These days, it seems that the majority of conservatives tend to view the world through a very simplistic scope that allows little room for discussion, interpretation, or compromise. We have reached a point where any questioning of unregulated capitalism automatically gets you labeled as a socialist, communist, Marxist, or Fascist because those are all interchangeable right?
When President Obama became the Democratic nominee in 2008, conservatives unleashed a vicious tornado of attacks labeling him a Kenyan born dictator who supported redistribution of wealth, taking from those who have, and giving it to those who do not. They were right about part of that. He does believe in redistribution of wealth but guess what? So do most Americans.
If your children go to a public school, if your streets are patrolled by the city or county law enforcement, if your garbage is picked up by city workers, if you have ever dialed 911, if you or anyone in your family has worked in the public sector, if you’ve ever claimed deductions on your taxes, and if you’ve ever driven on a public road, not only have you condoned redistribution, you have supported it.
The modern day conservatives are led to believe that all government is bad, and that they don’t need government in their everyday lives. We have reached a point of insanity where an average Joe making 30,000 a year drives on a public road, to drop his kids off at a public school, all while listening to conservative talk radio tell him how evil every aspect of government is. This disconnect from reality is unreal.
The truth is, many of the services that Americans rely on are rooted in redistribution. Social Security, Medicaid, public safety services, and emergency services are just a few of the redistributive services that all Americans enjoy, while never even realizing that they are a form of democratic socialism.
Why then do conservative Americans freak out when a family needs food stamps to eat, or when a young mother needs WIC, or TANF to survive? The answer is racism.
I’ve had friends over the years that took advantage of public assistance services for their families such as WIC or Food stamps. The truth of the matter was, they really didn’t need them, but in their minds, they earned the right to use these public services since they worked and paid taxes. The problem was, they were all white, and they all shared a disdain for minorities that receive public assistance. You see, when white people use public assistance, they are getting back what they’ve paid in – but when black people or other minorities use public assistance, they are lazy and entitled. Sadly, that’s how many conservatives think.
The Republican Party has done a wonderful job of getting everyday, white Americans to look down upon, and demonize minorities for doing the same thing that they do, all while being oblivious to the fact that they are being robbed blind by the billionaires behind the Republican party money machine. In the South, there is an understood but subtle racism among many white people that is rarely talked about, but always present. Just delve into any comment section of a local news story on virtually any city in a southern state that involves the subject of an African American, and those dog whistles turn into sirens very quickly.
You see, it all goes back to looking at a very complex world through a very simplistic lens. It doesn’t work. Modern day conservatives truly believe that everyone is given the same exact opportunity to succeed regardless of their race or where they come from, and that is just not true. Study upon study proves that African Americans and minorities have a much harder path to success than their white counterparts, yet when they look to take advantage of the same public assistance services that many white people enjoy, they are demonized, they are called lazy freeloaders, they are made into the punch lines of jokes, and they are ridiculed beyond belief – all because of an obvious double standard that is rooted in white privilege.
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