Okay, I'm in the role of culture critic here, although I am no expert on the pervasive American affair with bondage, domination and sado-masochism (BDSM). My message is that the similarities between austerity and bondage are striking. Good Christians who think they are conservative and moral, but maybe just a bit kinky, are drawn in, also. As Smithsonian Magazine indicates, "Americans Are More Into BDSM than the Rest of the World." http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/americans-are-more-bdsm-rest-world-180949703/
I am not asserting that Republicans are more likely to engage in BDSM. There may be research on that point, but I am just trying to raise the image of how submissive the average person must be in our society and how many working people truly believe austerity to be their own interest, while we continue to generate record numbers of new billionaires. The very notion that working people deserve a real share of the wealth their labor generates is laughed at in our "free market" system of sadomasochistic capitalism. The world of fetishized domination and submission often finds powerful men desiring to spank or be spanked, punishing others or being punished and humiliated in other ways, all with basic consent. Austerity can be costly for working people, but for our bosses, BDSM is available anywhere in the U.S., for a price.
So, this is where politics comes in. These same powerful men, often the folks we call elites, have some problems with normal boundaries. Their very livelihoods, or their station in life, may require them to abuse and exploit others - in order to gain more wealth. But for a fee they can get the release they need. Tired of treating subordinates like crap, exploiting workers and their families with bad working conditions and low pay? Well, there is no need to repent and reform. They can do penance the BDSM way- hire a dominatrix to discipline them, even harshly, with consent, so it is a role playing game, rather than something criminal. After that, they are free to get back to beating their own slaves, feeling refreshed and cleansed, even righteous, thinking that they really know what it is like to be abused, and it is all good.
Consent of the governed? Politicians and their owners, the CEO's and Corporate Board Members, have the public, average citizens, by the short hairs all the time in thousands of ways. They make it hurt, and we obey. The Republican fetish for austerity is its own ideology of domination and, make no mistake about it, we are the submissives. We may, unfortunately, react to the frustration of this unwanted role by abusing others when we can get away with it. Or, they can get orders of protection and file for divorce. But, the massive inequality of opportunity to earn a living wage in this country results in a substantial percentage of the suffering in our society today. No, the problem isn't with ethnic and working class cultures, beyond the first generation. It is economic oppression. And for those who are black, female, lgbtq or in other marginalized groups, the toll can be even more staggering.
We are not the equals of our overlords, so they don't need our consent to abuse us, although we pretend that they have it - until things get completely out of hand, which they tend to do. That's why we have things like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We generally have to accept what is given or offered - because we are living real life, not in an expensive role-playing game. We need to have jobs. We often need to put up with a lot in order to keep our jobs, especially if we are female, black, or in other marginalized groups. At the bottom line, our non-elite (or non-male or non-white) lives simply are not seen to be worth as much as the life of a wealthy person, the person who can afford to play.
So, think twice, the next time you see or hear one of the Republican unbelievably cold-hearted sociopaths talking about how this filthy rich country can't afford health care for its citizens, can't afford Social Security or Medicare, can't afford basic civil rights, can't afford housing for the homeless, can't afford to protect us from chemical, food and pharmaceutical hazards. You might consider that they know they are doing evil and that they are causing immense human suffering and death. How do they cope?
True, they have their own families they can abuse, their own spouses to cheat on, their own children to lord over, administrative assistants to molest, their own church or charity to which they can send blood money donations. And, maybe, just maybe, they have an appointment coming up in which they can engage in a typically American role playing game, with or without sex, in which a dominatrix takes out a whip and makes them hurt real good.