What I Learned on My Red State Book Tour

I think the Republican Party by and large frame many issues much better than the Democratic Party does, republicans find ways that speak to many fears and uncertainities that ironically are the byproducts of republican economic policies. It just boggles the mind. Ronald Reagan, who I feel was one of the most destructive Presidents we have had in terms of what he wrought on the middle class and working class, is still seen as the savior though he wouldn’t pass the Republican Party’s “purity test” right now, so I am at a loss over what to do with this political party that has managed, right under the Democratic Party’s nose, to galvanize its base into capturing most of this nation’s local and statewide elections, insuring their predominance in shaping public policy for quite some time. I don’t understand why the Democratic Party is so flatfooted when it comes to messaging, campaigning and getting the vote out. We progressives are often are own worst enemy, we sit at home reading and lamenting over the state of affairs we find ourselves in, rather than go out and do something about it, if nothing else is done, at least turn up and vote your beliefs, instead of doing nothing. I realize that many news outlets are considered to be leftist, you hear of nothing else from the good folks at Fox News, the awful “left wing media”, However I disagree, if our media were really of a left wing bias, then we would hear much more about Bernie Sanders, much more about climate change policies, much more about the wage gap and much more about the positive impact of programs such as SNAP, Social Security, Medicare, the Post Office, our Public Libraries and the list goes on and one, but we hear almost nothing of that. Instead we are fed a constant stream of a pro Wall Street world view, where the shareholder interests trump (pardon the pun) the working class interests, where privatization is always better than the public mandate and greed is good. 

I believe that our corporate media took several pages from Ronald Reagan’s script, he was the master story teller and he painted government as the ineffectual giant that impedes access to the American Dream where supposedly everyone has a shot at being rich. Our corporate media took his message and ran with it, you see it at work whenever there is discussion of taxation at the higher brackets; “oh goodness no, we cannot impose taxes on the wealthy, they already pay enough, why would we want to deter anyone away from getting wealthy if they were to be obligated to give their “hard-earned” dollars over the Uncle Sam so he can distribute it to those lazy poor”. It’s genius in its appeal to the subconscious, everyone has the dream of making it big and how dare anyone presume to take away their “dream dollars”; even if that never happens, the thought has taken root, it is an amazing psychological tool so effectively used by corporate media and right wing messaging, campaigning and public relations firms intent on getting their candidate into office. We should learn from their brilliant strategies.

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