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On the Democratic Party’s Unfortunate Obsession with Gun Control

August 26, 2017 25 comments

A few months ago, I wrote a short series enumerating the many reasons why the democratic party, in its current form, has no worthwhile future. Some reasons, such as the nature of their core support base and institutional inertia, are systemic in nature. Others, like their obsession with promoting certain allegedly “social causes”, are a cover for the neo-liberal policies promoted by them. But a few do not fall neatly into either of these two categories. One of the best example from this category is the obsession of the democratic party establishment with implementing severely punitive gun control policies.

As some of my regular readers might remember, I have written many posts on why attempts at tight gun control are unworkable, futile and likely to backfire in more ways than at the ballot box. The very short version of those posts is that deaths due to guns in USA are largely the result of socio-economic factors (suicide, financial problems, lack of job security) and explicit government policies (“war on drugs”, abandoning poorer areas). To make a long story short, attempts at stricter gun control do not address the far larger and much more dangerous underlying systemic issues which drive the relatively high incidence of deaths by guns in USA.

However, time after time, we have seen the democratic party establishment try to use every newsworthy shooting to push for stricter gun regulations. Of course, we have also seen the democratic party lose election after election in many areas of the country during that period. As it stands today, the democratic party does not have control of any elected branch of the federal government and almost 2/3rds of state governments. The democratic party of today is so weak and impotent on the national stage that they cannot even properly exploit the ongoing train-wreck of the Trump presidency, which would otherwise be a god-send to a marginally competent opposition party.

Of course, there are many reasons why the democratic party has been on a downward path since the mid-1990s. Firstly, their embrace of neo-liberalism and its policies such as “free trade” and laissez-faire regulation of corporations which started during the Clinton era have antagonized a significant part of the population, especially in non-coastal states. Secondly, the leadership (and top cadre) of democratic party is full of people who either got in during the 1960s-1980s or are ivy-league credentialed C-grade actors who look ridiculous and phony in 2017. They would rather hold on to their premium berths on the ‘Titanic’ than change course and avoid the iceberg.

But none of this provides a satisfactory answer for why establishment democrats are anti-2nd amendment. I mean.. wouldn’t a political party in semi-permanent political wilderness prefer its supporters to be armed than not? Also, it is fairly well-known that taking an anti-gun stand was a factor in them losing the 2000, 20004 and 2016 presidential election- in addition to many more at the states level. So why persist in pushing a cause that does not make sense from the viewpoint of winning elections? And let us clear about something- politicians, regardless of their party affiliations and stated ideologies, are in to win power. Some are more corrupt and easily bought than others but basically all politicians compromise on their beliefs.

So how can you account for establishment democrats repeatedly pushing an electorally bad ideology? One theory I have seen being floated is that democrats think that decrease in overall rates of gun ownership will somehow translate into future success of their campaign to criminalize civilian ownership of firearms. While that might sound like a nice story, ground reality as measured by sales of guns and relaxation of rules and regulations surrounding gun ownership since 1994 suggest otherwise. It appears, then, that the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was the high point of democratic success in legislating for greater gun control. It has been downhill for them since then.

Another theory, I have heard, suggests that the establishment democrat obsession with gun control is linked to institutional stagnation within the party. There is some truth to the idea that political parties whose establishment is led by people who are mentally in the 1980s and 1990s might try to maintain what they believe to be the status quo and keep pressing for more bad policies, especially if their positions within the organisation are secure from competition. But that does not explain why the somewhat younger establishment types (Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand etc) in that party are still pushing such disastrous ideas.

Well.. I have a theory that can explain the obsession of democrats with gun control. You see, it comes down to appealing to their core base of supporters and volunteers- to be more specific, the credentialed professional class. As I have said in some of previous posts, a lot of the odd behavior displayed by democratic party makes sense once you realize that its most important non-corporate supporters are people who owe their well-compensated livelihood to credentials obtained from “famous” educational institutions. It is also no secret that most of those who work for or volunteer at higher levels in that party have such socio-economic backgrounds.

But why would that translate into support for gun control? Why would such a socio-economic group, or class, be interested in gun control? Let me try to explain it in the nicest possible language.. never mind- because they are greedy and insecure parasites. The credentialed class (especially in USA) derives its income, livelihood and social status from thievery and extortion through law and rules. That is why doctors in USA makes much more money than other developed countries while not being any better than them. That is why tenured professors at large “famous” universities in USA can make so much extra money though side projects. That is why pretty much any credentialed or licensed professional makes more in USA than other developed countries.

The degree of parasitism displayed by the credentialed professional classes in USA is second only to outright legalized theft and extortion practiced by corporate entities. But why then are corporations not especially interested in gun control? Why the professional class but not corporations? The answer to that is simple- because corporations already have the full might of the state behind them. Credentialed professionals, on the other hand, are in that peculiar zone where they are visibly doing better than others in a rapidly impoverishing society but lack any special protection by the state. In other words, they can feel (if only on a subconscious level) that they will become targets for popular rage if the proverbial shit hits the fan.

And that is why the credentialed professional class, which is the 2nd most important constituency for democrats as well as the source of most of their party establishment cadre want to disarm “less deserving” poorer people. Parasites, you see, prefer hosts who are unable to stop the party. Credentialed professionals perceive the widespread ownership of guns as a threat to their cushy livelihoods which depend on theft and extortion via laws and regulations. However, unlike corporations, they are not powerful or singularly important enough to get special protection by the state.

Attempting to ban widespread ownership of guns, then, appears to be the second best option. And that is why the democratic establishment keeps on pursuing a policy that has brought it repeated electoral failure in parts of the country that are not New York or California. On a side note, I do not think that their obsession with gun control is going to change even if they perform poorly in the 2018 and 2020 elections. As long as they can still win a few coastal states, they will keep shooting themselves in the foot.

What do you think? Comments?