Friday, November 08, 2013

Why are conservative white men so angry?

Across the pond, from the Guardian.

(Michael Kimmel's new book) strokes a broad, acerbic brush over the white supremacists of the Mason-Dixon Line, the NRA and Tea Party stalwarts of the Bible Belt, the men's rights activists of cyberspace and the high school spree shooters of parental nightmares. The common feature, he argues, is their shared belief that certain degrees of status, privilege and social advantage, perceived to be their natural or god-given rights, have been snatched away by sudden social change. The resulting anger is targeted not at a globalised neoliberal economic system that has declared ordinary people expendable – irrespective of their race, class or gender – but immigration, civil rights and feminism. 

Yes, the South is full of these.  Texas is all but consumed by them.  They are much more likely than not to be middle-aged and living no closer to a city than in an exurban belt at least 20 miles out.  They own more than one gun, listen to Rush Limbaugh, and have a broadband Internet connection which they use primarily to post comments on Free Republic, Townhall, Breitbart, and Yahoo (scroll down and click 'view comments').

Thus their POV is represented online to a vastly greater proportion than is actually present in the public discourse.

They're the minority.  Thinking people know this.  But they scream so incessantly and so loudly that people in public office and the media and even those who disagree with everything they say think they're the majority.

Their complaints are heard mostly by those of their creed and social status whom they have elected to represent them in Washington and Austin.  This is a slightly different problem, though, because so many Americans who are not like them have ceded them control over their lives.  This is why I can agree with Russell Brand's message while rejecting his suggestion not to vote.

The answer to the question in the headline?  I don't care.  They just need to be made to understand that they don't call the shots any more.  And the only way to do that without firing any shots is to show up at the polls.

They're not taking the country back.  Well, they won't if we stop them, that is.

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