Friday, June 15, 2012

All We Need Is Better Liberal Messaging

I used to think like this concerning voters, and how so many of them vote against their economic interest, and just need some good ole liberal religion and dem party platfoming as the party that cares about the working man or woman. I don't think this so much anymore, at least to a large degree outside the margins.

They are busy, certainly, but they are most of them, at least versed in the meta of the big issues in this country. I think they get as much minutia as they want, and have fairly well thought out,  at least in terms as knowing want they like and don't like about the parties and their positions on issues.

People are tribal, above all else,  and in this country that usually boils down to race and religion. Economics only plays a larger role in times of economic deprivation, and is reciprocal to the level of that deprivation.

We have more white people, so we have more white people voting for that tribe they belong to, all else being equal. And they are not only the majority of citizens in this country, they are also more religious, in a fundamentally religious country.  And that usually carries specific strains of protestant thinking that is also enmeshed in the political world, and democracy, as they practice it.

Most white people are not stone racists, but they fear the different to varying degrees. And that is not just the purview of white people. It is human nature, and primal. These are the reasons they vote for republicans, that tell them what they need to hear for comfort, outside of the realities of basic economic needs. That can and has trumped this id fueled mindset, but not to a degree, yet, in the mostly wealthy and plentiful nation on earth, for the reasons for basic survival. There is some of that going on now, and a general feeling of things going south. But it hasn't made most of them hungry enough,  nor deprived enough of the  other basics of comfortable existence.

And what I believe now, is that will be the only time they become teachable beyond the cultural signposts of their tribe. That doesn't mean liberals and democrats should not continue loudly to educate them. Just that expecting positive results from this teaching, is likely to lead to disappointment, and thinking we just have to do more of it, and they will get it. Persons of color in this country know deprivation quite well, and the pain of rejection and repression. There is no real reason why most white people should understand this, having never experienced it. At least in most of our lifetimes. It's a hard school breaking down primal fear, and kinship with the familiar, and letting go of all the wasted energy to remain king of the American Hill. Though demographic changes may well fix that.

So what do we do. We keep trying to elect people who get it, and keep trying to pass laws that will change peoples lives for the better. One foot in front of the other.  The logic of reality will do the rest. If we are lucky, and it's not too late.

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