Jul. 6th, 2017

Listening to Republican voters can be educational if you are able to break away from your assumptions, and if you're able to work your way through all the pieces of the puzzle.

A lot of them talk about the advantages people have due to race (as in: blacks and Latinos have it easier), and complain that the greater poverty is due to weaknesses in the moral character of individual minorities, not due to any inherent prejudice in the system. Why? Are they blind?

No. But a common refrain you'll hear is that there are programs to help everyone - EVERYONE! - except white men.

Well, that is true. Except, we all know that most programs that are there to help minorities are resource-starved and while they may provide invaluable help to some, they don't overcome the massive disadvantages that a lot of minorities face.

Again, are these people blind, then? No!

Here's where thinking becomes necessary. Think about messaging, and remember, the GOP is the party that were attracted to the case of Terri Schiavo, so they could ask "why do liberals want her to die?" while leading their followers to believe that 20 different judges all made fundamental mistakes in the law and in justice. For an attempt to gain an electoral advantage, they undermined faith in the law and in the courts, by spreading lies (of commission and omission) about the situation.

The GOP is certainly willing to use false messaging that gives them an advantage. Why not? It's not like anyone has ever been shamed for lying about the Schiavo case, or about insinuating her husband was guilty of vile crimes, or any one of a number of other dirty tricks.

They've done the same thing on affirmative action, and about race in general. You know this - you've surely seen this, and realized that this is what they were doing. But what you might not have realized is the depths of deviousness involved.

You see, ever since Reagan made it more expensive to create jobs for US workers, US workers at all levels have been getting squeezed harder and harder, seeing ever larger losses in wages, benefits, and their ability to believe things might someday get better.

Well - the GOP sure doesn't want to admit that, yeah, their deregulating, tax cuts, and battles against the minimum, and prevailing, wage laws, are what's squeezing the hell out of the American workers. They don't want to admit they've been negotiating away worker's rights and bargaining power with trade deals that can have US workers competing against slave labor.

So what do they do? They say that there are still good jobs, there are still good opportunities, there's plenty of both... but guess where these good jobs and opportunities go?

(If you have to ask, here's a sample.)

Now, I don't much like racism, even if it's based in ignorance. But it's important to remember that this same sort of messaging has been in use since the 70s... and it's likely become ever more effective as businesses get to squeeze the working class ever harder. It's also to remember that there are people in respected leadership roles - heaven help us, even the Presidency! - who will happily use this sort of messaging, knowing it's a pack of lies[1], but counting on their followers to believe it's the truth. After a message is repeated often enough, even people who aren't convinced will come to believe that there must be something to it, or surely it would have been debunked and denounced by now. And seeing things get worse and worse makes it easier for people to accept a cause that sounds plausible.

I'm not saying this to suggest that racism is okay, nor that it should be accepted... but to suggest that you remain aware that there are a lot of people being very carefully taught a pack of lies that explain their suffering, and push the blame away from the people who cause it.

[1] Technically, Trump may be one of the dupes who believes it - he's certainly not thoughtful or curious enough to sniff out the BS in anything - or, perhaps his nose is numb to the scent after the truckloads he dumps each speech....
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