Dragging them kicking and screaming.
Over at Noahpinion, Noah Smith has a blog post about CWA – Conservative White America, and how they’re (not) functioning in today’s society. Go read the whole post first before getting my thoughts on it.
First, he only mentions racism twice in the entire article. Maybe he’s downplaying the significance race/racism plays in this entire issue. I am a closet liberal who lived in Pennsyltucky and now lives in Miami – and when I was up north, the gross majority of people I knew were white and solidly middle class. And let me tell you, the n-word is still used frequently. (Obviously CWA exists nationwide – not just the South as others have pointed out.) So anyone that thinks that racism doesn’t exist or isn’t a big deal, you’re living in another world. I’m even talking about kids going to both large state universities in PA, who grew up all across the state – supposedly “educated” folk. When you’re white, white people are comfortable with you. I’ve had to ride in a tow-truck with a driver who JUST MET ME, and all he could tell me is how he can’t understand how I live in the city with all those n-words – I know a successful business owner in an all white suburb who says the biggest problem we have is all those n-words taking all the money. In more public settings, they refer to african-americans as “those people.” I’ve seen an awful lot of evidence that racism plays a MAJOR part in CWA – they feel life is hard, they see people more successful than they are, and they are sure SOMEONE is to blame, SOMEONE is taking all their money – cause they’re working damn hard but not getting to the level the REALLY rich are. Now, you can’t blame the really rich, because that’s what you aspire to be! But SOMEONE has to be responsible, and you know from all your hard work it’s not you, so who the hell can it be? And it’s even more pervasive than that. Look at Facebook for one day and you’ll see another “you have an iPhone and a car but you’re paying for food with your welfare card” pictures – who do you think they’re talking about? What does the picture show? A white person? C’mon. And down here in Miami, I’ve learned that african-americans are still the bottom of society, even though I’m in the minority where I live – tons of hispanics from a multitude of countries still refer to them as “monkeys,” etc. Even some of them think african-americans are holding them back!
So that might describe a portion of people in CWA. And in the South, maybe a larger proportion of CWA is the racists. But I’ve also met plenty of people who feel the same way – that they’re working hard, but they’re not getting ahead, they’re not getting rich. But instead of blaming “those people” they blame all the damn “libtards” who run the government and take all their money and spend it on poor people of all races. They don’t seem to have a racial component in their complaint – but they know it’s not the rich as I said above, but it has to be SOMEONE. So BIG GUBMIT LIBRULS must be the culprit – who else could it be! This also explains the contradiction – they have no problem mailing in their taxes to have the largest military empire the world has ever known, because that money is getting sent back to hard working people like themselves who are just trying to get ahead, while keeping us safe. How else do you explain this glaring contradiction? So maybe this is a portion of the people in CWA – but a smaller portion than the racists.
But then again, every time you see a study on the racial attitudes of what we’d consider CWA, underlying everything they believe seems to be racism, even if they don’t consciously acknowledge it.
Or maybe it’s just thousands of individual cases of something along the line of fundamental attribution errors. Millions of CWA don’t see themselves getting ahead, but they know they’re hard working folk – yet when you see others around you not getting ahead, it’s cause they’re lazy or dumb folk. So something must be getting in their way! It can’t possibly be the circumstances which they have no control over. It has to be something else.
On a personal level, I’ll admit I have less empathy for people who are voting for conservatives – they’re getting exactly what they ask for, who am I to tell them they deserve better? I’ll save my empathy for those who vote for solutions that have been shown to work around the world, but instead are getting screwed over by CWA, making their lives worse each and every day. But I also want to caution all the outside observers from thinking that we “have the answer” if they’d just listen to us and stop their backwards ways. It’s not like the South is devoid of books or isn’t aware that Denmark exists or they don’t have internet connections and colleges. Sure, it would be great if they decided one day to do better – but to think we can “force” them to change – good luck with that. This is the same irrational thinking that gets liberals to support never-ending wars in far-off places that have no hope of succeeding, or to support shoving trade and “property rights” down an indigenous group’s throat to make them more “wealthy.” Sure, we “have” the answer, but maybe we can’t just “give” it to them. Maybe they just have to figure it out for themselves, decide what is right for them.
I just wish they wouldn’t kill everyone else off in the meantime.
Now, someone tell me, when is it civil war time for global warming? How many people do we let them kill before we finally say “enough”?