Young Republicans
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They are "The Lucky Sperm Club." A select (albeit unofficial) club populated by powerful men who owe their exalted status in life not to talent, intelligence, creativity, or hard work but to winning the sperm lotto by having the great good fortune to be born into a powerful family. These are men who were born on third base but think they hit a triple. And who are now busy trashing the stadium.

Each aspiring Republican leader wants to be representative -- or wants badly to be -- of a certain kind of conservative who fervently believe that they are more fiercely patriotic than non-Christians could ever understand and choke themselves up about how they love their country so much they'd die for it a hundred times, so long as they don't have to serve in the military, and that there's nothing they wouldn't sacrifice for America but having to pay taxes is completely unfair.

Nah, it isn't so much a matter of their positions (most of which I do disagree with, though that's beside the point), it's the character of many young conservatives that unnerves me.

Note that I'm not attempting to describe ALL young conservatives, but only to identify some things that bug me about many I've known - stress on the "I've known" part.

Comes down to this: many young conservatives tend to be wealthy and smug - they often seem to take perverse pride in their own heartlessness and their contempt for idealists and the poor. Many I've known have been quick to champion the successes of self-made entrepreneurs and to ridicule the failures of various "interest groups" to fend for themselves. ...All while living off of the largesse of their well-to-do families.

The poor and middle-class young conservatives I've known have tended to be hyper-aggressive cranks with an axe to grind against anyone they feel is "ripping them off" (i.e., borderline psychos and closet racists), or dimwitted followers of their parents' beliefs (i.e., Mormons and other faith zombies).

Finally, young conservatives are almost always guys.

Obviously, "rich kids, dutiful sheep and scary malcontents" do not fairly define young conservatives as a whole. But it seems to me that they are disproportionately represented and that they tend to control the terms of debate.

Let's cut the crap as to what Republican values really are. Republicans are club run by some of the wealthiest 1% whose interests are to maintain their "old money" wealth or for upper middle class people, to get richer. Their agenda is to get richer at all costs, profit at all costs. Nothing else matters, not the environment, not the people, not society, not culture, not civil rights, not the future, nothing. Everything they profess to believe in is contradicted by their actions. When Republican politicians talk, their audience is not the common man, they are talking to their constituents of upper middle class and upper crust wealthy contributors. The news media consists of upper middle class people who are trying to get richer. Calling the news media "liberal" is nothing more than a ploy by right-wing think-tanks to intimidate journalists to tow the conservative party line and to demonize progressive politics. There is a lot of news that does not get reported in the "mainstream" news media because that news would undermine the authority of the ruling classes. The religious conservatives claim to have a higher moral ground so they can make connections to the upper-class tiered Republicans. The Republicans use the religious conservatives as a tool to bring out the vote, but rarely do the Republicans actually follow through on their promises to the religious conservatives. Those who are poor who want to be Republicans are wannabees who want to identify themselves with wealth, power, and the upper crust of society. The real Republicans with power, the "old money" establishment Republicans who pull the strings, patronize the wannabees with a few crumbs but eventually betray them.

Seriously think about this. What person who works in a McJob (low wage, no benefits, no health care, no 401K, dead end, no fixed schedule) would support Republican rhetoric that would eliminate the minimun wage, cut social services, eliminate any corporate liability for worker safety, and just make their lives more difficult? Only poor people who have adopted Republican rhetoric as aspirational class values can delude themselves into thinking that they are Republicans and that the top Republican politicians are looking out for their (average citizens') interests.

Republican media pundits have successfully demonized "liberals" to such an extent that "liberals" are vilified in the news media as being "unpatriotic anti-American traitors who hate America and want to destroy America". In "the Midwest" of America especially, Republicans media pundits have associated "liberals" with communists, homosexuals, and traitors. If you actually look up the word "liberal" in the Dictionary, you'll see that the Republicans' definition of "liberal" is a lie: Dictionary definition of "liberal"

I'm all for "getting rich" and being as successful as you possibly can. But young Republicans don't believe in "hard work." They want to make their fortunes through finagling the "system" and breaking all the rules everyone else has to abide. Republicans "deregulated" the banking industry which led to the SNL-scandals. Republicans "deregulated" environmental regulations which allows their companies to pollute the environment today leaving the long term consequences of their pollution to future generations to clean up. Republicans "deregulated" the Wall Street regulations which lead to the dot-com-scam which ruined millions of Americans financially. The Republicans in these and many other instances changed the rules to make their highly unethical and criminal activities become "legal"; they get rich and everyone else gets screwed. Republican congressman speak against "socialized medicine" for the people, then they vote themselves huge government paid for medical services for themselves and huge subsidies for drug companies that have contributed to their election campaigns. An honest man can make an honest ROI - Return on Investment. Republicans want to make an exaggerated ROI; they will plunder companies' profits (instead of reinvesting profits into the companies to upgrade equipment and develop new products), they will pay themselves outrageous salaries/bonuses/expense accounts, they will take over the management of once profitable companies like parasites and run them into the ground then jump out with huge golden parachutes right before the companies go bankrupt. Republicans see themselves as predators in a Social Darwinist world. They are out to do whatever it takes to get richer. "Business is war" is their motto.

Republicans believe that might makes right, compromise is weakness, and that there is no such thing as "the truth." Republicans believe that compromising is what the weak do to survive. Republicans thereby divorce themselves from reality and create their own reality, regardless of the facts. Compromise is a fundamental component of the give-and-take of the democratic process. The Republican's do-it-my-way-only tactics, namecalling, fabrication of information, suppression of dissent, pushing politics as personalities over issues, and denial of accountability, are the antithesis of the approach that we need. The Republican's symbiosis with large corporations and wealthy individuals is not democratic; their way is fascism.

Greed is the center of their ethic. Republicans mask their greed with rhetoric that presumes to give them a higher moral ground. But in actions, Republicans contradict what they profess to believe in. When you get into an argument with a Republican, you can easily unhinge their arguments by using a few examples that point out their contractions. In every case I've seen where a Republican was confronted with the facts that destroyed their arguments, the Republican immediately stops defending their positions and starts attacking the other side personally and physically. You'll see Republicans react the same way in politics, the media, and in person. When you confront a Republican with facts that contradict their rhetoric, you unmask their prejudices and that makes them mad.

"But one of the great successes of the intellectual right, is that they have succeeded brilliantly during the last 20 years at pinning the intellectual label solely on liberals so that a lot of people think that to be an intellectual means that you are a liberal alone. And one of the reasons that I think that right-wing intellectuals are so dangerous is they've been so clever at doing this. They've been much more clever than liberal intellectuals have been.
They've made it look like liberals are the only-- are the, quote, elites. And-- but they're just, you know, people-- people who get huge salaries from business-financed, right-wing foundations. They're not the elites? Of course, they're the elites. I don't have-- I object to their ideas. I don't object to them. But the liberal intellectual community is really caught asleep at the switch by these people. And one of the points I make in THE AGE OF AMERICAN UNREASON, which is why I think I'm going to get killed from both the right and the left is anti-rationalism in America is not the province of either the right or the left.
It's the province of both. For example, when you will talk to right-wing intellectuals about the Iraq war-- it doesn't matter that it hasn't worked out to them. They still think it was right. And the evidence of how it got started, how it got started on false pretenses and so on, it doesn't matter to them.
"They make wishful thinking sound rational."
- Susan Jacoby, PBS Moyers Journal, 2/15/08

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