Taking Bothwell’s Bait

By Leslee Kulba –

Did it ever occur to you that everything you ever believed about cause and effect is a lie and distortion paid for by the Koch brothers? Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell was kind enough to share with his email list what he described as “the best essay I have read about this election.” The piece, written by the acclaimed North Carolinian Hal Crowther, first appeared under the title, “Soylent Mitt.”

Crowther began by assuring his readers he had long ago risen above the lameness of political rhetoric and posturing. The big issue, claims Crowther, is money. Evil, wealthy corporations are controlling government. The Citizens United decision will destroy democracy. And Romney is a vulture capitalist. Republicans say they don’t want to nationalize healthcare, but what they really mean is, “I want that black man out of the White House.”

Lost in the egotistical race to be top banana are the 99 percent. That would include the 47 percent Romney is so famous about “not caring about.” Sure, he can fritter away hours helping the unemployed as a pastor in his church, or he can ask campaign contributors to send money to relieve hurricane victims instead. That’s not caring. Caring means creating, perpetuating, and amplifying government programs that increase dependency and never complete their missions. Romney’s statement, by the way, meant he wasn’t going to tailor campaign to buy the votes of people who mistook Uncle Sam for Santa Claus.

The Occupy movement reminded the journalist of the movie “Soylent Green.” For those too young to remember, it was about an over-populated world where the rich maintained their standard of living, while the huddled masses were fed government-processed food made out of dead poor people.

Remember, rich people sit on their wealth. They do not purchase goods or services. Their big houses required no construction workers, their big cars employed no factory laborers. The fine furnishings required no carpenter; their elegant accoutrements, no seamstress. The food they buy spontaneously appears with neither growers nor grocers. In a more just society, the rich would give their money without asking anything of an idle population. If you don’t believe it, Crowther cites an anecdote about the obscenely rich Sheldon Adelson, who has profited off vice.

Crowther faults rich people for glutting themselves, making the population obese, and throwing away 40 percent of all food. No mention is made of the obese poor children who throw away their free school lunches so they can eat garbage later. These children make up the 22 percent of American children who now live in poverty. The writer can scarcely imagine poverty, overpopulation, and climate change getting worse.

Turning their backs on these crises, Republicans are “bad as in prejudice, predatory self-interest and social irresponsibility.” Crowther frames the whole Tea Party movement in terms of Todd Akin’s extraneous “legitimate rape” comment. He further mocks Republicans’ advocacy for rights, in a context of freedom to follow conscience, as he does not believe Republicans have such a thing. Instead, he says rights include the right to free abortions, the right to gay marriage, and a few other things that demand effort on the part of others. Contrary to what you may have read in the Constitution, or in the historical record about men not becoming angels once elected, Crowther explains, “Elected officials are charged with managing common resources for the common good.

Paul Ryan was faulted for embracing the objective, free-market ideas of Ayn Rand. Crowther seems to think Rand was a champion of crony capitalism, when, if he had waited until after the second grade to critique all her works, he would see she was one of its fiercest enemies. He asks if the Republicans who oppose unions and regulations had ever worked a job, or tried to find one. In truth, bright and talented people are now “going Galt” because they cannot cope with the government-takes-all caprice of hyper-regulation. Conservatives are the workers, the “from each according to his abilities” side of the Marxist “equation” that is doomed to remain unbalanced among mortals.

Ryan is also faulted for “gutting Medicaid,” a program that will gut itself and take the country down with it if reforms are not soon implemented. It is so much kinder to pretend that negative numbers are too hard to understand and look the other way. Ryan also wants to cut back on food stamps and housing programs. The criticism lies in the left’s view that the greatest good is to prolong the life of the protoplasm; and the right’s, that people are children of God with unlimited potential. The left will give you food and shelter and let you eke out an existence as a poor little booboo. Fans of limited government interference suppose you might be the next great inventor.

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