I'm reposting this because the recent GOP debates have made my comments even more relevant. How can we get conservative voters to weigh the pros and cons of their party's positions? I know the Democrats have problems and I disagree with Obama often. I might even vote against him if a primary challenge was presented (not likely) or if a conservative moderate ran for office (not even possible - would never get past the primary). I don't see this kind of thoughtfulness from GOP voters. They have a knee jerk opposition to Democratic candidates. Do they really believe that liberals hate religion, the country, freedom, etc?
There's a culture war going on. It's aimed at anyone not male, white and conservative. And it's backed by corporate America.
It's no accident that the republican party is home to those who favor religious tests for their politicians and consistantly vote against there own interests.
One can understand the wealthy voting GOP because the GOP wants above all else to reduce their taxes and limit regulation of their affairs. The smart conservatives know that the acceptance and protections sought for women, LGBT, minority groups, children, etc. will eventually be won. But, in the meantime, they can rationalize electing people who cater to the ignorance of the slower members of the party because it feeds the bottom line. Eventually, it will all be better for everyone, but there is no hurry since the smart conservatives also are the wealthy conservatives.
If all you really want or need from the government is to be left alone with as little taxation as possible, the GOP is a great place to be. But most of the party faithful don't have that luxury. They must be mislead like the audience of the magician who directs all attention from the actual movements that create the illusion, it's misdirection.
If God be with us, then who can stand against us? This refrain powered the religious in WWII in a battle of the righteous against tyranny and facism. So the GOP has borrowed this construct to frame all liberals as the tyrannical and facist. They describe big government as tamping down capitalism in favor of undeserved social saftey nets, liberals as removing all religious morality from governance, and they treat every movement to upset the status quo as an attack on the very exceptionalism of America. An exceptionalism conditioned on the curcular logic that whatever we think is right must be because we think it.
Who wouldn't want to live in that America? It's where everyone pulls their own weight, where anyone can rise above their humble beginnings and become wealthy and powerful, where tremendous generousity renders tax spending programs unnecessary, where our military superiority is only matched by our benevolence, and where all the greatest achievements of the last two centuries can be traced to American ingenuity, labor and diligence.
It doesn't matter that all that is a fraud and a fantasy. Today's lower class has about as much chance to rise above their station as to win the lottery, and many waste their little discretionary income attempting only the latter at the expense of any hope for the former.
Class migration is the myth of the American dream. No, you can't own your home if you had to borrow 100% to afford it. No, you won't ever get ahead if you work for an hourly wage. No, a high school GED is not the same as graduating from high school. And no, an associates degree from the community college is not going to improve your earnings power.
And the media is no help. Historical revision to suit today's viewpoint is rampant, relentless and practically unquestioned. Most of the media thinks fairness means repeating both sides of the issue without context or balance.
Who's winning the culture war? Liberalism is, of course. But the cost is dizzyingly high. The corporations will give our little rights to exist, marry anyone we want, control our bodies, consume the products made available, and worship as we please. But in return , we must send our children to fight the corporate wars, be completely mobile to stay employed, and hold no one accountable when things break down. And their arguments for why things must be so is close to genius. If times are good, you don't need such assurances and when times are bad, well, we just can't afford them.