We need to discuss an issue that NEVER gets raked over the coals of our national dysfunction. It has to do with taxes, hypocrisy and the insincerity of the Republicans as well as the stupidity of the Democrats. It also involves the lives of innocent babies, more than a million of whom get aborted every year, who may get to experience life should a new pro-life Supreme Court justice be appointed by a conservative president in the near future.
It is a conundrum that stands out like a red, white and blue sore thumb: If the million-plus babies who get aborted each year get life instead, how will we, as a society, pay for them? Can our economies at the local, state and national levels absorb this huge unexpected expense year after year, and can the Republican Party at any level actually be realistic and courageous enough to speak aloud the dreaded "t" word?
Witness the fuss Republican legislators are kicking up today because of just 50,000 children showing up at our borders. Imagine how they'd react should 25 times as many show up in hospital delivery rooms across our nation EVERY YEAR. We all know that Republicans are well practiced and proud of their skill at the reactionary arts of politics. And we all know that Republicans hate taxes as much as Satan hates the cross.
As Jesus once said, "No one can serve two masters. You cannot serve God and Mammon." Mammon is a biblical concept, very big in 19th-century America, but it went out of style with the death of William Jennings Bryan and the rise of the corporate state during the roaring '20s.
Mammon is the personification of the evil that is at the root of arrogant wealth. It is usually depicted as a bloated, gloating, glowering, Satan-like creature devouring all that is innocent and good. In the 1896 presidential campaign, William McKinley was considered the chief of Mammonry because of his stated desire to turn America into a powerful, Wall Street-centered empire while Mr. Bryan strived mightily to dissuade his countrymen from allowing the wealthy to turn America from her roots as a republic into a British-like empire of concentrated wealth.
Guess who won.
Mammon came to the fore with the post-war rise of the consumer culture and the Madison Avenue-created desire of Americans to "keep up with the Joneses." This was the period when our traditional way of life involving hard work, frugality, savings and wise investment came into conflict with the desire of the rich to get richer by subverting these very values and getting people to part with their hard-earned savings and go into serious debt to get instantly gratified.
This involved the massive transfer of wealth from the working and middle classes to the already rich who had no interest in the financial health of the masses or the futures of the non-rich children. The Mammonites greedily grasped for every last cent they could get and then frequently used this money to bribe the storied Ivy League schools into accepting their own unqualified children at the expense of the better-prepared children of the lower classes.
Then the corporate state propaganda machine kicked into high gear and churned out lies that America was a meritocracy whose members got ahead by dint of hard work and talent. Now the road to riches is paved with whom you know and what connections you develop and your willingness to compromise your Christian values so as not to annoy the big-money employers who see the big picture and who see to it that their "share" always increases, even to the point of deliberately harming the American economy and the union movement by shipping our jobs to China and stabbing working-class veterans, who fought against communism, in the back just so the rich can get richer and everyone else gets desperate enough to blindly kowtow to the rich.
Big-money Republicans obviously don't know the Constitution well enough to see that the job of the government is to "promote the general welfare" of "We the People of the United States." When it comes to the word "welfare," they are true, knee-jerk conservatives who willingly and blatantly ignore what they claim to cherish, the strict interpretation of the Constitution. Republicans just plain don't care that the Constitution does not say a word about promoting the general welfare of the blood-drenched dictators of the Chinese Communist Party and keeping them in power.
We can see the claw of Mammon in the current dilemma that American money is now financing the rise of a huge middle class in China when our own middle class is in steep decline, and this is 100 percent the fault of a Wall Street that lacks all ethics and morality so long as it makes a profit.
One of the chief capitalists of this post-war period was Nelson Rockefeller, a former governor of New York and vice president of the United States, who is also the record holder for the most bizarre death of any American politician. He also promoted the first right-to-abortion law in 1971, before Roe v. Wade.
Like many of the rich, he liked to cheat on his wife with young, attractive mistresses, in his case a Ph.D. in art history who "helped" him with his collection. One night while being "helped," he suffered a heart attack, but because the mistress had been strictly instructed to keep the affair a secret, she did not call for an ambulance, and the billionaire died. And, irony of ironies, he left her the East Side townhouse where she lived and he died.
In other words, the rich wanted abortion legal so they may avoid social stigma and political ruin by having to support their bastards through college. And soon, by a single vote, the court can impose billions in extra taxes every year to feed, house, educate and keep healthy millions of non-aborted humans.
And the Democrats snore away.
Rick Gombas lives in Ray Brook.