Who's Who

Why the Right Is Wrong

This is the current iteration of my big book project. This started to take form in mid-2005 when I conceived it as a broadside follow-up to my vot for Kerry letter. I was thinking then of something practical pointed toward the 2006 elections. The working title at that point was "The Case Against the Bush Republicans." While I still believe that a Republican defeat in 2006 would help put a brake on the unfolding disaster. Still, the more I think about these problems, the deeper they appear. Moreover, I'm struck by how ill-prepared we are to discuss them in the political arena -- largely due to the proliferation of myths that enabled the rise of the Bush Republicans in America. I've noticed that a great many critical people have developed a good grasp of the details of the problems we face, but little has been done to draw solutions together into a coherent political framework. That winds up being my main task here.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction:

2. A Brief State of the World Address:
These are one-paragraph-per-topic reminders that all current issues are rooted in our physical and historical environment.

2.1. Basic Earth Science:
The earth in the solar system. The size and composition of the earth. The sun, as our principal source of energy. The atmosphere, its composition, structure, and thermodynamics. Water, its states as vapor, liquid and ice, its chemistry. The origin of life and its effects on carbon and oxygen cycles. The tilt of the earth and the oscillation of seasons. The earth's structure and magnetic field. Plate tectonics: oceanic and continental crust, plates, trenches. Radioactivity, geothermal energy, convection currents, hot spots. Erosion and the building of sedimentary rocks. Solar energy storage as coal, oil and natural gas. A climate map: continents, oceans, thermal currents. The evolution of life, colonization of the continents. Catastrophes and mass extinctions.

2.2. Human History:
Origins and early human migrations. Hunter-gatherer tribal structure. Ice ages and impact of current interglacial period. Early development of agriculture. Domestication of animals and the harnessing of animal power. Use of tools, development of metallurgy. Organized warfare and empire building. Development of writing. Development of axial age religions. Development of intercontinental trade. Urbanism and the impact of plagues and famines. Islam and the Cruades. The age of European exploration, expansion, and imperialism. The slave trade and the development of racism in the Americas.

3. The Political Right's Triumph of the Will:
Brief history of the rise of the new political right in US. Several strands: big business imperialism; rabid anticommunism; Christian fundamentalism; racism; the military; libertarianism. Slander of New Deal/Great Society liberalism. Think tanks and media, and how they drive public discourse to the right, including examples from the "new" Democrats. How these strands converged in ascent of Reagan, Gingrich, and Bush.

4. The Contract on America:
What's new with Bush is the degree to which ideas that worked as rhetoric have failed as policy when implemented by Republicans. In many ways the Bush era began with the 1994 elections under Gingrich's "Contract with America" -- the previous section was more on electoral success and the right's numerous supports, this one is more on implementation and results.

5. The Way Things Ought to Be:
Rush Limbaugh's misused and abused title. Try to be positive.

6. End Matter:

6.1. Glossary:

6.2. Who's Who: