Monday, October 26, 2015

Uncle Ben's Converted Politics

At a private benefit show last night comedian Paul Rodriguez said he would not like to be the President; mainly because it ages a person so quickly. He said, "Look at Obama. In eight years he has gone from Danzel Washington to Uncle Ben".
I thought it was funny, but comedy is dangerous. A lady in the audience, who obviously had never purchased  rice, clearly didn't know who Uncle Ben was. By reason of the event, the way she dressed and by her sense of entitlement, I assumed her to be one of the wealthy 1%ers in this country. She made the leap in her mind from Uncle Ben to Uncle Tom and assumed the joke went like this.  "In eight years *we* have gone from Danzel Washington to Uncle Tom."  Referencing President Obama as Danzel and Ben Carson as Uncle Tom. But this obscure interpretation of Paul's joke speaks volumes to the strange political bed the GOP has feathered.  
Although I don't think he has a real chance to get the GOP nomination, Ben Carson, like Donald Trump, defies all political logic.  No matter how well Dr. Ben Carson is doing in the Iowa polls, I can't see him as any sort of a real contender.  Remember those same Iowa primary voters have gone for Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee in the past few election cycles. Like Santorum and Huckabee, Tump and Carson are both poster boys for the extreme right.  
I am no political strategist, but it seems to me there is a reason that Trump and Carson are doing well in the early stages of the election. Trump is the very model of the successful capitalist. The perfect representative of the extremely rich 1% who use the government to protect their own interests at the expense of the other 99%. Trump could be one of the most famous 1%ers in the world. In today's model of the American Dream, where money seems to be the only reward, Donald Trump is a winner in that money game.   Modern philosopher Noam Chomsky once pointed out that the rich "privatize their profits and publicize their expenses."  The example he uses is that of nuclear energy.  The rich energy companies use the government to lift regulations so they can make millions and then puts the responsibility and billions in the expense of cleaning up the mess  back on the government. For the rich the government is used as the executive assistant who pays the check at the end of the meal.

Ben Carson fits another mold of the conservative template. He has the credentials of a scholar, yet he makes statements that seem to come from a third grader. There seems to be no focus to his gaze. He is shy and soft spoken with a delivery that makes it seem like he has just gotten out of bed and is not thinking to clearly. He appears to be easily influenced with no real qualities of leadership which is a very good thing for the wealthy. But the unspoken quality the conservative rich like most about Ben Carson is that racist similarity to Uncle Tom. Although the consumption of alcohol can not be totally ruled out, this confusion of black men might account for the misinterpretation of Paul's joke by this wealthy lady. For those who do not remember a time before smart phones, Uncle Tom is a character from Harriet Beecher Stows novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin". From Wikipedia here is what they say about  today's social meaning of an Uncle Tom.  

"The phrase "Uncle Tom" has become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be complicit in the oppression of their own group."

Like the tenure of modern racism requires, no conservative would ever admit that this subservient quality is what they like best about Dr. Carson.  Likewise they will not admit that the major reason they don't like Obama is because he is black. Being black is okay as long as *they* do what *we* want. Conservatives can tolerate most anybody who will join them in lock step and not get too "uppity". 

Most importantly to both Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson is the fact that they are both outsider candidates with no experience in government of any kind. There seems to be this prevailing belief that to fix the government we need to have someone who is not part of the system to take it over.  Politicians have screwed it up, let's get someone else to do the job. This is the equivalent of saying, "The last time I flew a plane it was a terrible flight. These pilots seem to be screwing up. What I want is a person who doesn't know how to fly a plane to pilot my next trip." 

Once again it appears that next years political elections will come down to a vote, not for the person most qualified, but a vote for the lessor of two evils.  With the country so hatefully divided I doubt we will ever have one person the electorate will find totally acceptable. But how can the country make an informed decision when there are rich ladies at fancy fund raisers who do not know the difference between Uncle Ben and Uncle Tom.  
Those are only my thoughts. I'm sure yours are different.
As you were,

1 comment:

P. Grecian said...

And it could be either the death of the Republican party...or the birth of a new one...that has learned by its horrible mistakes.
Stay tuned.