Someone Told People to Resent Others

This thread is worth reading, referencing as it does the ongoing “resentment politics” that have devastated Scott Walker’s Wisconsin:

As I keep saying, people do not independently come to the conclusion that all minorities are T-bone buying welfare cheats dragging on the system and burning down the ‘hood. Someone TELLS them that. We can’t just accept that outlook as the reality and address it with policy without squarely facing who is pushing the message and how they are doing it.

Because until we counter the voices yelling at them through their speakers, it won’t matter if Democrats DO come out strongly in favor of Medicare for All, if they remind people they were the only ones who gave even half a fuck about reining in rapacious health care companies, if they run ads every other second touting free community college and support for organized labor. It won’t matter if they all turn into St. Bernie Sanders, or for that matter St. Hillary Clinton as she was instead of as she was portrayed. It won’t matter if we run Obama 12 more times.

So long as there is a chorus of wingnut dickbags on Fox and talk radio (and talk radio, in Wisconsin especially, is a mental cancer) telling them Democrats want to give all your hard-earned money to lazy black women who are having too many babies, that will always drown anything else out. So long as cable news continues to poison the well of public discourse and define the narrative as “politics is broken, everybody is bad, just give up,” so long as local papers run four pages on a good day and three of those are syndicated columns talking about “Washington” being the problem, the only thing people are going to hear is what Republicans want them to hear.

It’s understandable, sure, to my fellow palefaces. Give me a choice between studying and shooting heroin, I’m gonna show you my veins. I know these people, I meet them on the regular, and you do not have to dig very far under the surface to find the jokes about people getting fat on soda and public assistance while they, the virtuous, just marvel at the destruction of their neighborhoods by “those” elements.

They side-eye every low-hanging-pantsed dude they see on a trip to the mall because THAT is who they picture taking everything away from them. It’s all one thing. They don’t separate their contempt into rural vs. urban vs. black vs. white boxes. I’m not making a joke. You can’t counter vagaries like that with specifics of policy.

You have to counter it with entertainment and right now we have no show.


4 thoughts on “Someone Told People to Resent Others

  1. Which is comical, because farmers no longer pay taxes in Wisconsin. They’re the ones mooching off the urban workers.

  2. People running for office just need to change their reasoning for things. You want to stop people from having a slew of babies and getting welfare and food stamps? Allow there to be free birth control and access to abortion. That way, they think of it as something that will stop their tax money from going to people trying to live off the gov’t by having kids.
    These lazy folks who say they can’t work cause they are sick? If they had medical care they could be treated and then be capable of working. If everyone had proper education, there would be no one living off the ‘system’.
    This is somewhat simplistic but it’s what needs to happen to pull the voters from the other side and get them to stop voting against their own interests. Make it like a secret, you are putting one over on those in power – yeah, we get those folks off welfare and food stamps, but YOU ALSO get free birth control. YOU ALSO get free education. YOU ALSO get lower cost medical.

  3. You are so correct about the problem being right-wing propaganda. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the time those propaganda outlets are essentially ignored by “mainstream media” (whatever that even means anymore). Hannity, Levin, Limbaugh and the like can spread their misleading BS for hours each day, and it’s as if they don’t exist outside of their increasingly influential group of listeners.

    The Daily Show under Jon Stewart was the only place that I saw or heard anyone pushing-back directly on the crap spewed by Fox News, etc. I don’t know why no one else does it – as Bob Somerby says, it should be “news” when someone influential lies to millions of people.

    I would think that a regular show dedicated to calling-out the misleading crap of the media could be very popular. It shouldn’t even be explicitly partisan – there’s certainly a lot of crap promulgated by liberals, although it’s still only a fraction of the right-wing propaganda. Unfortunately, I’m guessing that doing this sort of media criticism would be too uncomfortable for the powers-that-be in the press.

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