Thursday, March 19, 2015

Misinformed USA: Why average Americans vote for Republicans

From the Examiner:

I once sat down and spoke with an acquaintance of mine, trying to get a grip on what people are thinking about the future of our country. He said he voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 because, "we need a business person to get our debt down." I asked where he got his news and information from, and after trying to deflect from the question, the answer finally came. "I don't pay attention too much, but when I do, I watch Fox." Fox News is the primary source for information for millions of Americans across the country and that's where the problem starts.

More here.

I observed to a friend the other day the bizarre and shameful paradox about how so many politicians and "serious people" all think it would be just grand to get Americans to sink their Social Security savings into Wall Street.  I mean, nice idea, right?  You get all those stock market gains that you don't get with the SS trust fund.  More money for everybody!  Yay!

Of course, there is such a thing as a bear market, which becomes particularly pernicious when Wall Street goes to Vegas and loses the way it likes to do every couple of decades or so, so maybe dropping everybody's retirement money into Wall Street isn't such a good idea. 

But the REAL problem with this idea is that it assumes a nation full of savvy investors, who understand bullshit market games, and are willing to watch all that shit, make important moves when necessary, and so on.  Needless to say, we are NOT a nation full of savvy investors and Wall Street wolves.  Rather, the vast majority of us are just regular people who work for a living, and that's usually the main focus of our lives, and boning up on investment in adult life is just out of reach for most of us.  For that matter, the schools don't even try to teach us the ins and outs of investing, anyway.  So most of us just don't know a damned thing about Wall Street, which makes us the PERFECT INVESTORS from the finance industry's perspective: a bunch of stupid hick rubes handing over our money.

What could possibly go wrong?  Obviously, lots.

But the discussion on this topic in these terms continues, almost always without mentioning these obvious problems with the idea.  And that's just about how it is for the entire American public discourse on politics.  It's truly messed up, with incorrect "facts," faulty reasoning, unfounded assumptions, complete with generous helpings of head-in-assed stupidity.

The linked Examiner essay asserts that this is why so many non-wealthy Americans vote Republican, in spite of how this harms their own personal interests.  And the essay names names as far as who's exactly behind this: there is DEFINITELY a network of well financed institutions in this country existing for the sole purpose of disseminating misinformation benefiting extraordinarily wealthy and influential organizations and individuals.  I would personally throw into the mix the public schools' unwillingness and inability to address any subject or idea at all that might in any way disrupt this campaign of disinformation.  A sort of two-pronged front, bad information combined with ineffective schooling.

This is real.  There really are lots of people who want to make us stupid morons, and they do a pretty damned good job at it.  I mean, they're SO good at it that they even affect for the worse the political perceptions of liberals and Democrats.  I mean, how many liberals worry about the federal budget deficit?  Yeah, exactly.  Lots.

In the end, my own belief is that people's personal sense of identity causes them to favor the politics they favor, rather than ideology.  Liberals don't like icky yucky rednecks; conservatives don't like filthy bossy hippies.  That comes first; ideology comes second.

But it cannot be denied that straight-up propaganda plays a significant role with all of this.  If you really want some bullshit to support your own bullshit, you can find it with just a few keystrokes, and such bullshit is the meat and potatoes of Washington discourse.

This nation continues to be on the verge of total intellectual collapse.  A precondition for the collapse of civilization.