Remember when Ronald Reagan mythologized welfare recipients as “Cadillac queens” who lived luxuriously off the government as a presidential candidate in 1980? His anecdotal hyperbole about welfare Cadillac queens successfully exploited racial stereotypes and helped convince working class whites that government “was the problem.” Hence the “Reagan Revolution” facilitated an ethos of hyper individualism that dwarfed community values as greedy privatization fundamentalists lay in the high weeds.
Erik Prince, the 38-year old owner of Blackwater USA, is the public face of this privatization fundamentalism championed by corporatist conservatives. Click here to review Prince’s political contributions according to the Federal Election Commission database. Since 1998 Prince has donated over $140,000 to either the Republican National Committee or its candidates. Naturally, Blackwater USA was awarded a no bid contract in the aftermath of “Mission Accomplished.” As Jerry Schall, an investigative reporter for The Nation put it, Blackwater USA are "hired guns, above the law."
Erik Prince and his company illustrate how our government and civil service has been subcontracted to hell, even to the point of using mercenaries in war. They are funded by American taxpayers, committing crimes in our name but have not been regulated.
Thankfully, Representative Henry Waxman of California's 30th congressional district is relentlessly pursuing the truth about Blackwater. But that is not enough. Once and for all, Democrats and liberal/progressives of all banners must vigilantly make people like Erik Prince the personification of all that is immoral and wrong about privatization run amok. Reagan’s, welfare Cadillac queen was a myth. Prince and his company are shamefully real. And the innocent blood they’ve shed in America’s name is also real.
Too many people such as Erik Prince are profiting off the American war machine, as well as our deteriorating healthcare system and the prison industrial complex. As private contractors they have avoided accountability for their incompetence and indecency. The time has long past to rise up and challenge their perversion of our economy, values and national honor.
ADDENDUM: I’ve received some emails from loyal readers noting that I’ve reverted to posting mostly on the weekends and wondering why. Well, as some may have noticed, I’ve had numerous interview posts in recent weeks with authors. Reading and preparing for the interviews are quite time consuming as I have a fulltime job. Consequently, I’ve had to sacrifice posting more frequently or writing developed essays for the time being. Please stay tuned as my next few interviews in October and November are with provocative and accomplished subjects. Most likely they will be posted in podcast format on weekends.