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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Their Own Weapons Against Them

Over the past week and a half, I have been researching the union protests in Wisconsin with considerable interest. What we are seeing is not only a reversal of script considering who some of the more vocal of protesters have been the past two years, but we are seeing the tactics of the modern American Right used against them.

Chief of these is the idea first espoused by a saint of the Right, Ayn Rand.

It's called "Going Galt".

First, some background.

The entire premise of Rand's seemingly endless preamble - which culminated with a 70 plus page speech from Galt on what would become known as the foundation of "objectivism" - is that is the "producers" separated themselves from the rest of the country, that they would prosper, as people relied on them - as they "produce the wealth" that all Americans enjoy.

For the avid reader of Rand, her prose is akin to Holy Writ, but upon further examination of the woman, she comes across as more of a hypocrite than a patron saint of modern American Right theology.

So how does this connect with the 14 lawmakers in Wisconsin that have left the state to prevent a "quorum" in the State House?

First, we have to look at how many of the loudest voices on the Right are criticizing the tactics they once embraced.

Vocal protests, suddenly the "thing to do" amongst "real Americans" after the election of Barack Obama have become something to joke about, to smear, to claim are nothing more than astro-turf gatherings that benefit no one but the "hidden" behind the scenes. Naturally, this was to be expected, as the modern American Right are want to embrace the Pee Wee Herman defense on a variety of issues.

But what has happened of late, and something that the 14 Democrats from Wisconsin might not have realized, is that they are using Ayn Rand's/John Galt's positions against them. And as this is something difficult for the modern American Right to reconcile - considering how they rallied around Sarah Palin's swift exeunt from Alaska - it becomes all too apparent that the double edges of this "Galtist" standpoint likely won't work for either party like they want.

For the Right in America, this idea of "leaving" would benefit no one outside of those that they idolize - the "producer". For the Left, those that "leave" are likely to face some form of punishment while those they are helping will see the bulk of the benefit. And in that, we see the clear separation of how the "Galt Cultists" in modern day America have a distorted view of whom needs representation.

That being said, the union workforce in America - in relation to the remainder of workers in America - is quite small. The number floats around 7%. But what is happening in Wisconsin has more to do with "disparate impact" than anyone on the modern American Right is willing to admit. It starts with teachers in Wisconsin and then spreads through the country like wildfire. And it's already happening in Indiana and Jersey. But why teachers? That's one of the real questions here.

Public school teachers have been a target of the modern American Right for decades, and will likely remain one regardless of what happens in Wisconsin. Why? The answer is one that is ultimately far too simple to be true, but it is. Public teachers that have organized simply desire a minimum of compensation for what they get each year and what they would get upon retirement. And to that, we need to face the reality that the Right in America have a seriously distorted view of what teachers make and what they do each day.

Does the average public school teacher make a salary equivalent to the average CEO? Not by a long shot. How about "Federal Employees"? No. But that is another point where the modern American Right shows their utter hypocrisy - not only in their accounting used but in whom they are really speaking about. Are we to believe that ALL Federal employees agree with and vote for Democrats? No, but this is what stories of this nature are designed to produce - a false equivalency. But this also goes by to what the Right often pushes as one of their pillars - being held responsible for your individual choice. Was one person forced into working for local and state government while another forced to take a job with a private company? No.

What will happen to the 14 Democrats from Wisconsin when/if they return to their State Capital? The narrative from the modern American Right reveals much, but nothing that would do much but benefit one side. Why are teachers being targeted? And that's the real question here. It's all a matter of perception versus perspective, as the former is being seriously skewed.

This goes beyond teachers, beyond Wisconsin, and far beyond simply just the average workers desire to fair treatment in the American workplace. This is about creating a wider income disparity, a decrease in the middle class, and a further elevation of monstrous private sector usurpers that want to control government to protect their own interests. This is the M.O. of the modern American Right, and it will ultimately see the downfall of even the least of them - they just aren't willing to admit that yet.

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