What is this blog about?

What is this blog about?

I am a political philosopher. My 'political philosophy' is a form of 'liberal egalitarianism.' So in this blog I reflect on various issues in political philosophy and politics (especially Canadian and American politics) from a liberal egalitarian perspective.

If you are curious about what I mean by 'liberal egalitarianism,' my views are strongly influenced by the conception of justice advanced by John Rawls. (So I sometimes refer to myself as a 'Rawlsian,' even though I disagree with Rawls on some matters.)

Astonishingly, I am paid to write and teach moral and political philosophy. I somehow manage to do this despite my akratic nature. Here is my faculty profile.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Plutocrats pull the plug on perennial political puppet Walker

As I have noted earlier here, the current political system within the United States, to a great extent at least, is a de facto plutocracy.  And one would be hard-pressed to find a better illustration of this than Scott Walker.  Almost all of his important political decisions since becoming governor of Wisconsin in January 2011 have furthered the interests the plutocratic class, and harmed the interests of everyone else, especially the poor, women, and workers.  Much of Walker’s harsh right-wing legislation is pulled directly from ALEC

(If you would like to witness some vivid examples of Walker’s craven appeasement of the wealthy, there is this video of his interaction with Wisconsin billionaire Diana Hendricks, as well as the prank phone call in which Walker mistakenly believed that he is speaking with David Koch.)

And now Scott Walker has dropped out of the race to become the Republican nominee for president. 

While I always thought that is was unlikely that he would become the GOP nominee, let alone win the presidency, it never struck me as impossible.  Even a 1-in-50 chance of Walker becoming most powerful person on earth terrified me.  In recent weeks, fortunately, his odds of winning the nomination declined precipitously, driving him to increasingly desperate measures, such as promising to ‘wreak havoc’ on Washington, and doubling-down on his ongoing anti-union crusade.  But, thankfully and unsurprisingly, these manic and malevolent gestures were to no avail.

Amusingly, in his exit speech, Walker said: “Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race.”  Simply put, he is ‘leading’ by quitting.  Well okay then!  I very much hope that he exercises such leadership again soon as governor of Wisconsin.

As the plutocratic candidate par excellence, it seems clear that Walker decided to abandon his quest for the presidency once his wealthy funders told him that the gig was up.  Following two lacklustre debate performances, some bizarre policy statements (e.g., considering a border wall with Canada to be a ‘legitimate issue’), and numerous flip-flops (e.g., his various positions concerning birthright citizenship), Walker’s stock was in free-fall.  Throwing more money at the Walker team would not help at this point.  Money may be far too powerful in contemporary politics, but it couldn’t help Walker’s intrinsic shortcomings as a national candidate, such as his aggressive lack of charisma and his dim-witted demeanour.  So, as Josh Marshall points out at TPM, Walker “lived by the Koch,” and now has “died by the Koch.” 

Gee.  It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving puppet.  

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