Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Josh Gets It

Check out this Josh Marshall post at TPM about Bob Shaffer, the Republican running for Senate in Colorado.

A bit of background, Bob Shaffer has made himself famous over the past several years supporting the sweat shop and sexual slavery operations in the Mariana Islands, back when Abramoff was a favorite within the Republican party. Shaffer is currently running for the Senate seat in Colorado and has recently been in the news over a web site his son set up at college, in which the son promotes the positive side of slavery. As Josh points out, one of the things that distinguished Shaffer in the Mariana Islands episode was Shaffer's support of the slavers. Josh is sensing a connection.

I believe that Josh's basic conclusion is essentially correct. I've written myself before (see here, here and here) that the basic character of the Conservative view of the world is to have a society composed of a Privileged class (Comprised of well-to-do, well-connected conservatives natch) and a Servile class supporting them (Comprised of the rest of us). That would match up closely with what Josh is seeing from Bob Shaffer and his son.

To understand modern conservatism, and the current state of national politics, we really need to get a grasp on this idea. There are probably 20-30% of the population that does want what I refer to in the posts above as a Servile Society. Those are the current crop of Bush dead enders and the majority of McCain's support. The rest of the country does respect a free and basically egalitarian society, but opinions within that 70% of egalitarians range from quite progressive to traditionally conservative. (I'm using the phrase 'traditionally conservative' to mean conservative opinions that are consistent with a free and egalitarian society, as opposed to the supporters of a Servile Society). The past decade or so has seen the conservative wing of the egalitarians lining up with the Servile Society (largely due to the skill with which the Servile Society supporters have masked there actual views), but they are open to being won back at this point. This election, I believe, is focused on winning back a governing majority dedicated to the principals of a free and egalitarian society. It also appears that we are well set to win back just such a majority.

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