Peasants and Royalty: A new way to look at the conservative movement.

“A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

The Fat Smug Bastard (See; Savage Stupidity ) has a theory about conservatives he’s been talking about for months now.  It’s a little odd but the more you think about it the more sense it makes.  Events in recent weeks have lent even more credence to his idea and I think you’ll agree.  The Fat Smug Bastard has declared that conservatives are actually Monarchists, that is, they desire to be ruled, not by elected officials but by those that they feel are inherently “better” than they are.  Essentially, conservatives do not WANT the rule of law, they want to be ruled by fiat.  They are the peasants of yore, looking to the King and the nobility for guidance.

This isn’t as crazy as you might think.  Talk to a conservative about who should be in charge of America.  You will usually find that their criterion does not include the words “smartest” or “most qualified”.   They’ll SAY that it’s “we the people” but that’s not borne out by how they act and vote.  Instead, you will find that they would rather defer to the rich and powerful because “they know what’s best for the country.”  They’re rich and powerful so they know best?  Who thinks that way but a peasant?

To break this down further, we have the rank and file conservatives like the Tea Party.  They regularly shriek about tyrannical government overreach by the Obama Administration.  This would be the same administration that ran on Health Care Reform and was, in part, elected on that very platform.  Both Houses of Congress ended the 2008 election cycle with Democratic majorities, again, in part, because they supported this very platform.  No bait and switch here.  But, somehow, to the conservative movement, this is illegal tyrannical overreach that should be rejected by the very same majority that elected them to do the very thing they did.

Yet, we spent eight years under the most undemocratic and unaccountable administration since Nixon (and arguably even MORE abusive) and these same conservatives didn’t really spend much time complaining about tyranny.  We DID hear a lot of how patriotic it is to support your President in wartime no matter what he does.  Even if he were to bypass several important bits of the Constitution, that’s OK because he’s the type of guy you could drink a beer with.  I think it’s safe to assume that “dictatorial rule” isn’t the problem as far as the conservative base is concerned.  The peasants are particular about WHO rules them but are content to remain quiet as long as the right kind of ruler is the one abusing them.

I’m sure you’re thinking “Bush Derangement Syndrome!”  Not really, I’m simply pointing out the glaring discrepancy between what conservative claim to oppose and what they actually oppose.  For instance, the current shenanigans in Wisconsin.  Scott Walker and his minions have decided to unilaterally take away the legal right of public unions to collectively bargain.   Ignore the politics and players for a moment, if you will, and look at just the middle of that last sentence:

“Unilaterally take away the legal right”

Screw Reagan and his lame joke about being from the government.  THESE are the six most frightening words in the English language (followed very closely by “Sarah Palin wins the 2012 election”)

“Unilaterally take away the legal right”

What kind of person could support such a thing and still claim to love democracy and freedom?

“Unilaterally take away the legal right”

These are not the words of the rule of law.  These are the words of absolutism where the few or the one can impose their will without consulting the many.

“Unilaterally take away the legal right”

And the Tea Party was there to support those six deadly words and reveal that, no, they really don’t mind a bit of tyranny.  The peasants never do.

On the flip side, we have the leaders of the conservative movement.  Here are those who would be King.

Walkers’ actions pale in comparison to the anti-small “d” democratic horror about to be unleashed in Michigan.  Not content to just take the power to strip collective bargaining rights, Gov. Rick Snyder is also claiming the power, through a meat puppet intermediary, to erase any local law or ordinance that he feels like doing away with.  Also, he’s claimed the rights to not only fire any local elected official but to dissolve any city or township and fold it into a neighboring municipality.  All without input from the citizens of those areas.  This sounds like just the sort of government overreach that conservatives seem concerned, one could say “terrified”, of.  Where are the buses filled with angry people protesting?  Oh right, they’re on the other side of the line defending these actions.

“Unilaterally take away the legal right”

One can safely assume that, yes, your run-of-the-mill, average conservative is in favor of being ruled by their “betters” just as much as their leaders are in favor of taking power away from the unworthy masses.

To this end, there is a systematic effort under way to render the voting public powerless before corporate interests (and, if at all possible, render them non-voting as well).  This is not news per se, the GOP has been advancing the cause of the rich since before I was born but with their new found cockiness after the 2010 midterms, they ratcheted it up to a whole new level.

You can’t really blame the extremist GOP for feeling so invulnerable.  After all, it’s only been two years since they were handed an overwhelming defeat but they still managed the biggest comeback in political history.  The Tea Party will go down in the books as one of the most successful hoaxes ever pulled on the American public.  “Hoax”?  Well, sure.  What else would you call it?  Eight years of massive conservative fiscal irresponsibility with nary a peep and suddenly a huge “new” conservative movement congeals overnight?  This didn’t seem just a little strange?  A massive recession brought on by Wall Street gambling and this “new” movement is against regulating the worst excesses of “too big to fail” banks?   And we’re supposed to believe that it’s “grassroots”?  There’s nothing funnier than listening to a conservative SWEAR they’re not a Republican as they vote straight “R” on the ballot and support only Republican initiatives.  Just because you may have perfected the art of self-delusion, don’t assume the rest of us are that stupid, it’s insulting.

It’s been only five months since this “new” batch of conservatives swept back into power all over the country.  The result?  With only a few rare exceptions, this “new” conservative movement is exactly the same as the old.  Actually, they’re worse.  The old batch at least kept up the pretense of being on the side of the people they routinely duped into voting for them.  Now, they don’t even bother with that.  I guess if you were able to sell the Tea Party, a ruse more transparent than the Invisible Woman, then your base is probably gullible enough to support anything you say or do.

Look at the attempts to suppress voters by blocking college students, first time voters and minorities from registering to vote.  The common denominator is that these blocs tend to vote Democratic.  It has been suggested by Judson Philips, president of the Tea Party Nation that only land owners should be allowed to vote.  He is not the only one.  Ann Coulter is on record saying women should not be allowed to vote because they tend to vote Democratic.  She is also not alone in her beliefs. These are direct assaults on the very concept of democracy.  Conservatives feel that power should be reserved for those most worthy of it and they’ve become very open about it.  But still no comment from the “new” Constitutional Evangelicals.

Another facet of the conservative movements’ secret love affair with Monarchy, as related by the FSB, is their intense resistance to the Estate Tax.  The usual gripe about taxes is that they “take away money from those who produce it.”  Nothing could be further from the truth in the case of the Estate Tax.  The Estate Tax simply reduces the amount of money being given to people who did not earn it, the children of the rich.  From the screams of rage coming from the Right, one would think that these privileged descendants were being kicked out onto the street to get *gasp* a job!  But no, those that were born millionaires will die millionaires; they’ll simply be required to give back to the country that enabled their chosen lifestyle, be it hedonistic, altruistic or capitalistic.

Why the desperate need for the Right to end the Estate Tax?  The real reason is that it interferes with the ongoing concentration of wealth into the hands of the few.  More money equals more power in this post Citizens United world we find ourselves in and being able to pass that power directly to your descendants ensures that that power stays right where it belongs.   As the Fat Smug Bastard put it: “Monarchists need to know that they are being ruled by a better class of people.  Who better to rule than the children of those who ruled before?”  Hereditary rule is antithetical to the American way of life but that doesn’t stop conservatives from seriously talking about Jeb Bush running for President.  It doesn’t matter that his father was a one-term President and his brother among the worst to ever darken the Oval Office, the peasants want their King to rule over them.

In a recent issue of Time Magazine, Republican political consultant Mike Murphy (no relation to THE Mike Murphy) had this to say about unions:

It has become a perverse and semi-corrupt arrangement: the unions raise millions from dues, which are then used to elect labor-friendly politicians who cave at the contract-negotiating table, especially on long-term employment deals, whose cost really begins to crush the state or city budget in the years after the agreeable politician has left office.

Did you catch that?  Using money to elect friendly politicians to support your agenda is perverse and semi-corrupt.  This is so because the unions are “rigging” the system by ensuring that the politicians they plan on negotiating with will be beholden to them.  I wonder what Mr. Murphy has to say about Scott Walker being beholden to the Koch brothers?  Do you think he holds that now very public arrangement to the same standards?  You can bet he doesn’t.  The Kochs are rich and powerful, you see, and therefor entitled to their undue influence on our political system.  Unions “rig” the system in order to secure the best deal they can for their members.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The Kochs, and other parasites like them, “rig” the system so they can repeal the laws that keep them from poisoning our air and water.  They “rig” the system so they can steal ever more money from the poor and middle class.  Do you think this point is lost on Mr. Murphy?  As a Republican consultant, not only is this point lost, it’s buried in a shallow grave in an empty field.

The sour taste that true democracy leaves in a conservative’s mouth is revealed every time they cry “Socialism!” like it was a curse.  The peasants do not want self-rule with equality and justice for all.  They want to submit to the will of a superior.  Someone who will tell them what to think and how to live.  They, quite literally, want to be lorded over.  There is no hypocrisy too extreme to achieve this goal. Breaking a contract with the rich is blasphemy, breaking it with the rest of us is perfectly acceptable.  Defrauding a couple of thousand from Medicare will send you to jail, stealing hundreds of millions from Medicare will get you elected to Governor of Florida.  Retiring from a lifetime of public service and collecting a pension is greedy, running a multinational corporation into the ground and collecting 100 million dollars in severance pay on the taxpayers’ dime is just good business sense.

You see how this works?

One can only hope that the peasants revolt against their abusive masters before they drag the rest us in to indentured servitude with them.  The needs of the many WILL outweigh the needs of the few, given time, no matter how powerful they think they are.

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Mel Brooks in "History of the World"