Those of us who at least make a cursory attempt to separate fact from fiction often remain astounded at the wild beliefs of self-described “conservatives.”
They are not what formerly was considered to be normal. If Donald Trump told them the sky is green, they would attempt, not just to agree with him, but to murder you for claiming the sky is blue.
This combination of naivete and anger is confounding. Many normal human beings believe that exposing right-wing hate-filled cruelty will open Republican voters’ eyes and perhaps even shock them.
But, no. Right-wing hate-filled cruelty is not a bug. It is the feature followers find most attractive.
While, unfortunately, many people of all stripes support hatred and cruelty, here are a few examples of what Republicans, more than Democrats, tend to believe or support:
- Separating children from their parents at the border to instill fear in prospective border crossers.
- Long prison sentences as a deterrent to crime.
- The death penalty
- White supremacist groups (Proud Boys, neo-nazis, etc.)
- The elimination of ACA (Obamacare) thus depriving poor people of health care.
- The reduction or elimination of Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, and other supports for the poor and middle classes
- Laws against abortion, particularly those with no exceptions for rape or incest.
- Anti-teaching of factual history about slavery and bigotry.
- Pro-guns, include military weaponry in everyone’s hands
- Threats of civil war
- Aggression, either by an individual or in a mob
- Pro-monuments to rebel traitors and rebel flags as part of “southern heritage”
- Bigotry against blacks, browns, yellows, reds, gays, and non-Christians.
- Conspiracy theories, especially those promulgating hatred
- Admiration for dictators
- Love for God and America, along with hatred of people.
- Belief that compassion is a weakness.
Yes, there is some meanness in even the best of us, but what kinds of people are particularly attracted to today’s conservatism?
I suggest the most common elements shared by right-wingers are feelings of fear, inferiority, and ignorance.
FEAR: The mother of hatred is fear.
You will find it challenging to hate someone or something unless you also fear them or it. Think of what you hate, and you will find you fear it to some degree.
You hate Russians because you fear them. You hate blacks, Jews, your neighbor, the police, bullies, child-abusers, gays, foreigners, strangers, Donald Trump, etc., because to some degree, you fear them.
When the Nazis march chanting, “You will not replace us,” they are tapping into white Christian fear that non-Christians and/or non-whites are “taking over,” a fear that spills over into hatred of immigrants.
How else would you explain the draconian exercise of ripping children from their parents, shipping the children away, and not even keeping track of them so they could be reclaimed by their parents?
This torture of children and parents requires a certain level of cruelty that cannot be explained away by any rational immigration policy.
The GOP stresses a border wall because it has instilled in followers, or taken advantage of, their fear of foreigners.
Every day the Republican party stresses fear. When Mar-a-Lago was searched, the Republican false mantra was, “If this could happen to him, it could happen to you.” (True, only if you keep secret government documents hidden in your home.)
And, you should carry guns, massive, powerful guns in public because you fear. And Donald Trump will protect you from “them.”
Conservatives fear change. They wish to conserve a mythical past. They are the most fear-ridden people on earth; change is fearsome to them.
INFERIORITY: Feelings of personal inferiority support all cults, including the cult of Trump. People join and defend the cause when they need to belong to something, lest they themselves will be invisible.
Hiding among like-minded people provides the strength that weaker people do not possess. It is the courage of the mob. Not one of the January 6th attackers would have had the courage for a lone foray. It was the mob that gave them the bravery they personally lacked.
The cult allows them to say, “I am somebody. I have meaning, strength, and power. I can accomplish. You cannot ignore me. You cannot replace me.”
Trump’s continual “they-are-picking-on-me” victimhood pretense can be empathized by those who feel the entire world is picking on them.
IGNORANCE: We are not talking about mere intelligence; we are talking about knowledge and education.
A new Pew Research survey shows that the less educated you are, the more likely you are to have Republican leanings.
Right-wingers are less exposed to mainstream media. They receive nearly all their information from Fox News, Breitbart, and other conspiracy theorists.
The more outrageous the claims, the more they are believed: Hillary has a pedophile ring in the basement of a fast-food restaurant. Kennedy still is alive. A mass murder never happened; it was all staged to blame Republicans. The moon landing was faked.
Rather than learning facts, which are not to be trusted, the right-wing wants to know the “inside, secret facts.”
Republicans wish to say, “You may think I’m ignorant, but I know something you don’t know.” That more easily is said about outrageous claims than about facts.
Ignorance often comes from a lack of schooling. Trump has popularized the notion that not going to school embodies one with native, home-spun thinking ability that education eliminates. Trump himself has said, “I love the poorly educated.”
Indeed he does, for they are the most malleable.
Sneering at college is part of mocking education, science, and fact. Conspiracy theories fill the void. And when they demean all usual sources of factual information, they turn to unusual sources.
There seems to be, among right-wingers, particular pride in not being “spoiled” by a college education but rather having learned from street experience or from peers.
Again, where formal education is lacking, non-factual conspiracy theories tend to fill the void.
That tendency begets easier acceptance of lies, where facts matter less than the sources.
Having “learned” from Fox News that Trump won the 2020 election he lost, one may be more accepting when Fox News says Trump is an innocent victim of a crooked FBI or the FBI planted incriminating information at Mar-a-Lago.
Not being educated, right-wingers do not understand how science works.
They easily can be convinced that scientific ambivalence (“most scientists say,” “there is a 70% likelihood of”) is inferior to the 100% certain, dogmatic, false teachings of conspiracy theorists (the lie that “Trump was proven innocent by Mueller”).
Together, feelings of fear, inferiority, and ignorance lead to resentment, which manifests as hatred and cruelty instead of compassion.
To feel or demonstrate compassion requires a strength of character missing in right-wing followers.
They do not intervene in bullying situations but instead actively participate.
They do not correct false “facts” but knowingly promulgate patently false narratives.
They sneer at “sheeple” — those who follow mainstream beliefs — when it is they who are weak-minded.
As Trump so presciently said, “I have the most loyal people — did you ever see that? I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”
Loyalty is a form of intentional blindness. It can be wonderful blindness when you are, for instance, loyal to your wife, i.e., blind to her weaknesses. But being blind to a politician’s or political movement’s facts and flaws evidences feelings of fear, inferiority, and ignorance.
Those burdened with those emotions flock to the nonsensical, right-wing world of white supremacy and its partner, cruelty.
The GOP has become the party of straight, white, Christian, male, bigoted cowards who find their courage in guns, cults, and mobs.
Even our Supreme Court, the arbiter of fairness, no longer is blind justice.
It now is led by Clarence Thomas, a man who was appointed on a lie, and who has spent his life trying to prove he is not black.
They and their ilk are a cruel danger to all that is America.
Our great American experiment in democracy is failing.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
18 thoughts on “Republican hate-filled cruelty is not a bug. It’s a feature.”
Rodger … wow! Thank you for your thorough observations of the sad state of the current core of the Republican Party. It’s 180 degrees away from what General Eisenhower brought to the presidency.
Roger Meier firstname.lastname@example.org C) 612-865-6018
From Heather Cox Richardson’s letter today …
Observers noted that the defeat of Cheney marks the passage of another establishment name from the ranks of Republican Party lawmakers. The Lincoln Project tweeted, “Tonight, the nation marks the end of the Republican Party. What remains shares the name and branding of the traditional GOP, but is in fact an authoritarian nationalist cult dedicated only to Donald Trump.”
Roger Meier email@example.com C) 612-865-6018
The Lincoln Project is correct, except the transformation began about 20 years ago with the Tea Party. Trump added the cult aspect.
Our nationalized winner-take-all election system collapses our big, diverse country into just two hyper-partisan political parties caught in a doom loop of hatred and gridlock. https://www.fixourhouse.org/proportional-representation
When one side espouses lies and hatred, while the other side relies on facts and logic, the dummies often vote for the lies and hatred.
Senile Sanders, Sleepy Joe, and WV Manchin are big on logic and facts? https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FXEU-zPXwAAYpCx?format=jpg&name=medium
Larry ‘Dim Bulb’ Summers played a role in shepherding the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ along. How logical is he with his incessant deficit paranoia?
Sanders is senile? I didn’t know that. Joe (Biden?) is sleepy? Didn’t know that, either. But yes, I knew Manchin is from WV. Tell me about the lack of logic and facts to which you refer. I’m not aware of Larry Summers’s role.
https://fortune.com/2022/07/28/summers-biden-manchin-inflation-reduction-act/ Larry been working the phones hard for months to get his Deficit Reduction Act of 2022 passed.
https://youtu.be/KDC8vIyyF_E Grumbine quotes you from time to time I have noticed over the years.
Looks/sounds like Liz will throw her hat into the ring for the nomination. Divisive?
She could win. Would receive lots of votes from both sides. Wyoming is not representative of America.
I agree. Her integrity is obvious. Some Trumpers who know deep down 45 is a joke may find her to be a great compromise they can live with, especially that she’s fairly young and, yes, white.
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/15/larry-summers-emerges-as-the-unlikeliest-democratic-hero-00051433 Sure sounds like he was involved in the latest attempt to collapse the deficit and impose austerity.
Summers is a fraud who goes where the money is. He’s a perfect example of the Peter Principle.
What is your opinion on fraudulent Summer’s uncle Paul Samuelson whose Econ textbook that first came out in 1948 set whole generations on the wrong path believing all sorts of BS [like that which his heir nephew Larry is still pushing today]?
In all three cases, we can observe the key principle behind our system of pure credit creation: Legally authorized banks create money by purchasing assets.
In fairness, the WSJ authors are not alone in their unfamiliarity with how banks work. They probably had poor instruction in college. According to economist Richard Werner, the correct theory of money and credit creation is rarely taught in economic textbooks today. “It should be repeated,” he writes, “that the credit creation theory does not feature in most contemporary economics, finance, or banking textbooks.”
Instead, he explains, banks are commonly understood as financial intermediaries that gather savings from one group to lend to another. This is true of brokerage firms, investment banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, and other investment organizations, but not commercial banks. Financial intermediaries do gather others’ savings and lend them in the capital markets, but this is not “bank lending.”
Bank lending does not recycle existing money. Every new bank loan creates new money.
Today’s erroneous view of banks contrasts with the views prevalent a century ago when economists and financial writers widely understood and accepted the credit creation theory. As Werner explains, this knowledge was essentially lost over most of the 20th Century due to the spread of erroneous theories by prominent economists, especially Paul Samuelson, through his popular textbook, Economics. [Samuelson’s brother changed his surname to Summers and begat a nitwit son Larry who is torturing us all still today!]
One result of this prolonged ignorance is that the public’s knowledge of money creation is poor at best. Werner comments:
“That such important insights as bank credit creation could be made to disappear from the agenda and even knowledge of the majority of economists over the course of a century delivers a devastating verdict on the state of economics and finance today. As a result, the public understanding of money has deteriorated as well. Today, the vast majority of the public is not aware that the money supply is created by banks, that banks do not lend money, and that each bank creates new money when it extends a loan.”
https://jim3c5.substack.com/p/ignorance-amplified-creates-a-lost & https://jim3c5.substack.com/p/money-from-nothing
Most people think of commercial banks (like Wells Fargo and Bank of America) as businesses that lend money. Somewhere, you probably learned that banks are “financial intermediaries” that gather money from some people and lend this money to others.
But lending out the deposits of others is not what banks do. It’s what financial intermediaries such as brokerage firms, insurance companies, and pension funds do. The distinguishing characteristic of banks is they can create – out of thin air – the money used to make loans.
So are the Samuelsons and Summers of the world just idiots or are they intentionally obfuscating the facts about who money works for some sort of purpose? Bit like wondering if people in Congress are totally clueless about Monetary Sovereignty or they do understand it very well but intentionally choose to gaslight the population year after year.
The greatest misunderstanding revolves around the fact that money has no physical existence. No one can see, feel, hear, taste, or smell money.
Rather, money is just a number that happens to exist on some record of money, for instance, a balance sheet.
Money is fungible. If you receive ten dollars from person “A” and lend or pay 10 dollars to person “B,” whether you have lent “A’s” money or created new money, depends on the law.
If the law requires you to lend or pay money by deducting those existing dollars from an account that received dollars from “A,” then you can be said to lend “A’s” money.
This is rare, however. That vast majority of money is paid or lent ad hoc, by creating new money.
For example, when you pay by credit card, you begin a process that adds new M1 dollars to a merchant’s checking account. The creation process actually is a borrowing process that begins with you, then the card company, and one or more banks. That’s how you created dollars.
Later, when you pay the bill, you destroy dollars. M1 dollars are taken from your checking account and destroyed in an Accounts Receivable Account, completing the cycle. Money is created by loans and destroyed when loans are paid off. Those are temporary dollars.
The federal government creates dollars that are not part of the creation/destruction cycle. To pay its obligations, the federal government sends instructions (not dollars) to the creditor’s bank, instructing the bank to increase the balance in the creditor’s checking account. The instant the bank obeys those instructions, new M1 dollars are created.
The dollars are cleared through the Federal Reserve, but unlike privately-created dollars, they are not destroyed. They remain in the economy. Dollars are destroyed is when they are sent to the US Treasury for taxes or other payments.
The purpose of this overly-long explanation is to show that even insurance companies and pension funds create dollars. They pay with dollars they do not have, and have not yet received as premiums.
That is why some people receive more than they paid in premiums and some people receive less — and why some insurance companies and brokerage firms,, when faced with a huge, unexpected loss, cannot pay what they suddenly owe.
The German/British economist Richard Werner mentioned above was the one who first coined the term ‘quantitative easing’ while working as a postdoctoral researcher in Tokyo at the Bank of Japan in the mid-nineties. Though I believe he wrote about it then more as a way of cleaning up balance sheets [ease the quantity of garbage in a financial system after a crisis] and not as the stimulative magic bullet many seemed to think it was when central bankers actually began to deploy it several years later first in Japan and then elsewhere.
Interesting book on the Yen and ‘princes’ at the BOJ who control it: https://b-ok.cc/book/2630234/8cf9dc [E-book 384 page PDF]
Princes of the Yen : Japan’s central bankers and the transformation of the economy
This eye-opening book offers a disturbing new look at Japan’s post-war economy and the key factors that shaped it. It gives special emphasis to the 1980s and 1990s when Japan’s economy experienced vast swings in activity. According to the author, the most recent upheaval in the Japanese economy is the result of the policies of a central bank less concerned with stimulating the economy than with its own turf battles and its ideological agenda to change Japan’s economic structure. The book combines new historical research with an in-depth behind-the-scenes account of the bureaucratic competition between Japan’s most important institutions: the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Japan. Drawing on new economic data and first-hand eyewitness accounts, it reveals little known monetary policy tools at the core of Japan’s business cycle, identifies the key figures behind Japan’s economy, and discusses their agenda. The book also highlights the implications for the rest of the world, and raises important questions about the concentration of power within central banks