Last week the local NPR station had a discussion about the perennial topic of how to convince rural voters to vote for Democrats. I couldn’t listen to the show in real time, so I wrote a quick email that said, in part, this:
[…] For these people [rural Dakota voters who are in denial about COVID], and they’re the majority, only Fox News and right-wing memes on Facebook represent the truth — everything else is a liberal plot.
If you can’t convince people to wear a little piece of cloth on their face and stay home from the bar to save their lives and the lives of others, convincing them to vote for a Democrat is absolutely a bridge too far.
Maybe your guests have a solution to this problem, but from where I’m sitting, the solution is to forget about rural states that are too far gone, and concentrate on states with enough minority and young new voters to flip the legislatures and the federal offices. These include Arizona, Georgia and Texas.
Obviously pretty reductive and simplistic, but, hey, it’s a radio call-in show. Of course I think it’s a problem that, for example, Sarah Gideon ended her campaign against Susan Collins with $14 million cash on hand when some Democratic Senate candidates in rural states raised a few hundred thousand dollars — I think the party should run decently-financed (say $1 million) Senate campaign for every seat, no matter what the odds, because the Senate is so important to Democrats that throwing down a few mil to bet on a lightning strike is an unfortunate necessity. Decently-financed federal campaigns also have major down-ticket benefits for small rural state Democratic parties — lists of likely Democratic voters are cleaner, there’s a group of volunteers who learn the ropes, etc.
Anyway, it turns out that the radio show host was using a piece in Politico by the chair of the Dunn County Wisconsin Democratic Party as a jumping-off point. Dunn is an Obama-Obama-Trump-Trump county. Here’s the nut of that chairman’s argument:
The Other Bob
I don’t disagree with you. I wouldn’t mind also making efforts to reduce the power of red areas, including making it less easy for them to vote.
Plus long shot efforts like eliminating the electoral collage and adding Senators by population.
I agree. I think FOX News is as addictive and as destructive as anything the Sackler family pushed. And like the Sackler family, it was all about making money.
Anger is a high, and I think for a lot of people, they’d rather feel angry than sad or depressed. So they keep going back to the source for another hit.
I agree; they’re addicts and I don’t think you can easily reason someone out of an addiction.
I think this is exactly right.
I do believe in a fifty-state strategy: run someone for every office. Raise the money to do so, even if it seems a complete loser. You never know when you get at Indiana 2008 Senate race. But the focus has to be on making sure we get every marginal “easy” vote first. GA, AZ, TX–and I’d add Florida, though not with any sense we’ll get near term gratification–those are good targets. And expand from there.
Also: state legislatures are central to retaking power. So every dime we can spend there, including in red, red states, to eliminate “supermajorities”…that’s all good.
I just don’t get the above. Why do these people care if I listen to The National instead of Blake Shelton and drink some craft brewer’s sour instead of Budweiser? I’m not going to rural American to shit on Blake Shelton and Budweiser. Can’t we have our own tastes and let each other be?
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
Because everything must be leveraged for division. Everything.
I agree with all of this. He is likely unwittingly regurgitating well-worn and incorrect platitudes about what Democrats are doing wrong.
You are dead to me.
I would like to see a project that provides support — even if its just emotional support — for Dems living in these deep red areas. A few of them are commenters on this blog, but blue normies in those areas probably feel pretty isolated.
LOL. OK, how about Jason Isbell? He’s gotta have more broad appeal than The National.
I remember seeing a lot of Atlanta Braves and Crimson Tide hats in the crowd when I saw Isbell in Prospect Park some years back. But then again, if they’ve moved to Brooklyn, they’re probably not rural America bitter-enders who support Trump.
@Ian G.: Because there’s a whole industry dependent on nurturing and feeding the insecurities of the white rural male. iHeart Radio and the associated “Country” music industry, Truck makers, retailers like WalMart and Tractor Supply, cheap beer makers, et cetera et cetera ad infinitum. They’re really just extreme suburbanites, but that identity doesn’t sell shit.
I live in a very red county in a blue state (California) and I can confirm these people have literally become innoculated against reason. There is no evidence, no data, no experience that will shake their beliefs. They can use argument and evidence in its formal way, but not in a way that makes sense. For example, I pointed out yesterday to one of them that Australia had only 15 new cases of covid the day before. He triumphantly pointed out that that is because it is summer there, and winter here, and it’s an unfair comparison, and when I made the obvious point that we were having upwards of 20 and 30 thousand cases a day last summer, he got angry with me, told me he was only providing facts and all I want to do is argue, and stormed out of my shop. I won’t see him again. I’ve lost about 100 percent of my RWNJ customers thanks to my outspoken insistence on masks. I have lived in this part of the country or similar ones most of my 56 years. I have never seen anything like this. People believe things that are provably untrue. People are dying in my community of covid, but no one will believe it — they attack the Public Health Department for lying to them about the deaths. They are furious and they are armed.
Agree, with elebenty exclamation points.
However, I also have to agree with people who doubt the US can survive as a country when half its population is in thrall to propagandists pushing increasingly vicious extremism.
I’d be happy to wall them all in to their bucolic rural areas and leave them there. I’d be just peachy keen fine with ripping out all the Federally-funded programs and infrastructure they depend on (including, very particularly, any military bases and support centers in those regions) – particularly since they take a lot more out of taxpayer money than they put in.
I hate these people so intensely it astonishes me. To paraphrase a great line from one of my favorite movies, “I give you nothing and I wish you plague. May all your children breach and die.”
Amen! This, in all its many variations, is a great point to raise with wingnuts, the media, etc, over and over until they get it.
I generally agree… but… you have to stay aware of what’s happening on the ground. When there is zero opposition, the con artists, psychopaths, and criminals come out to play– the D party needs to be able to stand up and say ‘No Thank You’.
@Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix: then we should point that out, right after noting aloud what Ian said.
Because people like to see their own life choices reinforced. My cousins who live in rural upstate MI don’t have Starbucks or fancy brewpubs or Whole Foods anywhere nearby. No Thai restaurants either. So those things must be unnecessary and a sign of urban decadence or some shit like that.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
You should meet my trailer trash central Kentucky maternal cousins. They don’t understand why anybody would want to go more than 10 miles from home, don’t want to try any foods different than those that granny made, are disinterested in art or culture, look askance at anyone from a city, don’t give a shit about American passports being worthless because why would anyone want to leave this greatest country on Earth, are suspicious of any movie made past 1956, and don’t like them modern uppity nigras.
You waste time and energy speaking with them, and they’ll simply resent any effort you make to ensure that they have better lives – they love wallowing in trash.
I think the best shot is: ” So why did your kids leave and move to the liberal cities? Are they socialists?”
West of the Rockies
Anecdotally, I will note that for several decades there have been TV ads with shots of manly-men throwing hay bales into pickup trucks or emerging with oily hands from a boiler or engine compartment and glowering at the camera. The women in the ads look sturdy but grim and beleaguered. Inevitably the voice-over pitch goes a bit like this: “Here in (America/the west/the country), we know how to work hard… no one gives you anything… your word is your bond… And we only drink Budweiser/Folgers/real Kentucky bourbon…”
It’s part of the national narrative and mythos. It’s not easily changed.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
I agree that most of the focus needs to be on areas we can flip and win. However, it doesn’t matter if the worst RWNJ are not reacheable, there are people around them who are, including, in some cases, their kids. The RWNJ only want to live in a loud echo chamber, but the other side of the story needs to get out there. It needs to be on all local media. It needs to be easy to hear and find, even on the country and Christian stations. We need the people who aren’t political and are uncomfortable with the RWNJ around them to see another option. It is especially important that we are the kind, patriotic, and reasonable option.
Nope. You’ve just hit upon what Lincoln was on about with the slaver states. It’s not enough that we leave them alone. Fuck no! Simply by choosing to not be like them, we are an affront to them. We not only have to choose to be like them, we have to wave and cheer them on for being them.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Ian G.: Same reason they get worked up about marriage equality. I always want to ask, “What’s it to you?”
On a more hopeful topic, researchers at Iowa State have found that more wine and cheese helps prevent cognitive decline. I am going to have all my marbles forever.
@Chief Oshkosh: To be clear, I don’t mean this at the state level (as Lincoln was discussing). I mean this on the individual, and very personal level.
What remains is figuring out how to help those in rural states who choose not to be a-one assholes.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
I’m with you 100%, but that won’t be popular here.
I’m perplexed how Gideon steadily held at least a modest lead on Collins of 3 to 7 points for most of the race, and Collins’ popularity in-state in Maine was underwater going into the race, how Collins pulled ahead the final 10 days to win by a comfortable margin. How did Collins turn her image around to be more attractive than Gideon (who had good favorables going into the race). Was it more because the GOP Senate campaign funders flooded the race with cash the final month, or more because of tactical mistakes by Gideon? Adding to the perplexity was that Biden won most of Maine (all but the northern 2nd C.D.) by such a substantial margin.
@Baud: I agree with this. During this last election I joined a Facebook group, Pennsylvania Women for Biden/Harris, and I cannot tell you how many women from deep red areas of the state posted to say how they felt buoyed and heartened by the group’s focus. Some were women who had been basically bullied in the past to vote against their preference because they felt isolated where they lived. What was even better was that after they got our group’s online backing they felt confident enough to talk others in their friend and family circles into voting for Biden. People, even people in deep red areas, are just sick of all the anger and hate. We need to find ways to reach out to them.
A Ghost to Most
Tribal loyalty isn’t rational. It’s primal.
Y’all will still be analyzing as they herd you into cages.
West of the Rockies
You don’t live in Butte County. do you? Sounds a lot like things here. Thankfully, our CSU town runs fairly blue.
I have a ton of extended rural family who are hard core GOP. In rural PA, MI, IN, and OR mostly.
The problem is that they consume a steady diet of toxic waste from FOX, Facebook, and a whole slew of religious-based news sources during the week and on Sundays and they do it 365/year. And they also do it informally at every church potluck, HS football game, or Friday night at the local watering hole. I have honestly heard a lot of vile racist political shit sitting in the stands at HS football games in Central Texas. There is ZERO chance that some wet behind the ears college kid from out of state knocking at their door with a Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris flyer every 4 years is going to affect their opinion in any way.
What is the answer? I don’t think highly rural states like ND or WY are frankly reachable. Not in our lifetimes. This is really an urban/rural split which is how Biden can win Omaha but lose the rest of Nebraska. Red states that are rapidly urbanizing like AZ, GA, and NC should frankly be the target. The reason that MN is more blue than WI is because Minneapolis is much larger than Milwaukie. Building majorities not unanimity is the objective.
We are becoming a nation of suburbs. That’s where the action is going to be, not rural Kansas or Wyoming. And that is how Texas will eventually become purple.
The bolded parts in particular explain their intense support for Donald Trump.
@catclub: Probly not a great idea to get involved with the local family dramas.
Why do these people care so much about what we do, what we watch or listen to? I don’t give a shit about Blake Shelton or Budweiser and, if they do, that’s fine with me. Why do they care about my liking the Foo Fighters and Pinot noir? I’m not trying to convert them. I’d just like them to compete in the political marketplace in an honest way, not with lies and fantasies. I’ll never understand these people and I’ve lived among them all my life. They hate me and everything about me and I’ve never really given them a thought until four years ago when I found out the exact level of hate they really have for me.
And, yes, race is a big part of this. Even though I am a thoroughly white woman, the fact that I voted for Obama and Biden/Harris seems to be an accelerant to their hate, as is sex. There are places I won’t ever step foot in again simply because of the hate that’s been directed at me due to racial animosity toward Democrats and pure misogyny.
They are just horrible people and they cannot and do not want to be reached. Cut them loose and concentrate on things you can do something about. Quit chasing the rural, blue collar, white men (and their women). You can’t make them be someone they aren’t capable of being. We outnumber them, if we can get those youngs and disengaged minority members to be able to vote easily and give them reasons to come out, these assholes will be outnumbered and less and less relevant. It’s our only hope.
One of the things that doesn’t get discussed a lot in the Obama-Obama-Trump-Trump voting areas is the timing of the rise of social media. Facebook specifically.
Facebook only opened to the public in general in September, 2006. It took money from Russian investment groups in 2009 and 2011. It went public in 2012. Even in the 2012 election Facebook wasn’t the toxic influence it became by 2014 (Republicans kept the House and won the Senate) and 2016 (Trump won and R’s had both houses of Congress).
I am not sure that Obama would have won his second term had Facebook the toxic influence in 2012 that it was by 2016. When we are talking about “how to win over those Obama-Trump voters” we should include discussions about disinformation peddled by social media. A strong education platform about how to identify and deal with disinformation is what is needed to combat this danger to our democracy.
Boris Rasputin (the evil twin)
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Ah, the salt of the earth, simple people. You know, morons.
West of the Rockies
I wondered about this, too. Ditto with Mitch. He has a 15% approval rating and wins with 57% of the vote.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Going by my own family the addict thing isn’t a metaphor, an awful lot of alcoholics among my kin “back home” and wouldn’t be surprised harder stuff. It’s certainly amazing how my cousins who are ten years and below younger than me and yet look ten years older than me.
On the other hand the entire population of rural America isn’t stoners so it’s worth the Democrats doing good for the rural areas when they get the chance. Some of these folks might start noticing that the Dems are the one giving the services they need.
Going by the small town I am from in PA; it was a full stop white slum when my parents bailed in the 60’s, stayed that way until the late 90s and when the expanding Medical industry in Pittsburg finally swallowed it and gentrified the place. The Catholic Church I was baptised in is now a dance club. So things do change.
And even then, if the GOP would end up morphing into a rural party instead of the reality show it is now, that would be good thing. Political parties are supposed to be about policy.
I’m gonna resort to quoting The Simpsons:
It’s the last part of the quote that’s most salient now. The Republican congress members and attorneys general aren’t joining the TX lawsuit because they want Trump to win. They want their team to always win. They want dominance now and forever. With the courts ostensibly on their side, they long to install a de facto dictator. Maybe High King Trump would do the favor of getting rid of Congress and just proclaim laws as he sees fit.
Republicans out in rural states and everywhere support this not because Trump has dirt on them or that the politicians fear upsetting his base. It is because nearly every Republican voter, representative, supporter, senator, etc. wants this country to be a ruthless dictatorship. They want to cheer when the Muslims, LGBT, POC, etc. are driven out into the street, lined up, and executed. They want this to be a conservative Christian dictatorship.
Maybe a few can be turned back, but I doubt it. I do think that part of the solution is to deliver help and better support to the struggling Americans be they in a city or rural. Our infrastructure from hospitals, schools, airports, roads, and public buildings need help. Our schools and public universities need better funding. But we can’t keep framing things in Republican ways – oh, big tax cuts for the bottom 50% while no raise of taxes on corporations & the top 20%. Nope, raise the fugg out of taxes on the top.
The Moar You Know
Yet another Cletus safari. I’m done pandering to these idiots. They can get on board or get left at the station.
The blue states have all the money. I think we should start to use that to get what we want.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
Booman over the Booman Tribune has prattled on for years about policies that would reach voters in these geographic areas. He’s wrong precisely because of the reasons you state.
Having said that, I learned from living in a county in Misery that was either the reddest or second reddest depending on the election, that there are Dems out there and campaigns need to reach out to *them*. They’re not attuned to politics every day the way we are and need to be asked for their vote. I saw time and time again that when pols made an effort to campaign in rurl areas, Democratic turnout went up. And that’s key. Cut the margins of losing in red, rurl places by 5-10% while cranking out the urban/suburban vote and you can compete.
But in terms of campaigning in rurl areas to reach the deplorables, fuck no and fuck them.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Well, that made my day, I must say.
hells littlest angel
Yeah, there’s racism, but it’s more than that.
Yes, it’s also every other kind of resentment and hatred, including self-hatred.
As someone who has lived in an right-wing rural area for three years, I have learned two important things:
With Fox I don’t believe it’s all about making money. Yes the boss likes money, but the boss is as red as it gets, believes conservatives are real people and liberals are the devil incarnate. And does this around the world. Look at Australia, the UK – brexit?, and the US. All 3 have real hard core redness in them and while hard core conservatism has always been here – and there, look back at the history of faux news here in the states and the hard core hate we see now. It’s been commercialized, to both make money and as a way to build up upon that ultra conservative concept of hate, and it’s worked. And that’s one man and his ultra conservative concept of life, and the search for far more racism. In this country we have a history of hard core racism/slavery that gives it a platform to work off of. And that’s been exploited massively over the last 3 decades. Often subtly but built none the less. We have emerged from that with a divided population built around racism, encouraged around racism, blamed upon racism not being strong enough, and that how to save the country is racism and hate. Review the UK/brexit, and Australia’s history over the same time, effectively it’s the same ultra conservative racism that has emerged as the main motivator towards conservatism.
Wow! I just heard Chuck Todd, of all unlikely people, refer to the current maladministration as “a catastrophic failure of leadership.” Chuck Todd.
I agree that Democrats need to fight (to some extent) for every Senate seat and $1M isn’t a lot in the days of $1T+ cycles.
And I agree that it’s very, very difficult to get through to people who live in the Murdoch/Z/GOP/ProsperityGospel/etc misinformation bubble.
But things aren’t hopeless. Giving up on fighting for votes in red states just means that more people are condemned to all the evils of GOPism and it makes it that much harder to move forward.
When things cannot continue, they will stop. Times change and political dynamics change. We need to be smart and empathetic and figure out ways to win everywhere by customizing the message and the candidates. We won’t always win, but we’re guaranteed not to score when we don’t take the shot.
There’s a whole country music genre feeding off the reverse snobbery of folks who are rural/small town/non-4yr college educated/working class that their life, values, and pleasures are distinct from and superior to the dubious sophistication and values of college-educated cheese-and-wine-sipping urbanites. It’s the musical analogue to Fox News.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: This is really good news, since cheese is one of my major food groups! Cheese, glorious cheese! – I didn’t read the whole article, but I wonder if it’s the fat content that keeps our synapses healthy. I think the brain is mostly fatty tissue, isn’t it?
I don’t drink as much as I used to – I never drank very much, and since I don’t go bar hopping anymore even that has declined – but maybe I’ll go back to having a glass of good red every night.
Nobody in particular
I agree it is a lost cause to convince them, however, you only re-enforce their false belief – a result of their being ensconced in the echo-bubble chamber of the alternate reality you accurately assess – by ignoring them. This is most true in general elections and most risky in presidential elections. Until we get the popular vote, see Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the razor-thin margins in 3 key states. We have to have every vote we can get in some of these future races. But yes, they are “damaged voters,” a lost cause, in the same fashion the children these monsters separated from family at the border are damaged for life. That’s hard science, and children are remarkably resilient. If they are raised in a nurturing home with positive role models. Especially the maternal kind. Harry Harlow.
@Baud: You forgot to bold the ‘man’ part.
@West of the Rockies: And real men don’t use those hay bales anyway…real farmers use round bales, which weight upward of 1,200 pounds and require a tractor to move. So obviously they’re gay pron start hired from central casting.
Nobody in particular
Divide and conquer. It’s what demagogues do.
(Got my B-J Calendars today. (Ordered on 12/5).)
@Ian G.: They just haven’t heard The National yet. Seriously. Okay, not seriously.
We’re half awake / in a fake empire …
Honestly, I’ve even come around to not even giving much of a shit about things like rural hospital closures brought on by GOP attempts to sabotage the ACA by refusing to expand Medicaid. If it means that some of those rural small towns revert back to prairie and plains that much faster, so be it. It is a harsh view point. But right now they are actively cheerleading a coup attempt. So fuckit. Let rural America die a little bit faster so we can bring back the bison and turn it back over to the descents of the original native inhabitants.
@West of the Rockies:
It’s the mirror-image of what sustained many democrats in the south for 40+ years after LBJ helped lead the charge toward the significant civil-rights legislation in the mod-1960s: a huge inertial mass of “blue-dog democrats” who would habitually vote for a blue dog rather than a republican, no matter what. Took the GOP 30 years, until the 1994 off-year election, to successfully erode through this inertia and become dominant in southern politics.
I grew up in North Dakota, slipped under the wire at 18, and ran off to school in the big city. My home county has 71,000 people, the farm population has declined to the point that there just under 800 farm families left. The astounding fact is, the farm income is now as high as Greenwich CT. the non-farm median income is 45k. My farming relatives have consolidated 8 family farms into one big operation and they rent 1000s of acres more from farmer’s widows, who live in Arizona, and a couple who live in Hawaii. The farmer relatives won’t ever vote D because of taxes, the city folks won’t vote D, because they hate their lives and blame Ds for it, so everybody there has a huge chip on their shoulder. The irony is ND was at one time a very progressive state. State-owned bank, State-owned mill, and elevator, no death penalty…and they elected plenty of Ds. And yes, they are racist as any redneck from Mississippi. I don’t how many times I’ve heard, “How can you live in a hellhole like CA?” Even worse when we lived in Boston, “You live right in the city? it must be dangerous.”
@Booger: You gotta have a reason to own a $70,000 Ford F350 with a diesel engine large enough to move a freight train. Moving hay bales is one of them.
@SiubhanDuinne: He’s been doing that sort of thing from time to time. I think he wants things to go back to “normal” and he’s upset that Republicans seem to be keeping that from happening.
@cmorenc: And this genre is suffused with some of the dumbest trope you could imagine…if wine is mentioned, it’s ‘Grandmaw’s Sweet Wine,’ not something fancy and dry like you might order from a sum-yell-yay with his fancy corkscrew and arm cloth and cork-sniffing routine. Nope, it’s ho-made sweet wine….which could be fine. But it’s a reverse-virtue-signalling-dogwhistle of the dumbest kind.
@Ian G.: @Kent:
Kent is partially correct, but even deeper than that is that so many rural kids leave for college and better jobs and never return except to visit occasionally. Rural lifestyle isn’t just not reinforced, it’s actively rejected by many of their own children. And farming and labor intensive jobs like carpentry are hard with long hours but not as financially lucrative as a knowledge job, which from the outside barely appears to be work at all. A lot of the people left behind end up resenting “urban” dwellers for disrespecting them, but it’s really about their own escapees. Plus the racism element, in that the flown have willingly decided to live among people of all kinds, which is often unfathomable to rural whites.
The Moar You Know
@Chief Oshkosh: Precisely. We tried that. The slave states didn’t want “go as you will”, they wanted us to not only participate but approve. This is no different. They want us to adopt their shit way of life and keep sending them most of our tax dollars so long as that holds out – which won’t be long if we adopt their shit way of life.
@moonbat: That’s a great point, and I think voter mobilization in red areas takes a while to bear fruit. I remember reading a piece about how women in red states were reacting to Trump’s election early on. It was a profile of newly political women who were connecting through social media. One group of women profiled lived in Georgia, and they were supporting Ossoff in the 2017 special election.
In 2017, no one thought Georgia was a swing state. Ossoff lost that election, and then a year later, Abrams had the gubernatorial election stolen from her via her opponent disenfranchising people. But then Abrams started her Fair Fight organization, and I’m thinking possibly that added onto the activism that was in place already but not quite strong enough to overcome the other bullshit in 2017 and 2018 grew powerful enough in 2020, at least for Biden.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
And when they assert that Dems/liberals/the government are coming for their guns or outlawing their wishing someone “Merry Christmas.” I always want to say, in a half-horrified, half-sympathetic fashion: “Oh, how terrible! What did they do to you? I want all the details!”
Pin ‘em down. Make ‘em squirm in their lies.
An article on Daily Kos about a lot of trump voters aren’t republicans or conservatives but socially isolated people. For reasons unknown they connect with Donald.
Same here. Rep McClintock thinks lock downs and masks are stupid cuz freedom
Well, in a sense we’re about to conduct a natural experiment on “Creating a Teachable Moment For Unteachables”. The epidemic is fully exponential across the country, the Thanksgiving death wave is 7-10 days away, Christmas is going to be a COVID-19 holocaust. Hospitals are saturated, elective surgeries are going to be deferred until Spring (at least) in most places, and the supply chain for body bags and cadaver refrigeration units is going to see the same strain that hit the toilet paper supply chain last Spring. A lot of Fox News’ audience is going to start wondering where their health care system disappeared to, and everyone is going to know someone who died of the disease, or was crippled by it, or barely escaped death.
So, by March at the latest we should know exactly how thick is the crust surrounding that epistemic bubble. Perhaps there will be cracks.
The indoctrination starts young. My market “grandkids” often say things about me as a “city person” echoing a contempt they don’t even realize they’re conveying. And I know they love me. Even so, attempts to broaden their limited worldview are met with passive resistance, at ages 13 and 19.
Succinct and well-put.
@Another Scott: Well said. Times do change, and so does the way people get information. That’s another thing to keep an eye on.
@satby: Exactly. I have a cousin my age who is a farm wife in very rural PA. Their oldest daughter became a RN and went off on a mission trip to work in some mission hospital in Botswana. She married a Black doctor from Botswana when she was there and brought him back to the US.
The chance of them settling back in ultra-rural Mifflin County PA was zero. They moved to Philly. I have noticed some idle side-talk in the family about how they ought to perhaps adopt kids because, you know, Black grandchildren would be putting an unnecessary burden on the kids.
We’re reaching the Big Block of Cheese Day portion of this lawsuit. The problem with trying to govern by conspiracy theory is that you don’t get the filter that lets you say, “Hey could you not pretend that your imaginary states actually exist please?”
@Kent: As a city, Milwaukee is much bigger than Minneapolis (700,000 to 400,000). The difference is that Minneapolis metro is much bigger than Milwaukee metro (4.5 million vs. 1.5 million), and as a state Minneapolis is slightly more urbanized (73% to 70%). There is also a much larger and more vibrant new economy sector in Minnesota, especially around healthcare and pharmaceuticals. I lived in Wisconsin for eight years and was struck by the contrast between two such similar states, but really it’s just a matter of a few percentage points in a lot of key indicators, including party affiliation.
Well, if they own a car, there is at least one – The Dunes Saloon Lake Superior Brewing Co. Basically the towns have everything your little heart could desire because of tourists. Thankfully no Whole Foods and very few Starbucks. Plenty of coffee shops though.
@West of the Rockies: Siskiyou.
The posting talked about a lack of national Dem emphasis on rural issues. If true, we need to work on that; if false, we need to work on that.
Dems in red states will never get their fair share of respect and power until we see if the non-deplorable half of GOP voters in those states (Hillary’s allocation of hateful vs. conservative) believe they can make common cause with their Democratic neighbors.
Rural broadband is one issue that might provide a link. It not only has appeal to voters of all ages, but also has the potential to bring over voices and viewpoints into the homes of folks who are stuck with the right-wing only menu of broadcast TV and radio. Then, too, it can be part of a general push for better internet not just on the farm but in the suburbs and cities as well.
Someone might even get the flag humpers involved by pointing out how mediocre American internet speed and pricing is compared to the rest of the world.
Is the national party advancing such an agenda, along with net neutrality, in any sort of comprehensive way?
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
My cousin was that way. She is in her mid-late 20’s now, listens to NPR, and asks me for advice. She is a bible study attending moderate which is quite conservative by BJ standards, but for the community she lives in, that is REALLY leftwing. Most importantly, she didn’t vote for Trump. Her parents did, but she did not.
Because driving wedges into fault lines in American society can be (and is) monetized, and also weakens America relative to countries in the rest of the world. (Some countries are enemies.)
There should be serious societal stigmas/punishments for amplifying division; there are e.g. amoral people on social media monetizing viral anti-masker and anti-vaxxer disinformation. Foreign efforts should be identified and mapped and attributed, and if appropriate and attribution is sufficiently good, relation should be strongly considered.
Let me guess, they’re still mad at the hippies for dumping all that pesticide in the Sacramento River and while they enjoy fishing blue ribbon trout streams they’re gung ho to raise the dam to flood those very streams so that Westlands Water District can at last have “their” water and make hippies sad at the same time.
West of the Rockies
Oh, that is red.
They live in Au Gres not the Upper Peninsula. I google mapped it because I was curious. The nearest Starbucks is 51 miles away in Saginaw. The nearest microbrewery is 53 miles away in Midland.
Don’t know about the party as a whole, but Biden has talked about it a lot. I believe he has plans for it.
@Ian G.: I think I was at that show; was that the one with Father John Misty co-headlining?
@topclimber: Rural broadband is going to be hard because ALEC went around to a whole bunch of red state legislatures and got them to ban public internet service on behalf of Comcast and the other big broadband providers. So unless it is a 100% federal program, there is going to be a lot of work at the state level with uber-red legislatures to even get to subsidized public broadband in rural areas. Yet another way that they fucked themselves just like refusing to expand Medicaid.
I hear this from RWNJs in India they supposedly feel disrespected by liberals. Why do they care so much? I don’t spend my every waking minute obsessing about the food or other choices these RWNJs make. If they want respect then need to earn it not demand it.
What they really want is to dictate terms to us and they are unhappy because they can’t.
Whether it is the case of beef bans by various BJP ruled states or abortion restrictions red states like to impose on everyone.
@Jeffery: Not necessarily unknown reasons. The Tangerine Twatwaffle offered them a target to direct their response to a lifetime of rejection, humiliation, fear and loneliness and the anger it spawned toward.
Aargh! Long-time reader, occasional commenter under various nyms. Tried to leave a comment a little while ago. (More than five minutes.) First it was stuck in moderation, then it seemed to be on the comments page, and now it is gone again. I don’t think I said anything problematic.
yeah, CNN regularly talks about dereliction of duty by Trump in handling the virus. slow learners.
Nancy LeTourneau at WaMo nails it:
@MattF: Yes. Maybe this has all been covered as I haven’t yet read all the comments. After living in a deep red part of CA this is important. Every RWNJ claim needs to be countered with reason and reality even if it seems to go nowhere. Repuglicans make hay with ‘defund the police’ and ‘socialism’. It’s all lies, but if Repuglicans don’t hears any opposition Repuglicans has no options.
Apparently some Fox newsish thing just discovered that masks work. Who knew? Reality has a liberal bias.
Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech all over again.
Not to mention, that’s not how the SCOTUS works. Guess it’s too much to expect a member of the House of Representatives to know how the Constitution and SCOTUS works.
I am increasingly of the opinion that the Supreme Court will indeed steal the election for Trump. The train has left the station, and none of the Trumpy judges want to miss getting on board. The fact the Texas suit has less than no legal merit only makes it better. “We have the power, submit to us you inferior beings!”
Someone on my FB feed posted that article recently with “interesting thoughts!” and I’m afraid I ripped her a new one for it. I don’t have your restraint, AL.
I guess we’ll see soon enough, but I don’t agree.
Neither CNN nor MSNBC writ large surprises me. And I don’t much pay attention to Chuck Todd most of the time, but I happened to have MSNBC on in the background and that’s how he opened his show at 1:00 o’clock. I was taken aback that he was able to utter such a straight, uncompromising statement. Very unlike him.
@Dumbspear O’Sparrow: For some reason, the site puts usernames that have apostrophes in moderation, and that can’t be fixed.
Whatever Loomis says, the opposite is more likely to be true.
Words to live by.
@West of the Rockies: And many of the Hallmark channel movie plots revolve around some city person who is either forced to go to a small town, or goes to the small town to buy up some property for development. But then this town, with its overflowing flowers/Christmas decorations/homey charm wins this person over, and always with an attractive down-to-earth love interest. The protagonist then has to make a painful choice of pursuing their rat-race career vs. doing something wholesome and gratifying, and they leave the city behind for love and contentment.
Just like real life!
Did you know we apparently have two new states: New California and New Nevada? ??
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I agree. There are people who can be reached. There are people who spout talking points to justify their unease at the state of their communities. If they only hear one set of talking points and one version of stories they don’t have an emotional ladder to climb out and see a different vision. The one thing that baffles me is how do we project kindness and calm, and strength. For many right wingers their motives are to ease their fear. They desire security and will sacrifice logic to get it.
@geg6: Hey, I could well be very wrong. It’s more a feeling than a prediction. But I don’t trust those people, not one bit, even though it’s in their interest to reject the suit. If they uphold it, they will see a situation where a majority of the country will refuse to obey any of their subsequent decisions.
@Steeplejack (phone): alternatively: we’re hoping nine voters will pick the candidate we want because we already lost with the previous 150M-ish voters picking
@Tom Levenson: I agree with your comment. But I do think racism is a big driver.
@burnspbesq: He was pretty right about Glenn Greenwald.
@JMG: Why don’t you keep your speculations to yourself.
You really have to work one on one to get people to disengage from Facebook & Fox News. I don’t even try to get them to watch other news, but try to find entertainment elsewhere (even Hallmark Movies!). I try to get them to focus on basic everyday life they live & people they encounter and read books (yea, they still exist).
I can’t fix anything, but I do know that the apostrophe in your nym will throw you into moderation every single time. And in any case, if this is the first time you’ve used the new nym, you need to wait for a front-pager to release you. (Which obviously happened, or I wouldn’t have a comment to respond to!)
@Baud: Awww… yeah, that would be me.
Google is our friend! :)
It won’t stop the question from being asked.
@schrodingers_cat: JMG’s speculation isn’t any more baseless than someone opining with 100% confidence the SCOTUS will punt this suit into the sun like everyone expects it to. Barrett. Gorsuch. Kavanaugh. Alito. Thomas. There are five good reasons to not trust that court any farther than you could toss the building in which it hears cases. No reason to get on JMG’s case.
As another Twitter commenter said, “Sounds performative.”
The folks at http://PostcardsToVoters.org are explicit about this. Their mission of sending “fun, friendly, upbeat” GOTV postcards for Democratic candidates (they started with the 2017 GA special election for Jon Ossoff) are often in deep-“red” parts of the country… with the intent to see that outreach bear fruit in 2022, 2024, and beyond. And in the meantime, to let Democratic voters know they’re not forgotten.
Steve in the ATL
Because Bryce Harper is such a tool
Very true! One never knows when someone quieter might like the info, though. And every now and then my inner research librarian likes to have a moment. :)
As Betty Cracker said, apostrophes are a no-go in nyms. Each comment goes into moderation and has to be individually approved. Maybe “O*Sparrow”?
Gin & Tonic
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines.
@Yarrow: I for one welcome the new majority-minority, Dem-voting states of New Mississippi, New Alabama, and New Texas.
Could somebody just please turn off the cray NAOW?
@H.E.Wolf: Can confirm as the recipient of one of those cards this year. :)
You can delete my comment if you want. Doom posting gets on my last nerve. Time for me to take a break from the angsty liberal white blog.
@A Ghost to Most: Your take on our liberal / analytical approach is good, if cynical. It’s a propensity that can be taken too far just as right wing emotionality regularly goes too far. I feel horrible and the world scares me, therefore I must fight the bad people my tribe doesn’t like results in further chaos. We need to balance our emotional wisdom with our higher brain functions.
@Yarrow: Good point about FB.
@schrodingers_cat: I’m not deleting anyone’s comment, just expressing my opinion as a fellow commenter, not a blog moderator. At least 70% of the comments here are baseless speculation of one kind or another.
matt the somewhat reasonable
@Kent: Yeah, I wish I had a nickel for everyone who asserts that 7-11 coffee is some kind of moral choice.
It was in 2015, Dawn Landes opened. Looks like the show you’re referring to was in 2019 (I did see the Truckers at Brooklyn Bowl in 2019).
@CaseyL: I am so where you are.
COVID might reduce the population of Darwin award nominees enough to budge this cohort down below 50% in some states and make them more competitive. That probably sounds monstrous, but it is looking increasingly likely as the resistance to facts and truth become more deadly by the day.
@Steve in the ATL:
Braves fan, I assume? At least Braves and Mets fans can agree on one thing.
I think the biggest weapons of the Republican Party is pandering, pandering and lies.
The TWO biggest weapons of the Republican Party is pandering and lies… and shamelessness.
The THREE biggest weapons of the Republican Party are pandering, lies, shamelessness, and a huge hate-network.
AMONGST their biggest weapons are such diverse elements as pandering, lies, shamelessness, a huge hate network… and fear.
Enough allusions to Monty Python. The biggest problem we have right now in reaching rural voters is, Trump can say he’ll save coal jobs. If a Democrat had said that in 2016, and was in office in 2020, right wingers would be crowing 24×7 at how coal jobs had cratered under the socialist over-regulation of coal, ignoring how the market for coal was so diminished that even if you had a goddamned moron trying to let coal companies poison anyone, coal jobs would have cratered.
Okay, but won’t Republicans be grown-ups, and tell the truth, if things are really bad? What if we had a President who was clearly corrupt? No. Well, one who broke international agreements (so no one can feel comfortable with *any* American agreement, since any Republican President can walk away, for stupid reasons)? No. Well, what about having a *WAY* too cozy, way too close, relationship with Russia, after having been seeking a 300 million dollar payoff during the campaign? No, don’t be ridiculous. Well, how about abuse of office, lawbreaking, and extorting an ally?
“Now, come on, you don’t really expect Republicans in Congress to turn on a Republican President do you?”
Okay, I got one: how about if a Republican President was politicizing a deadly virus, not only failing to try to protect the nation, but actively trying to make things worse; and who, having lost the election, engaged in attempts to overthrow the will of the people, meaning that he’d try to illegitimately continue to oversee the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, AND BRAG that someone developed a vaccine while *he* was in office, as if that means anything about him?
Seriously: tell us all how you can fight that level of shamelessness? What do you do when one political party, and its allies (including major media partners) are not only willing to lie to protect the worst human being ever considered a candidate for the presidency, they’re willing to do it to protect the worst actions imaginable?
People have talked about a second civil war… well, it’s already happening. One political party is willing to use the law, surreptitiously encourage threats and violence, and engage in clearly bad faith legal tactics, against the other “side”. People who try to do their jobs with honor and integrity who cross that party will be retaliated against, and no one will care. Trumped up investigations are carried out, and pettiness in law enforcement will be tolerated, so long as it’s pettiness against Democrats.
I mean, I recall hearing it said that there were multiple field officers in the FBI who threatened to resign if Hillary Clinton wasn’t indicted. That, to me, sounds like time for a meeting with the director, who will say “do I understand you’re willing to quit your job if we don’t indict an innocent woman? If so, *GREAT*, now I don’t have to fire your ass because I can’t trust you to be unbiased in your investigations.” In any event, I heard it said this played a role in Comey’s decision to hand the election to Trump.
But more importantly, Trump demanding indictments – hell, any decent, honorable Republican would have denounced him for his insistence that if he were President, Clinton would be in jail. Any who thought he’d learned his lesson would know that he didn’t, as he condemned Barr for failing to use law enforcement against his political enemies. (They’re not “rivals” when you’re trying to get them indicted.)
So… anyway. Yeah. I think I agree, you can’t appeal to folks in those areas, until our toxic culture has some antidote flowing through it. But damn it… *how*? If nearly 300,000 dead Americans isn’t enough to cause people to come clean, what could? Would Trump literally have to bomb the New York Times for all the “fake news”?
@schrodingers_cat: Thank you. I bring this up from time to time and mostly it seems to get ignored here. Imo, Facebook is a bigger problem re: disinformation and propaganda than Fox News, talk radio or any other media. Their algorithms give people more and more of “what they want” so they see more and worse propaganda and disinformation. It puts people in individual silos in a way the other media forms can’t. Democracy can’t survive with this kind of personalized disinformation and propaganda being fed directly to people.
matt the somewhat reasonable
@comrade scotts agenda of rage: Yeah I tuned out booman a long time ago for that reason.
When I would see all of those Trump fans without masks at rallies or on videos yelling at store managers, I was thinking that they would deserve what they got. Unfortunately, too many innocents would be involved. But after everyone who wants a vaccination gets one, I say have at it. Go to rallies, church, big weddings. Herd immunity will kick in eventually, but they can keep the virus alive among themselves for awhile.
They say 70% of a community is required for herd immunity, but if they only hang out with each other, and refuse to get vaccinated, their community will stay below 70% for awhile. Eventually they’ll catch on, but probably not before they contribute their life savings to the Trump legal-fees/reelection-campaign/live-on-the-high-hog fund.
No one has mentioned what I think is the most important part: Increasingly, for the last hundred years, the rest of the country has interfered in small towns to stop them from hanging, beating to death, raping, burning down the property of, etc. etc. anyone they don’t like. They resent it. They resent the HELL out of it. We are actually imposing our way of life on them, in that our way of life includes not being allowed to drag gays behind a pickup truck, use the n- word, or deny women any job except ‘housewife’ and ‘prostitute.’ That pressure is constantly increasing. They are deluged in it. They see things they hate and want to punish, like transgender people and mixed-race marriages, celebrated in media as a good thing. When they try to argue why the things they hate are bad, the facts say they’re wrong. So they hate facts, too.
With Trump’s reelection they thought they were on the brink of getting the power to abuse anyone they like back, and they’re having a screaming shit fit that they won’t get it.
The speculation of lawyers who follow the Supreme Court and argue at the Supreme Court as their job is not baseless, though. They study the justices and how the justices rule. They are experts who are not talking out of their ass. They say there is no way in fucking Hell that the Supreme Court will overturn the election, and that the odds lean to but are not absolute that the case will not be heard, with a 7-2 decision because Alito and Thomas hold to a philosophy that every ‘original’ case, no matter how stupid, should be heard.
matt the somewhat reasonable
@Yarrow: As I see it the biggest problem with Facebook is it allows completely segmented and compartmentalized messages to be sent out. You literally can be all things to all people if you pay them enough and focus on their platform enough.
In all seriousness, what can possibly be the point of this? The attorney can’t for a moment expect to be taken seriously. What is likely to be the Court’s view? Will they just toss it aside with a laugh and a shrug, or will they haul the lawyer up on contempt charges for throwing sand in the gears, or what? Genuinely curious.
This, 1,000 times this, is absolutely true. I talked to our admin about this stuff a little bit a couple of days ago, in an inquisitive non-threatening way (because everyone here knows my political preferences). She said she’s afraid of all the violent riots she’s seen this year, they’re all bad no matter who does them. She also said that for example, those rioters in Kansas City were coming onto the property of those people (I figured out she was actually talking about those loons in St. Louis), and they have the right to defend themselves. Those people broke down their gate! When I pointed out that actually a) those people didn’t break down the gate, they came through a gate to the street that was already broken and b) those people never actually went onto the private property (I also pointed out that the loony guy thought the street was his private property) she said “But see, you have your facts but I heard differently”. Makes me want to pound my head against the wall, because this is a person who doesn’t pay that much attention to politics. She also said she can’t understand how Biden got more votes than Trump, that she really doesn’t believe he did (but she couldn’t tell me why other than that most of the people she knows voted for Trump. I pointed out to her that not everywhere is like here). She said it’s also confusing to her why the person who gets the most votes doesn’t always win (even though she thinks Biden didn’t get the most votes for some undefined reason). When I asked her what her main concern was, she said “Democrats want to take all my hard-earned money and give it to people who don’t work, why should my money go to them, I work for everything I have. I know people who are on unemployment forever, they should go get a job and quit living off the government”. I said I don’t think you can stay on unemployment forever (although you can’t judge by this year for sure), and that I don’t think that’s what’s happening. This is a big part of the problem, people see stuff and don’t really know what’s happening but jump to conclusions based on things they’ve heard before. This is far from the first time I’ve had a conversation like that. And I repeat, this person isn’t particularly political, and I’m sure she doesn’t watch much Fox News or listen to conservative talk radio much. These things bleed through to people from other sthey hear talking about them. I don’t know how you reach a person like that.
@Nicole: I hope they get wiped out by their own stupidity- and no I don’t care
She’s an enemy of the USA, and has violated her oath of office.
She has no respect, at all, for the Constitution of the USA. She is seditious.
Her district, which elected her, is now dead to me.
I agree with the Dunn County volunteer in a very broad sense.
Democrats have a brand identity problem.
Whether it’s true or not, Republicans have repeated that they support low taxes, abolishing abortion, etc. that it’s easy for them to define themselves.
Democrats just are not good at creating a strong identity. I don’t think most be people could tell you what Democrats are for as easily as they could Republicans
@Betty Cracker: You are right. Perhaps I was overreacting. It has been a long week.
@SiubhanDuinne: I think the point of it is to curry favor with Trumpers and that world. These lawyers will be seen as “fighting the good fight.” They may advance their careers by getting Fox News spots, give speeches, get a comfy gig at a think tank. Etc. Maybe they need a pardon. Who knows.
@Frankensteinbeck: I don’t think the SCOTUS will overturn the election either (though my confidence is short of 100%), and I’m not saying every opinion is equally valid. But I do not see the point in shushing someone for fretting about the possibility, especially on a political blog where people fret about stuff all the time, and especially when the decision is in the hands of a court newly restocked with Republican fanatics. Just seemed kinda harsh to me. YMMV.
@Yarrow: I recoil every time I hear that ‘education’ is the answer. I love education. I’ve always done well academically. There are a huge number of people who did not. They did well at sports and politics, or political persuasion. They did well at marketing and business.
What we could benefit from is media that is attractive, entertaining, and demonstrates the values we care about – diversity, fair play, equal opportunity, justice, etc. People who did not do well in standard American academics won’t be moved. We need eyes and ears which means people in the seats. Unaccountable social media has complicated this. That’s where the battle for hearts and minds will unfold.
@schrodingers_cat: No worries! It’s been a long YEAR! :)
@Yarrow: FB needs to be regulated like a media company. Held liable for the fake news and propaganda they help disseminate.
@Bill Arnold: Lots of people voted for her opponent. Smart people.
But there weren’t enough smart people in that district, unfortunately.
@Frankensteinbeck: All opinions matter.
@Kent: Seconded… no more money to Red states
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I see it as even more personal than that. Using my family as an example; they’ve had a huge number of friends and family call them losers and abandon them. My father did that and even worse in those who stayed eyes, proved it, by being the one that the stay at homes had to beg money off of to keep from ending up being homeless for the next 40 years.
The family photos say it all, everyone who moved out, even to Texas, are all tanned, have good teeth and skin, the one whose stay all have bad teeth, prematurely aged and all have gray skin.
@Ruckus: Racism of course but remember that Facebook started as a way for Ivy League guys to get
laiddates, and to rate women. Dominance and selfish serial fulfillment were the product. Fine tuned marketing to Ivy League buffounsmarks was the gold mine.
Now Facebook gives them a quick way to grow their tribe’s size and power with zero brakes on their worst impulses.
Maybe not ‘zero’. But see: Rohingya, Uigher, etc. Same result as ‘zero’ constraints.
It’s not even fully personalized, and will get worse over time. Imagine automated influence campaigns targeted at individuals, e.g. the Lincoln Project vs Individual #1, but cheesier and much lower budget and fully automated.
@Dan B: Education isn’t only in schools. Finland has programs at senior centers for older folks to learn about and identify disinformation and propaganda online. Storylines can be inserted into TV shows (or other types of entertainment), as was done to promote the idea of a designated driver and the danger of drunk driving. A comprehensive educational program about disinformation and propaganda would include many ways of reaching people.
Run gubmint like a bizness.
@schrodingers_cat: That would be one way to do it. The anti-trust lawsuits might be helpful. I guess we’ll see.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Dan B: Worth noting that Flat Eartherism was inadvertent result of the You Tube suggested video algorithm; basically any time you would view a science video You Tube would start pushing psuedo science on you. Once You Tube figured that out, they changed the algorithm and Flat Eartherism died out. A lot of this is just programers doing thing and not measuring the effect it had on their users behavior.
@Booger: LOL- Gay Bears for the win!*
Maybe it’s just cis white gay men. Oh well ;<(
My take is that there’s a crisis in their minds:
On one hand, the Rural Red Voter *know* that they are superior: The hardworking, moral, true, real Americans. And that the others are not as deserving as they are.
On the other hand, it is plain to see for anybody with eyes in this day and age: Those others are getting ahead of them. The city slickers, college boys and suburbanites (many of whom are immigrants and POC) are a lot richer than they are, and even the colored folks that used to be on the bottom have gained some ground. Meanwhile rural white life has stagnated or gone to crap.
This contradiction in their mind causes a mental break.
Rather than reevaluate their belief in their superiority, or adjust their notion of “just rewards” and proper place in American society, they cast about for excuses and somebody to blame.
you want to stop the pollution… find a way to turn off the spigot. These people got programmed by media forces, be it AM Radio or Faux News, then you must find a way to counter-program that message. Until that happens, they’ll continue to indoctrinate millions and these folks will willingly turn-off their minds and walk in lockstep.
@Bill Arnold: Yeah, we have a lot of fun stuff to look forward to. Our government is so woefully behind on dealing with modern technology. They can’t even figure out how to deal with Facebook and we’re well past that at this point.
@Soprano2: Reminds me of that story a while back about the conservative boy in camp straight up telling a black girl that he can’t go to college while she gets in for free. he was gobsmacked that she was paying tuition and wasn’t getting a free ride. Because that’s what all the white people in his family told him.
IDK how to counter it in my own family either. But my two reactions are “Unemployment is insurance, not taxes per se. It’s like health insurance. I don’t shout UNFAIR if lots of people getting cancer treatment just because I’ve never been in the hospital.” My other reaction is to whisper loudly “Are you trying to imply brown people are lazy? Is that what you’re saying? Are you racist?”
The Moar You Know
@schrodingers_cat: you’re not the only one. Posit some horseshit like that, you better have a complete explanation of the process of how that’s going to happen or you can fuck right off.
I don’t see much hope. The GOP has been campaigning for decades now on fear, anger, and hatred. Literally decades of FOX, Limbaugh, and books by people like Ann Coulter have convinced these people that it’s reasonable to believe that the Democrats run a child sex ring. And that’s one of the more reasonable conspiracy theories they accept. (Like Hilary Clinton was executed for her role in Benghazi but Obama got a robot double to replace her and hushed it all up)
There is no reason on the opposing side any more. Look at the Texas lawsuit. There’s nothing there except a naked request for the conservatives on the Supreme Court to replace the judgement of the people.
I had a little success with a very Christian relative of mine when I asked him “if this angry, hate-filled person is who he really wants to be.” It didn’t change who he voted for for president though.
Somehow we have to get the GOP to stop running this way.
West Texan 70
@Kent: Now that so many companies are allowing WFH, I’d love to see a quarter-million or so liberals get Wyoming citizenship and get a couple of easy senate seats. I’m nearing retirement age, and my wife and I would be willing …
@JMG: I am sorry. I was unnecessarily harsh.
The Moar You Know
@matt the somewhat reasonable: it’s better than Starbucks at a third the price?
Serious coffee snob here and I’ll take 7/11 coffee over a lot of the commodity grade swill out there any day. Including Charbucks. They’ve done a really good job with their coffee.
Is that a moral choice? I dunno.
Yep, yep, yep. Democrats are for what? There’s no brand. Sure, we can name things but the average person doesn’t know. I had someone who was a Trump to Biden voter say exactly that to me. “I don’t know what the Democrats stand for.”
I don’t really care if WE know what Democrats are for (or do we?). What matters is the average person doesn’t. Dems would do well to figure out their brand and then sell the hell out of it to people. Relentlessly.
@germy: Really fucking stupid, so right on brand for Trumpco. Does nothing to actually speed up vaccine distribution (a half day change in when the approval goes out…), and of course the FDA Director is going to be out of a job in a month anyway so as a threat it’s pretty weak.
A great podcast, You’re Wrong About’s (binge worthy!) latest episode covered this topic. I learned quite a bit and realize how hopeless it can be to reason with family members let alone community who have been drinking from this kind of fire hose
Yeah, I was harsh; just quite angry that New York State members of the House of Representatives attached themselves to that document supporting the Texas AG. (She won in the 50s percent IIRC.)
Gin & Tonic
@Omnes Omnibus: Whew.
@Kent: Reminds me of the barber my brother and I went to in Batesville, Arkansas. He handed out literature that showed a plump white grandmother and pappy with their arms outstretched to three little kids. One was white. One was tan. One was black. It was like Burpee’s beans – cross a white bean and a black bean, get three different colors. It was Klan literature in case you wondered. I was horrified at the thought of a white granny having to be seen with a black grandchild. It was an early lesson in the power of imagery and propaganda. I got over it but our father quit his job to get us out.
And, my brother’s ex wife moved near my niece, her daughter, in Bend, OR. The love of her life is a black man. They don’t visit in the town near Bend because of the danger.
@hells littlest angel:
I’ve been stuck in red for 20 years, and this is dead-on accurate. My neighbor is an otherwise good guy, raised Catholic, went to good schools, runs his own business, keeps his house and yard looking superb, his wife is pretty much the same. Hard-core Trumpers to very end, though he did take his signs down where some of my other neighbors have not. He’s nice to me, and we treat each other cordially (MrsFromOhio is making wreaths for some of our nieghbors, and I asked her to please consider making one for them, too).
But I’ll damned to burning in hell for all eternity before I try to engage him in anything political, much less challenge his hard-line. And I have no illusions about how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ he is.
The Moar You Know
@schrodingers_cat: Media companies are specifically not held liable for such things. If they were, there would be no Fox News. Or talk radio, for that matter.
The Thin Black Duke
@The Moar You Know: Thank you. I’m tired of defeatist bullshit.
The Thin Black Duke
@The Moar You Know: Starbucks is garbage, but I’ll copy to being a DD junkie.
This most definitely. GOP weaponizes voting rules and ballot access to disenfranchise Democratic voters. Over and over again. At a certain point, we need to fight fire with fire.
@schrodingers_cat: Hope to see you back after your last nerve regenerates. The comment you responded to was ridiculously doomy. They wear me down too.
ETA: But for some reason I keep reading instead of doing something more productive. Like taking a nap.
@SiubhanDuinne: I’ve said repeatedly that I refuse to say Merry Christmas because Republicans have turned it into a polite way of saying “Fuck you Libtards.”
(Not actually a) Dr. Thoth Evans
What about () in nyms?
Gin & Tonic
@(Not actually a) Dr. Thoth Evans: Ampersands have always been OK.
If Fox and Facebook made them into irreparable idiots then the disease is clear. Now, what should we do about it? I don’t think there is anything inherent to the latitude and longitude where they live, or the dirt under their feet, or the DNA in their cells.
@cmorenc: Occam’s razor says the polling was wrong.
@topclimber: I believe that Biden’s team is pushing rural broadband.
He didn’t treat them any better, but he sure did pander to them better.
@Frankensteinbeck: That’s a great point. Some hate the social service system for interfering with (what they think is) their right to hit their child. Hate the school system for minimal programs against racism, gender discrimination and bullying.
They see anti-bullying as interference with their child raising beliefs, that to survive and be respected their kid has to develop a tough front, win every fight. Never walk away or give up, which they call running away. Cause that’s how their father raised them. Never apologize to the victim because that reveals weakness and puts them ahead of you. A man I interviewed (when younger he’d made a good living getting paid to beat people up and do robberies) explained to me his father’s teaching. For example, as a kid when he lost a fight in front of the neighborhood, his father would then kick him around the street to teach him to never give up. Have seen some of the same in a few Republican-voting in laws.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness For Everyone. It is catchy, historic, patriotic, and correct. It covers all Dem policies and explains why we fight every GOP policy (at least, any that are left). The rest is just explaining it all.
@Frankensteinbeck: I read that in order to take the case at all, five justices have to concur that it worthy of argument. Robert’s legacy is important to him, and I don’t see him going along with it. I assume he is working to get all nine sign their names, because that was only done once before.
not a lawyer, and don’t pretend to be..
J R in WV
Not so much. I expect we will be able to log onto orbital networks with a wireless router from Walmart before too long. They’ve launched a mesh network of them recently, which I know because they interfere with ground-based astronomy quite a bit.
I hope the big network companies that refuse to serve my neighborhood get fucked by reasonable high-speed high-bandwidth service beyond the control of RWNJ legislatures ~!!~
I confess I don’t recall which new spacecraft company is up to this, and don’t want to take the time to look it up — but optimism has gotten me through nearly 70 years now, so I’m gonna keep it up.
@Soprano2: The line about Democrats taking her money and giving it to the undeserving can be answered by pointing out that blue states support red states that won’t see fit to tax themselves for the things they need and want.
@Nora Lenderbee: Actually, it occurs to me that if Memphis, TN and the Mississippi Delta counties (i.e. Bennie Thompson’s district) were carved out of their respective states and merged, the State of New Memphis would have a population bigger at least five states and it would be 95% Democratic.
Absolutely. If voting districts are voting for the Grand Old Destroy America Party, loyal patriotic Real Americans should obviously discourage them from voting. :-)
@cmorenc: Collins-Gideon is kind of an unusual case, but it seems like more generally, downballot Republicans underperformed Trump in the polls but outperformed him in the actual election. There might have been shy ticket-splitters, or maybe a lot of marginal Democratic voters motivated to turn out who only voted for Biden and left everything else blank. Those are the best theories I can figure.
Obama got it almost right when he said that people were clinging to guns and religion. What it really is, is that these people are addicted to guns and religion. And the only thing that has happened over the last eight years is that the pushers have been pushing other drugs like racism and reactionary politics harder than before, but it’s not like the guns and religion addicts weren’t already using those occasionally as well.
@schrodingers_cat: It’s amazing how little connection the RWNJ’s have to logic. To them being disrespected is horrifyingly awful. To black, brown, immigrant, trans, etc. being killed or tortured is the equivalent. Embarrassment / criticism = Death / torture, in their minds.
@J R in WV: I think it’s SpaceX, and I’m kind of pissed off about it from a space-litter perspective and I also don’t trust SpaceX generally. But it’s an interesting development.
For a while, there were companies offering satellite broadband with geosynchronous satellites, but that speed-of-light lag just kills the utility of it for any kind of modern interactive website–geosynchronous orbit is just too high up. But to do better, you need to put the satellites in low orbit which means that for good coverage of the Earth you need this enormous swarm.
@Ksmiami: Can we amend that to no money to red districts who aren’t represented by a Dem Senator or Congressman. It would amuse the hell out of me if Bennie Thompson’s Delta District were the only part of Mississippi to get a single dollar of federal money.
@Dan B: Reminds me of the saying “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
“Merry Christmas comrade, how about a drink?”
@dlw32: I have flat-out started telling people on FB and Twitter that they’re not really Christians, and am close to doing it in real life. They’re just people who got dunked in a bath tub, usually at their family’s insistence, and then told that made them better than everyone else and that they could be as hateful as they want and still get into Heaven. IMO, around 80% of self-described Christians worship the devil but are too dumb to know it.
@Calouste: Much like “basket of deplorables”, Obama was trying to say these folks are worth reaching. But ain’t it interesting that we’re told over and over and over again that Democrats need to understand these kinds of voters, but then every single attempt to do so gets weaponized against them.
“Understand” is nothing but a code word for “capitulate.” There is no appeal Democrats can make that will reach them, because the only thing they want from Democrats is surrender.
They certainly obey a Prince of Lies. (And vote for him.)
J R in WV
We need a GIS mapping system that will provide great directions, traffic reports, and warn us when we enter a county or political unit controlled by Republicans, and indicate if things are split, city govt, county govt, congress, state house, etc. Like the Blue-Bird Navigation Tool, or something named like that…
That way we can decide to drive on to the blue rest-stop with a nice restaurant/bakery, etc. Winery in Democratic zone, sure. Red zone, not so fast, study who the vintner donated to first.
@Bill Arnold: On one occasion, I told an obnoxious right wing Christian of my acquaintance to “Go Merry Christmas Yourself.”
I’ll agree 100% that facebook is shit, that it’s owner is shit but it was far more than that. It was a way to make money by selling things that really didn’t belong to fb or zuckerberg and has morphed to far worse than most realize. Yes I had an account, but it’s been closed a long time now.
It’s part of the problem of money that always fucks up most every human endeavor. Money is an unescapable part of life, as is abuse of money. A good deal of our problems really are money issues, who gets some, who gets some that belong to others, who gets far, far more than they need and then get actually greedy……
J R in WV
I’m just really glad we have a variety of Indian places to eat, even here in WV~!~
And that the rancor the Brahmins seem to enjoy is most all over there, 12,000 miles away. Also interesting that when I google Brahmin, the images are of the breed of hot-weather cattle named Brahman… dunno why, but heh.
I’m glad I brought a couple of dozen really smart Indian hi-tech workers ( and spouses and parents, etc) over here during my career, most of whom are liberal citizens now.
And I’m glad we have regular input from you on the topics you know and care about!
@Ian G.: The National what?
Even the tragically limited extent to which our entertainment media already do that raises hackles in Red America. We feel like they’ve “solved politics” in a way that keeps them in power forever–meanwhile, they feel like they’re losing a cultural war, and to some extent they are.
I know many here dislike Andrew Sullivan but I’ve been reading him longer than I’ve been on Balloon Juice. In fact, I may have heard about BJ through him. I continue to get his newsletter although I’ve not gone so far as to subscribe. I’ve always thought he was ahead of the pack when he identified “Christianism” as a big problem for our politics. His argument was that “just that, like Islamists, they (the Christianists) saw no real distinction between politics and religion.”
His newsletter this week is called “Christianism and Democracy: The fusion of religion and politics on the right has made moderation impossible.” I think it’s worth a look-see.
A money quote:
“Biden’s victory was not God’s will. Therefore it couldn’t have happened. That’s the core conviction. That no court and no judge, including conservative ones, can find any evidence for it in over 50 lawsuits does not matter. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. “Who cares what I can prove in the courts? This is right. This happened,” declared influential evangelical Eric Metaxas this week, asserting Trump’s victory as a metaphysical truth.”
We can, and should, recognize the urban-rural divide. But the power of the Evangelical base in the Republican Party is I think as important or maybe more so.
A local anti-mask guy with a small business initially put up plastic barrier at checkout earlier in the pandemic but then removed it in a fit of pique. He has been repeatedly bitching about wearing masks and that covid 19 is just a cold. I think he is actually scared and trying hard to not believe covid 19 is real and dangerous.
When I was young(er) and in the military I saw a lot of the “You have to fight for everything!” guys. They even thought you had to fight for things that weren’t theirs. They didn’t always come from a home that had nothing, far more often they came from homes that did have things. But the concept that they had to fight for every scrap and bit that they might get was strong.
J R in WV
@Gin & Tonic:
And that’s odd to me, it’s a special character, and in raw native HTML you use code to insert an Ampersand into text on a web page, or did a long time ago. And in Unix terminals, same thing in the long ago.
But (Not actually a Dr.) Toth Evans was probably asking about parentheses? Which are obviously OK since his comment posted OK.
@Ian G.: Way late and probably repeating someone else, but there are two problems here. First, with the folks who would chastise you for your choices. Second, that our country is so culturally cleft that perhaps you have never had the chance to engage a reasonable redneck in a dialog about the virtues of your respective brews.
I thought there was an endless supply of brew bros who could spend all day rhapsodizing about their faves. Must be a few country cousins who might really care about their choice for traditional reasons, and not so much for what it means about their tribal preferences.
But how you can zoom it out on a dial-up connection?
West Texan 70
@Citizen Alan: My answer here in Texas is “Merry Fuckin’ Christmas”.
Of course, it helps that I’m 6′-2″ and a former football player …
@schrodingers_cat: It’s okay to have a bad week, or four years! Blog father and other commenters are also. It’s good to know clearly how people are feeling. If things go as badly as JMG feels I know that you and he will be allies in resisting the terrible. We need each other. Our lived experiences vary but I feel our moral cores mean something even when we act out from the stress.
I had a client who turned out to be a malignant narcissist. I ignored her and avoided her. It felt cruel to do that but my depression lifted and my fear abated. We turn off Trump even if it’s a comedian poking fun. Life is better.
@Ksmiami: Good talking point.
The reality is there are between 1/3 to 1/2 (voter suppression / gerrymandering means 55% Dem loses) people in red states are solid Democrats. What’s the program to help them survive?
No, they will go looking for further-Right TV sources or FB pages to tell them that it’s the fault of Democrats and doctors and rootless cosmopolitans.
Can we stop pretending that there is anything more to it than resentment that some of the “wrong” people are more successful/popular/influential? That’s all it is: resentment.
@Yarrow: I agree that storylines and creative means of reaching people are valuable. My issue is the term ‘education’ is a meme that creates a barrier. If we feel that people we differ with need ‘education’ it suggests they are poorly informed or stupid. It’s a shorthand with unintended consequences. You had to explain to me that what you meant by education is storylines and creative engagement. As the saying goes,”If you have to explain you are already losing.”
Education in this country has had a hierarchical slant, no, is hierarchical at its core.
I’d prefer the term ‘engaging’. Ditch the word education until it is viewed as exciting and fun by the majority.
@West of the Rockies: Re: McConnell’s approval rating. I read the twitter series concerning possible anomalies in the Kentucky vote that a commenter linked to yesterday. The person tweeted a series of suspicious aspects of that election, one of them being that McConnell had won easily despite an approval rating of 18%. One of many commenters pointed out that 18% was a national rating, and that McConnells Kentucky approval was in the low 40’s. The tweet series and the comments are definitely worth checking out, and the person may be on to something worth looking into. But the person also said they were skeptical that McGrath got more votes than Biden, because it was “not logical” that anyone would vote for McGrath and not for Biden, or vote for trump and not McConnell. That made me wonder about their other analysis.
@schrodingers_cat: Rebecca MacKinnon of The Free Sppech Project, Slate, Future Tense, and American University at Washington had an article about how to regulate social media that I found interesting. I’d love to get your take.
Yes. Lots of people are not happy unless they feel like other people want the same things they want, because it demonstrates to them that they are correct for wanting those things. It’s like the reverse of keeping up with the Joneses…. where you want the Joneses to keep up with you.
Lots of people want to be envied. If you don’t think their big truck is cool, then what is the point of having it? They bought it specifically to impress people. If you like the National (as do I), then you don’t think they’re cool for liking Blake Shelton.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: What an eye opening anecdote!
Flat Earth dies out after You Tube changes algorithm. And all this time I thought it was because of the Cat Theory: If the earth were flat cats would have pushed everything off the edge.
You gotta remember, these are the counties where the smartest 60 percent of every graduating class has been leaving town for the past 60 years.
@piratedan: Very clear- Turn off the spigot of crap!
All else is static.
As I’ve said to others I’d love to have your take on Rebecca MacKinnon article in Slate on saving free speech. She posits that unregulated social media strangles free speech but that heavy handed regulations achieve the same.
@dlw32: I had a landscape design client for a couple decades (one house, one estate, and a 72 acre ecological / art site) who got wealthy branding tech companies. He repeated the maxim that you can’t reach people whose brain stem feels that their existence is threatened until you bring up a different existential threat. Scaring and offering relief, or, trickier, humor.
There are means but few are taught them these days. Ancient Greeks did. We forgot.
@cmorenc: You are right about LBJ’s civil rights legislation wiping out Democratics in the South. After he signed the 1965 Civil Rights Act, Johnson himself remarked that this would kill the Democratic Party in the South for two generations. But the white southern Democrats who survived for a while were not “Blue-Dog” Democrats but “Yellow Dog” Democrats,” named for the old saying “I’d vote for a yellow dog” if it was running as a Democrat. The current 15 member House Democratic Blue Dog Caucus headed by Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) are a different bunch.
Duke of Clay
@cmorenc: Sorry, but you’ve got your metaphors switched. You should have said “yellow dog Democrat” as in “I’d vote for an ole yellow dog before I’d vote for a Republican.” Blue dog Democrats are those Democratic candidates that might as well be Republicans given how they vote.
Duke of Clay
@Geminid: Dang! you beat me by three minutes.
@Kent: I think it might be even more subtle — for a long time their life choices were squarely mainstream, or at least shared by a strong majority of people. Many people hunted or grew up hunting, for instance. It is now a very tiny percentage. It’s not like anyone is going to outlaw hunting (or some other choice) but they don’t like going from a point of having defined the culture to being on the fringes, in many cases even among their own children. You see this with other subgroups as well. For instance, the Roman Catholic church isn’t going to be outlawed, but its doctrines are being pushed further to the edges of normalcy — they worked long and hard to go from being at the fringes to being mainstream, and they don’t want to become like the Amish or some other group of outliers. This is a problem that would take care of itself except for the disproportionate political power they have ended up with under our electoral system.
@The Moar You Know: The Fairness Doctrine was eliminated decades ago. It required anyone who used the public airwaves to carry a balance of viewpoints. Once gone FOX arrived. Even if Facebook got labeled a media company it would not be subject to effective oversight.
@Geminid: Blue Dog Caucus members besides Murphy (FL-7) include Lou Corea (CA-46), David Scott (GA-13), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1), Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Kendra Horn (NE), and Xochitl Torres-Small (NM). Torres-Small and Horn lost their first reelection races last month. Brindisi is currently 12 votes down, with a court ordered recount still to go.
This is true. I have some relatives who still live in rural/ag regions. Not all are Republicans, but the ones who are say they’ll never vote Dem for the following reasons:
And of course, as mistermix also notes, there’s just the generalized notion that Democrats are multicultural coastal elitists who just don’t get the heartland. To put it into more familiar language, they don’t see themselves reflected in the Democratic party anymore, whereas Trump — in a refrain we’re all familiar with — at least “stands up for them,” even as they’re willing to admit he’s a corrupt asshole. Now, you might think launching a quixotic trade war with China that has cost American agriculture billions is a funny way of “standing up” for them, but they’re apparently willing to overlook that (“At least he’s trying,” says one) in favor of all the environmental rollbacks and redneck rhetoric they mistake for respect.
Rod Dreher (a Christian) is, to me, delusional about has an inaccurate mental model of the American left-of-Conservative, but he’s on point in this similar criticism of RW evangelicals believing that it is theologically impossible that Trump lost the election.
Eric Metaxas’s American Apocalypse – Charlie Kirk interviews Eric Metaxas (American Conservative, December 10, 2020, Rod Dreher)
I agree with this part:
Trump, in (my restatement of) this view, has been a test; it is morally and theologically risky to form a transactional alliance with a Prince of Lies.
(The known lies are catalogued and documented by the WaPo and others.)
@Dan B: You can call it what you want. The entire thing is basically educating people. I didn’t tell you what I meant. I described various methods of education and how they are working or have worked successfully.
The “program” doesn’t have to be called an “education program.” It can be called something else. I disagree with your term “engaging.” “Engaging” people about disinformation or propaganda wouldn’t do much of anything. People are already “engaging” others on Facebook. Look where that got us.
@Matt McIrvin: Starlink is the network, but they launch on SpaceX rockets, so I expect they’re both part of Elon’s Empire.
Base station costs $500, sub is $100/month and it doesn’t work in crowded locations.
@moops: Fighting mass media (MSM and social) with a persistent progressive / liberal entertaining media pushback will be necessary. To be effective it will need a reliable funding source: A couple progressive billionaires (Hello Chip Hanauer, Bill Gates!!) and crowd sourcing.
Also regulation via a Free Speech Project model, or similar.
The determining factor will be public awareness of the need, and the importance of achieving something good, not perfect. This will require pushing back against well meaning purity ponies and Putin / Xi bots. This will be more likely to be successful with a well paid full time organization.
Steve Schmidt is looking in this direction. Good. However I don’t want a free market corporate supporter running it.
@moops: Added to my media comment: Rupert Murdoch spent billions and took many years (persistence) before FOX broke even. Facebook took years and millions, then billions of dollars. Amazon lost millions for decades. The advantage of corporate models is a few people make the decisions and the corp is sheltered from liability.
@J R in WV: Elon Musk is launching broadband from satellites. Having a supportive administration will help. I believe there are some issues with cloudcover at present. Saw a YouTube about it thanks to my geeky Mike guy.
@Geminid: Mikie Sherrill (NJ) is another Blue Dog Caucus member. I name the Representatives because their detractors on the left often don’t, preferring to lump them all as those nasty conservative Blue Dogs that keep “progressives” from having nice things. Naming them might make people curious as to who these people actually are.
Some people are always trying to find a reason to write off a defined group of voters and just concentrate on “Our Side.” But this is just wrong headed.
It’s not a simplistic “Them vs Us.” And even if you wanted it to be this way, more people are moving to red states, turning them purple. And of course Republican legislators keep trying to gerrymander districts to magnify the impact of conservative votes. And the plain fact is that a lot of these people have voted for Democrats in the past. They, and new voters, can be persuaded to vote for Democrats in the future.
It’s never just about raw numbers.
@Citizen Alan: I believe that Christianists have high rates of domestic abuse, drug use, down low sex – straight and gay (see GoOP conventions, call boy arrival schedules) so they need the forgiveness for sins plus surrendering to a higher being cause their moral compass is hunky.
@Duke of Clay: Blue Dog Caucus members consistently vote with the larger Democratic Caucus, not the republicans. They and the moderate New Democratic Coalition caucus try to moderate the Caucus’ positions, but they are as loyal as the Progressive Caucus when it comes to consequential votes.
@Yarrow: LOL. This reminds me of a joke. A customer calls to order an item and wanted to know what the shipping charges were. The customer service person asked, “what state are we shipping to,” the caller responded, “New Mexico.” “Sorry,” said the CS person, “we don’t ship overseas.”
@Zelma: Christianists offer forgiveness for the multitude of transgressions of their flocks. They hate the liberals who look down their noses at them for their hypocrites and abject moral failures. Thus it gets weaponized and the irrational sky God explanations supersede laws and government
BTW I came to BJ from Sully. I got to him on recommendation from my cousins straight, libertarian son. Got tired of the tortured logic.
@bemused: It’s like the tragedy of animals running into the fire in a panic. People act out when their brain stem constantly tells them their lives are under threat. The nearest object, us, bears the brunt. My aunt had to knock out a drowning guy she was trying to rescue.
Would this be a good time to consider taxing churches and for the IRS to review Mega churches pastor’s finances?
sadly, a lot of the “deplorables” remind me of what I learned in Anger Management courses.
Anger, feeds the brain a bunch of wonderful chemicals,
Anger, becomes addictive,
Anger, creates tunnel vision,
Attempting to engage with the Fauxified is a waste of time and just feeds their anger addiction.
Mom Says I*m Handsome
I thought I took one for the BJ team with regard to apostrophes in nyms? (That was before the site redesign, too; I’ve carried over using el asterisko just cuz, so it’s… interesting? disappointing?… to see it’s still a “feature.”)
Not sure if there’s any traction in this thread, but I have been wondering about having the DNC fund a sustained effort to place TV ads in rural areas with themes like “What does socialism really look like in your community?” and “Where did the weekend come from?” and the like. Thirty seconds at a pop (or even shorter), pleasant imagery, steady message of facts, non-threatening, 365 days a year. Surely it’s got to be more effective than the current system, which we call “Money In Politics” but in reality it’s wasting campaign funds on expensive election-time TV ads & mailers that go straight into the recycling bin.
@Jay: the right wing propagandists work hard to promote fear, which is the flip side of anger. They have made “the Left” into a Boogyman that only they can defend us from. This was going on long before “The Squad” popped up. Political scientist Rachel Bitecofer talks a lot about negative polarization, which I think explains at least current republican politics. People here are appalled that 70 million people could vote for trump, but if one understands how fear of “the Left” has been beaten into the gullible, it’s easier to understand that many of these people are voting against the enemy they’ve been taught to fear. That is not the fault of leftists generally. In fact, they understand that they and the Democratic party are different political animals. But try telling that to your typical republican voter awash in right-wing propaganda.
@Nicole: In other words, Fauxnews and talk radio propaganda is as coercive and as pernicious as opiates or heroin. In which case the equivalent of methadone for the airwaves would be required. But what would a Fauxnews-lite sound like? In this era when the Reichwingnuts are fleeing Fauxnews for Newsmax (Newsmacks?) and OANN, would not a gradually-less-toxic resource be acceptable? Or would the Faux addicts simply reject the alternate as insufficient?
The Pale Scot
@Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix:
Because manipulating hate and grievance works;
I’m sure I’ve said this before. Back in the day I took AVID video editing classes. They had guest speakers from ad and political ad agencies visit. The constant message was that you using quick edit segways to interrupt logical critical mental routines and manipulate emotions, manipulate the Id. The surest way to do that is to incite fear, anger, loathing. That is the phyco/mental/machine that rules modern society. Get people envious, get people pissed, get people to crave higher social status than their neighbor, get people to dwell on their grievances.
And that’s how technological society, if not the species itself, will end by 2050
The Pale Scot
Ohh.. I thought he meant the L’Internationale.
@different-church-lady: This. Compromise is the other code word for capitulate IMO.
The Pale Scot
In John Gotti’s neighborhood Ozone Park the story goes that all the clever ones left, leaving behind just the dim ones who aspired to be mobsters. Which led to the fall of the Mafia because they weren’t able to recruit talent, just the dimwits