A modest proposal

by zunguzungu

Federal funding to save the left. I put it to you that everyone would be a whole lot happier if we had a real socialist left, and politics would just make so much more sense. Our whole system is built around them, but everything’s gotten so weird since the fall of the USSR.

Think about it, it’s win-win. The leftists would love it, obviously, but so would the centrist Democratic party, who can’t do a convincing “safe neoliberal alternative” when there are so few actual hippies to punch. Who is Obama supposed to use the specter of “Sister Soulja” to distinguish himself from, now that there’s no figure of the stature that Jesse Jackson had back then? Without actual leftists, Obama is simply not going to be able to shake the “Socialist Anticolonialist Muslim” label, no matter how many banks and hedge funds he gives legal immunity to, or how many Arab children he bombs. But while he’d love to have a real leftist presence in American politics to be all dismissive of, this would really be a gift to the right wing. It would give the neo-McCarthyites someone to investigate (and they’d actually find stuff), the religious right would have an honest to goodness secular humanism to be afraid of, and it would give the Mitt Romney types a way of compromising with middle-of-the-road pro-market liberals without seeming to be selling out the Tea Party, who could just go back to being the John Birch society. And it would make the job of the media a lot easier; it’s so hard to produce opposing left and right talking points when everyone agrees on austerity, tax breaks, permanent war, and the fact that America is teh awesome. I mean, unless there’s some kind of giant conspiracy of capital to destroy the organized left and reduce us all to atomized consumers or something, I just don’t see how anyone could object.

For a start, then, I’m thinking: protected refuges. The main thing is to get these people breeding again, but we could also put them in zoos to raise awareness of their plight, as well as remind people of the grave danger they pose to the fabric of American society, blah, blah, etc. Maybe we could pay for it by getting a penny from every dollar spent at Starbucks or maybe Chavez has some petro-dollars he can spare. Bono should be gotten on board, stat. Riots would also be a good way to raise awareness; perhaps we could have special protected days where they would be allowed to run free (also good for tourism). Once a stable minimal breeding population is established, we could build some government run institutions of higher learning to indoctrinate them and create some “unions” of organized labor to keep the workers in touch with the socialist propaganda and social support that they’ll need if they’re to survive in the wild. At some point in the future, we’ll have to tag, collar, and track them, so we can try to colonize parts of the country where overhunting and resource degradation has completely eliminated them. But we’ve got plenty of time to work out those details; that’s a long way off.

So I say we get our hands dirty with this; there’s a political consensus here to be tapped. And this is America! Let’s win the future and save the American leftist! Why should we let the inevitable extinction of this beautiful and useful creature destroy the national way of political life? We need them, now more than ever. Though I’m mainly thinking of the children; without leftists, how the heck will they ever understand what the hell the 20th century was all about?