Why are we doing this to ourselves?

There are a lot of smart people here and I'm hoping someone can tell me why so many elderly, middle class, and/or others seem to be embracing right-wing drivel and voting against their own self interests. More importantly, I'm hoping someone can suggest what message we could employ to turn this around.

I'm astounded and stupefied by it all. How can we allow the Fair Pay Act to be rejected and not be going nuts? How can we allow legislation permitting the government to use propaganda against it's own citizens, or cut taxes for the wealthy at the expense of Social Security ... and behave as if all that is just fine?

I hope someone can think of an answer we can use to communicate with those who seem so oblivious. HELP!

Comments

Fear

When people are afraid, they are much more willing to embrace authoritarian leaders and policies ... the good old "stern father" model. It worked for Hitler, didn't it?

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“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Maybe so...

What's the counter message for this? I'm not sure fear is the reason. Would fear of losing one's Social Security or getting screwed with unfair pay (examples) cause people to vote for those who promise to do those very things?

Stan Bozarth

I don't know

but it's a safe bet the message is not subtle or rational.

Your posts about taxes got me to thinking again about who the true conservatives are in North Carolina. In my view, progressives are the true conservatives ... the real conservatives ... and we need to start talking that way.

True conservatives want business to stay out of government and government to stay out of business ... expect when it comes to protecting public safety.

True conservatives want government to stay out of religion and for religion to stay out of government.

True conservatives want policies that promote fairness and ensure personal freedom.

True conservatives want to conserve and preserve natural resources for generations to come.

True conservatives want open and transparent government.

I am a true conservative.

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“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Me too...and it's a

damn good message to use to take on the fakers. Great words....let's use 'em!

Stan Bozarth

We have been divided and conquered

The 0.01% have us all fighting for their table scraps.

While we are divided and fighting over social issues they take more and more of the money.

So, Fish...and welcome...how do we message

to people to stop fighting for scraps and start fighting for the right to an equitable seat at the table? I'm not looking for platitudes....I'm looking for messages that can work nin the next few months.

Stan Bozarth

And loathing

The propagandists on the right have employed their tried and true method of turning voters against Dems (where most of the left reside) by harping about Socialism, overbearing agencies of the state, government corruption, etc.

Amidst all that (misleading) fear-mongering, the idea of smaller government sounds sweet to a whole lot of people. They believe (like many Libertarians) that all the good things in our society will continue (or even grow) without government involvement.

What they don't understand (or have forgotten) is that most of those good things came about because people acted collectively (via government) to make them happen. We can only hope they remember before anarchy gets a foothold.

I guess that depends on what version of the definition

of anarchy you choose :-) It has a different meaning outside the US. Anyway...I'm still looking (although James said it very well) for the words to realistically counter this stuff via LTE's and in meetings and conversations. It has to grab people's attention and and make them think "wtf have I been doing?" Not a slogan...but persuasive and real.

Stan Bozarth

This may help explain the phenomenon

I found this article to be informative on this topic:

http://m.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jun/05/why-working-class-people-vot...

That is an interesting article

We on the left do need to hone a new message then make that message stupid/simple and I don't mean that to be derogatory. We tend to get bogged down in details too. That doesn't work well in an overwhelmed-already-advertised-to world.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Thanks...I read it.

Gonna have to think about it awhile. It ties in with James' comment about fear.

Stan Bozarth

Those who forget history...

are doomed to repeat it.

What's the Matter with Kansas?
How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004)
-by American journalist and historian Thomas Frank

Additionally, George Lakoff will teach you how to use language appropriately.

Because, by and large, for

Because, by and large, for better or for worse, most people want a leader to take care of the big stuff so they can focus on their day-to-day lives. And, by and large, for better or for worse, they want these leaders to act like how they are accustomed to thinking of how leaders should act: fearless, consistent, and incredibly confident.

Which party does that sound like to you?

Yes, yes, yes...

Authoritarians are your dad that let you skin your knee and tell you to man up while mommy gives you a band-aid to baby you and tells you it's okay to like dance, but we're all big boys and girls now and most white men want to aspire to the mean evil daddy, while a significant percentage of women (and today's black men) still want to please either the neglectful or abusive daddy by saying that independent first woman in the white house should not be wearing pant suits.

Again, George Lakoff. Quit reinventing the wheel folks.

New rules!

1) Don't be snarky. Snark is for you. Alone. Keep it in your head. It COMMUNICATES nothing but you looking down on those you wish to persuade to your superior point of view. Ask yourself, would this persuade my neighbor's grandmother or just insult and confuse? The reason not to use your own grandmother as an example is because she laughs at and pretends to get everything you say, because you are a spoiled, over-educated latte liberal that can no longer talk to the masses you wish to save...

Shall I go on, or already deemed a troll?... W/E.

2) Stop banning and berating other voices...

Bah. Nevermind. It has to be "your" idea to be right. Right?

Just read more and pontificate into the atmosphere less.

It must be nice to know everything

n/t

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Exactly!!!

I's sheer smartyrdom, isn't it? ;-)

So let's just not even bother and get the LOLMitts viral party started!

coke-mitt-romney-old-woman-121311-xlg

Seriously. Steal this original. Go nuts.

Photobucket

Whoops

Original.

cake-mitt-romney-old-woman-121311-xlg

I am not saying the Democrats

I am not saying the Democrats should go authoritarian, just more authoritative. For years and years now, the Dems are always on the defense, the Republicans always on the offense. It makes no sense. There is an endless list of atrocities the Republicans should be on the defense about.

It's really just childhood bullying played out in the political arena. And bullies don't respect, fear, or respond to "reasoned, civil discourse." For that matter, the nameless mass of sheep that is usually gaping on the sidelines rarely jumps in to side with the reasoned, civil discoursers.

Now, consider all this, and look at the Democratic Party's titular head. A man who keeps insisting he's "hopeful" we can "bridge our differences."

It is a delusion that, if carried out much longer,I fear is going to seriously harm this country.

Critical Thinking...

...the other national deficit.

Amen

I can accept critical thinking that ultimately proves to be misguided. I do it all the time.

But the plight you're describing is more like the absence of thinking period.

I often find myself concluding that the human species isn't worthy of its name. Homo perhaps. But sapiens? Hardly.

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“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden