Either our country will continue down the road toward cruel oligarchy and violent fascism, or we’ll return to core American values of fairness, compassion, and a society that cares for all
The "otherization" message is always explicit: taking action against specific groups will benefit those struggling, suffering, or feeling left out. Trump didn't only attack immigrants as others. He falsely claimed immigrants were taking American jobs, lowering American wages, and increasing the tax burden on American citizens.
These erroneous claims have been culturally rooted and refreshed over decades, making it easier for Trump to make his case. The incorrect messages also contain an intuitive but false promise that limiting those who share in the pie will result in more significant pieces for everyone. Four years of Trump has proved his claims to be historically and empirically false. The real American Crisis was a system that produced & supported someone like Trump and the citizens who wrongly thought a wall would solve their problems.
Reporter Sean Illing asked psychologist Paul Bloom in a December 2017 Vox interview: "So cruelty isn’t an accident or an aberration, but something central to who and what we are?" He answered: "It’s many things, and I don’t think there’s ever going to be a magic bullet theory of cruelty. I think some cruelty is born of dehumanization. I think some cruelty is born out of a loss of control. I think some cruelty is born out of an instrumental desire to get something you want — sex, money, power, whatever." Thom's examples all track.
Bloom also said: "We need a culture less obsessed with power and honor and more concerned with mindfulness and dignity." The Biden Build Back Better plan is about dignity. This could be an important week concerning choices.
I'd like to say otherization is in stark contrast with the worn and weathered trope of "personal responsibility". These signals are, to anyone with consumer-grade awareness, obviously out-of-phase. However, the grand wizards of cultural manipulation clearly intend this "personal responsibility" be demanded of others - not themselves. We've come full circle in the illogical, yet absolutely intentional.
Great summary of current situation. Happy Monday morning Democracy ⛅
"Warrant for Genocide" ; Strauss, re: "The Protocols...." In the evolutionary DNA: oh, lord, the mean men (sorry, it is eternally a male biological mandate: rape the females you happen not to kill, and make more mean men.) The mean men are the winners! They always win, and their daughters are vicious, too. I am the daughter of such a daughter, suffering flashbacks to my mother's living room. But I have made no more. We are in deep, deep trouble: the thin scab of pretend civilization is off. Sorry. PTSD, I guess.
Whether it is nature, nurture or a little of both, otherization grifts work best on those of us who learned to be bad at learning and have a visceral need to be part of a tribe. Brain imaging studies have shown that “conservatives” are more likely to have big lizard brains thus making reasoned decision-making challenging for them. (Maybe their DNA caused their hypertrophic amygdalas, or perhaps it’s a result of neuroplasticity triggered by their environments or even a synergistic outcome of multiple factors.) Regardless, these citizens make great marks for the big con, and are easily influenced with classic wedge issues used to convince them that they and their tribes are threatened by the “other.” As long as corporate personhood is a thing and money is speech, the oligarchs will retain their powers to manipulate millions of these dangerous fools into becoming frightened and hate filled racists, misogynists, xenophobes and all the other “phobes” and “ists” that can wedge us apart. And the oligarchs and morbidly rich sociopaths will continue to take advantage of Americans with big lizard brains and use their voices and votes to control our public sector decision-makers.