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"Never before have so few with so much promised to take away so much from so many and then laugh their asses off as the so many with so little vote for the so few with so much."
A Jim Pence Quote
"American Politics, a sport for the rich and enslavement for the rest of us."
A Jim Pence Quote

Letter To The Editor: Tea Party Rage - Manipulated And Misplaced

by: Hillbilly

Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 15:15:57 PM EST


Letter to the editor from Ronald A. Leach, Major US Army retired.

Plutocracy reigns supreme in the United States, our Democracy has been hijacked, and the electorate has been manipulated into rage against their own and America's best interest - against  "E pluribus Unum", against the interests of 80 percent of us, against future generations, and the continued greatness of the United States

Americans are anxious, upset, and ANGRY.  The problem is, their anger has been co-opted by few – the Koch brothers, Corporate sponsored “Think Tanks”, etc…..- and skillfully used to continue accumulation of all under control of few.

Hillbilly :: Letter To The Editor: Tea Party Rage - Manipulated And Misplaced
I believe that those under the banner of the “tea party” sincerely fear for our nation, as do I.  How we differ is that my fear is stirred specifically by the manifest intolerance, distortion of reality, and blind hatred as represented by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and all of the other radical right dido heads doing the bidding for an unrepresentative few.  The Tea Party has become another TOOL of manipulation, fear and division – sponsored, controlled and manipulated quite well by the very folks we should be joining forces against.

Few Americans, most overwhelmed just trying to survive have time to look beyond the well crafted propaganda, but rather feed only from the narrow sources of "information" that reinforce indefensible positions.  Sound bite and bumper sticker politics, entertainment and agenda spun as news. The plutocrats (plutocracy - wealthy ruling class) and their chosen mouthpieces (Dick Army, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, many incredibly rich “representatives” and the more radicalized voices on the political right have successfully tapped into a strong uneasiness and paranoia to create division and weakness.

I would have greater enthusiasm and less suspicion for the "tea party" folks if they raised some protest during the previous 8 years of GW Bush or acknowledged the disastrous financial situation that the current administration inherited from the previous administration. Two terms of an administration that grew government at a greater rate than any administration since Johnson, accumulated an additional 4 TRILLION plus in federal deficits, and took us (with the cowardly acquiescence of nearly every representative - be they Republican or Democrat) into the biggest foreign policy and strategic blunder possibly in our history - and all based on lies and misinformation.

I too am concerned that the debt will destroy this nation, and believe we may be approaching the point of no recovering from the fiscal insolvency we now find ourselves heading. (I highly recommend the book "Limits of Power" that address the downfall of our nation secondary to profligacy and the failures to live within our means as a nation.) The Tea Party folks would gain my respect and gratitude if they were honest enough to admit that this debt has accumulated primarily under "Conservative" administrations beginning with Ronald Reagan.  In fact, I believe that an honest and objective assessment of how we got to the point we are today would place the turning point to the Reagan years and the ideology of Reagan.  He came into office with a federal debt burden accumulated over 200 plus years and through two world wars, a great depression, Korea, Vietnam, and 35 years of cold war of $800 billion. By the time Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr. left office we had a federal debt of 6 Trillion dollars.  The only time since Reagan that we have had surpluses was at the end of Clinton's last term. President G. W. Bush inherited projected surpluses for the next decade.  I understand that these projections were based on a continued economic climate that took a turn for the worse even before the 911 attacks and was deepened by reaction to these attacks and that 911 along with Katrina brought enormous unpredicted costs, but these factors do not account for turning decade long surpluses into 4 trillion in additional debt – this was accomplished through shear incompetency and neocon and supply-sider fantasies.  President G. W. Bush managed to do this by growing the government while fighting an ill conceived 4 Trillion dollar War that actually lessened our security, while simultaneously pushing through Tax cuts that disproportionately served the top 10% of our society (a trend that began with Ronald Reagan – 1980 the top 1% brought in 12.5% of the nation’s income and controlled 25% of the nation’s wealth, 2008 the figure had risen to 25% of the annual income and control of 40% of the nation’s wealth.) I believe that the tax cuts under President G. W. Bush was the first time that America has been at sustained war and the upper echelons of our society's earners have not been asked to contribute more, let alone less.  While hundreds of thousands of our volunteer force put their lives on the line to faithfully execute the ill advised and criminally misconceived orders of our commander and chief, he told America to go shopping.  Over seven thousand Americans and several of my close friends or subordinates have died for a war that will in the end leave us less secure, closer to fiscal collapse, and was based in the immoral premise of Dick Cheney's 1% risk as the trigger for preemptive war. (also recommend Washington Rules, and The Arrogance of Power)

As long as the Tea Party folks remain silent on the previous Republican administrations and particularly eight years of GW Bush  which represented some of the darkest and most incompetent examples of an administration likely to be found anywhere in our history, I have to question the true motives of their selective outrage.  Until the Tea Party Astroturf folks begin offering constructive suggestions and demonstrate the willingness to make hard sacrifices to reach a solution, their protests are no better than a three year old's tantrum.  Are they willing to change the tax codes to more evenly distribute the burden in a progressive and morally defensible manner  - HELL NO! – They would rather pass crushing debt on to our children and grand children while further enriching the top 1%.   Are they willing to progressively over time face the real cost of our failure to have an national energy policy to help balance the federal and our trade deficit budget while simultaneously reducing our dependence on foreign oil - HELL NO, IT"S MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO HAVE CHEAP GASOLINE! – even if it does require hundreds of billions of dollars annually in force projection, costly naval fleets and thousands of dead US Soldiers and 100s of thousands of dead elsewhere in the world to ensure that the oil fields are secure and Persian Gulf remains navigable for tankers; even if the billions of dollars we send annually to Saudi Arabia directly supports Wahabists (who have given us the Taliban and Al Qaeda) and Iran (sponsor of Hezbollah, Hamas and other State Sponsored terrorists)

Are they willing to pay the real price for that oil rather than pass it on to future generations or today’s dead soldier – HELL NO!!  Are they willing to recognize that we can not unilaterally shape the world to our own template through an ever expanding and ever more expensive military force (Costing greater than 700B annually, greater than the entire military expenditures of every other NATO nation combined plus Japan, and greater than 4 times the cost of the Chinese military (a nation with 4 times our population))- HELL NO- WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO CRUSH ANYONE, ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME, BEFORE THEY CAN BECOME A POTENTIAL THREAT –PREEMPTION!!!  just like the imperial armies of the British, French, Spain, and every other now defunct bankrupt imperial empire failed to do, AND WE SURE AS HELL CAN'T TRUST ANYONE ELSE, ALLIANCES, OR THE COMMIES IN THE UN!!!, even though we created most world bodies – to include the UN- and the alliances that brought relative stability for some 40 plus years and through the patients and strategic farsightedness of containment worked to defeat the Soviet Union. Are they willing to concede that unless we reform our health care system that it will by itself bankrupt our nation over the next 20 years, already consumes nearly 18% of GDP and will reach greater than 25% over the next 10-20 years, and has already made our industries unable to compete - HELL NO, WE ANT"T GOING TO ALLOW THAT SOCIALISM!!!(echoing the fear mongering of then candidate for Governor, Ronald Reagan - the right wing paranoia never seems to change) HEALTHCARE for PROFIT, NOT FOR PEOPLE!!! despite the fact that every other 1st world industrial nation has some sort of universal medical care access and on average costs less than 10% of GDP while delivering superior health care based on infant mortality, life expectancy, access to care, morbidity, disease prevention,... and just about any objective measure of a nation's health care system.  The radical right has a history of rallying against government, and then - no big surprise - once in power proving completely incapable of governing.  The world and Government is more complicated than bumper stickers, and clever sound bites.  To govern actually requires a basis of facts and foresight and sound principles rather than sound bites.

There are many out there who are not likely to agree with my assessment - on health care, on politics in general, but I would hope you could agree that the deeply dug in ideology driven positions playing out in the anger and hatred (from both sides) is only impeding our ability to have the honest, objective deliberation required to make sobering decisions and ask for the shared sacrifices necessary to right this sinking ship.  I fear this will not happen. I instead expect that we will see the angry divide deepen, battle lines drawn, and a violent outcome before this is all over.  And I see the radicalized right - in the form of the Tea Part, The Town Hall screamers, the Birthers, (and now the Deathers emerging) and the wacos driven by irrational and often intolerance based paranoia as a greater threat to our representative democracy and our nation as a whole than Al Qaida, Taliban, Iran, Korea, or any other external threat.  There is a degree of shear hatred and refusal to accept the results of a resounding electoral mandate that is driving some to desperation and potentially desperate acts. Being the loudest does not make a faction more representative. They do not represent the majority of America, they do not represent what is best in America, do not represent what is best for America.
 

Very Respectfully,
Ronald A. Leach, Major
US Army retired
Brandenburg KY
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