How Steinbeck 'Predicted' a Decline and Fall of America

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

There are MANY differences between the GOP and Democrats! Enough to write books about! Why, then, has the meme taken hold that there are no differences between the parties?

That's found in 'Right Wing Campaigning 101', better known as a GOP 'Campaign Manual'. There exist such manuals, produced for candidates by their highly paid consultants. At one time, I had several of these large tomes. Lesson no 1 states (in effect): in appropriate situations, it is to your candidate's advantage to BLUR the distinction between the candidates. Generally, the GOP is a minority party. It is often to their advantage to convince the public that Dems are just GOP-lite! It "ain't" necessarily so! For a start: EVERY Democratic President since WWII has enjoyed greater GDP and JOB CREATION rates than has any GOP President.

No one was surprised recently when some 227,000 NEW Jobs were reported. Those were among many more that had disappeared under Bush Jr. That the Shrub lost and/or destroyed jobs put Obama in the position of having to regain lost ground and ADDING to the baseline! The cycle is repeated whenever a Democrat assumes the White House; he must create jobs and quickly. When a Republican assumes the White, he or she will promptly destroy them. If there were NO differences between the parties then HOW is that pattern to be explained?

Clue: STOP buying the bullshit! Check the official numbers.

The great motion picture —The Grapes of Wrath –was all about the disastrous, often heart-breaking loss of jobs that began with the incompetent if not evil policies of a GOP administration, that of Herbert Hoover. Interestingly, Hoover was the last in a parade of GOP Presidents who hpw preceded him to include Harding and Coolidge. The GOP OWNS its creation: the GREAT DEPRESSION.

Daring to tell the truth about the Great Depression and the GOP which created it earned John Steinbeck numerous death threats, an FBI investigation, and –to be expected of the nation's moronic/crooked right wing –charges of 'Communist sympathy', charges never proven. They were not proven because they were not true!

The actions of the GOP/right wing define them thus: 1) they are liars who know their 'economic policies' are disingenuously conceived and promoted;the GOP knows its 'theories' are hooey but does not care; 2) the GOP are ruthless and will rig elections in order to seize power.

In the meantime, we have no choice but to exercise free speech until it is denied us by a tyrant. We narrowly survived one recently –George W. Bush who might have parlayed a success in Iraq into a 'triumph' perhaps with laurel wreaths and a parade of slaves from conquered nations.

That the GOP is utterly incompetent may very well be our only salvation –so far! It may be dumb luck that things worked out in our favor. In the aftermath of Bush Jr, we should be thankful that we are still –on paper at least –guaranteed freedom of speech and, by extension, the freedom of conscience that inspires it.

Not surprisingly, it was an Oklahoma Congressman who labeled John Steinbeck's novel –The Grapes of Wrath' –a "dirty, lying, filthy manuscript”. Nevertheless, it remains one of America's great novels, one of America's great motion pictures starring Henry Fonda. Predictably, the GOP despises it because it dares to tell the truth and depict it realistically.

Tragically, a 'sub-stratum', i.e, the right wing inclined, has refused to evolve, progress, grow or, in any way, transcend a disastrous mental constipation that has –it seems –forever retarded our nation's best but utterly lost dreams and better aspirations. One fears that America will be remembered as Rome is remembered, that is, as a repressive, failed, cruel empire remembered most often for its cruelty, its obsession with spectacle, it's neglect of anyone not of 'noble' lineage.

Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace!
–Tacitus: Calgacus' Speech to His Troops (A.D. 85)

Not the Full Movie But Some Good Scenes: The Grapes of Wrath, Henry Fonda