Show us on the doll where the bad men touched you, Jason.
You, too, Lindsey, and the rest of you GOP members of Congress who are skeptical about the incoming administration. Forget the weak-willed, soft-handed slack ones in your ranks for the moment.
Did they touch you in the heart, or in your head? Or did they touch in your wallet?
We know they rounded you up, herded you into a room, then told you your beliefs were a lie — you’re no longer a member of the party of Reagan, and everything you’ve believed and lived for the last 30-plus years is vaporware.
Reports say Club for Growth was the shock troop used to deliver this radical shift in ideology, telling you you’re now populists after CfG’s Stephen Moore allegedly took a tour around the Midwest and saw what had become of industrial states.
And now you’re supposed to completely overhaul your belief systems overnight and there’s no such thing as facts.
Except, Club for Growth and their anti-tax small government ideology has been *exactly* the problem with the Midwest. They razed it to the ground, Flint’s mass lead poisoning being just one of the most obvious examples of what happened after they ‘liberated’ people from taxes and ‘freed’ the public from excess government regulation. The loss of manufacturing jobs and the offshoring of wealth should have made clear to you more than a decade ago reducing taxes and regulation wasn’t working.
(One need only look at China’s air quality to see we offshored more than jobs, and that some of our “excess government regulations” have worked.)
Did the men who cornered you in that room make it clear that they fucked up? That they were the reason so many of the U.S. industrial areas withered up and died? Did they admit the wall against which they made you stand for the last several decades — the starving of federal investment in infrastructure, education, and health by reducing and eliminating taxes — was the reason why industry found it cheaper to go overseas? Or that wages for remaining jobs have remained stagnant?
Imagine workers so healthy that automakers didn’t incur $5000 per vehicle in health care and insurance expenses. Imagine a workforce so well educated they could out-produce an automated, cheaper workforce abroad. Imagine roads and rails humming with efficiency, improved with American know-how.
That’s what they insisted you deny, literally starving the arsenal of democracy by withholding investment and encouraging the insertion of undemocratic management a la municipal ’emergency managers’.
Do you really believe after all this time these formerly anti-tax shock troops suddenly know what they are doing? Have you ever listened to the people in your district instead and parsed what it was they truly needed instead of hearing through CfG’s filter, trying to hang on to your place against the wall?
Worse, you’re encouraged to believe that we, your constituents, no longer care about corruption. As if we wouldn’t notice the silent drag on both our economy and well-being caused by skimming off the top in the form of unfettered conflicts of interest. As if we wouldn’t miss our democracy bought from under us by regulatory capture and rampant corporate campaign donations, resulting in gross inequality and a government of, by, and for business (screw the citizens).
We noticed — that’s what the election should have told you.
Brainwashing, that’s what these men have done and are doing yet again to you. We the people damned well do care about fairness. It’s NOT fair to make millions and billions off our backs when elected officials are paid by us to represent us. It’s a form of taxation without representation. These former anti-tax advocates are suddenly blinded to this by their incredibly flexible ethics.
What else will these men demand of you while you’re still in shock, the ground beneath your feet still fluid? Will they tell you we’re no longer the country of democratic principles and the Constitution, too? Will you simply fall in line and believe them?
Do you know what it looks like anymore, to have a spine and live the oath you’ve sworn to the people all the way to the end of your term and through the next? Do you know what a Republican is supposed to be anymore, besides a reed bending in the wind?
Or will you merely become another bad man corralling others into groupthink along the wall, clinging to the illusion you’re doing the right thing because ‘political party über alles’?
Next, you’ll insist Arbeit macht frei as they herd you into yet another room.
Investigate conflicts of interest. Look into foreign influence in our elections. Investigate rogue elements of government. Prosecute and/or deny access to power. Protect our democracy by assuring every citizen has a counted vote. Live your oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Don’t let the bad men continue to touch you, reach your loved ones, damage us all.