The results of the recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tell you most of what you need to know about the state of politics in the
On the one hand, you have a governor who did not hide his desire to divide and conquer the unions, eliminate collective bargaining, decimate government services and serve a small cadre of wealthy, powerful and shady corporate interests. He was bought by the Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and other criminal organizations. There’s even a possible federal indictment for him on the horizon, in connection with an embezzlement investigation that has already ensnared six of his associates and aides.
So, what’s going on here? No one can question the corrupting influence of money in politics, particularly since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Money is a big factor in elections, and when a few billionaires can decide which jerk to put in office, their money trumps the votes and drowns out the voices of the common folk. But still, the 1 percenters require voters to get their candidate in office and seal the deal. These people, known as “low information” voters - a charitable and technical sounding term for uneducated, ignorant or gullible - are the real problem.Yet, despite all this,
White working class voters have made a pact with the devil - in the case of Republican Party, this should be taken in a literal sense - and now they (and all of us) are paying for it. Convinced that government programs are welfare - translated to mean the blacks and Latinos are getting freebees they don’t deserve - they will oppose them if doing so will hurt blacks more than whites. It is the legacy of the Southern Strategy that has allowed conservatives to politically capitalize on white resentment of black progress. That resentment is summed up in a scene from the 1997 film, Rosewood, a film depicting the massacre of a prosperous black
Man #1: You know he’s [Sylvester] got a piano? A ni**er with a goddamn piano. I’ve been working all my life, I ain’t got a piano.
Man #2: You don’t know how to play one.
Man #1: That ain’t the point. Old man Cummer, up that house of his, he’s got a piano. That ni**er’s got one, and I don’t.
The Rosewood massacre of 1923, like the
And the culture wars, including gun worship, abortion bans, homophobia and immigrant bashing, become substitutes for concrete policies of economic uplift and social progress.While some working-class and poor whites have been content with being one rung above people of color on the totem pole, still they have remained on a very low rung and out of luck. There is a reason why the
Faced with hard times, people have clear choices. Either they join forces across racial and ethnic lines and fight their common adversary, or they double down on the dumbness, thrive on misinformation and assign scapegoats. The Tea Party, which now prevails in national politics and owns a major political party, represents the latter of the two choices. It is this mindset that gives us creeps running state houses throughout the country - not just in
And yet, once again, someone out there is voting for these people. Until we resolve this,