Too many voters persist in believing that the two political parties work in opposition to each other. In fact, both are neo-liberal in their economic policies and both believe in crony capitalism. The only difference may be which interests benefit from that crony capitalism.
The Democrats fill the place of a traditional party of the Left -- a party of the poor and working class. The Republicans play the role of a party of Middle Class conservatism -- of small business and traditional values. In fact, the Democrats have worked to make the poor more dependent on politicians and have sided with big business to support immigration policies to drive down the value of labor, while supporting trade policies that have driven high-paying manufacturing jobs overseas. For their part, the Republicans side with big corporations and wealthy special interests to offer tepid opposition to a rabidly commercial agenda set on destroying local businesses and imposing a global set of standards on both economic and human relationships.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney summed it up when -- in the midst of an economic downturn, high unemployment and underemployment, no property tax relief, mass foreclosures, homelessness, debt, record poverty, and children going hungry -- he declared that same-sex marriage was the state's "top priority" and the most important thing on the legislative agenda. Why not? Billionaires like Paul Singer and Tim Gill were funding the project. It was important to them and they have the money to push an issue to the front of the line.
A recent Princeton University study nailed it when it reported that "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
Now you know why all those referenda voting down same-sex marriage meant jack dick. Money uber alles. Simply put, the citizen and his or her vote simply don't matter to the critters who run our legislative bodies.
Witness the rise of the lobby/public relations/political consulting entity -- often an arm of a law firm -- that employs both Democrats and Republicans. Gone are the days of simply relying on campaign contributions to make a legislator sweet. Now a lobbyist is likely to be the party chairman of a county or municipality -- somebody who can knock a legislator off the party "line" in the primary or find a popular mayor to run against him.
And forget the idea that Democrat lobbyists only lobby for "Democrat" issues and Republicans for "Republican" issues. They lobby for whomever it is that pays them and simply use their party offices to beat legislators into voting the way the rich corporations or interests who pay want them to vote. There was a long line of Republicans taking money to lobby for same-sex marriage. Republicans have trousered George Soros' money and have lobbied for everything from corporate crony solar projects to raising taxes.
Republican voters are beginning to figure out that their party's establishment doesn't care what they think and uses their votes to get hired by people who do not have their interests in mind. Social conservatives got the message first. That's why we had historically low turnout in New Jersey in last year's Assembly races. The Trump phenomenon -- which began after he made a no nonsense comment about the supposedly taboo subject of illegal immigration -- is further evidence that the old b.s. no longer works.
The Reagan-era alliance between the social conservative and Chamber of Commerce wings of the GOP has gone off the rails. For years working class social conservatives voted against their economic self-interests for candidates who promised to respect their traditional values, only to watch those candidates do the bidding of the rich who fund their campaigns and piss on every traditional value.
Why should social conservatives vote to keep the taxes of a corporation like Johnson & Johnson low, when that corporation takes the money it saves and uses it to make propaganda media to push same-sex marriage or helps to underwrite the operations of Planned Parenthood. A year ago, more than 100 of the richest and most powerful corporations signed an amicus brief in Obergefell v. Hodges in support of same-sex marriage and in direct opposition to much of the world's major religions. Among those to codify this global corporate position on faith and morals was Johnson & Johnson.
A New Jersey business organization that relies on Republicans elected with social conservative votes to support its agenda, rewarded this loyalty by inviting the former president of Planned Parenthood to be the keynote speaker at an event sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Will social conservatives be asked by this business group to support less regulation for Johnson & Johnson, now that it has lost a court battle that disclosed its callous disregard for women and children who use its products?
When a resolution is proposed in the Legislature, calling for the condemnation of Johnson & Johnson's corporate leadership for failing to warn women that its talc-based products could cause cancer, will so-called women's advocates like Senator Loretta "Mother Roach" Weinberg sign on? Will Senator Sweeney? After all, these corporate monsters knew as far back as the 1980's that their products caused cancer but they were so addicted to profits that the greedy pigs kept selling it and kept quiet about the cancer.
Wow, doesn't support for same-sex marriage and Planned Parenthood mean that you are "progressive," that you're one of the so-called "good-guys"? Obviously not. The same corporation that makes fashion statements in support of "LGBT rights" and "women's reproductive rights" was happy to expose women and children to the possibility of slow, painful, horrible deaths in order to keep its profits high. Corporate fashion statements are a diversion, a scam. Money uber alles.