An insightful friend of mine named Bill posted on Facebook “One big lesson from the election, regarding the Republican pollsters, is that this is where the Republican propensity to manufacture their own facts when the public, scientific facts don’t match their ideology ran into that brick wall called “reality.”
That brick wall called reality is a mighty stumbling block for Republicans if you consider all the facts they had to swallow—kind of like eating crow. For example, the loss of manufacturing jobs here in the U.S. –jobs so many tea baggers and Romneyacs whined about during the miserable campaign season— were really jobs that they shipped offshore. The good news is that Republican corporate moguls, fellows like Romney or companies like Nike, have created an entire manufacturing industry that produces lies, misinformation and outright poppycock—otherwise known as counterfacts. They hire loads of folks like public relations specialists, lawyers and lobbyists to counter the established harms their companies inflict on children, women and men due to environmental pollution, sleazy banking ethics, pharmaceuticals in a deadly pursuit for the almighty dollar, water contamination from fracking for the petroleum industry, permanent emotional and physical damage for our military engaged in wars they declare and obstructionist legislation targeted against abortion providers that harms women.
And lest you believe these corporate bigshots have moved manufacturing jobs oversees out of some sense of beneficence, think again. Their sole motive is profits. Their presence in other countries, while creating employment opportunities for locals, also creates more of the same—pollution, unethical practices, damage to the environment and to cultural practices. Exporting harm to workers and to their country is what happens. For example, Saipan factories making clothing for Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger employ young women, who often had to pay to get these jobs. They are barred from having boyfriends and certainly barred from having children if they became pregnant. But they know where to go for essential back-alley abortion mills. And that’s where these young Chinese women go in order to keep their jobs. And that’s the deal. That’s part of the situation that was essentially endorsed by Tom DeLay (R), a so-called prolifer, when he fought the laws essentially exempting Saipan, although it is a U.S. territory, from U.S. labor laws. It’s this seamier side of business that doesn’t make the front pages of election campaigning or make the religious push from the pulpit to vote for these yahoos. Even if it did, most of the prolifers would think it was a lie.
Maquiladoras working in Mexico for an American corporation earn, on average, an annual salary of $2,471, well below the poverty line. In Ciudad Juarez, girls as young as 13 or 14 work for companies like General Electric, Alcoa, and DuPont and are subjected to sexual advances from male managers and to chemicals and toxins that are toxic to their skin and eyes and, for some, to a growing fetus. But the CEOs of these American companies, these bastions of Republican conservatism and family values, are willingly oblivious to these horrific labor practices that impact other people and their families.
Despite all the election campaign hype, Republican corporate types don’t really worry about offshoring or job losses. They don’t worry about abortion or prolife issues. They talk about small government because they don’t want government messing with their business but will demand government mess with women’s reproductive business.
As my friend Bill said, the Republicans’ manufacture of their own facts ran into that proverbial brick wall called “reality” during this election season. We witnessed millions of women and men voting for sensible, moral, responsible leaders while the Republicans hit the wall. All I can say is “Hurt much?”