Jan. 23, 2012
You’ve no doubt seen the standing ovations for Newt Gingrich, the cheering and swooning for Barack Obama, and the similar cooing for other venal, lying, hypocritical, platitudinous, populist, egotistical, power-hungry, control-hungry, war-mongering politicians.
Are humans nuts, or what?
Evolutionary psychologists have the answer. They say that in spite of our capacity for rational thinking, we are not far removed from primates in our emotions, behaviors, and tribalism.
Hold on a second, please.
Sorry, but I had to pick a flea out of my hair.
Anyway, that answer would explain why we want a silver-backed politician with a big ego, small scruples, and a lot of claptrap to lead us, protect us, and, most importantly, to take stuff on our behalf from competing political tribes.
Stealing, of course, is what politics is mostly about, although it’s masked with highfalutin blabber about the economy, deficits, taxes, small government, social justice, and war and peace.
There are thousands of ways that stealing is done through politics and the so-called rule of law. You can skip the following examples if you have a weak stomach or not enough time.
Iowa corn farmers steal from consumers in the form of higher grocery prices due to farm subsidies. New Hampshire dairy farmers steal from consumers in the form of higher milk prices due to the government’s floor on dairy prices. Republican presidential candidates in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries wink and smile at the foregoing stealing in order to get elected. Politically-connected unions steal jobs and higher wages from politically-unconnected, nonunion workers. Then they convince a gullible media that unions raise everyone’s wages. Politically-powerful teacher unions, in the biggest scam of all, steal from gullible soccer moms for the supposed benefit of little Megan. Big banks steal from taxpayers through bailouts and then protect their cartel by giving suitcases of cash to politicians, with most of it going to Obama, who then pretends to dislike bankers. The Federal Reserve steals from everyone by debasing the dollar.Crony-phony capitalists steal from working stiffs by destroying the free market. The elderly steal from future generations for their entitlements while falling for the AARP horse manure that they’re only receiving what they put into Social Security and Medicare.The obese steal from the fit to pay their higher medical bills under socialized medicine and then blame their obesity on their genes or the absence of fresh produce in their ‘hood. Welfare recipients who can’t control their loins and have broods of fatherless children steal from those who can control their loins. At the same time, social conservatives rail against welfare queens while taking their own forms of welfare that aren’t called welfare.Spendthrifts, moochers, slackers and single parents steal through progressive taxation from those who have more money--primarily those who are frugal, industrious and married. Then the former group, with the help of the intelligentsia, demonizes the latter group instead of themselves for being greedy and not caring about the common good.
This and all the other plundering is codified in laws and regulations too numerous for John Q. Citizen to read over a lifetime but are sources of lucrative livelihoods for millions of lawyers, accountants, lobbyists, and public- and private-sector bureaucrats, many of whom are Republicans, including the sleazebag Gingrich, who used Fannie Mae for patronage while in office and for payola when out of office.
Not having the ability to reason, primates aren’t as sophisticated as humans in their stealing but are more honest. When a chimpanzee steals a banana from his fellow chimpanzee, he doesn’t rationalize his theft by lying to himself about social justice, fairness, the common good, the 1% vs. the 99%, or the rule of law.
Feigning ignorance and innocence, American humans usually ask at this point what can be done to stop this cause of our decline, knowing full well that the answer is to vote to end all theft, especially their own stealing, to stop voting for silver-backed scoundrels, and to have the rectitude to help the deserving poor voluntarily out of their own pockets instead of their neighbor’s.
In closing, this monkey thinks that evolutionary psychologists owe an apology to
primates for comparing them to humans.
Mencken’s Ghost is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached