So, the other day I was at the gym preparing to spar with one of my fighters. Since he was training for a fight there were about four other guys also preparing to spar with him and then with each other. Somehow the topic of voting comes up and one of the guys mentions that he's a Republican. Now imagine five fighters, in a cage, talking about politics. Sounds like the set-up for a reality T.V. show doesn't it?
The previous day the topic had been Tokyo, Hong-Kong, and Brazil, and which one possessed the wilder night life and the better looking strippers. Apparently Brazil won. I've never been there but I too think Brazilian women are a class unto themselves when it comes to sheer sex appeal. From the back the African blood in them is amazingly, wonderfully obvious. The day before that the topic was fighting. And the day before that it was regrets and highlights from our own fight careers. This day the topic was who has fucked this country over the most, the Democrats or the Republicans.
So there we were, locked in a cage, warming up to beat the hell out of each other while bashing each other's political beliefs. I of course overpowered the conversation because I was the biggest guy there and the second oldest, which automatically makes me right. My point was an obvious incontestable fact. Republicans are bad for the economy.
Whatever your views on abortion, gay rights, civil rights, law enforcement, foreign affairs, censorship, separation of church and state, etc. There is one thing you have to agree on. During my thirty-six years on this earth, whenever there has been a Republican in the White house the economy has taken a nose dive. Why is that? Because trickle-down economics don't work and borrow and spend but don't tax is the road to financial ruin. Just ask anyone with a credit card what happens when you spend more than what you bring in and just borrow the rest. You quickly wind up in debt. So why does America go for it?
There are a few quick easy answers. The first is greed. Nobody wants to pay more taxes even when it is the right thing to do. All you have to say is that you won't raise taxes and the world will beat a path to your door. What no one bothers to read is that they won't raise taxes but they will increase their spending. They'll just cut social programs, educational programs, welfare and social security, and then borrow whatever else they need. But Americans don't care about the long term repercussions of this as long as our taxes don't get raised. Who cares if our kids won't be able to afford to retire because they've spent all of our social security dollars on tanks we'll never use and helicopters and experimental aircraft that don't work. Greedy and short sighted.
We are told is that by giving tax breaks to large corporations and rich people it will allow them to keep their businesses in America thus creating more jobs. That's what we are told but has it happened? I don't care how many breaks you give to these corporations it is still cheaper to hire labor in a Mexico and Taiwan than it is in LA or Philadelphia or Detroit. Tax breaks for major corporations doesn't do shit but keep the corporation's pockets fat. It doesn't do a damn thing for the average guy on the street.
The other reason for America;s continued support of the Republicans is fear. Fear and desire. The two great motivators of human behavior. Republicans are great at playing the fear card. "They are destroying our family values! They are soft on crime! Vote for them and they'll be promoting drug use and homosexuality. There will be murderers, rapists and drug dealers walking the streets and molesting your children. Saddam Hussein will be your next door neighbor and Osama Ben Laden will be putting bombs in day care centers!" These politicians create their paper tigers and all of America falls in line behind them out of fear and hatred. But let's take a look at a few of these paper tigers.
When they say that they are the protectors of family values (meaning Christian Values of course)what they mean is that they should be free to force their own values upon all Americans. Make them pray to their God and be subjected to their religious based morality. What they mean is that they will convince all of America that if they believe anything other than what they believe (like as long as two people love each other it doesn't matter what sex they are) that they are evil perverted sinners. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free and we'll make them into Christians." They don't mean that they will lock up child molesters and throw away the key. That would destroy the whole page system. They just mean that they won't allow abortions and gay marriages. That will keep America safe, because gay marriages are the real threat right?
When they say that they will clean up our streets what they mean is that they will put all the poor criminals away for long stretches for even minor offences and then let them out after ten or fifteen years with more hatred in their hearts and more criminal knowledge than they ever would have gathered on the streets. But if you're wealthy or famous you can get off with probation. They won't spend money rehabilitating criminals. Just punish them real good and that'll keep them from doing it again. Damn what the statistics say! They won't waste a dime trying to prevent crime by providing inner-city youth with more opportunities for education and jobs. They won't increase the minimum wage to something that people can actually support a family on without resorting to crime. Punishment and threats. That will work. Look how well it's working already. America has the largest prison population in the world. We are also one of the only industrialized nations without free healthcare and free college education and where you can buy a firearm at WalMart and drive around with it in your car. Could there possibly be a connection?
More jails, more guns, more bombs, less education, no healthcare, lower taxes, higher spending. Sounds like a real recipe for good government.
Anyway, so that's about how the conversation went. I was getting increasingly agitated and wanted to just put the gloves on and pound the truth into everyone's heads in true Republican style. Actually most of the other fighters were in agreement with me. Most fighters don't come from lives of privilege. There was only one who was in disagreement and he was of course the least accomplished of all the fighters present. I couldn't wait to get his ass in the ring. I figured I'd show him just how rehabilitative punishment is. Then we all changed the subject and a very lively training session ensued. Afterwards, as everyone sat around counting their aches and bruises. We all agreed that there will be no more discussion of politics in the gym. Next topic: Religion. "Is your God a homophobic, sexist, racist?"