Let’s All Work Together!

We’re all excited now that there’s an actual human being going to be in the White House instead of a sociopathic, narcissistic greed monkey (quite the trifecta of character flaws). Now it’s the turn of Joe Biden, pretty much the anti-Trump, who campaigned on the idea, “We need to work together once more…”

Right. All this kumbaya, join hands across the aisle stuff sounds great, but you know what? That’s great only if your idea of working together is something like “Let’s agree on this. I’ll punch you in the face until you agree to give me your lunch money! Deal?” Of course, that’s a silly example. Republicans would never be satisfied with just lunch money—what they really want is our health insurance and social security; taking food aid away from the poor is small potatoes (or, even better, NO potatoes).

Working together isn’t logically possible unless both sides have a common goal and the dispute is only in regards to how to achieve it. But there’s no “working together” when two groups want completely different and mutually exclusive things. Genghis Khan wants to burn your village, kill the men, rape the women and sell the children into slavery. Your village just wants to be left alone. “Hey, Genghis, let’s see if we can work together on this?” How’s that go? Do you both compromise on killing and raping only HALF the people and the rest promise to scream louder so Genghis still feels satisfied?

Like I always say, you can’t plot your course until you know where you want to go. And right now, one side wants to go to that bad place where the rich get richer and everyone else…well, that’s really THEIR problem here in the land of the free-to-be-as poor-as-you-want as long as I’ve got mine. Don’t think that’s the Republican platform? Well, technically, you’d be correct because last August they decided they didn’t really need an actual platform and that “Whatever Donald Trump wants to do” was perfectly adequate for planning purposes.

BUT, if they were to write it down, minus the usual obfuscating language, the “rich-get-richer” Republican platform would be to:

  • Limit their contribution to the public good (lower taxes, more pollution, and fewer regulations on anything that makes gobs of money)
  • Limit the flow of resources down the economic ladder (cut public health care, keep minimum wages low, cut unemployment, divert public education funds to private, for-profit schools)
  • Plunder what’s left of our natural resources (drill, baby, drill)
  • Play casino games with the financial markets (credit default swaps, anyone?)
  • Sell off public and private assets (what was it that Mitt Romney used to do for a living?)
  • Distract the natural opponents of the above by name-calling (“socialism!”) and culture wars (gender issues, cancel culture) and when that fails, keep ‘em in line by police action (funny how plundering a business of a hundred dollar pair of shoes calls down the full wrath of the law, but plundering a business by buying it out, selling its assets and firing its employees is celebrated as the miracle of the market)

To do this, the Republicans need to ensure that political power and wealth are consolidated in the hands of a few people (our new word today, boys and girls, is “oligarchy”). Having a political process in which achieving high office is completely dependent on massive amounts of money guarantees that the bargain is “I’ll make you powerful, if you’ll make me rich.” Having power that is disconnected from wealth is an existential threat to oligarchs so it’s important to make money as important as possible in politics (Citizens United?) and to limit the ability of opponents of the oligarchy (w should be pretty much everyone else except for the culture war distractions) to access power—by gerrymandering, voter roll purges, disenfranchisement, and limiting access of certain groups to voting.

Right. So how, exactly, do you “work together” with this? With people whose goal is to put their knee on the neck of the country and keep it there until what we think of as “America” gasps its last breath? Hyperbole? I think not. In the last 2 months, I’ve heard calls for canceling voting results by legislative fiat, for martial law, and secession. And THAT’S from high public figures—forget about drunk uncle and that weirdo at the end of the bar. So, what’s the common ground here? The shared core goals? SOMETHING that we both want to achieve but just need to come to an agreement on how to accomplish it? I don’t see anything at all. Sometimes, Genghis Khan just needs to be driven off.