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Us vs Us?
One of the things about the "Tea Partiers" that gets to me is how these people can be so easily convinced to listen to corporate shills like Beck and Limbaugh and vote for corporate interests.
But then I got to thinking, and realized that right-wing movements often share two common traits; one is an odd synergy of corporations and government, the other is a need to divert people's attention from what the corporations are doing.
One of the ways that the corps and their allies divert the attention of the masses is to create scapegoats, or as I call them "outgroups". People that are somehow different from who those who stand to gain from keeping those who would and should be allied against them, divided.
They often look different; African-Americans, Women, the long-time nemesis of many on the right, and newer scapegoats like Latinos and Muslims. They may speak a different language, or even believe in a different religion.
They may also mess with perceptions of things. Gays and Lesbians may be the best example of a group that in the eyes of many seem to violate the "natural order" of things. The idea that a man could love another man at a sexual level, or a female love a female, defeats the idea that emotional love is merely for procreation. Religious ideas based on antiquated knowledge also comes into play here.
Of course, the other issue is what point do these groups become a menace? Perhaps when they become sufficient in number to make a political impact. Latinos and Muslims for example now possess enough numbers to truly be a voting bloc, their power could also mean a further shift in political power away from the smaller, more homogeneous regions that make up the base of the GOP to the more diverse and urban centers of Democratic candidates.
Of course, this strategy may be fading slowly, Obama needed support from White America to win, and much of that came from younger people who have grown up in a world where performers like Shakira top the charts, and Dora and Diego teach preschoolers. A world where Adam Lambert can come out of the closet and finish 2nd on American Idol.
One can only hope that eventually more people will see past the Right's divide and conquer tactics, ignore what Beck and Limbaugh tell them and work to return the political power to the masses. At least before the corps can drive the divide to a critical mass.
Working For Equality
Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Human Rights Campaign
Perhaps the leading group working for Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender equality
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
The venerable African-American equality organization
- The National Organization for Women
Perhaps the best-known group working for equality for women
- Southern Poverty Law Center
A leading group in the fight against the extremist Right