How Did the One Percent Hijack “Progressivism?”

Let them eat cake

Phoenix holds its Pride festival not in June, when everybody else does, but in April. It’s just too hot around these parts to have it in the summertime.

Anymore, when people in “the community” are asked if they’re going to Pride, they tend to respond with bitter laughter. The weather’s fine, but who the hell can afford it?

A friend informed me that admission to the festival is now $22 at the gate. A trip to the website boasts that this year, attendance was “record-breaking.” Either the one percent is much larger than I thought, or lots of folks are willing to take out a second mortgage on their houses just to hobnob with the Let-Them-Eat-Cake crowd for a day.

Pride was intended to be for everybody in the community. It was supposed to be a celebration of equality. Now that big corporations and the wealthy have gotten ahold of it, it has become yet another way for the Babbittry to put the squeeze on those of us who actually do the work.

The cluelessness of the elites who run the “progressive” movement is very much like that of the White Star Line executives who boasted that the Titanic was unsinkable. Oh, a typical George F. will assure me, but anyone who wants to volunteer at the festival can come in for free!

Yes, you can let these people work your ass off all day. You can provide them with free labor! In exchange for which, you’ll be graciously admitted to an event that’s supposed to belong to the people in the first place – without being skinned alive like the rest of them.

Of course the Establishment Left is absolutely clueless about what’s really going on in America today. They see small businesses fighting laws that mandate who they must serve, and all they see is an issue (like LGBT rights) they can exploit. They see standoffs between ranchers and armed Feds, like the one in Nevada, and they think, “Wingnuts!” – and leave it at that. They hear the rumblings of the Tea Party, and they’re too lazy to look past how obnoxious and irrational many of the baggers happen to be.

They’d just better wake up.

In the larger sense, the civil war now brewing in this country is not between Left and Right, but between the Haves and the Have Nots. Yes, the Occupiers were right that it is between the One Percent and the other Ninety-nine. “Progressives” love to remind us of this. But what they fail to recognize is that in any group as large as 99% of the nation, there are going to be people they don’t like, as well as those they do. People who tend to side with them politically – and people who don’t.

We had all just better grow up, and do it fast. Little children refuse to play with anybody they don’t like, and expect everything to be pleasant and fun. Adults realize that the world doesn’t work like that. Not everybody I deal with politically is congenial, or even reasonable. Some of them are damn near intolerable. But that doesn’t mean that many of their concerns are not also many of ours. They don’t live on some planet too distant from ours to be visible without a telescope.

The Marie Antoinette crap I hear coming from people in the Democratic Party is disgusting. Big corporations and the rich run the Democratic establishment, just as they do the Republican. A growing number of Americans are leaving the two-party system and becoming Independents. And yes, that includes a huge number of the millenials “progressives” are so sure they’ve got in the palm of their hand. For those who have been lulled into complacency, it is wakey-wakey time, indeed.

A local Pride festival whose organizers are out of touch with their community may seem trivial. But it is a symptom of a much deeper problem. The Babbitts need to stop bagging on people who lack the “moral superiority” to shop at farmer’s markets and must settle for Walmart instead. Or who can’t afford gated communities or private armies and must arm themselves to protect their homes and families.

As long as the cluelessness continues, resentment against elitism will continue to grow. Nor will it target only Right-Wing elites and leave the Leftists alone. As long as the “progressives” persist in their self-satisfied slumber, the Duck Dynasty crowd’s rhetoric will continue to gain traction. Huge societal mistakes always get their footing on the terrain of partial truth.

Wakey-wakey, people. Cock-a-doodle-doo.

About heine911

I'm an Episcopalian, Classical Liberal Ladies' Woman, helping to save Western civilization, searching for the perfect wife and enjoying every minute of it all.
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One Response to How Did the One Percent Hijack “Progressivism?”

  1. Houndentenor says:

    I think I’m a little bit older than you and I think just old enough to remember the moment (late 80s/early90s) when gay went from “political/social movement” to “marketing demographic”. It was an intentional move by the gay publications and other groups because they needed advertising and sponsors. Of course the demographic results they used to sell corporate American on the idea were horribly skewed towards the DINKs (double income, no kids) who have a lot of disposable income) and please ignore all the lower-middle income and poor gays who don’t buy glossy magazines or fill out the survey cards included in them. About the same time the marketing software had become sophisticated enough to micro-target very small groups of consumers. It wasn’t just a matter of appealing to gays. It was now a matter of appealing to lesbian couples who lived in Park Slope and owned a cat. It wasn’t long (as in months) before that type of thinking was being applied to political campaign and that’s the moment we find ourselves careening towards the mess we are in today. It suddenly because not only possible but advantageous to purposely anger one group of voters in order to appeal to another. The result of that is constantly angry groups who will not and cannot compromise because they have all been pandered to so much they don’t think they should have to.

    As for gay rights, the problem has ALWAYS been a top down structure of the type that has NEVER worked for any political movement ever. Rather than a national office that offers funding and support to local gay activists, they swoop in from NYC or DC, accomplish nothing and then take the next flight back home. I hope the new Human Rights Campaign activities in red states doesn’t follow that pattern. It is possible for a gay person who to go to his local representative and have a conversation that at least gets him to think about our issues. Someone from another part of the country isn’t going to get anywhere. No one likes outsiders coming in, talking down to them, and telling them what to do. Anywhere. Ever. It’s just not how politics works. But of course HRC was never about achieving any political goals. It’s an insider information where board members get their partners hired to jobs they aren’t really qualified to do but which get them an A-List status for the Manhattan or Dupont Circle parties. If that didn’t sound cynical then I didn’t say it right. That’s pretty much all HRC is and it’s why they have accomplished nothing but issue report cards on members of Congress and Fortune 500 companies. We really could have accomplished so much more over the last 25 years with real leadership and local, bottom-up organization. And it’s not like this is a radical idea. Look at how the religious right organizations are organized. We can hate them all they want but look how many campaigns they won against us? Look at all the laws they got passed. Yes, they were in a majority position but it certainly wasn’t an issue at the top of anyone’s agenda until they came along.

    Yes, people need to wake up. It’s absolutely true that the Democrats aren’t any better than the Republicans on the issues that matter to most Americans because it’s legal to bribe public officials in this country through loose campaign finance laws and no one dares piss off the big donors. So we don’t see real banking reform. We don’t see initiatives that help create jobs. And we’re still stuck in foreign military campaigns with no possibility of anything in any of them that benefit any American interest other than the military-industrial complex. I agree completely that a day of reckoning is coming and it’s not going to be pretty. No country can have this level of economic instability for most of its citizens and this level of income inequality without catastrophic results. It’s not that the rich are so rich. Who cares? It’s that the bottom 3/5s are being squeezed harder and harder and they can’t see any possibility of it getting better rather than worse for the foreseeable future. Distracting everyone with social issues and sex scandals can only go on for so long. Look at how dismissive even the liberal media was to the Occupy movement. Not a perfect protest by any means but one raising real issues that the 1%ers sitting around blathering mindlessly on cable tv are as much the target of as the bankers and politicians. The significance of that was not lost on them which is why they made sure they showed them at their worst. The next wave will be bigger. People facing ever increasing bills with shrinking paychecks can only continue like that for so long. So long as it’s possible to rip-off employees and consumers without any repercussions it will continue. I think the time is running out for that.

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