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SO, WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH KANSAS
The title of this hub refers to a book published by Tom Frank in 2004 which is the foundation of my inquiry and the theme of this hub.
I am African American and I am disturbed by the downright hostility shown toward Barack Obama and the Democrats by working and middle class Anglos. I just read an article that revealed inverse approval and disapproval ratings for the President and job he is doing, based on whether you are member of a minority group or Anglo. We are socio-economic kindred, why do we see things so differently? Minorities generally support the course of the present administration while working and middle class Anglos are fervently opposed.
I leave out the wealthy, because I cannot use apples and oranges to make a comparative evaluation. We all basically face the same economy, why does one group point to government as the culprit and the other see the private sector as the problem? From my point of view, I see Anglo anger as unjustified. Obama has been called a Marxist, Socialist usurper, etc. People disrespect him and the office and most disturbingly, just the other day on a Sunday television news program, Speaker of the House Boehner, when asked if he was willing to send a message to the ‘rank and file’ that this ‘birther’ stuff was utter nonsense, took the coward’s way out. Could it be that subconsciously, Anglos see that having a black man as President lowers the status of that office a notch or two, so now anything goes?
I see the Anglo waving their guns, talking about the Constitution and complaining about encroaching Socialism as if it were invented by Obama. What’s with the guns? Is that supposed to intimidate us all? The Constitution I am familiar with talks about an orderly transition of leadership, not intimidation through force. What about FDR, LBJ, and all the programs that have made life bearable, created over the last 75 years, perhaps these men were socialist? How many of you are going to work until you are 90 years of age? Are you ready to walk away from Social Security and Medicare? Who among you will be the first to surrender their check? This group that I am speaking about along with rightwing talk radio refers to the fomenting of class warfare. Ironically, middle income and poor Anglos, have neither a pot to p*** in nor a window to throw it out. The reality for many of us is that class warfare is as old as the Pharaohs and that you cannot foment something that has already been a foundation of the human economic condition Why is, all the sudden, Obama the catalyst for all this angst and not Bill Clinton? You want to refer to massive spending? Seems to me that Ronald Reagan and G.W Bush certainly added proportionately more to the deficit, where is the outrage over this? We all think you are just picking on Obama for reasons that are less than substantive. The Ozzie and Harriet, Ralph Kramden world so many talk about and long for is simply irretrievable in the face of 21st century economics. The technology and logistics now exists for qualified people outside of the United States to do your job for $20.00 a week rather than for 20.00/hour. You can’t blame the government or the private sector. Why would business and private sector want to solve ‘this problem’? The change just ‘is’, like moving from vacuum tubes to transistors. We all have to create novel remedies and not reheat the old hash. No amount of business tax break or getting “government off the backs of business” is going to change that reality. This is at the very heart of Capitalism, the checks and balances in the system that made June Cleaver possible simply do not exist anymore. It seems to me like reminiscing about this period is futile in the face of new realities that now require us to move forward with real solutions, not nostalgia. I see Progressives as trying to preserve the system so that it remains a viable economic model in the future. The Conservatives say “go out and start a business”. Well, that requires capital, a resource not everyone has. Ninety percent or more of business start-ups fail. What happens then, are you sent to the Gulag and become a slave?
So what is it? Is it the cultural stuff, mom, apple pie and Chevrolet? Capitalism is not interested in cultural stability and patriotism, just profit. When has that ever been otherwise? Singing Yankee Doodle and being born on the 4th of July isn’t going to help staunch the outward flow of jobs. But it serves unscrupulous types that distract people with icons and symbols from evaluating substance. People like Rush Limbaugh make millions in electronic media persuading people to side with those whose objectives are clearly against their best interests.
I don’t have all the answers, you on the other side of the ideological and ethnic divide perhaps can enlighten all of us. It may make for many more interesting hubs on the topic. The way I and many of us see you is that the entity you think is going to rescue you, your values and culture is actually taking bread from your mouths and will ultimately do you in. This is a broad swath and my opinion and I remain open to civil discourse on this subject.