I was listening to an interview with two former White House ethics lawyers this morning about PEOTUS Trump appointing his son-in-law as Senior Advisor and the serious conflicts of interest this will present for the man when it comes to policy making.
I thought again on how white middle-class Christians rallied around Trump, propelling him into the White House. I ran through their lists of reasons, even the one that they couldn’t vote for Clinton because the Bible says women can’t rule over men. (A major hypocrisy since most of these conservatives have a great admiration for Margaret Thatcher.)
Then, it dawned on me. Something I recalled from my long time spent on the far right both in childhood and adulthood.
I had forgotten that the far right believes in the innate goodness of businesspeople. It’s the reason they so ardently support pure Capitalism. They honestly think that business people are always pure and noble in their intentions. (Unless, of course, they neglect to put pictures of baby Jesus on throwaway coffee cups. Then they’ve obviously sold their souls to the devil.)
It’s an ideal I was raised with. If we just allow business to self-regulate, all will be right with the world. And “we’ll all be drinking that free Bubble-Up and eatin’ that rainbow stew.” (Rainbow Stew, Merle Haggard)
It’s the idea behind “trickle-down” economics. Business people will have so much money they will just allow us peons to participate in their prosperity through the creation of jobs.
Having examined business historically, I have no idea how, except for intentional ignorance, anyone can believe such bullshit.
When you listen to the people I used to admire, Thomas Sowell, Rush Limbaugh, etc, what you get is closer to the actual truth…”how much of another person’s money are you entitled to?” I.e. Rich people owe you nothing. They can keep all their money and you can work for a pittance. God we miss the pre-union days of child-labor and sweat-shops in the US. You didn’t really need that limb.
During the campaign I had somehow forgotten this basic tenet of Conservative doctrine. Now that I remember, Trump’s victory makes perfect sense. And the continual defense of Trump by right-wing white, middle-class Christians makes even more sense.
They claimed repeatedly that “Trump is one of us.” I thought they were just brainwashed for a brief season, that once the shine of the election wore off that they’d realize that if you play Trump’s speeches backward, you’d hear him really saying “I am one of you. I am one of you.” Repeatedly until you believed it.
No such luck.
The belief that billionaire business people are “just like us” and will help us out if only the big bad government would get out of their way, is so deeply woven into the fabric of white, middle-class Conservatism, that if we begin to tug on that string, the entire fabric begins to fall apart. And we become raving liberals who vote for Bernie Sanders. And God will hate us because he has blessed rich people. And our friends certainly will stop talking to us, at least if my Facebook friends list is anything to go by.
The truth of the matter is that since the mid to late 50s, the government has done nothing BUT support big business. They’ve created tax shelters and tax loopholes that are unavailable to the middle-class. If you would just do your research and stop trusting the gods Dobson and Sowell and Hannity, you will find what I did. Namely, that business people will do everything within their power, both legally and illegally, to keep every penny they have. And if they can get away with making it on the back of slave labor, they will.
But white, middle-class Americans have bought the rhetoric that the poor business people have no choice because of the evil, nasty unions.
Yeah, poor babies. It was so terrible that the Unions came along and got safe working conditions. It’s awful that women banded together to create child labor laws. (As an aside, it’s also awful that women-folk can vote.)
I mean, caring for the weak and the poor and the least of these…God, how un-Christian can you get?