Get Your Culture War On

If the law is against you, pound the facts. If the facts are against you, pound the law. If the law and the fact are against you, pound the table.

And if the law and the fact are against you — and if you can’t pound the table — turn it into a culture war.

…the Republicans are betting, as many of the experts have predicted, that the economy is going to rebound sharply once the pandemic is under control and they may be looking at a very robust recovery going into the midterms anyway. Trying to run against that is unlikely to be very popular even with their own voters. So culture war is probably all they’ve got anyway.

…in one recent survey of GOP voters, “anxiety about America’s changing identity in an era of growing racial and religious diversity has emerged as the core unifying principle of the GOP coalition” with immigration, lack of support for the police (read: Black Lives Matter), liberal media and moral decline as their top issues. A poll in January showed that “roughly 9 in 10 Trump voters agreed with a series of stark propositions: that America is losing faith in the ideas that make the country great, that Christianity is under attack in the US and that discrimination against Whites ‘will increase a lot’ in years ahead.” Virtually all of these people are convinced that there is no discrimination in America against well, anyone except them.

Citing some interesting research in the journal Political Behavior about the role of victimization in American politics, Parker Molloy at Media Matters reports that it was central to both Donald Trump’s success as well as a necessary component of right-wing media’s hold on its audience. She writes:

The authors found that people who engaged in egocentric victimhood (“I am the victim because I deserve more than I get”) were more likely to support Trump during his 2016 campaign, while people who engaged in systemic victimhood (“I am the victim because the system is rigged against me”) were less likely to vote for Trump.

Garnish with a corporate media that’s so afraid of being labeled librul they’ll accept any wingnut screed as legitimate news while demanding any Democratic initiative receive an official GOP imprimatur in the form of legislative votes, regardless of how popular, and it’s not surprising we find ourselves…where we are.

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