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Post-Cold Politics

After over a month buried in severe winter conditions with limited access to everything the Permibus finally broke free yesterday. We caught up on a little shopping and now find ourselves sitting in a Travel America in South Carolina listening to truckers and local rednecks talk politics. I am always pleased to hear the “average” working class red state American talk politics and today is no exception. It reminds me that the “liberal left” not only do not have a monopoly on political understanding but that they are often behind the game still believing in party politics. During the election so much was said amongst the liberal community about how Obama would save this country. However, here in the truck stop in Duncan, SC the overweight, “ignorant” rednecks clearly understand what the issues are.

The conversation started with a discussion of the US response to the Haiti earthquake. All three questioned why the US would be sending millions of dollars to Haiti. Their concerns were not based on isolationist politics but that there are still many people in New Orleans and the surrounding area that did not have homes. One of the group expressed that our government should be assisting those folks instead of sending money to Haiti. This, of course, lead to a discussion of how much funding the US government has already dumped into Katrina and how much of it was used to line the pocket of the wealthy.

Once the discussion of government spending was on the table the conversation quickly turned to the budget deficit and government spending. This led to a moment of Obama bashing in regards to his economic policies and the ever-growing deficit. Immediately someone pointed out that Obama inherited Bush’s mess and that the growing deficit was a result of the previous administration. This led to a short-lived discussion between several members of the group on whether Republicans were better than Democrats before someone else pointed out that there is really no difference between the two parties. As she put it, there may be two heads on the dragon but “once you get past the heads there is only one body and one asshole cause it’s all the same beast.” This brought nods of agreement all around and a general agreement that the problem with party politics is that people vote the party ticket instead of for the person.

With party lines removed from the discussion once again the focus became the economy and what ails it from a rednecks perspective. Their truck stop political analysis summarized the history of neoconservative globalization succinctly. “This all started when Clinton signed who signed NAFTA trade agreements that started shipping our of the country.” “No, it started with Reagan who put the first free trade agreements in place” “No, it started when Nixon went to China and started that whole open door policy.”

Yep, even the rednecks hanging out in truck stops know that the root of our economic problem is this whole free trade policy that allows the United States to export jobs in order to use fundamentally slave labor, (actually slave owners were expected to offer at least substandard food and housing to their workers however corporations are under no such expectation) to produce the tools and toys of America. The truck stop crowd understands that it doesn’t matter if it is Bush, Obama, Clinton, or Reagan in office. Whether they call themselves a Democrat or Republican, all of them are ready and willing to sell the future of this country’s people to the highest bidder.

Comments

a big chunk of the economic problems started in the late 70's/early 80's when bank, stock market, and financial de-regulation started. It started the process of dismantling all the safeties that were put in place at the end of the great depression.
The single greatest thing we can do to get out of this mess is talk to each other! Oh, and turn off the television set!

May 2010

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