“It’s nearly ten years old but “What’s the Matter with Kansas,” by Thomas Frank remains the clearest argument I know for why huge numbers of middle class voters continue to embrace the Republican Party, even though its policies hurt them the most.
Frank’s solidly researched book traces the change in Kansas from farmer populism and a “hotbed of leftist activism” to the solid red state it is today. Even though Kansas is largely blue collar and the GOP devotes its every breath to protecting “the wealthy and powerful at the great expense of the average worker.”
Instead the average Kansas worker listens intently to Rush Limbaugh and other right wing zealots denounce Democrats and their vast left wing onslaught against traditional values. In return they are given an end to extended unemployment insurance, denied a long overdue raise in the minimum wage and other economic policies that harm workers and middle class families.
Frank offers a splendid image of the good folks from Kansas screaming in outrage at the moneyed class, “They are massing at the gates of Mission Hills, hoisting the black flag, and while the millionaires tremble in their mansions, they are bellowing out their terrifying demands. ’We are here,’ they scream, ‘to cut your taxes.’”
And then there is Obamacare. (Don’t get me started on this monumental negative branding fiasco; Yes Mr. Obama, I’m talking to you).
You don’t have to conduct the same research in other states, in fact the nation at large, to draw the same conclusions.
A new Washington Post poll found that 58% of nation believes the Affordable Health Care (HCA) law is raising costs (it isn’t), and 47% say it will make the health care system worse (it won’t).
What do you expect from a nation of ignorant intellectually lazy citizens who have fallen prey to the incessant assault on the ACA? More misinformation and lies have been spread about the health care law than Chris Christie’s alibis.
That is until someone they trust tells them the truth. Dean Angstadt hated “Obamacare.”
When he needed heart valve replacement he was uninsured and couldn’t afford the surgery. But he didn’t trust the HCA because, “It’s too good to be true.”
A good friend talked him into signing up; he had the surgery and feels fine. Now he’s a huge supporter of the health care law.
Not everyone is going to have a good friend to show them the truth. They will actually believe that the ACA requires you to have a microchip implanted in your neck that links to all of your personal information and bank accounts.
I can’t imagine how the politicians and hacks that spread these lies can live with themselves. But one thing is clear to me, there are death panels after all, consisting of: Republican Governors, Legislators, Members of the House and Senate, and their corporate patrons, who do everything to stop the spread of affordable health care.
I’ve written in the past that the day is coming when these old white political marauders will be dead and gone. They will drown in a rising sea of demographic change. But the question is will their hateful policies live on after them?
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza writes that eventually African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and younger voters will dominate the geographic and political landscape. Cillizza thinks we could begin to see this in 2016 – but will most certainly by 2024 and 2028. This wave will hit first in national elections. I wonder if it will leave Kansas and the other red states still fighting to cut rich folk’s taxes.
And when I also read that minorities and young people (especially single young women) can’t get their lazy asses out to vote in midterm elections it makes me want to scream.
THERE”S ONE THIS YEAR YOU IDIOTS. IT’S IN NOVEMBER.
There is a direct link from the midterm election in 2010 to the enactment of voter suppression laws, assaults on women’s health and killing environmental laws (North Carolina is considering making rising sea levels illegal-Uh-Huh). The people most hurt by the laws described above didn’t vote.
Why should I care? By the time this inevitable shift occurs I will either be in the home or at my preferred deranged location, a nice Mexican beach with vast amounts of Peyote.