I see that ACORN, the bogeyman of the right, is going to shut down. Now, I am all for calling out organizations for corruption or craziness, and it is true that the people who were in those now infamous videos advising the pretend pimp and ho needed to be called out, identified and fired. However, my problem with the people who champion the taking down of ACORN is simple: Why not hurl that same venom to those Wall Street investment banks?
It should be no surprise that the impact on the nation that ACORN has had pales in comparison with the impact that those Wall Street investment banks had (and continue to have). ACORN was lucky to get a few million in government dollars over the course of a decade. Aren't the estimates well over a trillion dollars in lost assets that the banks were responsible for? Why aren't the people on the right really working to deal with that.
To hear the reports from folks on the right, as well as Fox News, ACORN was the epicenter of all that was troubling this country. Yet, there is little desire, it seems to focus that attention on the few thousand people mostly in Manhattan who robbed the nation blind. This same lot also shook the axis of the global economy with its tricks and schemes. But it was ACORN that deserved the extra scrutiny.
I've been arguing with friends that I think many on the right loathe poor people generally, and poor minorities particularly. For all of its faults, ACORN is an organization that attempts to help the poor develop those fabulous boots and straps that the right wants everyone to pull themselves up by. For all of the calls of class envy, I think there is an equal measure of class loathing coming from the other side. For example, it's likely that this "government take over" of health care is despised so thoroughly in part because it will help those who don't deserve it.
Sometimes, I think people unleash venom on poor people, because it is really hard to unleash the same amount of venom on really rich people, the people who drove this economy into the ground aided by the governmental officials (of both parties) who continue to enable them. And most of us are enablers as well. Who doesn't want a healthy 401K? Who wants to blame themselves for the role that we each had in the fiction that was the economy of the last decade? No one.
So we look for scapegoats, and we find them. As usual, those scapegoats are less powerful than the objects of our real derision, scorn and anger. ACORN, in my mind, was a scapegoat. But, perhaps I am wrong about rich people being the real object of those who were so enamored with bringing down ACORN. Maybe, just maybe, those ACORN haters are simply pissed that Barack Obama won the election. And maybe, just maybe, health insurance reform took the place of ACORN.
I don't know what will be next on the list of scapegoats, but I do know that those same people who "took down" ACORN would never dream of doing the same with say Goldman Sachs. The question I would have for them would be quite simple: Why?