Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Girl Can Dream: K-Lo and Rushbo

It's difficult to understand why poor and lower middle class people would vote for Republicans who will implement policies that would hurt them economically. Why support tax cuts for the rich, the eradication of social services, and expensive wars? To find the answer you can read "What's The Matter With Kansas" by Thomas Frank. The amazon.com review says:

According to Frank, the conservative establishment has tricked Kansans, playing up the emotional touchstones of conservatism and perpetuating a sense of a vast liberal empire out to crush traditional values while barely ever discussing the Republicans' actual economic policies and what they mean to the working class. Thus the pro-life Kansas factory worker who listens to Rush Limbaugh will repeatedly vote for the party that is less likely to protect his safety, less likely to protect his job, and less likely to benefit him economically.


Or you can just read Kathryn Jean Lopez celebrating Rush Limbaugh's new $400 million dollar contract.

‘There but for the grace of God go I.” The phrase is usually a cautionary note. My neighbor’s blunder could have been mine. My co-worker’s illness could easily be my affliction. I ought to count my blessings. But the flipside of the phrase is pregnant with promise, and many Americans felt it when they learned that radio phenom Rush Limbaugh, who marks his 20th year “of broadcast excellence” this summer, is making media history with a new $400-million contract.

Sure, many right-wingers were happy just to know that “El Rushbo” is making more than Katie Couric. “That could be me one day,” many surmise upon hearing news like that. With a little grace and hard work, maybe that kind of great success could be mine. Someday, that could be my son or daughter, if I teach them right. That sentiment — an appreciation of what’s possible in America, land of the free, which includes a free market — is at the heart of many Americans’ reaction to the news.


Yes, you too can drop out of college and make a fortune spreading hate and fear. It's the American Way.

Why do Americans think that they, too, can make tens of millions per year? How could they possibly convince themselves that if they vote for policies benefitting the rich, they are potentially voting for their own benefit? They lie to themselves.

Even though being rich is not the be-all, end-all for Americans, they are optimistic they could be and will be — having that motivational hope, even when probably not entirely realistic. One 2000 Time magazine survey had 20 percent of Americans polled optimistic that they would someday be in the top one percent of American earners; Americans frequently think we’re richer than we are, because we always see great riches and promise before us. Many Americans have real reason to be optimistic, if not always the luck, grace, or determination to seal the deal.


Now, this is Kathryn Jean, eternal virgin optimist and family values pimp, so she has to point out money isn't everything.

A recent Pew poll found that “being wealthy” is far from the top priority of Americans — we value things like “having enough time to do things you want to do,” “being successful in a career,” and “having children.” “Being married” rated as “very important” for 50 percent of those polled, while “being wealthy” rates with only such a priority for 13 percent.


Ah, what we really want is marriage and children, and time to spend with them. Odd, then, that Limbaugh has no family, no wife and children. Three ex-wives, but no current wife and no family. All that money, and nothing to show for it except conspicuous consumption, from food to drugs to women to material possessions. It's almost like there's something missing deep inside, that no amount of things can compensate for. Strange, in such an incredibly gifted and humanitarian person.

3 comments:

klatydob said...

It's just rude to admit you're a greedy SOB. So much easier to love yourself when wealth is merely implied by your stated priorities.

Susan of Texas said...

And if that doesn't work, they can keep thelling themselves that greed is good and whoever has the most toys wins.

Susan of Texas said...

Heh. "telling"