Buttering your bread…
Posted January 6, 2016on:
In the 1300s, Petrarch, the father of the Renaissance, warned: Five enemies of peace inhabit with us – avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.
What Petrarch didn’t foresee is the boundless financial largesse presenting itself to those promoting these enemies of internal peace – not only promoting, but sowing the seeds of derision in order to give these enemies purchase upon our well-being.
What I’m proposing for your consideration today is a simple premise: The Bundy Boys, Kim Davis, hatred of Obamacare, resentment of government assistance, essentially the Tea Party platform – are all products of avarice, envy, and anger. It’s just that simple. Somewhere along the way, a large portion of our population came to see the world in terms of zero-sum – meaning if someone gains, someone must lose.
For instance, the Bundy Boys, a/k/a Vanilla Isis, a/k/a alQracker engaging in YeeHawd (h/t GAgal and Fredster) out in a snowy Washington state bird refuge, are simply envious, greedy, and mad as hell. They are angry because the federal government, after paying the owners for the land some hundred years ago, doesn’t see fit to just give these crackpots a windfall by ceding millions of acres to them.
What the Bundy Boys don’t seem to understand is that the zero-sum game they so deplore, works both ways. If the land is given to them and their extremist cohorts, they are taking the land from the rest of us. It was the same for Daddy Cliven, his failure to pay $1 million for years of grazing fees dictated others had to make up the difference for his scofflaw ways.
While rhetorical criticism was probably not a favorite subject of Ammon Bundy, it appears his logic fails in a half-million ways given his federally enabled loan for $530,000.00. In any event, his victimization of being tyrannized is suspect given he and his armed friends have been illegally occupying a federal building for four days without a hint of government action or oppression.
Or take Kim Davis – a salary of some $80,000 a year for a high school graduate who has never collected a paycheck outside the government office her mother held or she currently enjoys. Instead of resigning in protest, she claimed the office as her own personal entitlement to be conducted in accordance with her religious beliefs. The Bush appointed federal judge correctly pointed out, “The Clerk’s office does not belong to Mrs. Davis, it belongs to the people.”
Or take any objection of the Tea Party, whether it be to Obamacare or need-qualified benefits, it is the same anger based upon a zero-sum fiction. Somewhere along the way they forgot, if they ever knew, the ethical imperative of helping those in need.
What Petrarch didn’t foresee was the ability of those like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rubio, Hannity, Limbaugh, or Alex Jones to flame the fires of avarice, greed, and anger for their own purposes. What is really rich in the irony is the purposes of these instigators are the same as those they incite – avarice, greed, and the perpetuation of anger since they are the legs of action.
This flirting with extremists, giving them an ear, a nod, and a wink helps Conservatives harness the anger in the electorate.
A poll released this weekend by NBC, Esquire and Survey Monkey found anger is particularly intense among Republicans: Seventy-seven percent said the news makes them angry at least once a day (compared with 67 percent of Democrats). Seventy-three percent of white Americans are angered daily (vs. 66 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of African-Americans).
As much as these things change, they remain the same or it does for the 73% of tyrannically oppressed white Americans. Petrarch was right – and Columbus was still two hundred years in the offing.
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