Sunday, July 10, 2011

Middle Class Republican Voters Suffer From Stockholm Syndrome

Why is support for Republican ideas so strong among many of the people who are suffering the most because of those same ideas? It’s because of how skilled Republicans are at framing issues in ways that are beneficial to them and because their messaging is more effective due to the fact that it is much better organized and better financed than Democrats.

Republicans would have you believe that Obama is solely responsible for the bad economy, as if everything was going fine till he took office.  However, the facts are otherwise:
  • Obama didn't create the economic crisis.
  • Obama didn't start the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Obama has never had a free hand to do what he wanted to do.
  • Republicans have openly bragged about doing everything they could to make Obama a one-term President.
  • Republicans have sabotaged every legislative attempt to promote job growth so as to improve their chances in the next election.

Of course Obama and the Democrats deserve plenty of blame for the current state of economic affairs, but anyone who thinks the Republicans will make things significantly better for the middle class hasn't been paying any attention to what they've been doing for the past 30 years, and apparently don't realize that they intend on continuing on with exactly the same things. Such as:

  • Republicans want still more tax cuts for the rich and corporations when taxes are already at their lowest point since the 1950s.
  • Republicans want to eliminate Medicare and Social Security.
  • Republicans want to continue tax breaks for corporations that move factories overseas.
  • Republicans want to continue tax breaks for oil companies
  • Republicans are awash in untraceable corporate money thanks to the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision.
  • Republicans have almost completely eliminated private unions and now they are in the process of eliminating public unions.
  • Republicans support a "race to the bottom" for worker's pay and benefits.
  • Republicans want to eliminate all minimum wage laws
  • Republicans want to lock up even more people and increase sentences, even though the US already has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world.
  • Republicans want a "Christian Nation" with all that implies.
  • Republicans want to gut all regulatory agencies.
  • Republicans will always support wars and spending that enriches the military-industrial complex.
  • Republicans will always side with corporations and money over people.

What has been the net effect of conservative “free market” economic policies supported by Republicans and Democrats alike in the past 30 years?

  • Workers are powerless.
  • The middle class is disappearing.
  • Jobs are being shipped overseas.
  • There has been a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich.

The future looks very grim and people are so fearful of it that a sort of Stockholm Syndrome has set in. Many actually believe that lower taxes for the rich and minimal regulations on business will result in greater prosperity for the middle class, despite the fact that pursuing those policies over the past 30 years has had the opposite effect.

If we are to reverse these trends then Democrats have to stand for something other than being Republican-lite. Democrats need to articulate a vision for America that relies on hope instead of fear, and that puts the needs of people ahead of business. And they have to do it in a way that competes effectively with the constant barrage of corporate-financed propaganda.

Another blog post by Ken Padgett
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