Oh Sh*t, Meghan McCain Is A Bolshevik Now!
You might not have noticed with everything else that's going on, but Meghan McCain has gone full Bolshevik over the the past few weeks. That's what a pandemic will do to you. You're so bored stuck at home, you wind up re-evaluating all your previous "rah-rah capitalism!" beliefs.
Last week on “The View," while asserting her "fiscal conservative" credentials, McCain expressed a degree of sympathy for people who've lost their jobs because of the coronavirus
McCAIN: I think we need to start easing up on rents and loans in this country for the average American family as well. It's not that people can't go out and work, it's that they are unable to.
This is still a very conservative principle. It's rooted in the idea that there are the “worthy poor" and “unworthy poor." The government should deign to assist the “worth poor" if we believe they didn't bring their poverty upon themselves through sheer shiftlessness. It's easy for conservatives like McCain to see the millions of laid off workers as having “done nothing wrong." Their financial difficulties aren't reflective of a perceived moral failing.
If you're a common Ayn Rand, you'd argue that just because you lost your job, that doesn't suddenly negate the contracts you entered into with your landlord or financial lender. No matter what your hard-luck story is, it's still “theft" to lounge about in someone else's apartment or house without paying. Besides, you don't need to get the government involved. “Rational self-interest" would demand that your landlord or lender make a deal with you — even more so now when almost everyone's in a financial pickle. That's mostly nonsense, of course, because people are greedy and would still evict tenants or saddle them with punitive late fees. That's how the free market rolls. Compassion doesn't exist in business unless it's legislated.
Economic conservatism operates under the fundamental “truth" that life isn't fair. Governments might try to mandate fairness but the road to tyranny is paved with those good intentions. The coronavirus is arguably a naturally occurring economic “event." Countless businesses and even entire industries might collapse but others will rise in their place. The government shouldn't get in the way or pick “winners and losers." The government isn't Kelly Loeffler or Richard Burr’s broker. This is a monstrous theory, but it's what McCain signed up for and actively peddled on air for years. She once demanded her co-hosts name a socialist country where “they aren't starving." It's nice that she's finally noticed that people are also starving here, and now she thinks the answer is “socialism lite" or “I Can't Believe It's Not Socialism."
Worker Safety Concerns Lead To Strikes | The View www.youtube.com
McCain also realized during the coronavirus crisis that billionaires aren't Jesus.
MCCAIN: I don't want to hear it, Jeff Bezos! I don't want to hear you asking the average American for a donation! I want to see you going out and using Amazon for purposes like getting some of these people masks… Doctors in this country are talking about how it's like working in Chernobyl and they're writing their wills! This is not right in the United States of America right now!
Elizabeth Warren proposed a wealth tax because she correctly understood that absurdly wealthy people aren't going to do the right thing on their own. McCain liked to quote Margaret Thatcher's line about how the trouble with socialism is that "eventually you run out of other people's money." David Geffen is self-isolating on a $590 million yacht. He's not going to run out of money. Warren's out of the race now, and unfortunately trying to shame and guilt billionaires has less of an impact when Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is probably more powerful than ever.
This week, from her “America Room," McCain agreed with most decent people that essential workers (who were always essential) should receive hazard pay and generous compensation — she, Meghan McCain, called for doubling their wages, for literally risking their lives.
MCCAIN: And if corporations aren't going to have a conscience enough to take care of these workers... I think it is up to the government
Mitt Romney might've thought corporations were people, but he wasn't naive enough to believe they had a “conscience."
Arizona is a union-busting right-to-work state. Collective bargaining is what gives these workers the power to stand up to Bezos and demand what's only fair. Republicans hate unions but without them, corporations would happily have eight-year-olds in Spider-Man masks delivering your groceries during a pandemic.
MCCAIN: I'm normally like the last person on planet Earth that ever wants the government to give any kind of, you know, financial handout to anyone, but I think these people are putting their lives on the line, putting their families at risk, just for us to be able to get our groceries and needed packages, and, you know, whatever else.
McCain isn't just “View" money rich. Her mother, Cindy, is worth $200 million. McCain has never wanted for anything in her entire life, but she still boasts that she never wanted the government to give a “handout" to poor people, who she now realizes are human. Better late than never.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."