Liberals Buying Into Conservative Lies, Part 27

With the, quite frankly, idiotic red state - blue state tax revenue charts that have been floating around the blogosphere since the Election, Democrats have done a surprisingly good job of buying into and heavily reinforcing one of the most pernicious lies espoused by conservatives about liberals. Namely, we are reinforcing the baseless claim that liberals are wealthier than conservatives, and conservatives are justified in their hatred of liberals because a wealthy liberal elite who control the courts, media, entertainment industry, and banks oppress and attempt to corrupt conservatives without any respect for their traditions, values or faith. Not only is this narrative a revival of the early twentieth century European narrative against Jews with only a simple substitution of terms for the hated minority, it is also blatantly false. I can't believe we keep buying into it.

Here is how people voted according to annual income in the 2004 Presidential Election (in thousands of dollars):

	   Bush   Kerry
Under 15     36     63
15-30	    42	  57
30-50	    49	  50
50-75	    56	  43
75-100	    55	  45
100-150      57     42
150-200      58     42
200 +	    63	  35
There is an undeniably direct correlation between a voter's income and their voting pattern. The clear correllation is that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to vote for Bush. the poorer you are, the more likely you are to vote for Kerry. If, after seeing this, you still buy into the lie that the tax dollars of Kerry voters are overfunding Bush voters, you are both blind and have bought into the idea that thee is a liberal elite running the country. Only 13% of self-identifying liberals voted for Bush, and only 15% of self-identifying conservatives voted for Kerry. Considering these two facts and the table above, there is simply no conceivable way that liberals occupy a disproportionate share of the higher income brackets in relation to conservatives. Not only are there more conservatives in the higher income brackets than there are liberals, there are disproportionately more conservatives than liberals in the higher income brackets. Exactly the opposite is true of the lower income brackets.

The tax dollars of wealthy liberals in blue states are not the primary source of funding for red states. For us to buy into that is simply to buy into conservative lies about liberals, and help to reinforce those lies. To beleive that claim is for liberals themselves to believe that we actually are a small elite that oppresses conservatives. "Blue states" may be overfunding "red states," but it is not because liberals are overfunding conservatives. Instead, what is clearly happening is that wealthy residents of blue states--and blue states have more wealthy residents than red states--are the source of red state overfunding. While these wealthy people live disproportionately in blue states, it does not obscure what the exit polls make clear: they still heavily favor Bush. The wealthy conservatives in blue states are simply overwhelmed at the ballot box by the far more numerous, and less wealthy, liberals of those states.

But go ahead, keep talking about deadbeat states and the need to end red state welfare or to pass some legislation to "even things out." Buy into and internalize the conservative lies about you. It is something we are good at, and at the very least it makes us feel superior. Hopefully one day I will see you in detox.</rant&gt

Update: The first criticisms I have seen in the comments are on-target. However, I still think the way we present this argument does nothing but reinfornce an already false and damaging narrative about liberals. At the very least, reframing is needed.

Shaken To My Core

I sincerely hope that TNR will forgive me for doing this. However, Brad Carson has written such a remarkable article, that I feel I must repost it in its entirety. Please, sign up for TNR--its free!

Read on only if you have the courage. Be warned--it is not pretty.

There's more...

Conservatives and Freedom

It is no secret that the people who run the corporations who produce the culture that the Christian right so despises are all conservatives and Bush supporters. It is no secret tht Bush wants to push as much of Social Security as possible out of the public sector and put it in the hands of corporate financial investors. It is no secret that Bush's tax cuts always favor the rich and bend over backward for corporations. For Bush and for conservatives, somehow the wealthier the wealthy become, the better off us plebeians will be.

As Americans, we seek freedom and independence, not do be dependent on large corporations so much more powerful than any one individual. Regions that value this independence and put their faith in entrepreneurs, small business and local products will face sustained growth that is not dependent on whether or not some town in some other state gives even more tax breaks to a major corporation in an attempt to lure away the major local employer. It is no secret that this independence is not something which conservatives value. Instead, they want us all dependent on corporations, because their discredited economic theories suggest that we will all benefit from the crumbs they sweep off their tables.

There's more...

Conservatives Hating Conservatives

The ongoing, gaping contradiction in the conservative agenda is the simultaneous promotion of an arrogant, elitist "values" based agenda (which regularly assumes and accuses the tolerance based, solidarity based, conscious based, good works based, and overwhelmingly religious liberal movement of not having any values) right along with a reckless, valueless agenda of unregulated corporate greed. Now, I have never been one to accuse conservatives of having a firm grasp on reality, but I would imagine that it should seem obvious enough to anyone that if you decrease public controls over the producers of our popular culture, namely and mainly large corporations, you simultaneously decrease public control over the production of our popular culture. However, conservatives clearly do not grasp this basic point. How else does Tom DeLay, a rabid proponent of the Christian right "values" agenda, who once said that he could not think of a single business regulation on the books that should be kept, plan to regulate the production of culture and make it more "values" based without regulating the corporations that produce popular culture? I'm sure he has no idea.

There's more...

UPDATED: On Social Spending, Conservatives ARE Liberal

While the "liberal" brand name has been intensely demonized over the past few decades, liberal policies and ideas have maintained considerable appeal--even among self-identified conservatives. Here are a series of charts showing levels of support for national spending to address major problems or needs. While support drops off from left to right, the level of support among even extreme conservatives is such that only for welfare does a solid majority support cutting spending. "Welfare," too, has been demonized, as can be seen by the dramatically higher support for assistance to the poor.

All charts are based on data from the General Social Survey (GSS), 1992-2002. They run from extreme liberal on the left to ectreme conservative on the right. The dates were chosen to provide a large data set across the allegedly most conservative era since the GSS began, in 1972.

Let's start with the environment.  Not a surprise, really. But an important reminder about a hegemonic liberal value, no? And just look at the levels of support:

There's more...


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