“Mutual economic gain is the keystone of The Union”

There’s a column at the National Review today which provides a good look into how blinkered and deluded conservatives are and how deeply buried in their ideology they have become. 

​The premise is not a bad one: “We’re all in this together! What’s good for my brother is good for me! Shared prosperity makes life better for everyone and brings forth harmony and not division!” It’s a riff on Alexander Hamilton’s understanding of what our nation was and could be.

​I’m not the biggest Alexander Hamilton fan in the world but, generally speaking, I agree with that stuff. Shared prosperity is important, as is our sense of community as a nation. 

​There are just a couple of problems, though:

  • Nowhere in the column does the author acknowledge that contemporary conservatism aggressively champions economic policies that are massively exploitative and comically unequal;
  • Nowhere does the author acknowledge that, whenever someone proposes something that may make economic prosperity a more mutual and less exclusive thing, his colleagues at the National Review and likeminded places decry it as “socialism” or worse and claim it will be the ruin of the country; and
  • Nowhere does the author note that conservative policy treats billionaires as if they were godlike geniuses, gives preferential tax treatment to the shiftless children of the rich, allows businesses to poison the populace, fights minimum wage at every turn, approaches health care as if it were a mere privilege, assumes the poor are poor because they lack moral fiber and, in every other respect, works overtime to impede the very mutual economic gain which he claims to be championing rather than promote it.

My conservative friends: there is absolutely nothing wrong with believing that “mutual economic gain is the keystone of The Union.” If you do believe that, however, try advancing at least a single, solitary economic initiative that promotes mutual economic gain as opposed to the massive number of policies you support which serves the interests of business and the wealthy alone, does harm to the poor and to working people and fosters vast and, eventually, destabilizing economic inequality.

Until you do that, you’re spewing empty ideology which flies in the face of the reality which you conservatives have created. 

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the author of the daily baseball (and other things) newsletter, Cup of Coffee. He writes about other things at Craigcalcaterra.com. He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.