Friday, June 15, 2012

My sister has radicalized

She's been a Republican for a long time, perhaps that should have set off warning signals, but I think she got that way to vote against someone in a primary, which is the same way my father became a Republican.

Now she favors the current Republican strategy, just under slightly different constraints.  The current strategy, as you know if you pay attention to politics in the US, is to run the country into the ground in hopes that people will demand change and thus kick Obama out of the White House.  Maybe flip the Senate to the Republican side too.

To this end they've opposed ideas they once supported and generally tried to stop anything and everything that might help the country.  Honestly, the strategy seems to be working.

My sister's idea is more forward looking.  She figures that if Romney gets elected then Romney will act about how everyone expects him to act, and the Republicans in congress will act about how everyone expects them to act, and when the various Republicans start keeping their promises (and when you look at what they've done at the state level in the past couple years, they show a disturbing willingness to keep their promises) and regulations are loosened, medicare and medicade are chopped up, social security is gutted, unions are busted, minimum wage is lowered, the unemployed are left unsupported, the rich and banks are empowered, the costs of government are shifted to the middle and lower classes, pensions are raided, healthcare costs get worse, the educational system degrades, women's healthcare is further restricted, prohibitions against discrimination are rolled back, those various victories unions have won are done away with, food and workplace safety declines, child labor is put back on the table, the infrastructure crumbles, and generally life sucks because all these promises have been kept... well then it'll be time for a revolution.

And that will solve everything.

My way of looking at it is this:
1 Innocent people are dying right here right now, because of bad government policies.
2 This has not led to a revolution.
3 Letting Republicans do the things they have promised they will do if they are given the chance will cause a lot more suffering and death to the innocent because those bad government polices will find themselves with lots of company.
4 What are the odds that it really leads to revolution?
5 Assuming that it does lead to revolution, who would win?  I struggle to remember the last time I heard about a bunch of heavily armed Democrats in the woods preparing for the coming war.
6 Assuming that it does lead to revolution and my sister's preferred side wins, how is that bloody revolution likely to go for innocent people?

It seems to be, "Sure people are dying now, but if more of them were dying then their deaths might kick off a revolution in which ... more... people... would die."  Pause.  "Yay?"

So, anyway, my recommendation is to vote for Obama instead of Romney.  Even if Romney is so bad that he manages to kick off a revolution, I don't see that as the best outcome by a long shot.


  1. Congratulations, your sister has just reinvented revolutionary Communism from the other side.

    (I think it's worth noting the sort of people who tend to come out on top after revolutions.)

  2. You might lend your sister _Animal Farm_. Even if it doesn't change her position, it's good food for thought about revolution and its ways of going wrong.

  3. There are a lot of people waiting for their revolution to happen, once the sheep finally wake up. Problem is, it's not Orwell, but Huxley that's the guide here. Fox News already promotes the idea that the poor aren't really poor - wouldn't take much for bread and circuses to stop people from joining the revolution for fear of listing what little they have. It will take most people ferrying reduced to the point where they have nothing left but their lives. At which point, marital law its declared and all those military things we see used elsewhere come home to roost.

    Your sister fails to realize that any revolution that became visible would be subjected to the combined powers of the police and military. A lot of people would be dead before anything even registered.

  4. While historical populations under extreme stress have tended towards revolution, I don't think the same thing will happen in the US due to our history of largely peaceful power changes. As long as people believe they can peacefully change things there is little reason for a violent revolution. All those in power have to do is maintain the illusion that people can get what they want through peaceful means and people will probably stay in line.

    If by some chance someone did start a violent revolt I don't think it would last long. The US still has one of the world's most powerful militaries and I don't think those in power would mind using it to preserve their power. (They usually don't.) Also, with terrorism at home and abroad, the government will do its best to expand its powers over things like expression and use those expanded powers to either imprison or commit people who say things that make it uncomfortable.

    I really hope the government has more to go on here than just some Facebook posts because, if not, it sets a really disturbing precedent.