Cannon fodder and Canon Fodder

I read an article in The New Yorker mentioning studies by think tanks showing that since 2005 there’s been a distinct convergence between the two former camps of conservatives. The two camps are fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. The writer seemed to think the two camps had found overlapping common purpose, in opposing strong central government.

I suspect that what really happened was that wily fiscal conservatives, 21st Century robber barons like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdochs and Wall Street Banksters, realized they could convince the credulous religious-right that they had common purpose. (The religious right is demonstrably credulous, since…they’re religious.) The Banksters and the oil companies donated hugely to social conservative causes; they had meetings with them at conservative conclaves, where they said, “Give us what we want and we’ll support you–because government is our mutual enemy. They want to tax and regulate us out of existence–you they will restrict and strangle till you have no influence. Look at Roe Vs Wade! The Supreme Court is part of the federal government and they ignored your objection to abortion! They ignored your spiritual convictions on the matter! And how soon before they decide to tax the churches? Meanwhile with their regulations they move toward socialism–and socialism is just watered down communism and historically communism has been anti-religion! Look at the USSR, look at China! They protect unions–aren’t unions communist and isn’t communism anti-religion? And they insist on a separation between church and state! See how they remove Christian crosses from public places! Look who objects to ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance…government types! They promote ‘science’ in schools…well, that means promoting the Theory of Evolution which is at odds with the story of Creationism! And look–some of them are talking about backing off and allowing the Palestinians a state…which means they’re pro-Muslim! They’re allowing Muslims to build mosques in America! And if you’re soft on Muslims you’re hard on Christians! They want us to stop polluting, to make sure our products are safe–that’s the new fangled new way to do it, and newness is just not religious! Doesn’t the Old Testament say mankind’s got to dominate the Earth? In trying to keep us from building ten million shopping malls they’re going against God’s word! Government, stocked by those regulatory, tax-hungry Democrats is the problem!” And so on.

Big business needs its religious-right puppets. It needs them to keep Senator Bernie Sanders, and people like him, in check–people who want them to pay their fair share, and who want to prevent them from destroying the environment for profit. It needs the religious right to keep wars going, wars that are so very profitable to Halliburton and to arms manufacturers, so fattening to the military industrial complex.

Big Business knows it cannot rely on reason since it is so obviously unreasonable–it’s unreasonable to outsource American jobs, it’s unreasonable to bust unions, it’s unreasonable to dodge taxes and to pollute. It can pretend to have stacked up reasons for these things, but a little nudge pushes those houses of cards right down. So it needs unreason. It needs the unreasonable myth-based hysteria of the religious right. And of course they were delighted when gays began to demand marriage. That gave them another area of pretend-commonality with the religious right. “Look, they’re allowing gays to marry! The same people who want to tax us are allowing gays to marry!”

They fund campaigns of religious rightists, shove the religious right candidates out in front in their assaults on Democrats and taxes and regulations; they make the Bachmanns and Perrys their cannon fodder. Or, if you like, canon fodder. They’re using the religious-right, puppeting them…

And the religious right believes it’s in charge. But all it’s doing is leading the charge…while the fat cat Wall Street generals stay behind, lolling on their fat asses, in comfortable pavilions overlooking the battlefield… and laugh.

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