Mass delusion in the “real America”

Here’s something to think about:

Rick Perry is an idiot. So is [Michele] Bachmann by all accounts. These are people with strong social intelligences, but not a lot of analytical firepower or intellectual curiosity.

They appeal to less educated conservative voters who vote their “gut” and “common sense”, and take the mockery and rejection of their heroes’ ideas by educated elites as proof of their righteousness. By definition, these less educated voters tend to be lower income as well. A great many of them are almost certainly in that poorer 47% that has no federal income tax liability.

And Perry and Bachmann are the conservative candidates trying to win election by promising to raise the taxes of the very constituency to which they are trying to appeal. None of this would make sense if the issue in question were being determined based on rational self-interest and economic motivation. But it isn’t. This is a cultural issue for Perry and Bachmann.

At its heart lies the myth of the white suburban taxpayer being gouged to support blacks and Latinos in urban areas. Even though all the data shows that urban counties pay the bills of suburban and rural counties, and more urban states pay the bills of rural states, still the myth continues. It’s so pervasive that you see phenomena like red counties in California wanting to secede to create their own state, using “fiscal responsibility” as a talking point–even though the suburban counties in question are net drains on the state, while the Los Angeles and San Francisco counties from which they want to secede are net providers.

There is a mass delusion in whitebread suburban America that they are the real America, and that they are being oppressed by high taxes to pay for poor minorities, even though the reality is actually the reverse: urban centers pay the bills for parasitic suburban lifestyles, which are ultimately unsustainable socially, fiscally and environmentally. …

They’re the sort of people who can suck up the nation’s tax dollars, while pretending to be Ayn Rand’s Atlas, holding up the entire world on their shoulders, desperate to shrug off the parasitic riffraff for a change. Even when they themselves are the actual riffraff. The less-educated conservatives who will vote for Perry and Bachmann see themselves as oppressed taxpayers even when they are in the 47% that Perry and Bachmann promised to tax, because they don’t see themselves as a member of that economic class. The “poor who pay no taxes” aren’t them: they’re of a different race, in a different place filled with rap music and urban blight. They’re not real Americans who drive trucks and SUVs, and do their shopping at Wal-Mart.

When you look at the numbers, the “liberals” in the cities are the ones footing the bills for “the conservatives” in rural and suburban America, but Tea Party delusionists think that there should be new rules that make it so “their taxes” don’t go to deadbeats. Red states are the nation’s biggest deadbeats, and sometimes I think the folks in blue America should say, “OK, you’re on your own leeches.”

The post also resurrects the ghost of Lee Atwater to explain how people like Perry and Bachmann will keep making these statements to the Tea babblers knowing that they really are injecting racial resentment into a matter that really is about class warfare. Those in the same economic class should be uniting, but instead demagogues are splitting what could be a powerful bloc by appealing to racial hatred.

The entire post, on Hullabaloo, is worth reading.


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