I’ve been struck by the rhetoric in the lefty media, social and otherwise, that I follow. I’m struck by just how wrong their diagnosis of the problems Democrats are having is. A good diagnosis leads to a good treatment. A good treatment leads to a good outcome. However, if we start with a misdiagnosis, we greatly diminish our chances of reaching a good outcome, so it behooves us to get the diagnosis right.
Examples of the misdiagnosis proliferate but they all seem to boil down to two kinds (if you’ve got another kind, please let us know in the comments):
IT’S A LACK OF COURAGE: Many bemoan the lack of a spine or courage amongst the rank and vile in the GQP Congress people to stand up for democracy.
The problem with this assessment of the causes of the GQP attack on our democracy is that it assumes there are still people in the GQP who want democracy, and under the right circumstances, they will stand up for it. There aren’t, and they won’t under any circumstances because they no longer want democracy. They want minority rule.
The diagnosis is wrong, so the prescription and treatment are wrong. It isn’t about persuading those who secretly oppose what is happening to get a heaping dose of political courage as if it were some common panacea like castor oil. The GQP has plenty of political courage. They have the courage to drown our democracy in the backed-up toilet effluent of their totalitarian dreams. We have to address that as the problem, not some mythical spinelessness.
IT’S A MESSAGING PROBLEM: The panty-waste white people are offended by all of our “wokeness” and “political correctness” and allowing MEN to be in the women’s bathrooms and MEN to compete in women’s sport and insisting on treating undocumented immigrants humanely and allowing 847 different sexual orientations and using pronouns people prefer and negativity about “whiteness” and calling people “Karen” and grabbing people’s guns and defunding the police and escorting all the newly minted minority groups to the front of the line for the American dream ahead of all the hardworking patient white people who are just longing for their bite at that brass ring!
Gawd! If ding-dang-dumb libels would just dismount their ivy towers long enough to smell the white flowers, they might win themselves more than just the 43% of the white vote that they did in the 2020 election because white people have proven election in and election out that you either pitch your political message to their special emotional needs or you can get the fuck out.
There is a messaging problem in the Democratic Party, though. It just isn’t that one.
The Real Diagnosis
Our democracy is in real fucking trouble. It’s more trouble than just having a black guy walking behind you at night on a dark city street. It is more than having a Latino cable repair person come to your house! It is more than having a transperson peeing next to you in the public toilet. It’s real live demonstrable trouble that will result in the death of our democracy unless we do something about it.
The question is how do we get the 57% of white Americans who voted for four more years of Trump and the GQP in the 2020 election to be more worried about the fate of our democracy than they are about the browning of America. If you’ve diagnosed the problem as anything other than the response of white Americans to the racist dog whistles and tropes coming out the GQP since Nixon went all Southern Strategy on us, then we are sure to lose our democracy.
We see what we want to see, and by-and-large white America wants to see us as being just fine, the world’s number 1, and American exceptionalism. They don’t want to see the brutal reality that affects so many in the country and world, so, meh, they won’t.
- TROUBLE VOTING IN THE BLACK PARTS OF TOWN? That’s not racism; that’s not discrimination; that’s those Black folk just not living right. After all, it was easy to vote at my lily-white precinct, so it must be easy for anyone with a lick of sense to vote over there in tHeIrS.
- ELECTION OFFICIALS REPLACED BY THE STATE’S LEGISLATURE and votes from the Black districts not allowed? There must be something wrong, or they wouldn’t be doing it, right? You know, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, even if it is the GQP legislature dipping their dry ice in the black water again to blow smoke up my lily-white ass, after all, America is the world’s leading democracy, to think otherwise would be unpatriotic.
We construct our reality out of our direct experience with our environment and through the opinions and beliefs of those around us. As long as everything seems okay in our little corner of the world — remember kids, the average income of the average white Trump voter was $72,000.00 per year in the 2020 election, and that buys you a lot of okay — then it is okay in everyone’s corner of the world because we literally believe that we are average.
Seeing is Believing
If what you’re consuming as news and information comes from Fox News, your Bible study group, or your social media, then you’re not likely to see the stark reality that so many in our country suffer from. Since we’re not seeing 800,000+ corpses piling up in the streets, then the #COVID19 pandemic can’t be that bad, can it? If it were bad, we’d be seeing sick and dying people, right?
THE 6 JANUARY INSURRECTION. A good example of this phenomenon can be found in who insurrected at the Capitol on 6 January of last year: Fifty-two percent of the insurrectionists were from counties that Biden won. What did those counties have in common? They all have declines in the white non-Hispanic populations. Declines that the white people living there are painfully aware of.
They looked around and saw the decline of white people and their status and it was that proverbial come-to-Jesus moment when the Eurika! lightbulb went off. It’s true. The Blacks and Browns are taking over America.
They put two and two together: We had a Black president. We had massive protests against police brutality in George Floyd’s death, so it must be that they are coming for our women and guns.!Ergo, presto, sum cum loud, we really are losing our country, and we really must take it back! So, they packed their bags and went to DC to do them some insurrecting.
WHITE PRIVILEGE is the perfect example of this type of reasoning. White people say, what do you mean white privilege?!? I’ve worked HARD for what I’ve got. I earned it. Ain’t no such thing as white privilege. No way. No how.
White folks react this way because they see their little corner of the world, and in that corner, they did work hard. They had their loses and defeats, so how could it be that they have had any white privilege? Of course they didn’t. It is a plain truth apparent to all except the lying ding-dang-dumb libels trying to sneak lazy gud-fer-nuthin’ Black and Brown folks into the American-dream line ahead of them! It is the lie they tell to justify their persecution of good rural conservative Christian white voters.
Of course, white people have had impediments to their “successes.” Of course, they’ve had obstacles and troubles to overcome. The one obstacle that they haven’t had to overcome, though, was racism both overt and covert and systematic and direct.
They never will have to contend with it, and that’s the problem. Black people live with racism everyday. White people never do. But if reality is built upon our daily experience and the beliefs and opinions of those around us and none of our experiences and none of the beliefs and opinions of those around us includes experiences of racism, then our reality doesn’t include racism either. Conclusion: racism doesn’t play a role in success in America.
In Arlie Hochschild’s terms: White people are saying, if I couldn’t succeed with the benefits of white privilege, then I really am an abject failure and worse than the average Black person. To cope with the shame of my failure, I need to engage in some cognitive dissonance and ignore any privilege and tell myself the comforting lie that problems Black people have is because they are Black not because of white society and culture.
You expect the 57% of white people who voted for Trump in 2020 to protect your right to vote? Think fucking again. You expect these white people to realize that the 2022 and 2024 elections will all be a sham? Think fucking again.
You expect these white people to “woke” up and smell the lily white on their asses and reject the sweet siren song of dog whistling racists that have been seducing them with since Nixon? Think fucking again!
Are we really going to base winning the 2022 elections on peeling off enough of those whites who are susceptible to the dog whistles? Is it really worth the effort and risk to try to attend to their fragile feelings as they watch their goddamned racist deep culture slip away like an unvaccinated mask-eschewing ivermectin-taking #COVID19 patient on a ventilator in the ICU. Is the slim possibility that we could convince a percentage point or two of them to vote Blue really worth taking or should we focus on trying to win back the Latinx vote and energize the Black, women, and progressive votes?
That’s the freaking question. Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments.
Let your friends, family, aquaintances, and complete strangers know about us by SHARING this post on social media!
Or join our email list and never miss a post!
Or you could just like or rate the post!
“Predictive vs. Descriptive vs. Prescriptive Analytics” by deepakiqlect is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Categories: Behavior Economics