Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's the Stupid Economics, Stupid! by Robert S. McElvaine

The Gone Old Party has long been the home of two species of fundamentalists: Fundamentalist Economus and Fundamentalist Religulous.

The alliance between the two has been uneasy, but victories have often been sufficient to paper over their differences.

John McCain is an eco-fundie, but not a religio-fundie. He has, however, sold his soul to the devil -- the religio-fundies -- in his desperate attempt to win the presidency.

For her part, Sarah Palin is both a religio-fundie and an eco-fundie.

But all that matters in this election is the economy, and, try as he might, Sen. McCain cannot escape from his lifelong adherence to economic fundamentalism: Thou shalt honor the Market thy God, and thou shalt have no other gods before It. It must be left to rule us without interference.

It is the economic fundamentalism that reigned in the 1920s and led to the Great Depression.

That same economic fundamentalism has been dominant in the presidency of George W. Bush and it has run the economy into the ground once again. And John McCain has genuflected before it religiously.


In 1960, a photo of an unsavory-looking Richard Nixon (I know, I know -- is there any other way he looked?) with the caption, "Would you buy a used car from this man?" was popular among Democrats.

The same type of photo of McCain works this year, with "used economic philosophy" replacing "used car."

All the Obama campaign people need to remember is a variant of the sign in the 1992 Clinton war room:

It's the Stupid Economics, Stupid! Remind Everyone of it!

[Historian Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts & Letters at Millsaps College. His latest book is Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America . ]

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