Wednesday, November 02, 2005
By Thomas Riggins
This looks like an important book not only because it explains how the Bushites retain power, but because it gives different reasons than those given by Thomas Frank (What's The Matter With Kansas) - i.e., it does not support Frank's thesis concerning 'false consciousness.' As Yglesias writes, 'class polarization in American voting patterns is increasing and has never been higher than in recent years.' Nevertheless people who should not be voting for Republicans are doing so. Why?
Before answering this question, we must note that not only have the Republicans become dominated by the far right, they have also created "the most, cohesive, disciplined congressional party in American history." Big money is behind all this. Yglesias says that policy is being set by "a hyper-empowered group of corporate managers and super- rich individuals." They not only set the policies, but also lie to the American people about what these policies really mean, and a supine press rarely questions them. Tax money is "being redirected away from the public good" and into the hands of the Republicans and their buddies. The laws going through Congress are worded deceptively so that normal people don't understand what is happening, and the public is actually told the laws will do the opposite of what they will really do. Never before has a major political party lied so much about its policy objectives. It has to lie, as polls show that the American people, when they are given correct information and a choice, are not at all conservative in the ultra-right Republican sense. Now, why do they "win" elections?