The Reality Gap

In Current Events, Election Politics on October 17, 2010 at 18:45

It’s not that Democrats are facing an “enthusiasm gap” at the polls, it’s the reality gap on the side of Republican backers and the reality awareness about the Democrats lack of support for their base that is the true problem for Democrats this fall.

Pundits, journalists, talk show hosts and experts have been going on about the “enthusiasm gap” between what they deem extremely enthusiastic Republican voters and down in the dumps Democrats. They say Republicans are more excited about voting, and why wouldn’t they be? Hate and anger are good motivators for voting.

Yes, the hatred of the image the right-wing spin machine has made out of Obama, A BLACK MAN, is a powerful incentive. And hate of the wicked witch of the West, Nancy Pelosi, also works to create enthusiasm for a Republican/Tea Party base that would hate Jesus if he were a Democrat.

But when the Republican base and Tea Party members rabidly back candidates on the right that want to take away their social security, imprison them without warrants, spy on their every word, book read and consumer choice, gut their schools (as Obama is going to do with “Race to the Top”), want to take away a raped woman’s choice, those who ran the economy into the ground from 2000-2008 and raised the debt to new levels, people that defend homophobia want to bomb Iran, deny humans have any impact on the environment, are against alcohol in Nevada, a state that depends on alcohol sales, is afraid or fluoridation, thinks gay and pregnant teachers should be banned from teaching, want to cut the budget by creating an unneeded missile defense shield, and want eliminate protections for the accused by blocking habeas corpus, we know there is a gap between Tea Party members, Republicans, and reality.

The reality is that the Tea Party funders such as the Koch brothers, on air conservatives and professional congress people are working to enrich their corporations and corporate masters as possible and by taking and keeping wealth from the rest of America. This includes the hard working rest of us that politicians from both major parties largely ignore when making policy but pander to during elections. It’s the reality gap, stupid. There’s a gap between what the Tea Party foot soldiers want and what the Tea Party politicians will actually accomplish or push for once in Congress. (link)

Sharon Angel is a clear example of how she wants to harm the rest of us. She tells us that entitlement programs have spoiled our citizens. She’s saying that working hard and contributing into social security and then asking for some of that money back when we retire makes us spoiled. And people who worked most of their lives and got laid off because of the financial crisis that occurred due to the mismanagement of banks and failed mortgage regulations aided and abetted by a mostly Republican Congress and a Republican president. I guess Angel thinks it is your fault the banks mismanaged their money and had to lay you off.  But people support her and other Republicans (and some Democrats) who believe this very thing. Voters are like abused spouses who say, “But he says he loves me and that he wont do it again.” Oh, they will do it again, and even worse this time if the Republicans and Democrats like Blanche Lincoln and Max Baucus have their way. (link)

Angel doesn’t believe the Constitution has a separation of Church and State. Just because she doesn’t like separation of church and state doesn’t mean that it doesn’t appear in the first amendment. What Tea Party supporters don’t realize is that if you don’t keep the fundamental tenet of the Bill of Rights, separation of church and state, then Muslims like Barack Obama (another Tea Party fantasy) will make us all follow Islam. Your religion is at risk as soon as you try to impose it on others.

Part of the reality gap is due to Republicans forgetting how Bush started wars with lies, increased our deficit, made us one of the most hated countries in the world and gave huge tax give a ways to the wealthiest 1%. That last fact has been admired by the lower classes on the right throughout Bush’s term as if they were rich.

Republicans, with the help of their leaders Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, have used the media adeptly to convince conservatives that tax cuts for the wealthy are the same thing as tax cuts for everybody, that somehow the tax on the rich will push away big business (though there is no historical or economic evidence for this) and that these tax cuts for the top 1% will trickle down upon them like 72 virgins. How did it work to improve the economy in the eighties? Wages were stagnant, bank loans were not secured, and the default and unemployment started to rise during Bush’s term, despite the reality gap that wants to lay it all on Obama.

Under Bush, “median household income was lower than in 2000, while both the poverty rate and the percentage of Americans without health insurance were higher.” (link) So, how is that good economics? It’s good economics if you only care about the upper classes and not middle class wages. And, job loss has slowed under Obama, partially due to the stimulus package (link) and other measures and partially as a cyclical trend. How many more jobs can be lost? And that bailout for the banks that the Tea Party hates so much? That was passed during Bush’s last year with a bi-partisan effort. And yes, Obama voted for it, and Bush signed it. Put a pox on both their houses, if you wish, but it wasn’t just the “tax and spend” liberals. Besides, few Democrats are actual liberals.

The most obvious demonstration of the reality gap in Republican supporters is the blame they put on Obama for the current debt. Bush increased the debt to new levels over his eight years, but they ignore that. (link) No, it’s Obama’s fault. And as far as the current deficit spending, there is also a reality gap. Much of the current deficit can be attributed to Bush laws and Bush wars that were left for Obama’s budget. I blame Obama for continuing the wars and that part of the deficit.

And the misnamed “Obamacare” that is supposed to be creating such big deficits? That biggest part of that expenditure comes in effect in 2014 and has little or nothing to do with current budgets.

Corporations feed this reality gap with misinformation so we can create an enemy, if not Obama, then government in general. Bad government is the problem, not government. And Bush was a master at bad government and mismanaged budgets. Republicans don’t want you to remember that.

Let me set you straight: the benefits of tax cuts are exaggerated and as for tax cuts for the top 1%, the benefits are non-existent except for the benefits to the top 1%.

However, if we let these tax cuts lapse we will have an extra $70 billion for ten years for a total of $700 billion dollars. That is money that could be used to shore up schools, keep state governments afloat, help pay health care for the returning Iraq war veterans and many other positive uses.

For reasons partly having to do with who is currently in office, Democrats and independents are more disappointed in what Obama has NOT done.

Escalating the war in Afghanistan has done as much or more to anger Obama supporters than anything. Disaffected former Obama voters have faced reality and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter if they vote for a Democrat, with a few notable exceptions.

Tea Party and other rapid Republican voters will be propelled by their hatred of supposed liberals Pelosi and Obama however much reality doesn’t match the fantasy that has been created around the two most public Democratic figures. They have lost touch with the reality of eight years of Bush and what Bush’s policies did do our economy and nation. There is a clear reality gap.

Besides, polls don’t show a lot of people giving love to the Republican Party either. If the laws set forth by Republicans and Democrats in Congress and in every state legislature didn’t make it nearly impossible to start a viable third party, I would say now is the time to start one.

I urge you to close the reality gap and realize that the majority of national Republicans and Democrats don’t give a damn about you. Then vote locally on the propositions and for local school boards and other officials.

Tex Shelters

  1. The Reality Gap « The Daily Perpetrator…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. I so totally appreciate your hard work in your ingathering of the links, Tex. You allow for lazy-woman’s-informed-syndrome to the highest degree.

    I’m frightened of the disaffection with Obama of Democrats. I, too, have major disappointment in several areas in which he has failed to honor promises, has behaved like a conservative by pandering to corporation-as-individual big business and homophobes (DADT) and power-mongers and old-boy-network for job appointments.
    On the other hand, there is only worse up for grabs at the moment.
    This is, though, what I expect from humans: if we don’t get what we believe we want in the time we believe is sufficient for us to have waited (think one day), we get furious – and we are ready to hate.

    Our short memories! Tex, there is no species with a poorer use of memory than ours. I guess that no other species makes the same errors of judgment over and over and over because they forgot what happened last time. Homo sapiens is uniquely dumb that way.

    Of course it’s time for more choices. I think of the underpinnings of a third party and I simply sigh. We can’t even eat what’s on our plate – we are just using our utensils to push things around. To make it appear as if there’s movement.

    I am hopefree, Tex.

    I read every word you write. I nod sagely. I happily and virtuously follow the links you provide. I read what I find. I nod sagely.

    There is no species which has earned extinction the way Homo sapiens has. In fact, in light of how diligent we’ve been about providing extinction for other species, I believe that there is now no species more deserving of The Honorable Order of Extinction than ours.

    • Wow Leeza, Thanks.

      I am not hope free, and that is only because I teach and see how students learn and appreciate what I do and learn. I have an older student who started my class last week and said something like, “Hey, that was fun” as if most learning is a drag. I admire students who have been out of school for years and come back into the setting that caused them grief in the past: class.

      That gives me hope. Individuals like you and Little Sun and the thousands of activists in Tucson, and the people working hard at Code Pink, NARAL, Dan Savage, Alfie Kohn, etc, THEY give me hope for humanity.

      As for the rest of it, SCREW CONGRESS!

      Tex Shelters

      • PS: The links are necessary as part of the argumentation process and my education. I hope that other find them useful too.

        Tex Shelters

  3. A transcript of George Calin’s video piece on the American Dream

    “But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason it will never … ever … EVER be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. … … … BECAUSE … THE OWNERS, OF THIS COUNTRY, DON’T WANT THAT! … … I’m talking about the real owners now … … … … … the BIG owners! … … … The Wealthy … … … … … the REAL owners! … The big wealthy business interests that control things … and make all the important decisions. … … … … Forget the politicians. They are irelevant. … … The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . … you dont. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. … They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. … They got you by the balls. … … They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying … . . . lobbying, … to get what they want . . . … Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but Ill tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. … … They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. … … They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting FUCKED by a system that threw them overboard 30 FUCKING years ago. … … They don’t want that! You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. … And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your … Social Security money. … … … They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? … … … They’ll get it . . . they’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this FUCKING place! Its a big club, and you ain’t in it! … … … … You, and I, are not in The big club. By the way, its the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich COOK SUCKERS who don’t give a FUCK about you. They don’t give a FUCK about you . . . … they don’t give a FUCK about you. …. …. They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. Its called the American Dream, … cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .”

  4. Fine work, Tex. The Tea Partiers are so duped — paranoid about “government takeover” and oblivious to the the fact they are enabling a corporate takeover that squeezes ever more of available resources out of the hands of the middle class, into that Almighty Place where the rich stash cash. It doesn’t trickle down. In fact, it trickles up.

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