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Make Them Accountable / What’s the matter with liberals?

What’s the matter with liberals?

We have the basic teachings of every religion and every moral philosophy on our side, but we keep losing the argument to people we insist are dumber than we are.

Dakinikat at Sky Dancing:

Taking on a Big Question: Why Embrace Plutocracy over Working Class Heroes?

Jonathan Haidt–a psychology prof–asks a question that I’ve been wondering for years.  Why on earth would any working class person support some one like Ronald Reagan or Mitt Romney?  Why would they even consider voting for reactionaries funded by the likes of the Koch Brothers?  Why would they vote against their own interests?

I’ve always looked to the slave plantation model for answers.  White overseers for rich masters were given just enough special favors and made to feel above the plantations’ slaves that they felt better thinking “well, at least I’m not one of them”. White working class people have a history of indentured servitude and sharecropping.  Why go back to people that really would like to re-institute these things? Haidt says that fear of the collapse of society sends them look for order and … national greatness…

When working-class people vote conservative, as most do in the US, they are not voting against their self-interest; they are voting for their moral interest. They are voting for the party that serves to them a more satisfying moral cuisine.


Me: I’ve long wondered. Growing up in South Louisiana, I always wondered what would entice young poor men to give their limbs and lives to protect rich mens’ properties.

Propertius: Why on earth would any working class person support some one like Ronald Reagan or Mitt Romney?

Because they have come to view their opponents as weak, ineffectual, and incompetent?

Because they now associate Democrats with “creative class” BS artists like David Carr, who gratuitously insult them on cable TV?

Because Democrats blame their ineffective messaging on their audience, asking questions like “what’s the matter with Kansas?” rather than “why aren’t we making our case in Kansas?”

ut ameris, amabilis esto,” as Ovid put it (in a very different context) a couple of thousand years ago.

Joseph Cannon:

Can propaganda convince you to kill yourself? Yes.

Several articles today have asked “What’s the matter with Kansas?” Actually, writers have relocated that query to Wisconsin. More broadly, the problem can be stated thus: Why do so many working class citizens vote against their own interests?…

[It’s] a straightforward matter. Propaganda works. Propaganda constricts our perception of acceptable solutions. Propaganda tells people to concentrate their fury on THIS issue instead of THAT issue.

Propaganda can convince anyone to do anything. Think of all the soldiers — on all sides, in all wars — who, motivated by propaganda, have run headlong into bullets…

[Fred] Landis discusses how the right (funded by the CIA) controlled the media in the run-up to the coup against elected Chilean leader Salvator Allende. The newspapers and magazines created the impression that the country had devolved into chaos and mass murder…

[T]he exact same thing is happening in this country right now. See: Fox News under Roger Ailes. See: Andrew Breitbart. See: Clear Channel, backers of Rush Limbaugh and financially linked to Mitt Romney. TV, internet, radio.

Have intelligence operatives played a role in these three networks? It’s hard to think otherwise, especially since Landis describes the CIA’s usage of the exact same techniques. In the future, I intend to devote much of this blog to uncovering the “spooky” links to America’s propaganda networks.

What’s the matter with Kansas (or Wisconsin)? Propaganda. That’s what’s the matter.

Propaganda and strong-arm tactics have been the tools of all dictators–Hitler and Lenin come to mind.

Robert Greenwald:

The Kochs’ Double Whammy

If any doubt was left about the power of big money in our politics, the Wisconsin election destroyed it. Charles and David Koch goosed Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign with $10 million through their front group Americans for Prosperity, $1 million through the Republican Governors Association, and more from members of the “million-dollar donor club” of financial titans that meet regularly at Koch-hosted secret summits. Meanwhile, the official campaign of Democratic opponent Tom Barrett raised about $4 million. Is it any wonder that Walker climbed steadily in the polls and ultimately won?

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