The wealthy and influential white males who compose the Republican base are making themselves a paradox. They want both to not have to pay taxes to support the “dependency” of others, and at the same time to live without fear of opposition or insurrection. Yet they push positions that, rationally considered, would almost necessarily create a large group that, unable to support itself and its children, would like the ancient Roman mob, become a permanent source of unrest. Among those positions obviously are denial of access to abortion and contraception., policies which would result in the birth of unwanted offspring whose parents (without access to health care, education, and food stamps) would find themselves unable to function as parents. Both parents and children would necessarily become part of a permanent underclass, not unlike the ancient Roman plebs, with no means of support and able to sustain themselves only through desperate acts – precisely what the enlightened social policies of the first half of the twentieth century were intended to preclude. That underclass would come in time to amply justify the fears of the wealthy and powerful – hence the paradox.
But these men are not unintelligent. They can only be supporting a position so clearly against their interests if – examined more deeply – it supports choices even more fundamental to their peace of mind, options that provide a psychological bulwark against the fear that they, as powerful white males, are in a lot of trouble: gender terror. Continue reading