Thursday, August 1, 2013

Punish corporations and business-owners?

One of the saddest things about watching the whole immigration bill political theatre play out is how self-described conservatives are willfully, painfully blind about the source of their woes. They can identify 'liberals' as major backers of illegal immigrant amnesty. They can identify 'RINOs'. Even Republicans.

But they have severe trouble identifying, or even talking about, the role businesses are playing in this legislation. The idea that corporations - business interests - are pushing for legislation that will help them at the expense of the country is something they are blind and mute to. Just as they'll blame the courts, liberals, and universities for the advances of the LGBT agenda, but the role of businesses in treating gays as a valuable market demographic that they, by necessity, had to cater to and treat well (and therefore endorse the 'pride' of) just goes right over their heads. Because it's too sacred, and too close to the heart of economic conservatism.

Of course, there's also pragmatic reasons behind this. The business owners pour money into the GOP (just as they pour it into the Democratic party, but forget that for a moment), so you can't piss them off. No one's sailing to the presidency based on the money churchgoers, pro-life activists and the rest are donating - that sort of money doesn't buy massive stadiums to hold political rallies. Of course, once you recognize this, you also recognize that the GOP is no longer even 'the lesser of two evils' but just the same exact evil in a slightly different flavor.

But is it even possible to react to this situation anymore? What can you do - threaten to punish the business leaders? Great, now we're making the government the kingmaker overseeing business policies - what a stupid idea. How about boycotts? Sure, that would work... except we can't count on much of anyone to do any boycotting, and half the country would go out of their way to support any business the other half was attacking.

So what options are left? There really seem to be none that are obvious.

14 comments:

malcolmthecynic said...

My answer is to vote for the pro-life candidate. The mass-murder of children is far and away the number one issue in the country - really, in the entire world. Everything else, short of "I want to start a nuclear war", is secondary. I support the pro-life candidate who has the best chance of beating the pro-choice candidate.

If it ever gets to a point where either both major party candidates are pro-choice I'll vote for a third party candidate. If no third-party candidate has abortion as a platform, I'll abstain.

Abortion is, absolutely, the number one issue. Nothing else comes even close in importance.

Crude said...

I actually am tempted to agree with this. But here is the problem I have.

How many pro-life candidates are pro-life insofar as they say 'I'm against abortion/I'd support pro-life legislation!'... and then proceed to do nothing? John McCain is pro-life, I believe. Do you think he's worth a vote?

However, I will admit that recent events cast doubt on my position - see the uproar in Texas. That whole event was the perfect storm for Perry to say, 'Well, we tried to pass this and we failed.' Instead, he took what was really played up in the media as a heartwarming story about one woman's tireless, dramatic fight for choice... and smashed it. He just rescheduled the vote, and made sure the law was passed anyway.

But I still look to businesses as the unnoticed culprit here.

malcolmthecynic said...

John McCain is pro-life, I believe. Do you think he's worth a vote?

Yes, absolutely! They might do nothing, but at least they won't come out and say things like "God bless Planned Parenthood".

I know the phrase is going out of fashion among Catholics in place of "The greater of two goods", but occasionally "lesser of two evils" really is the right thing to do.

As for the events in Texas, Perry and the pro-life lobby in general did some masterful media manipulation to the point where they made the pro-choicers, in some ways, look like the bad guys. That's a difficult sell nowadays. So naturally Perry is one of the most hated Republican politicians.

Crude said...

Yes, absolutely! They might do nothing, but at least they won't come out and say things like "God bless Planned Parenthood".

See, I demand more than that from a pro-life politician. I think it's a mistake to reward them for doing the barest minimum.

Agreed about Texas, from what I know of it.

malcolmthecynic said...

Honestly, I care more about keeping pro-aborts out of office than annoying politicians.

Crude said...

Honestly, I care more about keeping pro-aborts out of office than annoying politicians.

This isn't about annoying them. It's about thinking in terms of what would actually produce progress.

Do you think John McCain isn't a 'pro-abort' just because he says he's pro-life, if he thereafter does absolutely nothing meaningful to further the pro-life cause, and actually goes to bat for the pro-aborts in terms of PR at times?

To put this in other terms: I think Santorum is a good man, and an effective person on the subject of abortion. But do you remember when Santorum bailed out that asshole, Arlen Specter? Santorum had the mentality of "Specter is good for the party, he's part of the GOP. Sure, he's pro-abortion and liberal, but he's dependable and he has seniority."

And then Specter switched parties. His main claim to fame was, in Santorum's view, getting John Roberts and Alito in the SCOTUS. I'm not quite sure Roberts was worth it, and I think it's reasonable to say Santorum made a mistake there.

malcolmthecynic said...

When I vote, look at it this way - several questions always need to be asked:

1) Is one of the candidates pro-life? (The answer to this is yes)

2) Ostensibly or actually?

3) Is one of the candidates pro-choice? (The answer to this is yes)

4) If the pro-life candidate is pro-life in name only, will he do less damage than the pro-choice candidate, or vice versa?

5) What pro-life candidate has the best chance of beating the pro-choice candidate?

6) Is nuclear war being advocated by anybody?

So, let's apply this to McCain v. Obama. McCain may be pro-life in name only (I think I'm going to start calling these people Plinos). But I don't think it's particularly controversial to claim that he wasn't going to support abortion as much as Obama does. And considering he had the best chance of beating Obama then yes, I absolutely would have and would vote for McCain.

I dislike McCain but there is such a thing as cutting your losses. I can understand, though, why third party alternatives are chosen by some people. One of these years I may fold and start supporting them too.

Crude said...

I was actually thinking of McCain in a senator situation. I forgot for a moment that this man actually received the Republican nomination at some point.

Either way, I grant that the pro-life issue is one where there's been more progress. On other subjects, that's less obvious.

Nicholas Rose said...

I think there are more important issues that need to be considered besides the abortion issue. If a candidate is pro life but is really weak on foreign policy and what not I would probably just abstain from voting. The protection of life is important, but not at the expense of other aspects of our country namely national security.

Crude said...

I agree that other issues are important. But I'm also partial to the idea that cultural issues are of supreme importance. I'd go so far as to say I'm not sure I'd worry about the national security of a country that had gone irrevocably pro-death on abortion in terms of legislation and culture both.

malcolmthecynic said...

I'll put it this way: What if it were teenagers being killed by the millions per year? Would the foreign policy, short of starting a nuclear war, still be a big enough concern for you to abstain from voting?

It is for this reason I am essentially a single issue voter.



The Deuce said...

So what options are left? There really seem to be none that are obvious.

My answer: Destroy the Republican party at the federal level, and focus on building up power at the state level.

The state legislatures answer to the people more than the federal ones, they don't tend to have the megalomaniacal sense of self-importance, and they aren't part the poisonous DC culture. Furthermore, they aren't targeted and rewarded by professional lobbyists to nearly the same degree.

We've managed to get some brave and principled individuals with spines at the state level, who are willing to do the right thing despite personal risk to their political careers. Think of the Wisconsin senators who together with Scott Walker stuck it to the Wisconsin unions, despite the entire national Democratic party ganging up on them and maligning them. Think of the Texas legislators who just recently banned late-term abortion and forced the abortion industry to adopt minimal safety standards, despite the national media's championing of ignorant harpy extraordinaire Wendy Davis.

In fact, as the national government careens ever more out of control, it's going to be increasingly important to have state governments that are prepared to push back. Ideally, it will get to the point that the feds will push the states so far that the states will start simply ignoring federal law en masse (and also fraudulent "laws" like Supreme Court bench-legislation and Obama's illegal executive orders) just like Obama does, and the federal government will be too broke and weak to make them obey, rendering the federal government small and impotent. That's the most plausible road back to freedom.

In short, shore up state power, while "heightening the contradictions" between the states and the feds.

The Deuce said...

And btw, I don't think a vote for John McCain is worthwhile just because he doesn't say stuff like "God bless Planned Parenthood." Obama saying stuff like that isn't the problem. It's what he actually *does*, and McCain offers no actual resistance to it.

In fact, guys like McCain see guys like Obama saying stuff like that as an opportunity to move further left (where McCain's heart really lies) while still being perceived as the supposed "lesser of the two evils." That's a losing game, and there's no point in playing it and in continuing to reward guys like McCain for their backstabbing.

Imo, a guy who only pretends to be on your side while continually sabotaging you from within is far worse to have around than a straight-up enemy. Furthermore, the states will push back harder when all illusions are removed and it becomes clear that the federal government is wholly owned by their enemy, and is provoking them with repulsive statements like "God bless Planned Parenthood."

Btw, I also advocate voting for the few genuinely principled fighters left in the Congress (Cruz, Rand Paul, etc) if you happen to have one in your state, since they can at least run interference and help to sabotage an otherwise solidly left-wing federal government in its war against the conservative states.

Crude said...

I'm way too tired to say more than "Deuce sums up my view better than I managed".