A Pledge To Destroy America
I just got done reading a Mother Jones article from 2004 about Norquist’s nightmare-scape, dystopian, post-apocalyptic vision of how America should be. What A Fucking Psycho. And yes, this is the same guy who’s signed 97% of House & Senate Republicans to his Pledge To Destroy America (or whatever it’s called) about promising not to raise taxes, even when increased tax revenues are warranted.
Sanity Anonymous Mtgs. – Wed. Morning – ATR HQ
Here’s a telling tidbit from the article, describing the type of Washington politician that comes to his Sanity Anonymous meetings on Wednesday mornings:
Norquist calls it the “Leave-Us-Alone Coalition,” a grouping of gun owners, the Christian right, homeschoolers, libertarians, and business leaders that he has almost single-handedly managed to unite. The common vision: an America in which the rich will be taxed at the same rates as the poor, where capital is freed from government constraints, where government services are turned over to the free market, where the minimum wage is repealed, unions are made irrelevant, and law-abiding citizens can pack handguns in every state and town. “My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a concealed-carry permit,” says Norquist. “Because that person doesn’t need the goddamn government for anything.”
Ever seen that movie “Mad Max”?
Alright, let’s just break down that last, terrifying sentence; which wouldn’t be terrifying if Norquist was a crazed homeless person spouting off his delusions on a street corner, but he has 97% of Republican lawmakers in his grip.
“My ideal citizen is the self-employed, homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a concealed-carry permit,” says Norquist. “Because that person doesn’t need the goddamn government for anything.”
Citizen: Well, at least he still envisions some social construct that unites us together into a nation of sorts, although why would any “citizens” pledge allegiance to a nation they get almost no benefits from?
Self-Employed: Okay, either everyone has to provide a good or service that they can manage all by themselves, or if the concept of “employee” is still viable, then would said employee be a second class citizen? The 20th century in America showed us all that government regulation of employment practices is crucial to protect the citizenry from exploitation, unsafe conditions, child labor abuses, etc.
Most working Americans are employees, not business owners or employers. If something needs to get done and requires more than one self-employed person, like building a house, would we have to organize an old-fashioned barn-raising? Would we have to hire a dozen separate self-employed building contractors? If no one could be an employee because they’d risk getting screwed over by some unscrupulous employers, then wouldn’t a dozen self-employed contractors that worked together be the same as a union? Wouldn’t they be the same as a group of employees working for the homeowner? Wouldn’t they organize so that they could set the price of home building at a level that would provide a “living wage”? Grover doesn’t like unions, but I don’t see the difference.
Homeschooling: It would take about 1 generation for us all to become irrelevant in the competitive global economy. This alone would destroy us and our way of life. Yes, I realize there was a time from the founding of our nation in the 1700′s up until the early 20th century where homeschooling and small 1-room schoolhouses with one Jack-of-all-trades parent or teacher would try to educate pupils. That doesn’t work anymore.
Science and math are what got our country to the Moon in a decade – from scratch. It’s the basis of inventions like cell phones and iPads; technology drives our economy. Can you teach your children advanced math? Can you prepare your children for the advanced math, science, and history courses they’ll take in college? Would Norquist’s world still have colleges? If a group of specialized teachers is appropriate for college, why not high school? China, India, every industrialized nation would eat our lunch. We’d just be too stupid to lead innovation and create markets. Plus, we wouldn’t really be able to work together as well to create new markets (see “Self-Employed” above).
IRA-Owning: What’s the point? An IRA is a savings vehicle that offers favorable tax treatment for savers. Grover’s world would have almost no taxes because there’s almost no government to pay for. And what would we invest in inside of the IRA? Remember, the IRA is just like the envelope that holds cash – it has no intrinsic value of its own. In Grover’s world, I would just need a mattress to stuff my gold bullion under; as the government would be “drown-able in a bathtub” size, how could it possibly support and enforce a currency?
Currently, in my IRA, I invest in stocks and mutual funds. A stock turns me into part-owner of a corporation. If everyone’s self employed, why would there be corporations? Would I be part-owner of Olaf’s Blacksmithing Stand? Or part-owner of Craig’s Vegetable Garden? How could I be reasonably certain that Craig isn’t cooking the books and screwing up my investment? I’m imagining in Norquist’s world there’s no SEC or other powerful regulatory body that provides enforcement of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). If Craig screws me (his investor) over, do I just go over and shoot him in the face for justice? Which leads us to the next bit of crazy.
Concealed-carry permit: Is this to replace the police force? Grover says a home-schooled, self-employed, IRA-owning, concealed-weapon-carrying person wouldn’t need a government. So if a drunk driver runs over my daughter, do I kill that person with my concealed weapon because there will be no justice system? If I buy a home from someone who didn’t tell me that it has severe structural problems, do I maim or kill that person instead of filing a lawsuit? Is everyone a vigilante? Do we go back to Wild West, mob-rule society?
I’m for gun rights, but how does Grover Norquist see them in the context of his horrific “Ideal Citizen” vision? Why are guns so important to the scenario? Apparently he envisions the necessity of a whole lot of humans killing humans?
You voted for your Congressman, but he listens to Grover.
Grover Norquist said he’d like to cut taxes to starve government to the point that he could “drown it in the bathtub.” This is the guy that has taken the signatures of 97% of our (Republican) Federal Legislators in pledge of no new taxes under any circumstance. Those politicians don’t listen to their constituents, the majority of which actually want increased taxes to balance budgets. They listen to him and his awful vision of what our Country should be.
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