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Where dumb ideas come from

March 2, 2014 - Harry Eagar
Do you ever wonder where rightwingers get their nutty ideas about economics? I mean, they are too uniform for them to be all arriving at the same place independently.

I know I got my rightwing ideas primarily from the Readers Digest. I abandoned them when I was 16 and stopped picking up pocket money from mowing neighbors' lawns and painting their fences and got a wage job in private business. It was soon apparent that business did not work in real life as I had been told it did in the RD.

Where else could these ideas be found? Not every young person reads the Readers Digest. Well, other obvious places might be the Saturday Evening Post, the canned op-ed pieces in small-town newspapers and -- church.

The close association between nutty economics and fundamentalist religion is clear enough. An amusing example was turned up in today's installment of "Sundays with the Christianists," Doktor Zoom's hilarious weekly autopsy of fundie home-schooling American history textbooks.

Both books under deconstruction come out of the highest reaches of fundie intellectualism, Bob Jones University and Pensacola Christian College. This week's lesson concerns the prosperity of the '50s. The kiddies are taught:

"Under President Eisenhower, free enterprise (capitalism) thrived. In 1956, the Federal Highway Act provided funds for interstate highways. Soon road crews were constructing great roadways, linking the states with an Interstate Highway System. Many Americans took to the new highways and toured the country in the late 1950s."

I have had people with advanced degrees argue with a straight face that public highways are not socialist. To them, my response is Roy Zimmerman (hear him via Youtube)

Dok Zoom helpfully recalls some other Big Gummint programs of the '50s, like the St. Lawrence Seaway. Today the Tea Partiers have departed so far from GOP policies of the Eisenhower period that they don't even want to pay to keep the Interstates in repair. Those highways are, after all, over 50 years old and showing their age.


Article Comments



Mar-17-14 2:17 AM

The Maui Tea Party is actually not the same group that is portrayed in the media. I've attended a couple meetings myself, and if you are man enough I invite you to do the same.

I've been to a Young Democrats meeting, a Republican Caucus, a Libertarian meeting, and a Tea Party meeting. I can tell you for a fact that the Maui Tea Party is NOT the most out of touch group with reality of the four. Not even close.


Mar-05-14 2:05 PM

I don't want to get rid of the Republican party, but I wish it would come to its senses.


Mar-04-14 9:24 PM

Getting rid of the Republican party is a step in the right direction.


Mar-03-14 2:23 PM

The Old Guard is beginning to wish they would. The TP, however, is convinced everybody believes its values, rather than the under 10% who really do.

They are sure they can take over the GOP the way the Progressives did the Democrats early in the 20th century.

I think it more like;y they will destroy the Republican party, which will then be rebuilt -- it isn't going away -- in some fashion that I cannot foresee.


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