In the wake of the results of Election Day 2010, the fear mongering of those who were defeated is already out in full force. Newspaper opinion pages throughout Minnesota and the rest of the country are replete with one doomsday scenario after another should Republican Party candidates who widely prevailed be permitted to execute their objectives. Many of the fears are, surprisingly enough, with cause, but they also assume that they accurately depict real Conservatism rather than the phony variety.
To illustrate this point, a couple of commonly-used and widely-published claims will be analyzed and broken down.
Claim: Republicans want to get rid of Social Security so that everybody’s retirement money will end up on Wall Street where it will enrich huge investment bankers, hedge fund managers, and the like, and few others.
Truth: Real Conservatism acknowledges that abolishing Social Security is only one step. However, they further teach that the best way to secure peoples’ savings is to put the People in charge of it. For this to happen, the financial services industry’s reason for existence must be addressed and eliminated—inflation created by the Federal Reserve System.
Claim: If Republicans get their way, all of the workplace benefits we enjoy will be in jeopardy. The right to unionize, overtime pay, minimum wage, safety regulations, and a whole host of other government involvement in the economy will be abolished to help Corporate America earn larger profits.
Truth: Real Conservatism teaches that people were never, ever supposed to be the long-term wage slaves they are often made today, working to make someone else wealthy while settling for relative pittance for their troubles. Breaking this cycle, however, demands a radical social upheaval that would make the 1960’s look like child’s play. Institutions we take for granted yet enable the aforementioned economic arrangement—institutions such as organized schooling and other government bodies and decisions that facilitate the greater concentration of economic power—need to be challenged and demolished.
It is true that some Republicans have become so seduced and convinced by their own corporatist version of statism that the claims filling newspaper opinion pages may come true. This is why it is so important to properly screen candidates for political office and elect only those who will truly return power to the People.
If not, we end up living a continued series of horror stories.