March 25, 2016
America to Establishment: Who the hell are you people ?
By David Lightman
The people who spend two bucks for chili at the Courtesy Diner at Laclede Station Road can’t fathom why anyone would pay Hillary Clinton $225,000 to make a speech.
Nor can they understand why the U.S. Senate is taking a 17-day break for Easter after spending much of their time last week fuming over the Supreme Court vacancy. Somehow, people all over America are saying loudly and clearly this election year, Washington and its enablers – the media, the political pros and Wall Street – don’t understand us.
That’s why, all over this slice of middle America, exasperated people got up before dawn on a cold, 37-degree morning recently to spend four hours in a line so long that from its end people couldn’t even see the Peabody Opera House, where they would hear Donald Trump. And it wasn’t just Trump. In the next two days, other folks nearby lined up to hear the outsider talk from Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt.
They share the same grievance. In 2016 America, the deepest divide is not between Democrats and Republicans. It’s not even between conservatives and liberals. It’s between Us and Them – the people versus The Establishment.
In dozens of interviews, in a cross section of the country, the sentiments were the same.
"They’re political bureaucrats who would like to control the people,” said Sandy Garber, a St. Charles real estate agent, when asked to define the establishment.
John Hackmann, a Fairview Heights, Ill., retiree, labeled it a "Washington cartel.”
"They just let the government do whatever they want,” said Jim Walker, an Arnold, Mo., businessman.
What is the establishment? Nationally, eight in 10 people told a McClatchy-Morning Consult poll this month it includes members of Congress. Similar numbers cited the Democratic and Republican parties, political donors, Wall Street bankers and the mainstream media.
END OF QUOTE
A NOTE FROM TIM:
I OUGHT to be able to comment on the Courtesy Diner. The one in Maplewood just opened about a year ago; it's the third store in the chain. The first is only about a mile from my house in South St. Louis, and it has been there since I was a child and would visit my grandparents, who lived just a block from the restaurant. Oddly I've never been there, even though Cathy and I have always spoke about going. Everyone loves it, so I have no good excuse for not going.
It was and is an old-fashioned place, with the old drive in setup, counter and stool seating, the works. No drive up at the newer ones, but it has the same retro flavor from what I see. Granted, I have never been inside one, but they are usually pretty crowded, and have a fine reputation.
Maplewood is a trendy suburb just outside of the south city limits. It's where the hipsters go now, so I'm not surprised if this writer visited that particular Courtesy Diner. People who have been drinking at the Schlafley Brewery likely go there to feed the late-night munchies. It was Schlafley that revitalized the crumbling, decayed old city of Maplewood, opening their bottleworks and starting a renaissance. Schlafley is a downtown brewery, the second largest in the state of Missouri (behind A-B) and owned by the nephew of Phyllis Schlafley, and the first microbrewery to open when they changed state law. Interestingly, they have to brew one keg of barley wine per year to fall under the winery laws, allowing them to brew "small batches" of beer (to get around the law that A-B pushed through to keep out competition.) I'm not sure if they still have to do this, but it was the law for years.
By the way, Maplewood used to be called "Maplehood" and was a run down part of town, immortalized in the novel/move The White Palace where the protagonist - a rich yuppie - went slumming. The huge success of revitalization led to other areas making great strides, places like Ferguson, which was called "the New Maplewood" until rioters burned it to the ground.
I actually agree with this writer; the public is mad as hell on both sides of the political fence, and for the same reasons, although we have very different ideas about what the problem is and what the solution entails. When Occupy Wall Street raised a fuss about big banks and the American plutocracy, we didn't listen to them because they were using the old, tired anti-free market rhetoric, but were they wrong? The "donor class" is driving the Establishment GOP, and they are the very same people the OWS have been bellyaching about - and the Tea Party likewise. Both of our sides see freedom being sucked away by a monied class. Of course their idea of freedom is childish and demanding; freedom to liberals is the right to behave in any manner you see fit, and to dip your grubby paw in the pockets of "the rich" who usually wind up being those in the middle class who choose to take on civic and fiscal responsibilities. The liberal campaign against "the rich" never is against the rich but against the productive. Tea Party types see an alliance between the liberal rich and government against the working class and the enterpreneurs. In a fascistic economic system, a crony capitlalism where government chooses winners and losers based on who can grease the political skids, those without insider connections are doomed. That is what WE don't like, and it dovetails with what the footsoldiers of OWS and the like are protesting. Of course they are dupes, often being funded by men like George Soros, penultimate insiders and crony capitalists. Sadly, the OWS crowd is more interested in schadenfreude, in punishing the haves rather than in reorganizing things to reduce the power of the big money brokers.
Of course, in the end our dreams for society are very different. They want a word where everything is shared, which sounds nice but ends in disaster because people no longer are motivated to produce. We want the old America back, which is a place where you may fail but you may succeed beyond your wildest dreams too. The Progressives want stability, or as they now call it "sustainability" which is no growth, an economic order where everyone lives at about the same level. But such a world means you can have no dreams, not goals, no real ambitions. Man was not made for a life of sustainability. People need to be able to dream of a better tomorrow. Even the poor can dream of a better life in the old America, but there can be no such dreaming in the world fantasized by the Progressives. We are all equal. Nobody has more, nobody has less, and all of our hopes and dreams are equally dead.
The Progs hope to substitute human lusts for dreams and ambitions. Sex is high on the totem pole, and the idea of unrestricted sexual fantasy is the intended replacement for freedom and self-reliance. No rules of human behavior and heavy guardrails to keep people from hurting themselves. Quite the opposite of our thinking, which promotes the removal of societal chains in favor of restrictions that are self-imposed. THEY think freedom is being able to do whatever you wish provided you do not overstep the boundaries set by the wise philosopher kings (who, the OWS crowd has now learned, are the Establishment). WE want few laws, few restrictions, no philosopher kings, but rather self-government, the individual acting rightly because it is the moral and decent thing. They want a pro-wrestling cage match; WE want a friendly game of Bridge.
History shows our way is the better.
But they are misguided because they were misinformed by the Establishment, who have run the educational system. They realize something is wrong but have been told their entire lives a lie. It's a shame, because in many ways we are fighting the very same battle. It's ultimately about what we believe. Liberals believe in the inherent goodness of Man and the possibility of perfecting the human condition. We believe in the flawed nature of Man and the degeneracy of the human condition. They have to believe in what they do, since so many of them do not believe in God or an afterlife, and those who do see only the social gospel, the works on this Earth as important while we believe in a final accounting and see the spiritual works as the more important of the two. Christianity is first and foremost about the salvation of souls, not the providing of corporal needs. That second is a duty, but it is secondary to spiritual salvation. That's why liberals tend to hate Christianity. It's also why they love Islam, which is a religion firmly rooted in the mud of this world.
At any rate, if the folks at the Maplewood Courtesy Diner are unhappy, then it is a universal unhappinesss, as many of them are likely hipster liberals.
Consider this from the article:
"That’s why many cheer when Sanders complains that no one was punished harshly for the financial meltdowns of 2008. His lament touches directly what distresses people about the New York-to-Washington axis. People lost their jobs and homes in that recession. The nation teetered on the brink of an historic financial meltdown. Banks and institutional investors had let the mortgage market run amok.
"No senior banker tried for crash-related frauds,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen and former Senate Banking Committee chief of investigations.
Goldman Sachs, a major Wall Street and Washington player, did agree in 2010 to pay $550 million and change its business practices in order to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges it had misled investors in mortgage dealings as the housing market began to wobble. The company neither admitted nor denied the allegations.
In January, the company also agreed in principle to a $5 billion settlement that resolved both actual and potential civil claims by the Justice Department, New York and Illinois attorneys general and others "relating to the firm’s securitization, underwriting and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007.”
But why should they be tried for fraud when the government has been doing this sort of thing for decades? Isn't deficit spending an act of fraud? Aren't environmental regulations that declare puddles a "wetland" and trigger draconian environmental regulations that stop someone from building their dream home a fraud? If bankers should go to jail for finding ways around crazy laws, then how much more should the writers of the crazy laws be punished? The Progressives can never understand that the real fraudster is the government, which takes money from everyone whether they want it taken or not. Private business, even the big banks, must provide for their customers. They cannot tax. They can manipulate government with money, but the government has more money and can manipulate THEM. What do liberals think actually happened with the mortgage meltdown? They blame the banks, but who set the terms that the banks operated under? The Democrats used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as campaign piggy banks, and it was THEIR laws against redlining and other fiscally prudent but politically unpopular practices that forced banks to bundle bad loans into good; the banks were not going to give loans to people on welfare and whatnot because they knew they would lose their investor's money. So they found a way to profit and obey the law set down by government. Government has the power and yet so many Progressives want to restrict the power of business with government authority. It's absolutely crazy.
It's like the movie Goodfellas where Joe Pesci's character was harassing the restaurant owner. The poor man feared for his life so went to the local Mafia Don for protection, bringing him into his business as a partner. As the movie pointed out, now the Don was his partner. He could go to the Don if there were trouble with the cops, or someone was trying to muscle him. But now he had to cough up the money every month, and the Don's people were stealing everything that wasn't nailed down. In the end the restaurant got torched to collect the insurance money. That is what putting the government in a role of regulator of business gets you. Government people are people, and they can be bought. Likewise, government, with far more money than any business, can buy those same businesses. If you hate corporate greed you should REALLY hate governmental greed. They are kissing cousins.
I would heartily recommend to Aviary readers the book "Masters of Audacity and Deceit" by our very own William Been; he explains the mortgage meltdown of 2008, going over the roots of it with a fine toothed comb. Bill shows how careful manipulation by key players profited the Establishment and badly injured the average American. Buy it on Amazon here or check out Google Books here.
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