Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Analysis of shutdown requires looking at the big picture

On Friday, I bloggedthat my day started a little differently — veering toward a place of peace. I tried to stay away from politics until late in the day. Then, a thread on Facebook became active. I thought the comment I posted to the threadwas more peaceful and neutral than an advocacy position I would normally hold.

Then, a former employee of the Amarillo Globe-News chimed in and did exactly what I said was unproductive. He claimed I was strategizing on how to hurt Americans and blame it on the Republicans. You can read the comment at the end of the thread.

My main point yesterday was this, “This government shutdown is a battle for the hearts and minds of Americans. It is a crude attempt to get at this question: What should be the role of the federal government in American lives?

The rise of the Tea Party since 2008 has triggered this crude battle in our country. It seems the Tea Party activists and libertarians want government’s role to be so minimal as to almost destroy government itself. The role of the government would reflect in the starkest possible terms the invisible hand of an amoral free market, even if the very structure of a market segment doesn’t accommodate the free market-capitalist paradigm. If one looks carefully at the right wing conservative positions on what should and shouldn’t be part of the federal government’s role, the positions amount to two major directions: Remove government from regulating large corporate interests; and, continue to feed the military-industrial complex, which would flow money back through the corporate ruling structure.

Even in his latest essay, the esteemed Bill Moyers in his Friday musings, missed somewhat the overarching role of the corporatist takeover of the United States government. Moyers didn’t totally miss the point. He recognized that one of the goals of the Koch-inspired (if not led and financed) Tea Party is to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s no wonder that the right-winger conservatives, who perseverate the inability to think critically, overlook that their populist view of the Tea Party movement is sadly misplaced. How ironic.

And the evidence to buttress my position about the lack of critical thinking and intellectual dishonesty, the trigger for the Republican-led shutdown is the futile attempt to kill off the Affordable Care Act (who can honestly dispute that as the proximate cause of the shutdown?). While much of the resistance to the act is based on disinformation (or should I say outright lies?), the final version of the law has something for every big-money corporate health care interest. The pharmaceutical industry won price protection. The medical equipment industry (and the hospitals and hospital administrators with edifice complexes) on a national level continue spend capital dollars even if the new toys and buildings are not needed. And the biggest winner, the insurance lobby, gets to be the conduit for coverage even when the more efficient Medicare system could be the more efficient system for insuring Americans.

I can’t gainsay what another Facebook poster noted, although he seems to have pulled his posts since making the statement that both parties are complicit. And so are the voters. I’ve long and often said we get the government we deserve.

Still, what is more important to me at this point is seeing the big picture. Being mentally anchored in the Texas Panhandle gives a skewed view of that picture. The view of the role of government in this reddest and more religiously conservative part of red-state Americais far different than other parts of our vast nation. I won’t condemn people for having and adhering to their beliefs, but I will condemn them for not recognizing others have different beliefs. And more, I condemn the Republican-Tea Party politicians for their slanted view leading to this shutdown.