Over the last decade, the alt-right infiltrated the Republican Party infecting all the way into what was once the center right. Church ladies and working class moms are now liberal-hating, anti-immigrant, socialist fearing, non-existent ‘deep state’ fearing, government hating, anti-democratic pro-autocratic fascists believing somehow that their seditious behavior is patriotic. They are unknowing victims of the misinformation and propaganda of right-wing media that spews lies and false fear, and they, unbelievably and uncharacteristically, now vote in concert with white supremacists, neo- Nazis, and anti-government militias! The world turned upside down! Sadly, this worldview benefits the rich and powerful at the expense of ordinary people. People are voting against themselves.
This alt-right information (disguised as legitimate news) takeover of Republican ideology explains how people I know and respect could vote for and support Trump. Answering that question was the impetus for this blog. My Republican friends and acquaintances are acting on false fears and a false perception that all government is bad. They see government as the “other” and not us, we the people. They see themselves as disgruntled outsiders instead of debaters willing to compromise. They are voting for the dismantling of our government at the expense of our democracy. Once the people give up their democracy, it gives way to plutocracy which is rule by a few really rich Americans who have no idea what it means or what it is like to be an ordinary American. It will no longer be government by we the people for the people. Unfortunately, any facts or truths that counter their alt-right views are seen as leftist lies and quickly dismissed leaving no room for discussion and understanding.
America has changed and is changing culturally and economically causing great uncertainty for many. This unease led some to search for its cause, and their feelings were affirmed in the grievance politics of right-wing media. They long to return to their fictional ideal of America as a white, Christian, straight, male dominated society. In their mind, all of our problems can be blamed on immigrants, other races, other religions, atheists, feminists and the LGBTQ+ community. In reality, this aggregate of American people has always existed ever since the first Europeans set foot on the American continent. Its just that white, Christian, straight males were allowed to usurp the rights of everyone else in America for a really long time. As we, as a society, evolved socially, emotionally and scientifically we, rightly, granted civil and human rights to all our citizens, not just a privileged few. Diversity is hard, but shouldn’t be feared. However, a functioning democracy is absolutely needed to successfully navigate a society that honors the civil and human rights of all. And, we can only do this together.
Rather than blaming people who are different for our changing circumstances, we need to look at the bigger forces of change. Globalization, automation, self-isolation of the upper-middle class from the rest of America, anti-union sentiments and the lack of livable wages for essential workers are the real cause of our uncertainty. The only way to change this is for the middle and working classes to vote as one, but this won’t happen as long as the Republican/billionaire/Christian nationalists conglomeration feeds half of us misinformation in order to steal the power and wealth of the nation for themselves. Trickle-down economics have proven not to work over the past 40 years. It’s time for everyday Americans to be paid their worth on the front end instead of accepting what’s leftover. I don’t know what it will take to unify us when over 73 million people voted for the greatest threat to democracy ever for a second term as President.
Together we became the greatest country and greatest democracy the word has ever known, divided we will be sure to fall. About a decade ago, our right leaning friends made a hard right and wrongly demonized not only far-left and left-leaning Democrats but those in the middle too. The vast majority of Democrats are not socialist, we are just hard working patriots trying to provide for our families, just like you. Our division only benefits the ultra wealthy and our adversaries. We need livable wages, affordable healthcare and housing, and investment in infrastructure and education through a functional government not tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulation that puts us all at risk. The economy will flourish with well paid workers, who will spend now and save for the future. The democracy will fail if economic inequality continues to grow unchecked. If we lose our democracy to a plutocracy, we will lose our rights as citizens and the ability to protect our individual economic futures. We need to vote together and we need to vote to protect ordinary Americans and their livelihoods. Please come back! Together, we can do this!
Please get your news from a neutral source (AP, NPR News, CBS News, and BBC News), and not from social media replete with unsourced opinions and made up memes that very well may be from China, Russia or Iran or from opinion shows with celebrity hosts using unsubstantiated fear tactics and conspiracy theories to boost their ratings. Their declaration that mainstream media is “fake news” keeps their followers from real fact checking allowing them to spread dangerous falsehoods to make millions at the cost of the truth. Our constitution grants them freedom of speech without censorship, but it is our responsibility as citizens to discern the truth. Learn to identify the propaganda techniques and lies being used to undermine real truth. Come back to the middle so we can work things out. Lies are dividing us and destroying America! Let’s work together!