More Things That Are Not Slavery

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Memo to Michele Bachmann and the denizens of the Strib's comments section: YOU ARE DUMB.

It's been a while since I've tackled either Batshit Bachmann or the dozen or so troglodytes who've taken up permanent residence in any remotely political Strib comments thread. But, to dip my toe briefly into the personal, this is the kind of week that will demand easy targets, and there are few easier. Also, I'm getting sick and tired of people not knowing what the fuck slavery is.

If you recall, back in April, J.C. Watts compared social programs to a child receiving allowance without doing any work, and calling that a form of slavery. Which you may also recall bothered me a tad.

So let's refresh. Slavery is when you're captured and forced to work against your will for no money. A slightly lesser form of slavery, indentured servitude, is when you're paid a nominal wage, so as to seem like it's not slavery, but then your employer reclaims nearly all of that wage - to pay off a debt, or for rent and supplies in the "company store". That's our benchmark. That's slavery. Getting paid to do nothing is clearly the complete fucking opposite of that.

Which brings us to Michele Bachmann at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver. You will not be shocked to find that this combination of things align to form ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"We will talk a little bit about what has transpired in the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves."

Now, I know she framed it in the hypothetical, but the idea that Obama is enslaving white people has been a conservative trope since before he was elected. To this day, nobody has any idea why Barack Obama's policies have led to such a striking upturn in "slavery" rhetoric. There are no predominant theories. Not even any wild suppositions. It is completely and utterly inexplicable, unless you, you know, remember that he's black.

Beyond that, though, "nation of slaves" is an odd concept. I mean, you can't just be a slave. Someone has to enslave you. And they have to keep you from escaping. If the entire country is a nation of slaves, who's doing the enslaving? Well, in the Bachmann mindset - which I know is an odd phrase, but bear with me - but in the Bachmann mindset, the nebulous, incorporeal, omnipresent and omnimalicious GUMMINT is the enslaver. Oh, and the black guy in charge of it, too.

It's a completely indefensible concept, which, of course, is why Strib commenters immediately defended it. Let's begin with "elkpeak5":

"Bachman is right. We are slaves to a government that now employes more poeple than the private sector and at more in wages & benefits. We are down to 2 people working to support 1 not or employed in government. This can't continue."

Damn right it can't continue. Because it doesn't exist. You know what's not slavery? Living in a country with someone who employs more people than your employer does. Am I a slave to Apple? OK, bad example. But still: NOT SLAVERY, even if any of those statistics were true, which they're not. Or spelled correctly. Or anywhere near grammatical. There are single CEOs making more in wages and benefits in a year than some entire government departments, for fuck's sake.

"And though she makse wild statements if you look at the just of it she usually hits pretty close to home. Look at your pay stub and tell me we aren't enslavened to the government spending machine. Trueths hurt." - "muskiedog". You know, maybe these are ACTUAL elks and dogs posting to the Strib. It'd explain all the swapped letters and the coinage of words like "enslavened".

But you know what? I looked at my pay stub. I got to keep about 2/3 of my money. The other third got taken away. Some of it I'll get back when I retire, unless the deficit commission decides that I have to work an extra five years to pay for the Bush tax cuts for the rich. (Which, by the way, would not be slavery.) Some of that third I'll drive on. Some of that third will put out my house when it's on fire. But again, I kept two thirds of it. I am, therefore, NOT ENFUCKINGSLAVENED.

"She represents people, maybe not you, but... I applaud her for putting herself out there knowing that there are people who will put her down because they can't face the truth or anyone that speaks it. Keep up the good work. You have my vote!" - Hm. No animal name, no misspellings. "Lynn1456" is clearly human. Not that bright, mind you. But still human. If someone calls something slavery that isn't slavery, and then someone else calls what the first person did "truth" when it's not truth, and "good work" when it's not good work, well, the system works, I guess. Michele Bachmann truly does represent Lynn1456.

"Why does 0bama keep deficit spending ?? To make Americans become dependent on government. To make Americans become "slaves" to government. Remember it's "We the People" not we the Government. Beware of 0bama." - "hrearden57", who is the Heinz of dumb.

One of the recurring threads in the "big government = slavery" theme is demonstrated here, and it's fundamentally racist. Not because it's critical of Obama, but because it establishes a cause and effect relationship. That dependence on the master is what leads to slavery. Let's walk THAT metaphor back, shall we? It's not getting loaded into boats, hauled across the Atlantic, and kept in chains that makes you a slave. It's that you grew TOO DEPENDENT. And that's how you ended up that way. It is, essentially, blaming the victim for slavery. Classy.

And for one final thing that is not slavery, we leave it to "RHOLAN", for his attempt at winning the Victoria Jackson Memorial Award for excellence in conflation of unrelated Obama smears:

"Slaves, in her speech, relate to subjects living under communism. We are on that road and have been heading that way for decades. The Russians have always known we would be living under communism, but we wouldn't know it until we got there. Good job Michelle. Keep preaching awareness and liberty."

Calling what passes for the American economy "socialism" is hyperbole. Calling that type of socialism "communism" is historically inaccurate. Calling communism "slavery" gets you quoted in a column about things that are not, in fact, slavery. Here's a hint. There are many different unpleasant things in the world, and being different, they are therefore NOT THE SAME. Also, if by "always" you mean the 70-80 years that the Soviet Union was a going concern, then, well, you're still not that bright, because you clearly supported decades of Cold War ideological struggle against an enemy that was apparently sitting back and waiting for us to inevitably stumble into their way of life.

You know who else yells "slavery" when they're forced to do something they don't want to do for the good of the social unit? Twelve-year-old brats who don't want to take out the trash. Which, come to think of it, raises the average age of teabagger petulance by about a year and a half.