The late vice president Spiro Agnew (1918-1996), unfortunately, left as his most memorable legacy only a phrase, which he, as Nixon’s running mate and first-term vice president, applied to media persons and Democratic politicians critical of Nixon’s policies and actions. The phrase was, “nattering nabobs of negativity.”
It is interesting to see how such partisan epithets sometimes whip back, like aligators caught by the tail, to fang the originating party with even more appropriate depiction. Today’s vocal losers in the recent presidential lottery continue unabated to campaign against the winners, as if nothing were or would be finally decided without their say. They insist on watering down or hamstringing proposals in advance of passage. Unless they can inflict damage, they will delay and block a vote. Democratic process, to them, means opportunity to ruin or subvert any offer from the “enemy” administration, as if, “being left, it can do no right.”
Yet, a long train of evidence shows that conservative measures under Republican administration adversely affect everything in the nation including big-business owners and managers, and that these for the last thirty-plus years have worsened the lot and prospects of working people. Had workers been treated justly, labor’s output could have greatly enriched the tycoons without increasing their distance above common folks so far as now appears, and without wrecking the lives of marginal homeowners and non-essential employees.
This current generation of “nattering nabobs” views our world as darkly distorted through a dirty lens of discontentment and prejudice. The spectacles they wear admit no ray of hopeful light save what shines from their own view of victorious wealth triumphant over politics and society. It seems not to matter that their understanding of wealth is less comprehensive than their enjoyment of its benefits. For them, wealth is virtue, thus the poor lack justification for life, liberty or pursuit of happiness. The poor lack real existence and equal right to citizenship. This sort of wealthy person sees humans in Darwinian terms suitable to the evolution of animals. This is a reductive view that is destructive of both its subject (sapient mind) and of its object (humane life.)
The recent proliferation of wealth management firms would be opportunistically matched by poverty management firms had the poor extra money to be sharked up. As things are, the poor will be held down by many kinds of shark practice, if the advocates of austerity gain full sway. The sequester will worsen poverty more unless good sense prevails to rescind it and reach a balanced agreement. Unfortunately, our country has the Tea Party to thank for rigid opposition to good sense and for subjecting the nation to the nattering negativity of dementedly rich shish-ka-babs.