Hate and Distrust - How the Right Took Over
This was posted in a main thread by nines09
I’m just waiting to see who my Tea Bag neighbor will endorse since he took his Ben Carson magnet off his ride. He enjoys a public pension, which no one in the future should have. And Social Security, which we cannot afford. And is as dense as a wall. Come off as a nice guy, got along with him for years, decades. When his crackhead VA guy from down the street interrupted a mailbox conversation last year or so, and went on like Rush on meth, I finally couldn’t take any more and spoke out. It’s put some distance between us. Told him last month or so I liked the ACA, completely unsolicited, as he would do to me, and I could see the jaw muscles contract. He would never consider the life he has now is owed to a pension and SS. He should be a nice guy. Hell I hugged him years back when he had prostate cancer and was welling up, feeling his mortality. I do not dislike him pre se, but for the life of me cannot figure out why he acts this way. Who drilled into his head? Told me the Tea Party was people “just like me and you.” I told him, “No. Not like me.” And there are a lot like him all around me. When a conversation starts off with “I was watching Hannity last night, and…” I just try and point out the hypocrisy when I get an opening. I still hear Sharon Angle sneering “You’re a man. Why do you need to pay for maternity?” And the crowd cheers. Not like me.
I was originally going to address this in the thread, but due to its length, I created this Page.
This is why nines09’s neighbor is as he is. Simply put, your neighbor has been brainwashed.
Watch the trailer of the woman’s father in the upcoming film Brainwashed. Older people and people who crave the past are especially susceptible to right-wing brainwashing, the people who rush to someone like Palin.
I don’t know where nines09 lives, but I was reading an interview with the author of The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker and found some of her statements applicable to much of America. She also addresses how the right has created and capitalized on that resentment:
The main thing I found was surprisingly to me many people in small town Wisconsin or rural Wisconsin had this very strong resentment toward the cities, which came in many different ways. One was they felt they had less power than people in the cities. That the decisions were made in Madison and Milwaukee and communicated out to them, but no one was really listening to their concerns. That they didn’t have any say in important decisions that were being made. They also felt like they were on the short end of the stick in terms of where public dollars go and where taxpayer dollars go. A common phrase I heard was Madison sucks in all our taxpayer dollars, spends it on Milwaukee or itself and we never see it in return. And in another way people in small town Wisconsin I often heard felt disrespected. That people in the cities didn’t understand their way of life or the challenges that they face or their values. They just didn’t get what small town Wisconsin was about.
This applies to what is going on in Burns, OR, at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge - and other areas throughout the US. Rural Oregon used to have mining, logging and other industry…industry which no longer exists.
The armed protesters who took over the headquarters buildings of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near here have tried to tap into the local reservoir of anger and nostalgia. They preach a vision of rural America on the rebound if only “government oppression” — in land use, ownership and management — could somehow be rolled back.
“Government controls the land and resources,” said the group’s leader, Ammon Bundy, at a news conference last week. And that, he added, “has put people in duress and put them in poverty.”
This same phenomena has occurred throughout the US whether it was the steel industry, paper industry, often where there was a Company Town, where one company (or one industry) supported the entire community. Once the company (or industry) leaves, there is little left but scraps. Once middle class, they find themselves becoming poorer and poorer. Often, as in Burns, many of the remaining well-paying jobs are government jobs, while others in these communities suffer. And those suffering want to both blame someone and return to the times of prosperity.
Reading this NYT article about Burns, you sense the angst and resentment:
Mr. Ward, 54, a lifelong resident who has lost his job twice and has filed for bankruptcy once, said that was not the case anymore. He now works for the state as a prison guard, a job he said he hated.
On a recent frosty morning, before heading off for his shift, he and his wife, Shelly, fed the 30 head of cattle that are the closest thing the Wards have to a retirement fund. “You do what you have to do to stay alive,” Mr. Ward said. “But I’m sour as hell.”
And you see the dichotomy of what was and what is:
Times were once very good out here on the high desert of east-central Oregon, and a place like Burns — remote and obscure until a group of armed protesters took over a nearby federal wildlife sanctuary this month — was full of civic pride and bustle. In their heyday, Harney County and its largest town, Burns, were economically important in a way that now seems unthinkable in the rural West.
Unfortunately, that return to prosperity is not going to happen. Again from the interview with author Katherine Cramer:
Well, it’s not — honestly, it’s not clear. I mean, when you look at where dollars are allocated, especially on a per capita basis, it’s not the case that more rural counties are getting less in terms of state or federal dollars with respect to most policy areas. And yet unemployment is really high in rural counties in Wisconsin and median household income is much lower in rural counties. So although it may be the case that they’re not — that they’re actually getting their fair share in kind of the technical definition, they’re in a really difficult economic situation. So people are hurting and they look to the cities and they see jobs and growth. And they look at their own communities and see things shutting down and people not returning to their hometown after college if they go away to college. And so there’s this sense that something is happening to their communities. There’s this sense of loss and the perception is that it’s all going to the cities.
So this resentment is many fold; there’s the loss of good paying jobs, the loss of community, the loss of family…which creates a desire to return to those earlier times. We often talk about what year the GOP wants to take America back to. This is the angst the GOP has very successfully tapped into.
The federal government recognizes this as identified: Strengthening the Rural Economy - The Current State of Rural America.
While rural America offers many opportunities, it also faces unique challenges in growing its economy and maintaining an educated and healthy labor force
Specifically surrounding the rural labor force:
While the rural economy has become increasingly diverse, it faces a number of unique challenges regarding its labor force. First, incomes are lower and poverty rates are higher in rural areas than they are in urban areas. Second, a lower proportion of the rural population is of working age (20-64), which presents challenges for future job creation, and the share of the U.S. population living in rural counties has steadily declined over time. Third, a higher portion of rural residents are on disability and therefore unable to participate in the rural workforce. Fourth, educational attainment lags behind that of urban areas for the working-age population. Recognizing these challenges, the Administration has made education a major pillar in its policies for rural America. Its focus on expanding opportunities for small businesses, tourism and recreation, and clean energy will also help to make rural households better off while attracting a new generation of young workers.
And the more rural the area, the worse off those areas are.
Globalization started decades ago. And as globalization, desire to maximize profits, and all the other American-Way-Of-Life issues started to materialize, we saw the rise of Rush Limbaugh, then Fox News. Look at where Limbaugh most took hold; rural America. He tapped into this angst creating the Other to hate (cities became code for Black people who suck on the teat of government). Hate and blame for the situations rural America finds itself in - hate for those Others taking what they don’t deserve, while rural America feels it doesn’t get its share.
When you think about 25 years of Rush Limbaugh and, later, Fox News, and the constant bemoaning of The Other, you understand how the rise of Right Wing ideologues as politicians is the culmination of time and circumstance. You see the once bucolic Norman Rockwell landscape segued into the reality of Straight Outta Compton.
And you see the rise of Scott Walker and Sarah Palin and Donald Trump you see the how the right has become so politically astute that the code words “Real America” became anything but a city, and the tapping into that desire to return to simpler, more prosperous times, is what drives right wing success.
It’s unfortunate that the very things designed to help rural America; healthcare, training and education, and the desire to grow business opportunities in rural America are the very things the right loudly rails against. They don’t want government investment, they don’t want the very healthcare needed to make a sustainable, healthy workforce. They don’t want the education that will lift those areas, make them desirable to business. You cannot sustain a business with an ignorant workforce unless you are talking about manufacturing jobs, or the like, because the majority of those jobs are not coming back to America, not when those jobs can be done for $5.00 a week in areas where $5.00 a week feeds an entire family. Not unless American workers are willing to accept $5.00 a week in wages.
More unfortunately, all this results in the culmination of rural dislike and distrust in government.
“You didn’t stand up for us then; why should we stand up for you now?” asked Ms. Ward, 51, referring to federal officials, as she sipped coffee in her kitchen on a recent morning.
It’s hard to stand up for people who have been brainwashed to continually vote against their own interests.
It’s even harder to watch millions of brainwashed Americans suffer.