Sunday, December 4, 2016

Heartland Pt 5

I continue working through 'What's the Matter with Kansas" and have arrived a the midpoint of the book, which points out that, unlike the confederate flag waving south, "the backlash in full cry without the familiar formula of racial conflict to serve s an interpretative guide". Indeed, the author argues that in Kansas "right-wing partisanship is an equal-opportunity affair, with a ready-made complaint for every demographic and a grievance for every occasion." This has a new relevance, folks, as Sam Brownback is under consideration for Trump's cabinet. He is named in the book.

In Kansas, the conservatives have appropriated language of prejudice and applied to their moderate foes, accusing them of bigotry and disliking evangelicals in the same "way that actual bigots dislike minorities". Some conservatives like Sam Brownback go much further. He's befriended the African-American caucus by constructing a museum and the Latino's with an open boarder policy. But when he sought election  in 1996 against Democrat Jill Docking of Wichita, he didn't hesitate to flood the state with TV commercials reminding voters of her maiden name Sadowsky. And then there were the mysterious phone calls the week before the election reminding voters that "Docking is a Jew."

Remember that the stereotype of a Jew is "affluent, alien, cosmopolitan, liberal, and above all, intellectual." In other words, we have become a country defied by elite's vs the plain people. And the elites, according to Rush Limbauh, include "the medical elites, the sociology elites, the education elites, the legal elties, the science elites...and the ideas thus bunch promotes through the media." This election wasn't won on policy, it was won on class warfare when a billionaire harnessed this elites

FDR turned college professors loose on the economic structure of the nation. It was these intellectuals who designed the New Deal plan, giving the country social security. So when the Republicans "privatize" Medicare and gut social security, realize the resentment of that care for the country, which is known to be highly successful, will be torn down because of grassroots anger born on the wind of resentment of "the elites."

A second anti-intellectual efflorescence came from the 50s, according to the book, in the form of Joe McCarthy when they unearthed a leftist conspiracy born in the highest-ranking families who were educated in the finest institutions. It was believed that the intellectuals betrayed capitalism; with repetition, it became common sense.

Presently, anti-intellectualism is associated with "any deviation from a system of values that they alternately identify with God and the earth-people of Red America." By rallying against intellectuals, the author observes, they reject critical thinking and church hierarchy. It embraces charismatic preachers over any form of learned organization. Now if you are Republican doctor, professor or therapist, you align with the lower class by railing and grumbling about interfering professionals: "In every social issue Republicans perceive the same pattern: a conflict of authentic and natural and the democratic with arrogan and the meddling and the foolish." In every effort at reform, conservatives scream "interference!" And this is the overarching concern that Roe v Wade propagated. It was a top down change, and now gay marriage, that changed laws in most states in the union. It was imposed by the over-educated elites. In conservative's minds, the elites define life and marriage, disdaining conservative opinion. rs54=

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