Within the MRM, we often are confronted with a select few right leaning conservative MRA’s (they know who they are), that have a habit of dogmatically demanding the the men’s movement adopt a decidedly republican bent. They insist on explaining to all MRA’s that do not share their ideas about right wing politics, be they apolitical or left leaning, that one simply cannot expect to form any kind of organized push-back against misandry, if not through the injection of all MRA efforts — the expenditure of all MRA energies, through the vehicle of conservative right wing politics.
Being that I am admittedly much more of a MGHOW, than a bonafide MRA, I will be the first to admit that I have voted a long time ago, decidedly in favor of the party of attrition. I acknowledge that political advancement for men is possible and certainly applaud any MRA willing to fight that battle, but i believe that in the end, freedom for men will arise either gradually via the effects of male societal non-participation reaching levels that render society unstable, or some cataclysmic event that brings the downplayed fact of societies dependability on men into the fore.
I do however think it important to debunk this nonsense, this belief that all misandry stems from the big bad left, which will upon its eradication yield to a golden age of right wing utopianism, if only us wayward MRA’s would just realize that the right is in fact…right.
First let’s talk about what these specific conservative MRA’s mean when they say, right and left. From my understanding of it, they judge the left collectively. Meaning simply that although every politician on the left doesn’t necessarily support a certain spending project, or this or that bureaucracy inducing bill, the left is judged for what they have shown themselves to be collectively — their overarching trend towards centralized government power, their predilections for big government, their feminism.
This is a standard of scrutiny that “right is right”ers unfortunately do not apply to themselves. When conservative MRA’s are confronted with the blatant misandry and male disposability in their political infrastructure, they eagerly tell you about their special brand of conservative libertarianism they espouse in theory, but very rarely in practice. In appraising whether or not one political party benefits men more than any other we must extend to all prospects the same methodology we apply to left wing politics – Likewise the GOP, the conglomerate that makes up right Wing politics must be similarly appraised.
One does not get to judge the left collective, as they should be judged and hand pick their personal brand of right wing politics when a critiuqe is leveled at their political leanings. I make the accusation that the right also perpetuates misandry as frequently as the left does (albeit in different form). In analyzing the tendencies of collective right wing politics, i claim that we will find a predilection for statism and big government rivaling that of the left, as well as a good amount of misandry to boot.
Since I have no problem acknowledging that the left is a bastion of misandry and feminism, it will not suffice simply to state that the right is sympathetic to men, while offering only comparisons to the left’s misandry as evidence. The oft parroted “lesser of two evils” meme is inadmissible. I intend to show where misandry permeates right wing politics, without highlighting the deficiencies of the left wing politics. I subject right wing politics to its own independent inquiry.
Seeing as how conservative MRA’s will (appropriately) refer to president Obama as a paragon of leftist misandry, my assessment of the right will center on paragons of the right– republican presidents Reagan and Nixon specifically.
I start with Nixon, The first to coin the term “The war on drugs.”
Nixon created the DEA — although the war on illicit drugs had been going on since the early 1900’s, the detrimental effects of the drug war on men were catalyzed by the passing of a series of anti-drug legislation’s by the Nixon and Reagan administrations. Nixon signed into law the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. This divided illicit drugs into five different categories (schedule 1, 2, 3, etc.) dictated by their potential for abuse and medical application. Marijuana, with its medicinal properties, its zero drug mortality and addiction rate, was designated as a schedule 1 drug along with Methamphetamine LSD, and PCP. The immediate consequence of this was of course to be the criminalization of a widely used harmless substance — an often used tactic by a coercive state designed to justify law “enforcement” expansion.
This landmark legislation accelerated the war on drugs, and was re-enacted again by the Reagan administration for the purposes of asset forfeiture laws, and prison warehousing. These measures were mere stepping stone’s however, when compared to the Reagan administration. Nixon put these policies into place, Reagan ran with them.
Reagan signed into law the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which appropriated $1.7 billion to fight the so called drug crisis — $97 million of which was allocated to build new prisons. The bill reinstated, and vastly expanded upon mandatory minimum sentencing provision’s. This made Possession of at least one kilogram of heroin or five kilograms of cocaine punishable by at least ten years in prison. The sale of five grams of crack cocaine now carried a mandatory minimum five-year sentence.
It’s not a coincidence that we see Reagan spending just under a a hundred million dollars to build new prisons, while imposing mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug transaction. What he essentially did was to create — out of thin air, a vast and far reaching new standard of prosecutable crime with which to feed (by design) a burgeoning new prison industry. Fast forward to present day and we are now five percent of the world population with an astonishing 25 percent of its prisoners.
This was the genesis of the prison industry, a major conduit of misandry where our brothers are housed like livestock, and peddled to work ridiculous “jobs” for 17 cents an hour. We all know what it really is … slave labor. These policies are directly responsible for why the bureau of justice statistics reports 9 out of 10 non-violent offenders are male, and this is also why the single largest category of total non violent arrests are drug related. This is why the non-violent offender spends an average of 16 months in incarceration, this is why there is a for profit big money prison industry. It all ties back to the policies of the so called iconoclast of limited government and freedom, Ronald Reagan and his failed drug policies that are still largely in effect today.
Lets ask ourselves — under these laws, how many non-violent men are languishing in prison over non-violent drug transactions? How many of them have been or will be raped in prison as a result of their incarceration for a non-violent drug crime? Whenever someone tells you that it most certainly is a right left issue, ask them why the president conservatives most often hold up as the epitome of limited governance passed laws that disproportionately incarcerate men, which in doing so, capitalizes on their labor for pennies on the dollar, whilst exposing them to the threat of violence and rape.
Many conservative apologist’s state that Reagan and Nixon didn’t start the drug war, that this is something that’s been going on since Henry j. Anslinger’s reefer madness. They’d be right… to a degree. Graphically, however an incarceration rate vs year graph leaves no room for misconception as to Reagan and Nixon’s drug policy being the main catalyst for disproportionate male imprisonment.
Starting at around 1975 we see a spike begin to develop, and just about at 1984 we see a massive exponential spike in male imprisonment, accompanied by a comparatively minuscule amount of female imprisonment that instead rose gradually and then plateaued. Nixon came into office just before 1970, Reagan in 1981. The correlation is clear. The war on drugs disproportionately effects men, it incarcerates them at a rate that can only be described as systematic enslavement and it was the right, Nixon and the small government iconoclast Ronald Reagan that catalyzed this war of imprisonment against men, there can be no doubt about it.
To reiterate, nobody is claiming that the left isn’t anti-man and pro-feminist, yet to claim that MRA’s should enter into right wing politics, because the left is unequivocally anti male, means that the right — taken as a whole should stand on its own, regardless of the misandry perpetuated by the left as being pro-male and for limited government. We will scrutinize the right on its own merits and as I have demonstrated it was right wing presidential policy that is responsible for a massive incarceration of men, it was right wing policy that has allowed the heavy hand of government, to create this incarceration behemoth.
I’m not going to really touch to heavily on the right’s propensity to use men as cannon fodder, but I will mention that it was right wing politicians that initiated the war in iraq in the majority. A war that has demonstrably achieved nothing in terms of making America more prosperous, a war that has killed thousands of Americans and an untold number of Iraqi’s. It goes without saying that the vast majority off these war dead on both sides are men. Remember that 215 republicans in the house voted for the Iraq war with only six voting against, as opposed to 82 democrats voting for and 126 voting against. In the senate we saw 48 republicans vote for and one lone republican vote against, while democrats voted 29 for and 21 against. The decision to go to war in Iraq — while supported by both parties was supported to a much greater degree by the right than the left. The result of this in terms of the effect it was having on the male soldiers fighting in Iraq, were rates of military suicides rising to their highest level in 2009, and again in 2011 since records records started being kept in 1980.
The graph clearly shows that during the Clinton years, suicides were marked by a sizable decrease. Immediately upon Bush taking office in 2001 — undoubtedly due to Iraq, the military suicide rates soared until they peaked at the highest point in 2009 when bush left office. As Ive just stated, this reached another high point in 2011 under the Obama administration, the main difference here is that I in no way advocate or proscribe to men that they will find redress of their grievances in the left wing. I understand quite clearly that Clinton also made his significant contributions to the war on drugs, as has Obama. I’m under no illusions, I simply don’t trust the right either.
The question I ask those telling us that the right wing is the “party of men” is — whether or not massive incarceration rates, men being used as cannon fodder in unjustifiable wars that do not bring prosperity security or even a defined sense of victory to American and western men, wars that kill men of western and middle eastern descent alike — if you agree with me that all this has come about as a result of predominantly right wing politics, is this not the perpetuation of misandry and of male disposability? are we supposed to hone in on and expose misandry on the left, only to remain willfully ignorant of misandry on the right?
In regards to the not all republicans are like that excuse. This I want to address personally, as I’ve identified it as what i’ll call the right is right’er MRA bait and switch. Conservative MRA’s that do this know, when taking the bigger picture into question that the right wing is also for big government and coercive state power, as evidenced by the patriot act and the legislations mentioned above.
What these specific conservative MRA’s do, is to highlight an ultra libertarian candidate such as Ron Paul — who because of the anti-freedom, pro big government nature of right wing politics stands no chance of actually getting elected, they’ll dole out a token vote for him and when his candidacy inevitably fails as Ron Paul’s has, they tow the line and vote for whichever right wing hack gets the presidential nomination. In case of this upcoming presidential election its Mitt Romney. They then rationalize away their vote by performing an “at least hes not a leftist” mental gymnastic.
MRA’s must ask themselves why, whenever these so called different “true conservative’s” run for anything more influential than a congressional seat, it’s the right wing themselves that characterize them as an extremist or a nut job? Isn’t that what we saw with Ron Paul? The facts are clear, Ron Paul made a good go of it, said the right things, and talked about fiscal responsibility and limited government. He talked about not policing the world and reducing military spending, His voting record reflected what he was saying consistently.
What did it earn him? Failure — for a second time as per the the votes of the American right wing electorate, and they gave their vote instead to Mitt Romney. If the right wing political infrastructure — what right is right’ers are selling to MRA’s as the vehicle for smaller government and individual freedom – will undoubtedly benefit men, then why, when that same political infrastructure was given for the second time, the opportunity to elect what is essentially the ideal fiscally responsible constitutionalist conservative, did they instead opt for Mitt Romney? It shouldn’t have to be explained that this isn’t just some monumental failure of discernment, but the GOP and the right wing working as its intended to. That being against the wishes of the people, for endless war and defense spending; for the war on drugs, etc…
Do right is right’ers expect MRAs that choose to follow their advice and participate in right wing politics to support people like Mitt Romney when whatever Libertarian candidate they recommend eventually fizzes out and loses, because the republican political party is just as corrupt and defunct as the leftist’s they despise? Are they honestly under the impression that a Mitt Romney, or even a Rick Santorum gives fuckall of a damn for men and our issues? Will they really insult the intelligence of MRA’s by expecting them to buy into this?
Personally I have no problem with MRA’s injecting themselves into the entire political spectrum, wherever they see the possibility of gaining political power for men, and men only, in hopes of equality and male advocacy. There most certainly are MRA’s that can talk the right leftist lingo, appearing sufficiently liberal enough to begin injecting in a calculated way, conversation pertaining to male issues, while understanding that the left is a bastion of misandry.
The right is no different, MRA’s can go there with the express purposes of securing and promoting male advocacy, while keeping in mid that it, as a political structure will not hesitate to see men as canon fodder whenever necessary. I have no problem with MRA’s getting into politics as MRA’s, and for MRA’s, but what conservative MRA’s and many leftist MRA’s want to do is to have their political party define the MRA. One needs only to look at what happened, for example to the tea party, a grass roots movement having significantly more mobilization and power than the MRM does currently — what happened to them?
They achieved marginal success with the November elections, but the bigger picture has shown them to have done what — other than being absorbed by the republican party? They lost their identity, they lost their core issues and beliefs, and Mitt Romney — the antithesis of the so-called freedom and liberty the tea party claimed to be about is still going to win the nomination. The last thing I want is for this movement to be absorbed by a fake conservative agenda.
This article was reprinted with permission. It was originally posted at the Men Going Their Own Way Blog, now defunct.