by James Thompson
The lunacy of US electoral politics has been taken to a new low by back-to-back assaults on race and sex by GOP political hacks. Rush Limbaugh, the grotesque spokesperson for the right wing in the USA, may have opened Pandora’s box by his blatantly sexist remarks. During a radio broadcast, he mounted a vicious attack on a Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke. Ms. Fluke advocates making contraception available to all women without charge.
Mr. Limbaugh, twisted her position into a form which fits his perverse worldview. He called Ms. Fluke a “Feminazi” and a “slut” and a “prostitute” claiming that she is advocating for women to be paid to have sex because she advocates that contraception be universally available without charge. In a perverse twist to perversity, Mr. Limbaugh demanded that women receiving free contraception should be forced to make videos of their sexual activities which should be posted on YouTube for all to view. His position is that “if we’re going to pay for something, we should receive something in return.”
Although Mr. Limbaugh’s remarks will likely receive a lot of media attention and much debate over what should be done, the first responders are calling for a boycott of all advertising sponsors of Mr. Limbaugh’s show. Not a bad response, but is this enough?
The upside of Mr. Limbaugh’s remarks is that he has brought the issue of free speech into sharp focus.
The sewer of ideology in the USA, of which Mr. Limbaugh’s remarks are symptomatic, produced further sewage in the form of remarks from a Montana judge. Judge Richard Cebull of Billings, Montana has admitted to forwarding a scurrilous e-mail about President Obama, alleging that The President is the product of a sexual encounter between his mother and a dog. Although the Caucasian judge denied that he is a racist, his action has been recognized by most sensible people as being undeniably racist.
Why would the right wing employ these extremist tactics?
Racism and sexism, epitomized by these two political hacks of the right-wing, have been the age-old tools of the upper-class. By upper-class, this paper is referring to what is popularly termed the 1%. The 1% is made up of the ultra-wealthy who own and control all industrial activity in this country. The upper-class are the true capitalists who oppress, exploit and seek to humiliate and subjugate all working people in order to maximize their own profits. They oppress, exploit and humiliate working people in order to reduce their wages and benefits. Reducing the wages and benefits of working people is the only way capitalists can increase their profits. Marx scientifically proved that capitalists can survive only if they increase their profits. History has taught us that capitalists will go to extraordinary lengths to increase profits. Lenin showed us that when economic crises occur in capitalist systems, the capitalists rush to war. The most recent example of this is the multiple wars in the Middle East. Racism and sexism are also very effective tools used by the ultra-wealthy to demonize segments of the population so that the exploitation, oppression and humiliation of these groups may seem justified. However, most sensible working people recognize that the subjugation of women and various racial groups only serves to reduce wages and benefits in this affects all of us.
What should be the response of working people to such outrageous assaults?
Boycotting the sponsors of all programs which engage in hate speech in all its forms could be a start, but is it sufficient? It is long overdue for this country to outlaw hate speech in all its forms. People who advocate racism, sexism, anti-communism, and religious persecution as well as the exploitation, oppression and humiliation of working people should be subject to criminal prosecution. If found guilty, such individuals should be sentenced to severe penalties such as long-term imprisonment. Working people, in a united way, should advocate for legislation which would stop hate speech in its tracks.
The right to free speech, inherent in a democracy, does not include the right to advocate for the exploitation, oppression and humiliation of any sectors of society. Until such tactics of the right wing are criminalized, can we really say we are a democratic society?