Memo to that angry base

With the popularity of a couple of renegade presidential candidates, there is a consensus that an angry base is looking for a different path forward. I have asserted for several years now, that over half of the Republican Party voters have been voting against their economic interests and have no idea they are doing so. There is now an angry base of party members who feel they have been lied to.

Yet, what this angry base does not realize is they have been lied to by the leaders of their movement, as well. And, they still are being misled by candidates and pundits who want to speak to their insecurities. Here are a few of these lies:

  • The economy is not doing well. Actually, it is and has been doing pretty well for some time, with over 70 consecutive months of job growth and only 5% unemployment. Of course, there is room for improvement, but it is percolating along at a nice clip and 2016 is expected to be even better.
  • Climate change is a hoax or is not really influenced by humans. The data is pretty overwhelming that it is real and man-influenced and a well paid public relations campaign has been used by the fossil fuel industry to fuel the hoax and now non-man-influenced agenda. 97% of scientists and 195 countries are a lot to argue with.
  • The renewable energy industry is still in its infancy, is more costly and will cost jobs. Actually the renewable energy industry is doing quite well and jobs are growing at a double-digit rate, as production costs are close to on par with fossil fuel energy. And, when other costs are factored in, renewable energy is actually less.
  • A minimum wage increase will cost jobs. True, but it masks the whole impact, as studies have shown the economic benefit exceeds small job losses and about 30 states and some cities have raised the minimum  wage above the Federal minimum, including GOP led states. They must believe it is a good thing for workers and their economy.
  • Welfare benefits are driving the deficit. Actually the biggest budget items are defense spending and Social Security and Medicare to which we all contribute. If we want to measurably cut the budget, these are the places we need to look. I would do deeper cuts on defense, as we are building things our military does not need. Also, we need to be mindful of tax plans that materially increase the deficit as put forth by some leading GOP candidates.
  • All immigration is bad. Immigration actually helps the economy through more purchasing power and attracting talent. Businesses are crying out on attracting and retaining talented foreigners. Plus, if we don’t constructively address illegal immigration as proposed by our President, then our economy would be impacted, especially in industries that exploit illegal immigrants to lower cost. Plus, families would be harmed.
  • We are in grave danger as a country. We must be vigilant against terrorism, but we should not run scared and we should not give up our ideals and freedoms. If we do so, then the terrorists have already won. We must be compassionate and do our share of bringing in refugees. Right now, we appear small by some of our narrow-mindedness.
  • The President is some variation of a non-citizen by birth, Muslim, Nazi or Anti-Christ. If you believe this malarkey, then this post has no chance of convincing you otherwise. Yet, you may want to ask candidates why they perpetuate this propaganda. And, it is more than OK if he were a Muslim.

Our country is doing much better than has been portrayed by some candidates. Yes, we have problems around increasing poverty, declining middle class and growing racial tensions that we need to address, but we need to collectively solve these issues. We do not solve them by blaming others for the problems. They are our problems to solve as we allowed them to be created over time. We also don’t solve real problems by ignoring them or saying they do not exist. Our planet and country can ill-afford to have a President turn his or her blind eye to the world on our looming climate change and global water crisis. The next ten years are critical.

We need more honest and reasonable debate on our issues. We also need reasonably minded folks to discuss these issues. Name calling and demonizing does not constitute reasonable debate. Let’s start by demanding civility from each other, but especially our candidates. It is more than OK to disagree, but let’s use real information and not campaign rhetoric, which can be over-embellished.

 

 

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41 thoughts on “Memo to that angry base

    • Thanks Hugh. The truth can only set you free, if you are willing to listen to it. We have far too many folks who only want to hear validation of what they think. Have a great 2016.

      • you know, just like there is no perfect job, there is no perfect president either. but I’d take any of the Dems than the liars on the other side! They don’t even CARE that they lie and it’s just astounding to me that anyone could believe and listen to any of them!

      • And, too many don’t know they are being lied to, with the very effective strategy of using political incorrectness and blaming the liberal media for asking questions.

  1. It’s very disappointing to me to know that there is such a large base of people roaming this country who are so easily lead. Fear is at the forefront while good ole common sense has left the building.
    This mentality is a direct result of being too busy to be informed. It’s easier to be told what to believe than it is to actually sit down and investigate the facts. There are days when I feel like a defense attorney pleading my case of truth…it’s exhausting.
    Fingers & toes crossed for an epiphany in 2016!

  2. It is very true that many (everywhere in the world) just vote what they are used to vote without actually looking at the current situation. It is important what you say and the points you listed are thought-provoking. As Hugh said, your audience should be wider, Keith!

      • What I exeperienced regarding the information is that in the States it is all a lot more “controlled” and censored. At least it was very obvious when watching the news. In the parts of Europe I live you get information about a lot more aspects and points of view!

  3. Note to Readers: A comment I did not make, but is relevant, is the demographic change in the US. As context to some of the fears is the continual shift in demographics where more new children are non-white than white. In the near future, white Americans will be a plurality leader, but not a majority demographic group. This frightens some and some politicians are playing into those fears.

    The other change is America is not the largest economy in the world and our global leadership role is shared. It has always been this way, but now with economic clout in other countries, we are one of several leaders, which is actually a good thing, but also scary to the folks who want to cling to a past model. The new train has left the station, so the sooner some strident folks recognize this, the better, as we can get around to the more pressing issues.

  4. Excellent and well written post.

    I was raised in the South East and retain the classist vocabulary of time in which I was born.

    I won’t use the term that was used to describe poor and poorly educated whites, but I think it when I see Trump and his followers.

    • Robert, I live here still and that term applies to some, but not all. Some have lost jobs to off shoring and are struggling. Yet, the animosity toward renewable energy is puzzling as the jobs are being created in rural areas where they are needed. This is another example of being less than truthful. Thanks for commenting, Keith

      • I realize the ugliness of my implication. Trumps supporters reminds me of the housing projects I lived in as a child in Charleston.

        The adults drank, beat their wives, abused their kids, spouted the Bible on Sunday and then went home and berated anyone who tried to use reason.

        They preferred lies to facts, I don’t know why.

        I have a visceral reaction to watching a Trump performance.

        I find Trump, his followers and the hatred that they spout frightening.

      • There is definitely an unhealthy tendency in some of his followers. If he was a true leader he would not condone some of the stuff going on at his rallies. The sad part is he fuels them and then steps back and lets it happen. Keith

      • I feel sad for my country….

        I recently read that a half a million people in the UK signed a petition asking the government to ban Trump from entering the UK. It is also my understanding that former President GWB can’t enter certain countries because they refuse to pretend that his invasion of Iraq was legal.

        We have a terrible problem in this country and it is tearing us apart.

        We seem to have lost our ability to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable.

        We seem to prefer dogma to discourse…

        When I look at history I see a dark future for the U.S.

        Hate speech is lethal to democracy and our refusal to reject it has consequences.

      • Trump is not a very good ambassador for our country. He sued the Scottish government over offshore windmills impacting his golf course view and lost.

        On the flip side, we have some problems and American exceptionalism has declined, but we still have a great place to live. Our government construct can survive the clowns who we have elected to run it. Yet, it does not mean it won’t be without struggles.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more. I wonder at times if much of the problem doesn’t stem from the media (owned by the corporations) where form has replaced substance. Walter Cronkite warned us long ago to beware the substitution of entertainment for news. The former sells, the latter does not.

      • Hugh, we have discussed before that we are the US of Entertainment. Democracy requires an informed electorate which we are not. Yet, even with our many problems, we are better off than many places. We just have to not lose sight of that and celebrate our successes, as we address our problems. We could start by being more informed, so we could call on the carpet those folks who spew hate and nonsense. Many thanks, Keith

  5. My husband and I went out to a New Year’s dinner with our core group of neighbors. One of the couples is more conservative than the rest of us (who tend toward liberal/progressive). I do enjoy talking the the husband, though, because we can have interesting, respectful discussions about things we don’t agree on. We starting talking about the upcoming election and he kept saying how horrible Obama has been for the country. Because we were at a nice dinner, I didn’t want to get too much into that subject, but I really wanted to hear how he has come to that conclusion. Hopefully we can pick up our conversation sometime in the future. The problem is, I’m not very good at having facts and figures at my disposal to counter his assertions. Perhaps I can just channel you into my brain when I need the information.

    • Janis, it is always encouraging to have civil discussions over these topics. The best cocktail party answer which also true is to say something like Obama has been a much better president than the GOP asserts, but has some room for improvement.

      If pushed you could add that the economy has done pretty well on his watch and it is great that he is moving the ball forward on climate change actions with the rest of the world.

      Best wishes on future dialogues. Keith

  6. Note to Readers: I appreciate the many comments. One thing I did not mention is this perpetuated belief that the President, government or some governing body is out to get them, for whatever reason. The paranoia is usually preceded by the words “a war on….” The perceived victims range from a war on… Christians, Christmas, Religious Freedom, Guns, White people, liberty, e.g. The sad part is when a pundit or radio shock jock says these things, they are repeated by a candidate and then shallow, biased news sources report the wars on whatever, people believe this BS. And, then we have debates over this useless garbage rather than real topics. When I hear a candidate spew this BS, it tells me they are short on ideas and I look elsewhere.

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