right has come to dominate US public policy in party by firmly repeating simple but emotionally appealing lies. To name just a few about history:
- The Civil War was about States Rights, not slavery (the participants were mistaken).
- The Vietnam War could have been won (like most wars, if re-fought by one-side with a God like knowledge of future events)
- The Reagan Miracle (although invisible in US economic statistics)
- Tax cuts increase revenue, working in both booms and busts (even though they don’t, except from stratospheric levels)
- Saddam Husein was an ally of al Qaeda and had WMDs.
- AQ’s Afghanistan bases played a significant role in the 9-11 attacks (planned in Germany, training in Miami)
Plus other sets of interlocking lies about basic economics, the cost and efficacy of the US health care system vs. those in Europe, the operation of the Long War, the nature of domestic terrorism in the US and Europe, and a dozen other subjects. We have reached the point, IMO, where a critical mass of citizens believe this interlocking set of misinformation. They treat almost any statement from the Right, however absurd, like gospel.
This shows that our OODA loop (observation, orientation, decision, action) is broken. We can no longer as a people discriminate between simple facts and fiction. We have become a weak and foolish people.
Republicans will work to weaken America, for which we will blame Obama and the Democrats and elect Republicans.
(2) The good news
Fortunately there is good news about what happens next. America will be run as Republicans make the necessary reforms. But it will not be run in our interests.
(a) Sheep have shepherds.
Inevitably for a weak and foolish people, we will have little say in the running of American after electing our plutocratic overlords. They will continue and accelerate the policies concentrating wealth, income, and political power, executing the last stages of an open-sourced political movement like this nation has never before seen, decades of patient investment by far-seeing conservatives.
(b) Fixing America
Since our problems are relatively simple to fix, Republicans will produce rapid and impressive results. After all, they were the major factor preventing corrective action. Once in power, Republicans will make the relatively easy reforms: cut spending, raise taxes, and adopt an European-like health care system (a mixed public-private system like that of France and Germany).
This has been the pattern of Republican action since 1968. Actions that would get a Democrat condemned by Republicans are done by Republicans. Nixon instituted many liberal reforms (see this list). Reagan and Bush repeatedly raised taxes. Bush Sr signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, one of the largest expansions of government authority since Nixon. In 2003 Bush Jr. signed the Medicare Prescription Drug Act (an almost trillion-dollar expansion of the government’s liabilities).
(3) The result: fixed citizens in a different America
(a) Becoming a Christian nation, not.
“It’s all about power and the unassailable might of money.”
— E. P. Arnold Royalton, the great 21st century industrialist and philanthropist
Many Republican voters dream of making America a Christian nation, returning to traditional values. However frequently disappointed by the past four Republican Presidents, they respond like trained dogs to a whistle to Republican campaign promises.
Disappointment awaits them. The rich that run America worship the money and power. Profits require social stability, and they have no interest in the moral life of peons. Gay marriage, gays in the military, abortion — these reduce social strife — and hence are sound conservative policies. This accounts for many of the “liberal” policies implemented by Republican Presidents (examples here and here).
(b) Rolling back the New Deal, destroying the middle class
“What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class. And all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible ideas. “
— Mr. Henry F. Potter, leading banker and first citizen of Potterville
No need to say much about this after decades of deliberate government policy to crush the middle class. Those that can see, see. Those that will not see, do not see.
(c) A concluding song
Let us join with Congressman John Rutledge of Pennsylvania in singing this slightly edited song from the musical 1776, looking forward to the Congress of 2026.
Oh say do you see what I see?
Congress sitting here in sweet serenity
Come ye cool cool conservative men
The likes of which may never be seen again
We have land, cash in hand
Self-command, future planned
Fortune flies, society survives
In neatly ordered lives with well-endowered wives
Come ye cool cool considerate set
We’ll dance together to the same minuet
To the right, ever to the right
Never to the left, forever to the right
May our creed be never to exceed
Regulated speed, no matter what the need
(4) Other posts looking at the future of America
See the full list at the FM Reference Page Guessing about possible futures for America. Here are a few of special interest:
- Forecast: Death of the American Constitution, 4 July 2006
- Is America’s decline inevitable? No., 21 January 2008
- Good news about the 21st century, a counterbalance to the doomsters, 9 May 2008
- COIN – a perspective from 23rd century textbooks, 10 June 2008
- Some thoughts about the economy of mid-21st century America, 12 January 2009 — Thoughts about future from one of the 20th century’s greatest minds
- A look at our history – from the 23rd century, 13 April 2009
- A look at the future of the world’s political and economic order, 4 June 2010
- A look back at our time from the 2100 A.D. edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 June 2010
This post originally appeared at Fabius Maximus and is reproduced here with permission.