In 21st Century America, particularly since Barack Obama was elected President, Republicans have exposed themselves in a grand fashion as only serving the interests of corporate America and their money machine the Koch brothers; at any and all costs. In fact, it is a fact that Republicans will destroy Americans’ jobs to increase corporate profits, raid public pensions for tax cuts for the rich, and transfer public funding for education to private religious schools. The point is there is no limit on the damage to American citizens Republicans will impose, including hoping for natural disasters, to reshape entire city governments to better fit the Libertarian concept of “corporate realignment” of government.
One conservative parroted Koch brother sentiments this week in anticipation of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that completely devastated New Orleans. Instead of noting how inept the Bush response to help tens-of-thousands of Americans was, or mourning the loss of 1,800 lives, this sick psychotic conservative hoped that an equally-catastrophic disaster would strike the city of Chicago. Apparently, it is a conservative’s dream for a deadly disaster to usher in “corporate realignment” and control of every facet of local government.
This psychopath so typifies the Koch-Republican mindset and desperation to corporatize America, that she had the temerity to write in the Chicago Tribune that, “I find myself praying for a real storm. It’s why I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters. Except here, no one responds to the SOS messages painted boldly in the sky. Instead, they double down on their own man-made disaster. I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops. That’s what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans. Chaos. Tragedy.”
According to conservative gospel, and something to “wish and pray” for, what will satisfy them most is a mass tragedy to provide an opportunity for corporate realignment. It is the ideal way to rapidly “advance the Koch brothers’ plans” to raid public trusts, pensions, circumvent democracy (see Detroit), abolish collective bargaining (Wisconsin), corporatize local governments and criminalize labor unions. It is close to what happened in New Orleans where after the tragedy, a white legislature took emergency steps, and advantage of a catastrophic disaster, to “hit the corporate reset button” amid death, chaos, and tragedy affecting primarily poor people of color.
The idea of praising a devastating storm that killed 1,800 predominately poor people, and praying for a repeat in America’s third largest city, as if it is some kind of blessing, especially for corporations, is barbaric and telling about the true sentiments of conservatives. The concept of praying, and celebrating, the wiping out of an entire city in America so Republicans and their Koch supporters can expedite their libertarian corporatist vision is sheer evil; and “positively psychotic.” The real danger is that to monsters like Republicans, the Kochs, and even President Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the idea of heralding or hoping for a truly devastating natural disaster to wipe out an American city and kill its residents “is not rhetorical, it is very real.” One imagines that if Republicans could call in city-destroying natural disasters on command, America would suffer weekly super-storms, wildfires, and floods to hasten the Koch brothers’ “corporate realignment” scheme.
This Koch conservative opinion piece revealed a truly psychopathic mindset where the conservative’s hope for any largely Black, union-friendly, American city is a catastrophic disaster to expedite handing control over local governments to corporate privatization. As stated in an op-ed from Koch-funded Freedom Works just two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, while 96% of the dead remained unidentified, the real tragedy was not the tens-of-thousands of residents who were displaced, or the deaths of thousands of American citizens, but that it took so long for New Orleans to be nearly wiped off the map. While the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) called the conditions in the Superdome “a toxic biosphere,” the National Review said the tragedy was “a golden opportunity” for Republicans to “‘use the chaos’ to push for a rapid and massive corporate overhaul of the New Orleans education system. The storm provides America with a golden opportunity, and the answer lies in the tens of billions of dollars of federal emergency spending. Let’s create emergency school-choice vouchers for the children displaced by Katrina;” and funnel those billions of dollars directly to corporate profits.
Conservative economist Milton Friedman agreed with the Kochs and echoed their joy a couple of weeks later in the Wall Street Journal and said, “Most New Orleans schools are in ruins, as are the homes of the children who have attended them. This is an opportunity to radically reform the educational system.” Remember, in Republican parlance the term “reform” means eliminate, and the Koch brothers want public education eliminated and replaced with for-profit private religious schools.
To make the point, while “tens-of-thousands of mostly poor African American New Orleanians were scattered and trying to survive,” the white Louisiana legislature quickly fulfilled the Koch’s wishes. They called an emergency session and passed an Act that immediately abolished all teachers’ unions and changed the definition of a failing school test score of below 60 to nearly 90 instantly allowing Recovery (charter) Schools to take over 107 of 128 public schools. It is one reason why Piyush Jindal easily raids public school money for private religious organizations, and the perfect “corporate realignment” plan Koch conservatives dream of nationwide. It is also why they are praying for a catastrophic disaster to implement “corporate realignment” in Chicago.
In fact, President Obama’s education privatization Secretary, Arne Duncan, joined in the Koch brother school privatization chorus in 2010 and said that the deadly hurricane was simply “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans.” Since he is from Chicago, one seriously hopes that just because Duncan concurs with the Tribune’s McQueary, Friedman, and the Koch brothers, that he is not praying for a Katrina-like national disaster to wipe out Chicago. He may hate the Chicago public school system because his children attend private schools, but surely he does not really want Chicago residents and their school-age children to experience for themselves the “best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans.” That kind of madness is reserved for Koch Republicans.
This sick, destroy and reset, ideology is a sentiment that is not only embraced by the corporate right, it drives the extremist 2nd revolution secessionist movement among white racist militias and evangelicals. The really sick, twisted idea that Katrina was some kind of biblical blessing that swept away liberal excess (public government) and thousands of poor people’s lives in New Orleans is gaining steam among the, now mainstream, conservative movement and it is a clear and present danger most Americans are completely unaware of.
Conservatives so hate everything about America, its people, its government, its protections,, and its social programs, that they are once again openly wishing and praying for entire American cities to be completely wiped out to allow Koch Republicans to hit “a corporate reset” button and remake cities according to the Koch’s privatized vision of America. No American should make the mistake that conservatives are not coming for their city or town, because even without a horrible disaster the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and American Legislative Exchange Council are already there likely wishing and praying for a catastrophic natural disaster.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.