Love is blind. So is rage. And it is rage that has blinded white American workers to the Romney-Ryan threat. It is rage against vaguely perceived, but harshly felt, injustice, hopelessness and futility. This badly informed class of people has been manipulated by a global elite to create cannon fodder in their war for control of America’s political process.
The rage has taken decades – in some cases centuries – to build. Its roots go back at least as far as the abolition of slavery and the ham-handed stupidity of Reconstruction. Among the disastrous ripple effects of the mistakes and abuses of the period, was a subversive and often deadly crusade against the former slaves by disgruntled white Southerners and a consequent mass migration of persecuted black Americans to northern cities. Arriving in the north with little or no resources to sustain them, these displaced persons inevitably created unsightly and crime ridden slums.
Circumstances such as these cannot fail to leave lingering prejudices and misunderstandings, especially as unconscionable politicians sought to exploit the resulting conflicts rather than to resolve them.
On the plus side, enlightened scholars and well meaning political activists have worked diligently to level the playing field. Americans of varying ethnic backgrounds have sacrificed their own self interests to improve the lot of the neglected and shunned ghetto population. And for a while, through the efforts of reformers like the Kennedys, Lyndon Johnson and – of course – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., America was winning the fight against injustice and oppression.
Most Republicans and Democrats seemed to agree on progressive goals, even though they differed on the way to achieve them. A just society seemed to be within reach. The eradication of poverty was conceivable.
Even the hope of a color-blind society glimmered briefly as America elected its first black president.
But the euphoria that accompanied Barack Obama’s election was transformed into bitterness and resentment as a new breed of Republicans pursued a diabolical campaign of economic sabotage. Their cynical crusade succeeded in slowing America’s recovery from the Great Crash of 2008 – a financial collapse triggered by Wall Street’s greed and Washington’s corruption. And a relentless propaganda campaign has misled many Americans – especially the “white working class” – into blaming President Obama for the sluggish economic recovery.
The Ryan-Romney campaign is taking full advantage of this situation to awaken old grudges and whip the “white working class” into a frenzy of anti-Obama fury. Their propagandists are pushing every emotional button – from a widespread distaste for abortion to imagined favoritism for black “welfare queens” and minority students – in a cynical crusade to divide and rule America.
It is this culture of resentment that blinds so many Americans to the devastating consequences of a Romney-Ryan victory in November. Not only minorities and the poor, but women of every class and middle-income families of every race would be victimized.
A Romney-Ryan administration would inflict widespread misery on the American people. In addition to phasing out the Earned Income Tax Credit that keeps millions of American families above the poverty line and slashing funds for children’s healthcare, it would revoke health insurance coverage for millions of working-age Americans. Senior citizens would face spiking medical bills.Aid to the poor and sick would be decimated. Environmental and safety regulations would be eliminated… even food inspections would be slashed …
Wall Street would be unleashed to inflict more calamities on the financial world. Tax breaks would be lavished on the super-rich.
And the threat is not just economic.
While proclaiming their commitment to “small government” and raising fears of a Muslim takeover of the country, the new Republicans would inflict a theocracy on America to rival the regressive regimes in Islamic nations, with a government so intrusive that not even our bedrooms would be out of bounds.
Obviously, few Americans would find such a program acceptable – or even believable. According to a recent article in Alternet by Joshua Holland:
Earlier this year, Democratic operatives looking for the best way to define Mitt Romney discovered something interesting about Paul Ryan’s budget. The New York Times reported that when the details of his proposals were run past focus groups, they found that the plan is so cruel that voters “simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”
Obviously, in their misdirected resentment and rage, those “working class white voters” refuse to see the elephant in the room. They’re in denial.
Pray that they come to their senses before it’s too late.
Click here for an AlterNet article examining the conservative mind.