Right-Wing Land

Historically, countries that head down the path to the right eventually fail. Sure, they may have some initial successes (though it may seem ugly to some), and they may actually survive for centuries, but eventually they always fail.

The countries that do well are the ones that:

1) do not get involved in foreign intrigues;
2) trade in a fair way with other countries;
3) only use their military as a defensive tool;
4) treat their citizenry with a great deal of respect; and,
5) do not treat the world like their own private playground where everything is theirs and the humans who object can easily and ruthlessly be brushed aside.

For a long time I thought that those who hold right-wing leadership positions used fear and hate to move the masses in their direction because these leaders had an abundance of fear and hate themselves. They do, in a way. But the movers and shakers on the right see the world as an absolutely negative place, but few of these movers and shakers actually feel the fear and hate personally. Right-wing thinkers see danger at every crossroads. And, that the only way to navigate through these dangerous intersections is to drive the biggest vehicle on the road and just blindly barrel their way through these intersections.

Just think how ignorant that would be in the real world. That is why we have stop signs to give the drivers of all the vehicles an opportunity to look both directions before proceeding through the intersection safely.

Yet, right wingers want to deregulate the world. No more stop signs? No. They just want to deregulate those areas where they see regulation as an impediment to their goals. You and me? We will still have to obey the seat-belt rules, the stop signs, the drug laws, the laws that have been set down to control our behavior.

The real motivation that steers the right-wing leadership to move their followers toward right-wing thinking is that there is great wealth to be had if you have a big enough club to make those who stand in your way step aside. But, folks, this is not great wealth that you will ever see; unless,

1) you are one of the movers and shakers,
2) you are at the top of the peaking order at one of the corporations who provide “things” for the masses who still have jobs,
3) you are a yacht builder,
4) you design and build lavish homes, or
5) you sell goods that only the most ardent right winger would appreciate (high-ticket guns, gold-encrusted bibles, fast and expensive transportation devices).

Right-wing lackeys will have to settle for much, much less than they even have in these hard times.

The problem with this motivation is that it won’t last. But, this works out fine for those who think short-term (as in the extent of their own lifetimes). For those who truly want to leave the world a better place for their kids and grandkids, this motivation would rank lower, but not out of the question. You see, if one fears poverty and deprivation, then even their children and grandkids (my spellchecker does not like “grandkids” so I decided to use it again) (but, it likes the word “spellchecker,” what’s up with that?) wouldn’t deter them from working towards building wealth over the torn and shattered bodies of those unwilling to bend their direction.

Now, this might sound like I abhor wealth. On the contrary. Wealth is good, but wealth should come with a number of rules. Mankind has had such rules in the past, and they are much easier to follow when times are good. I would have to say that Americans would be happier if these rules were adhered to even when times are not so good. I am sure I needn’t spell the rules out here. Everyone knows the rules, they seem of late, however, to be hard to follow. Even people of faith seem to be having trouble remembering the rules.

America seems to be heading down the road to the right. Why did this happen? Several reasons:

The Decline of American Prestige and Power

After World War II, America had a preeminent position in world affairs, and America willingly took up the mantle and ran with it. Sure, with atomic weapons hitting the stage when it did, with the help of America I might add (but, it was inevitable that someone would have had them by now anyway), someone had to carry the big stick to make sure that atomic weapons were not used to destroy the Earth.

America was it.

Since then, many things have happened and everything was working out fine (except for the Cold War, the usual powerful crazies around the world, and some exceedingly bad decisionmaking) until now. What has changed?

When the rest of the world looks at America they see a beacon of hope, a land of great wealth and opportunity, a safe and free citizenry, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. But, America, has been having a difficult time living up to these myths of late.

The right wingers of America have a solution to this problem. Rather than finding ways to rebuild on this image of a democratic government who cares for its people and makes opportunity a mainstay of American rights to its citizenry, they would prefer that we just rob and blunder to keep the wealth rolling America’s direction. They figure that a feared America is stronger than a somewhat weaker, but loved, America. They are wrong.

This would not be a long-term solution to their problems. Inevitably, America would end up a pariah in the world community. Sure, America might be able to temporarily gain back some of its power and the wealthy might be able to get a bit wealthier, but America would never regain its prestige. What it would gain, however, is more terrorism, uneasy relations with other world players, travel bans for Americans throughout the world, trade deficits (because no one wants to trade with America anymore) which would lead to domestic poverty and social strife, and eventually the demise of the America we have all hoped would lead the world to better places.

Americans Have Grown Accustomed to the Best

Americans have had a delicious time over the past few decades and Americans are not keen on giving that way of life up. I would say that life might have been better for Americans if they had not been quite so comfortable, had been more charitable when dealing with other countries of the world, and had tried harder to live up to the mythical image that the world has hoped would lead them to a better, safer life merely by having a powerful, benevolent country such as America in the world. Most people of the world, I am sure, would be happy with much, much less than what the American people use to lavish upon themselves.*

In order for the right wingers to make good on their view of how to make their America strong again, they need ready and willing citizens to cast votes (against their better judgment if, in fact, they have good judgment which is often in doubt) to elect right-wing thinkers into elective office. How do they achieve that?

First, they could never move the direction they want to move America if America were economically healthy, and the citizenry of the country were happy and content. As a general rule most Americans, in good times, do not ascribe to right-winger thinking.

Right-wing thinking thrives when things are bad. Not just in America–everywhere. Paranoia is part of everyone’s lives and is much more prevalent when times are tough. Yes, everyone is paranoid to varying degrees. The world is a bad, bad place and we need to be ruthless. Not so.

If Americans want to pursue this line of thinking (that America can be great again by being the world’s biggest bully), then trouble will be their only friend as they head down the road to ruin.

Top Dog

Being the world’s strongest and most powerful country means that all eyes are on you. Your every move is amplified over and over again. Everything you do, as a country, is inspected and dissected with the utmost scrutiny until nothing is left to ponder.

America does bad things = America is a malignant cancer and must be eradicated.
America does not help the needy of the world = America is greedy and living lavishly while the whole world starves.
America steals the wealth of other nations = America is greedy when world resources are dwindling (they want all the marbles).
America pollutes the seas and dirties the skies = America is destroying the planet and must be stopped.

(Molly needs petting)

. . .

Yes, I know the right-wing thinkers look at the rest of the world and loudly proclaim that they don’t give a hoot what the rest of the world thinks but, to their detriment, it does matter–it matters greatly.

We need to slip back neatly into world society as an equal player. Can we? Not by following the right-wing thinkers. America is a great country, has been blessed with a diverse society who can do great things when motivated to do so. Right-wing thinkers do not see a bright and sunny future. They see the world as something to be exploited now before it is too late. They want all the marbles so they can hold them in their hands and say, “you see, I got them all,” as the world crashes all around them.

Needless to say, the world would be a much safer and happier place for most if right-wing thinkers were not allowed near the wheels of power. Sure, right-wing thinkers would not be so happy, but those who hold such negative views of the world wouldn’t be happy until they had it all, and even then happiness would still be doubtful.

* Now, of course, not all Americans have shared equally in America’s delicious times, but the perceptions that the world holds of America still linger.