Sculpture of serious men talking in Tübingen, Germany
Step aside, the serious people are going to take the country back. The word serious is the “it” word of the year. A global scold to all of us who have made America not serious by imposing such things as healthcare, affordable housing, environmental protection, public education, public health, public transportation and the most unserious thing: care of the disabled and elderly. The Republicans and the pundits are telling us, Ryan, being the leading serious guy, are going to impose the Daddy state and bring back austerity. Get rid of all the frivolity we have been toying with, we have to be serious. Daddy is coming home and boy are you all gonna get it.
Who is not serious? Easy. Women for one, they are not serious. No, they need to be put back in their place, in that corner of being poor, uneducated and not allowed to make serious choices. Children are not serious. This is why we cut off their education so that we can control them. Old people, well, they are the least serious, why they serve no serious purpose at all. Government is not serious at all, business is serious according to the thinking. Serious people tend to be male and white if you pay attention.
The Ryan budget proposal offers to disband and cut off the social contract that has kept Americans from sliding into Dickensian poverty. A poverty that is cruel, harsh and unjust. A poverty that cuts off power from all those with no wealth and amasses all the power of the state to those who control wealth. I am not talking income from work, I am talking wealth. To have a job and manage to pay your living expenses, is not wealth. You are at the mercy of the wealthy. You are powerless. This is what serious people, Daddies impose authority and punish. Our white Daddies are back and they are gonna put this house they ransacked in their free marketeering debauchery, back in line. More debauchery for them, more austerity for the rest of us.
We hear of “serious and bold” budget cutting measures, yet if you look at these measures they are pure unabashed backward slide into the dark age. The age where families had to cobble together a safety net. The common theme is that let the grown ups, the men in authority handle this. You who speak of safety nets, social programs and such, step aside. This is the time for grownups. They called it the “Nanny and Mommy State”, now we have the Daddies like Paul Ryan, coming back to make us all behave in the name of austerity, sanity and fiscal responsibility in their way.
The assumption is that we of “the safety nets”, human rights and cultural left broke down the system . Now they say we must turn back the clock to the time where our daddies and grand daddies took care of things and we submitted to their authority. In truth, the daddies never stopped being in charge, but this is another post. We got a few bits here and there, but still, we never got an Equal Rights amendment. We never got a law that protects our choices. We never got equal pay. Affordable healthcare is still a glimmer in our eyes. But, nonetheless, it’s grandmas fault with her demands.
The media of course falls into the narrative of the “serious and the bold” poster boy, Paul Ryan. As if the senior citizens, the poor men and women, the children created and took the train of Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” over the cliff. Any talk of empathy, compassion and caring for the poor is seen is childish, wasteful and irrational. If you want serious, look at the Banking industry and their serious lending practices that eviscerated the real estate market, now that is some serious and bold stuff. The serious Financial Industry fathers, need their millions, teachers not being serious do not need a living wage,or a pension.
You see, caring for the disabled Iraq war veteran when he returns home is not serious, leading the nation into a war and imposing and occupation is serious. Feeding the hungry and educating children is not serious, conducting an economic Armageddon that robs people of their meager wealth, is serious. Protecting the environment and protecting women’s choices not serious, subsidies to oil companies and cutting off Planned Parenthood serious. Do you see the pattern?
In truth, there is nothing serious in the Ryan calculations, his economic/social policy is based on the Libertarian Heritage Foundation world view. Faith based economics with no empirical basis. No, I will not spend time arguing with people who have no proof that their trickle down, cut taxes, starve the beast dunderheadism has ever worked, or will ever work. I look at the real consequences of their policies: Hunger, homelessness, sickness, unemployment, war and oppression. I guess these are not serious issues to be talking about. We need to invoke a mediocre white male, Ryan, as the one to bring us back to our senses.