The string theory suggests there might be parallel worlds. The following is, of course, fiction but there may be parallels to the world with which we are familiar, because of the string theory, dontcha know.
Once upon a time there were a group of very rich men. They lived in a nation which had just fought a big war. The companies owned by these men, let’s call them The Old Boy’s Club, had made much money supplying the war effort, and the men had made many political connections during the war years. One night, The Old Boys were sitting around smoking cigars and drinking brandy, reflecting on their success and future successes. The Old Boys looked around and saw the rest of the nation, the little people, doing quite well too. The GI Bill was providing education to thousands of ex- service men; women were working, for the first time being paid and the economy was rolling along.
The little people were becoming well educated and rich. A growing middle class was sopping up a lot of wealth. With wealth comes power. With education comes power. Hell, the wealth of the little people was expanding at a rate incrementally larger than the expansion of The Old Boys wealth. Something had to be done.
The Old Boys realized that with an increasingly educated and successful little people, they, the big people, might not look as big. In fact, those little people with their “high faluting” education and growing incomes were beginning to cause some problems for The Boys. You see, The Boys like to play games and they liked to make money AND they didn’t like any little people telling them how to play. As they sat and smoked and drank, the Boys assessed the problem.
The little people were getting in the way. In fact, they saw, the little people were going to be an even bigger problem in the future. The more The Boys thought, the more they realized the immensity of the problem. As The Boys talked they realized the little people were the enemy. They must be controlled. They could not be crushed altogether because of some practical considerations (The Boys needed workers in their factories and maids in their houses.) but the situation was indeed grave. What to do?
The Old Boys hired an actor to run for President of the country. His name was Ronald, which reinforces the string theory. Ronald made everyone happy. He preached the myth of trickledown economics and convinced the little people that by cutting taxes on the wealthy and increasing taxes (in the form of alternate minimum taxes) on the rest of the nation, he would make everyone rich.
The people loved him. Ronald explained that it was wise to tax The Boys at a lower rate than the little people because, that way, The Boys could create jobs for the little people and make everyone rich. The story worked well. The rapid growth of wealth in the middle class started to slow down, and the Old Boys made lots of money, increasing their percentage of the national wealth rapidly. The Boys were very happy!
One of the challenges facing The Old Boys Club was how to get their own way, all of the time. The country they lived in had a rather onerous democratic form of government, which meant it was not as simple as just buying the guy in office; you had to finagle the guy into office under a really silly system called an election. This country actually gave the citizens a say. Well, you can see the problem.
Tale of GOPP
By this time, The Old Boys Club had identified one of the two existing political parties as more amendable to their views than the other. The most influential members of the Grand Old People Party (GOPP) were wined and dined and given a place at the table. Heady stuff. And so a cooperative union was formed and everyone sat around scratching each other’s backs while smoking Cuban cigars and drinking brandy. With all this back scratching, they were certain, favorable results could be expected. They just needed a strategy.
They also needed a reliable block of dedicated voters who could be trusted to vote as directed, and ask no questions. It is hard to start from scratch. Where to find such a base? What brings a group together? The Old Boys and the GOPP luminaries hired consultants, and the consultants consulted and decided that common ideas, beliefs, fear, hatred, goals, and aspirations and common interests were key.
The consultants had a brilliant idea! Religious institutions were the perfect place to start! All members shared common beliefs and were used to being told what to believe already. Perfect!!! And so, The Boys, and their GOPP buddies, put out the word that GOPP candidates were dedicated to advancing moral policies important to the religious and moral. Getting the message just right was tricky. Along with issues to bring the people together, they needed issues to divide the target group from the rest of the population resulting in a stronger coalition, one under siege. Nothing makes a group tighter than an enemy. Much thought was put into this problem. A perfect solution was found in “the other” and “the sinner” strategies.
The first part was easy. The citizens were very wary of strangers after the big war, and so anyone different, was met with instant suspicion. Not much effort would be needed to spot some really scary “others” out there for the believers to hate. The “sinner strategy” was just as easy. God has certain moral values, of course. He was quite particular about sexual issues; after all. So the strategists decided much emphasis would be put on family values, moral behavior and sex. The Boys soon realized the consultants were right.
Early on two targets were identified. Homosexuals and women! Everyone knew that gay people were Immoral. Prosecuting them to promote unity just made sense. Women had been suspect for years. I mean, after what Eve did in the garden and all, so women’s sexuality was given great scrutiny. Already, two targets had been established. It was a great idea and worked pretty well, except that outside the church, the citizenry were becoming more liberal in their acceptance of a gay lifestyle and in some places women were regarded to be on equal footing with men.
That didn’t really matter; those citizens were all over the map in their thinking anyway, and not reliable. To expand the range of moral outrage, the consultants counseled that murder was another good topic for exploitation and therefore, would also unification. It also tied nicely in with the sex thing. A decision was made to identify a fertilized human egg, no matter how few cells, as a person. Talk of the evils of abortion became part of the GOPP discourse. And everyone grew quite angry that a bunch of cells the size of a pea were thought less important than, say, an adult woman.
All of the sudden, the GOPP became obsessed with “the other,” family values, abortion and homosexuals. The Old Boys adopted the GOPP, which now ran it’s candidates on a platform heavy on moral issues to keep the church people happy and distracted from the fact that the Old Boys were playing games unsupervised and unobstructed. The union of church and political party was a success.
GOPP Gets Smart
The Boys hired some smart strategists for the GOPP. The consultants suggested a “stealth candidate” tactic to increase the numbers of right thinking people in elected office. The plan was brilliant! Using churches as a vehicle to introduce stealth candidates, the GOPP recruited like minded individuals to run for low level elected posts, such as school board and community planning groups. It worked like a charm. Unhampered by onerous campaigning and fund raising, these candidates relied upon campaign by mouth and church flyer.
The candidates never appeared in a debate, they never gave an interview, but lo and behold, come voting day they were in. Now, all they had to do was climb the political ladder. Big emphasis was placed on judgeships. The Boys knew they would have to have friendly judges to interpret law in a Boy friendly manner and to rule favorably on Boy friendly legislation. Now, The Boys just had to wait for their garden to grow.
At the same time, The Old Boys, understanding the troublesome nature of educated people, sought to undermine the public education system. Some of the educated enemy was starting to make waves about The Boy’s war games, drilling games, manufacturing games and resultant pollution. Better to nip that in the bud. So, The Old Boys, with help from their friends in the GOPP, started a campaign to undermine the public schools by introducing vouchers which would not only weaken the public schools, but in doing so, would weaken the teachers unions. This strategy would open the door for privatization and, The Boys figured, another money making opportunity. Very good!
The unions! That was another, even bigger thorn in the sides of The Boys. Collective bargaining gave the little people (or enemy), who worked in The Boys businesses, the right to band together and negotiate as a team. They were doing this banding thing and disrupting The Boy’s money making fun, by asking for decent wages, which cut into The Boys profits. Decent working conditions were another annoying subject. Again, a big zero when it came to The Boy’s bottom line. The Boys were also disturbed by the fact that the collective bargaining thing increased the power of the little….oh let us just call them the enemy. A powerful enemy really got in the way of the games. More about that troublesome collective bargaining thing later.
There were a few, not so good years. A couple liberal party types got elected to the presidency and legislatures and there were no lucrative wars during their terms. Even worse, some really pesky environmental laws had yet to be dismantled. Those laws curtailed some of The Old Boys Club members from exploiting the land to the fullest of their capacity. Clean air and water laws were particularly onerous.
Boys Doing What Boys Do
The Boys hired the brightest in the land to doggedly go to work dismantling the laws under the auspices of such lofty sounding organizations as “Friends of the Forest Coalition.” Such laws pleased The Boys because they increased recreational opportunities for The Boys, and their friends, who adored drilling and building games. And really, what good was that land doing any way. All that Federal Forest land stupidly reserved for recreation by the enemy…..ah citizens? What a waste! Those guys didn’t know how to recreate, well not like the Boys. Recreation? Please! You mean like hiking and biking and fishing?
Yeah right! There were dollars to be made. The Boys, by this time, had hired some wordsmiths to tailor messages to the public. Naming an organization Friends of the Forest Coalition, provided much better cover for politicians The Old Boys were asking to vote for the law than say, Let’s Go Plow Under all the Open Land Coalition.
The wordsmithing strategy worked so well that the GOPP consultants suggested hiring some friendly scientist types to take on all that messy global warming science. And so they did, and that worked too. The believers were much relieved to have experts who cast doubts and aspersions upon the bully scientists who were warning of the dangers of pollution. It was obvious they had ulterior motives to shut down the countries oil production and throw the population back to the 1500’s. (Come to think of it, that would put energy production and social values espoused by the GOPP in about the same century.) Well there you go, consistency!
The Boys were not discouraged. They were godfathers of dynasties and had many generations to realize their plans. While the setbacks were annoying, The Boys had confidence in their strategy to lessen the irritating power of the enemy. After all, things were going swimmingly. The Boys were accumulating more and more of the nation’s wealth at the top (as they liked to think of themselves) and they were slowly accumulating a block of voters at the bottom, (as The Boys liked to think of them) which would reliably vote against their own interests.
Things were not altogether bad! Under liberal president Clint, they were able to dismantle the draconian Glass- Seagull Act of 1933 ( another one of the many string theory similarities of which I warned) which imposed banking reforms intended to control speculation by banks. Such speculation had resulted in the Great Depression. Well, the eradication of the wearisome “Glass-Seagull Act” was a good thing, and The Boys went back to speculating like mad and making another ton of money. The enemy had been tricked into playing along happily, to their disadvantage. All in all, things were going as planned. The Boy’s incomes were now increasing exponentially faster than those of “the enemy.” Things were looking up.
President Shrub and the Old Boys
GOPP President Shrub was elected, well not elected exactly, come to think of it. He was running against someone who did actually win, but members of the GOPP friendly Supreme Court of the Land, as friends should, interpreted Shrub’s loss as a win, and so everyone was happy. Anyway, Shrub cut taxes, which made everyone even happier. The Old Boys were busy speculating, playing new games like bundling, and having a grand old time making loads of money. There were still some pesky, liberal type environmental restrictions around which The Boys had not yet been able to get abolished.
However, they made up for the disappointment of not being able to rape and pillage the earth to their hearts content, by raping and pillaging the financial sector and the poor bozos who were hoodwinked into buying homes they would never be able to support. This hoodwinking had been important to the scheme, by the way, and made the boys lots and lots of money. The poor “smucks” would be in for a rude awakening when they realized what was going on, but “all is fair in love and war” and after all, they were the enemy.
President Shrub played well with The Boys. Luckily he had been well brought up and understood their point of view about the enemy. He also understood the drilling and pillaging games, and enjoyed war games too. The Boys loved war games. One of their favorites!! Well, President Shrub did too, and the country went headlong into two wars which made the boys even more money. Things were definitely looking up.
Well bummer, the housing bubble, brought on by all the fun speculation, burst and brought the enemy’s attention to the fact that a lot of raping and pillaging had been going on. But, there was a silver lining. President Shrub’s two wonderful terms in office were over but if the liberal party got into office, there would be someone to blame.
The Boys were well insulated from the wreckage left after the bursting bubble. They had, of course, anticipated the game would not last forever, so their money was placed off shore, or in businesses in a country called Porcelain Much smarter place, Porcelain. They didn’t insist on fair pay and they didn’t mind if a company polluted the hell out of the place. So now The Boys had only to regroup and to plan for the election.
As it turned out, the election worked in the Boys advantage, in that not only was a liberal elected, but a very suspicious one at that. You could get GOPPs really fired up to hate a liberal because liberals make you give all your money to the government, which gives it to lazy people, who do not work, so this was good news for The Boys. The very best part was, this new liberal President, President Backatcha had a really foreign sounding name, and even better, he was a funny color. How lucky! GOPPs didn’t much like that color. Many of them knew it was a lazy color. “Fantastic,” said The Boys. “What an opportunity!!”
Consulting the Consultants
The boys had, by this time, hired more sparklingly brilliant minds resplendent in their ability to shape public opinion. Experience showed the best way to sell public policy, which would work to the determent of almost everyone and to the advantage of a few, was to have a really good story about how great the policy would be for everyone. The brilliant consultants got to work coordinating everyone in the GOPP to say the same thing. The consultants assured The Boys and the GOPP leaders, “If you tell a lie enough times, people will believe.” And so they did.
Much was said about the foreignness of the new president, “not one of us obviously”. President “Backatcha” was painted as a socialist, a foreigner and the base was galvanized against the intruder. The Boys set their people to work. Within a year, a strong GOPP base had been convinced that by giving all their money to the Old Boys Club, the citizens would be rewarded with jobs The Boys would create for them.
The flagging economy, ruined by the foreigner, would recover. The fact that cutting taxes had started the whole debacle in the first place was not germane to the conversation. The Boys had learned that once you instilled an emotional belief, the facts were irrelevant. The Boys, and their GOPP sidekicks, operated under the “Don’t Let the Truth Get In the Way Of a Good Story” rule. It worked.
Two years after the foreigner had taken office, bringing with him such scandalous ideas as providing affordable health care to all citizens and raising taxes on the Old Boys (a really shitty idea), a mid-term election was scheduled. A short aside; The Old Boys didn’t really need their taxes lowered, they had more money than they could spend, but if they paid more, the enemy might be asked to pay less. The Old Boys wanted to be sure that the enemy was taking a hit. Keep ‘em down was the strategy. The weaker the enemy, the stronger The Boys.
We need to back up a bit here. Remember, The Boys loved games. And, their favorite game was making money. Well, they loved the power game too, but that just comes with the money game. It was a lovely circle. Make money, buy power, make more money. The boys had not given up on the tiresome education system, and the dismantling there of. They were multitaskers, and so were also able to work on tactics which assured their game playing was unrestricted by laws and other such unfair stuff. They were making a lot of money really fast and the “enemy” was not advancing (so to say) economically. The Boys were quite happy.
During the Shrub years, a wonderful piece of legislation was enacted called, the No Kid Get’s Ahead law, which implemented student testing and the demonization of teachers. The beauty of this legislation was that it tested only math and reading. One of the most troublesome things about an educated public, The Boys found, is that they know something about science. When the public knows something about science it is harder to confuse them with what The Boys fondly called, “junk science.“
This made it much harder to dismantle those ugly environmental laws we were talking about. Under the No Kid Get’s Ahead law, the schools were so busy trying to make sure students passed their reading and math tests they had no time for science. This was good news for The Boys; It is much easier to convince people that science is bunk, if they don’t know anything, right?
There were some lingering problems for the Old Boys. Some really BAD politicians and scientist were making wild claims about such things as global warming. Let’s consider that one, global warming. According to these bad scientists and politicians, polluting habits of humans were raising the temperature of the earth. Now, the Boys simply could not leave that alone to fester. Much of their game playing resulted in climate warming activities. Having those activities curtailed would put a damper on the games, to say nothing of the money making.
The wordsmiths were called in to decide how to shape a message to debunk that “global warming” nonsense. Meanwhile, a real attack was waged against the public school system. Public education was a bad idea anyway. Educating everyone? Really, what were they thinking? Rich people don’t send their kids to public schools. Why did they need public schools anyway? Educate the riff raff and they cause trouble because they think they know something about something. Well you can see it just makes a mess. In fact, some of the educated ones believed the scientists, and would not be dissuaded by positive reports on Foxy News, but that is a whole ‘nuther story. In short, The Boys knew it was better to have an ignorant public who would listen to the party line.
I must tell you about Foxy News. Foxy News was a foxy way the Boys concocted to let the citizens know what they should be thinking. Really, you can see, an educated public would get in the way. Educated people tend to ask questions. Things would go better if the enemy was encouraged to recite from Foxy and not think things out. In this way, the enemy could be exploited for The Boys cause. A Very good strategy. The enemy was happy too. They were all saying, and believing, the same thing and that gave everyone in Fox land a warm fuzzy feeling. They couldn’t say WHY they believed what they did, but it was still nice that everyone agreed.
The Boys hired more consultants for the GOPP, who counseled that Foxy News was doing well, but because it was a “news” show it could not do the really important work of whipping up hatred which was key to the strategy. The consultants recommended hiring entertainers who could attend to the emotional needs of the enemy. Remembering beliefs were more important than facts when it come to convincing people to act against their own interests, the GOPP happily talked to some friends about putting on some entertainment for the public good.
And so, talk radio was invented and such luminary stars as Mr. Rushtotalk, Mr. Atchurbeckncall, and several other stellar performers, were hired to solemnly discuss such disturbing realities as the poor behavior of the First Lady. Mr. Rushtotalk, sadly related that The First Lady was uppity which is a very bad thing for someone of a funny color. Mr. Rushtotalk also warned about all the sluts and whores out there using birth control, which The Boys quite liked. There were some of those bitches who were not buying the party line and making unpleasant noise about civil rights and women having the right to control their own bodies when everyone knew that just ain’t so!
GOPP consultants identified a disturbing number of “not right thinkers” who could not be depended upon to see reason and vote as the GOPP and friends directed. Many of these citizens were a funny color too. The consultants consulted and decided the best course of action was to relieve this group of the burden of voting. Foxy News and the talkers started reporting on widespread voter fraud and the need to curtail this widespread fraud immediately.
Unfortunately, the number of actual voter fraud prosecutions were at around 0.0007%, which was inconvenient, but not daunting. The consultants reminded the GOPP group of the “Don’t Let The Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story” strategy and steps were taken to make sure that wily group of “not right thinkers” saw their last voting booth. Everyone was happy because justice was being done. But that is another fairy tale.
Things were good. The GOPP voting block was really angry about the foreigner president who was trying to take the good peoples’ money away from them and give it to the lazy bastards. They were also appalled that whores and sluts were ruining the land with their immoral behavior, without chastisement yet, and outraged to hear that woman were murdering cells and not being severely punished. Everyone was really, really mad and knew it was all a liberal plot to emulate Sodom and Gomorrah (which were very bad places where people did all kinds of immoral stuff).
Meanwhile, dismantling of the public schools progressed nicely. The bubble popping incident actually helped because the states were strapped for cash and needed to cut expenses. Dismantling of Glass/ Seagull, and the resultant speculation and crime, had made a mess of city coffers. The GOPP, and friends, told the public how bad the schools were and, of course, the public agreed they should be punished, and so budgets were cut. Alternatives were offered in the guise of vouchers, private schools…..Mmmmmmmm privatization…..another lovely, money making opportunity for The Boys.
So President Backatcha was still in office and making trouble with some horrid liberal talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, but a mid-term was coming up and The Boys were optimistic. They hoped that by activating the GOPP and their base, The Boys could gather more support in the form of state and federal legislators and state governors, people who would see the light, so to say.
The Boys had Foxy News to tell the pubic “the truth”, but that was not quite incendiary enough. The Boys had to keep their base of believers all fired up and angry for maximum success. Stories of the foreigner’s socialistic plans to provide health care and birth control to all, even the lazy money stealing ones and immoral women, were recited nightly.
The mid-terms came, and they were good. The Boys had bought friends all over the place. Crying for jobs, jobs, jobs and fiscal responsibility, the GOPP candidates rose triumphantly to take over state governorships, state legislatures and control of the House of Representatives.
The midterm election awarded the Old Boys with a lot of fanatically minded freshmen members of congress, state legislatures and governorships, some a result of the stealth candidate strategy twenty to thirty years earlier. The Boys were quite pleased with the outcome. These candidates had run on a platform of fiscal responsibility. As soon as they were elected, they got right to work. To create jobs in the floundering economy, GOPP legislators wasted no time in passing laws to outlaw birth control, make abortions very difficult to obtain and do away with collective bargaining.
In the state of Missedagain, known for its car manufacturing, the GOPP legislature passed a law allowing the governor to appoint emergency managers. Emergency managers would be responsible to only the governor and would be able to fix things without obeying the silly laws. Right away, the GOPP governor appointed Ems to take over five cities and two school districts.
The Ems had the power to change curriculum, sell city property, void contracts, privatize public works, fire city employees, ban elected officials from attending city meetings and sell public lands to…..The Boys. In the town of Pontiacattack, the emergency manager put the police station, the fire stations, water-pumping stations, the library, the cemetery and the golf course up for sale. Of course, to create jobs, all the employees were fired. Most of the city officials were fired too. Firing all those people resulted in big savings, so everyone was happy.
In another state, Wisoutconscience, the GOPP consultants suggested a different plan for creating jobs, jobs, jobs and so the new GOPP legislature just outlawed collective bargaining and that was really easy! Everyone was even happier.
The Boys were thrilled. This was delightful! If this could be done in every state, The Boys could expand businesses into all sorts of realms; schools, firefighting, police (ooooo, that could be useful.) Some people in the affected cities reacted negatively to having no firemen or policemen. Not having a operational pumping station, it turns out, was the pits.
So, the emergency manager graciously relented and privatized the entities he had just closed. Just as the emergency managers had the power to nullify contracts, so they could let contracts, without the bothersome stipulation of public bidding. A manager could hire anyone he chose. Luckily, The Boys were standing by.
Meanwhile, buoyed by their success in the mid-term elections, The Boys and the GOPP started ramping up for the REAL election in two years. They planned to take back the presidency and give it to a real citizen, all stops were pulled out. The GOPP candidates lined up with their scripts and started campaigning. Things had gone so well in the mid-terms, with the emphasis on social issues, the GOPP decided to hit the moral issues even harder and really solidify their base. Moral and social issues were promoted to their full court advantage.
The GOPP looked around for a pivotal issue upon which everyone could agree. Murder! It was a slam dunk! GOPP politicians, who controlled state legislatures, started proposing, and passing, laws to humiliate and punish women seeking a legal abortion. Laws were proposed to outlaw cell murder, the worst kind!!
Because of a heinous Supreme Court of the Land ruling back when the Supreme Court of the Land was not a friend of the GOPP, women had jurisdiction over their own reproductive systems. This nasty piece of legislation had long angered some, but the smelly ruling had not yet been over turned. In their zeal for voter support, GOPP candidates spread the message that this travesty would be overturned as soon as they took power.
Besides abortion, consultants said, the GOPP should look for other moral issues which would galvanize the voting block. Several ideas were thrown around the smoke filled Old Boys rooms, but many of them would possibly curtail the antics of some men they knew and were therefore deemed inappropriate. They decided to clamp down harder on women. Women deserved it, because of that garden incidence, and they were probably too busy watching the kids to notice. A moral crusade against the evils of birth control rang out across the land.
Perfect. A rallying cry sounded through churches and rang in the righteous GOPP state legislators and lo, legislation to prevent women from having access to birth control and abortion were created and consummated to the delight of the GOPP fathers. The GOPP pollsters assured The Boys that GOPP candidates would easily win the election.
Then, something went terribly wrong. Somehow, women got word that GOPP legislators were planning to take away women’s right to their reproductive autonomy and give that right to the government. Women would not be allowed birth control, nor abortions. Not even in the case of rape and incest. For some reason, this made even GOPP women angry. Turns out the sluts had been using birth control and liked it. Many of the whores actually thought abortion was a decision that should be made by the woman, not the government. This was a big surprise to the GOPP leaders. They had not thought to ask the women.
And, do you know what those sluts, those whores, did? They withheld their favors from the GOPP and took their votes elsewhere.
Moral of the story: Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.
The Boys were very disappointed at the miscalculation about women voters, and resultant loss of the election, but they were not discouraged. They still controlled the largest percentage of money in the nation, had a grand old political party working for them and had some wonderful entertainers helping the enemy think. The Old Boys were in it for the long run, and so had a lot of years to work on the details. The slut uprising was a downer, but the consultants assured them, with enough bad publicity about “slutting” and whoring and murdering, the bitches could be controlled eventually. It had been accomplished many times in the past. If worse came to worse, and there was still that silly democracy thing around in four years, they could disenfranchise the whole lot, under the grounds of the “PMS insanity clause,” and things could go back to normal.