10 thoughts on “The Political Divide”

      • I’ll preface this by acknowledging I wasn’t a fan of Kevin Rudd as PM, but I agree with much of the article. Having said that I believe that the left in Australia.

        Sounds like we both agree that there are lots of other influences, in my opinion social media is much more influential than mass media.

        Over here the left complain about the influence of Murdoch, the right complain about the ABC (our government owned network), but I don’t feel either recognise that they’re getting pushed to far-right and far-left largely due to the influence of social media.

        • Anyone who thinks that in Australia, the Labor Party, ABC, The Guardian, etc are left, have not even seen anything left. All those are rather moderate centrist entities. Though, they are clearly left from the current ruling party which is strongly on the right.

          This from someone who’s mum was a keen member of “people’s democratic alliance” (a free translation). And even that was the mid-left, not far-left (as in dark red communist).

          I would assume a parallel applies in the US with the Republicans and Democrats.

        • As I stated earlier, Kirk wrote a book that initially wasn’t taken seriously. In it, he talked about women and youth getting “uppity”. So when the Viet Nam war and the pill came into its own, both started protesting and conservatives got all scared. From there the GOP method of approaching elections was to generally scare people* into voting for them. *(that would be predominantly white people) That involved blaming others for their woes, ex: “That Mexican is taking your job.” Because hate is an easy emotion to gin up energy. Of course, the real reason is that employers hire immigrants to help push wages down, but that takes an understanding and education to acknowledge. But why bother when hate is so much easier to learn?

          Then this guy Newt Gingrinch gave a speech on the House floor that essentially spelled out the intent to divide the country into an “us vs them” mentality. That and Reagan not enforcing the fairness doctrine (which was never a thing to force networks to always have the opposing side together. It was a mandate that for a network to get their license, they had to present programming in the public interest. i.e. news) eventually brought about news for profit. So now information was being presented only for profit and not information deemed important for the general public. Meaning, news was now driven by who provides the most money. So non-partisan information is now partisan to benefit corporations. This began with FNC, moved onto other cable and local networks and has expanded to social media.

          Facebook has become Fascistbook with all its extreme right wing influencers and Zuckerberg is letting it happen, because keeping the right in power assures he keeps making more money and keeps more of it.

          Generally speaking, the conservative idea is to have a few people control everything and to give the people no power whatsoever. That of course goes against what this country was founded on. The Boston Tea Party was a revolt against corporate monopolies and the government that supports them. In fact, Jefferson had asked that a no monopolies clause be included in the original Bill of Rights. It did not make the cut.

          The Tea Party story is an example of what divides us. Ask a conservative what it was about and they’ll say “taxation without representation.” That really isn’t the story. The real Boston Tea Party was a protest against huge corporate tax cuts for the British East India Company, which hurt all the local small-time tea stores in the colonies. (ref: “Retrospect of the Boston Tea Party with a Memoir of George R.T. Hewes, a Survivor of the Little Band of Patriots Who Drowned the Tea in Boston Harbor in 1773”) Explain that to a conservative and their eyes glaze over. Tell it to a liberal and they’re like, “Really? That’s interesting.”

          The point is, the purpose of the government that was created here, was done so the government would serve the people. With conservative ideology, the government serves corporations and the people serve corporations.

          I point this out, because over the years, politicians have removed civics from the classrooms so people lack the connection between the people and their government. Of course this bozo wants to re-program education to benefit the corporate overlords. He hates truth and facts because an informed public with critical thinking capacity is the worst kind of people to control. Which is why conservatives want to end public education and a free press.

          Which brings us back to Russell Kirk. His book spoke of an informed public being a problem that would in the end hurt corporate power. His preachings eventually led to the Powell Memo which was a blueprint for corporate domination of American Democracy. This lead to many conservative think tanks that write conservative laws for states (they’re like little test labs to eventually put into federal law).

          And therein lies the problem. Many conservative voters don’t like corporations having so much power, but because many are authoritarian followers, they end up believing what the conservatives tell them (It’s the fault of blacks, browns/gays/Jews/etc.) ignoring the fact that the leaders they support are financed by the corporate giants they detest.

          I’ve come across many conservatives who want money out of politics. I tell them in order to do that, they need to vote Democratic, but they laugh and say all politicians are the same (a conservative meme, no less). I can probably put forth a dozen Democrats who support taking money out of politics, but I can’t fine one conservative who has ever supported a bill like that.

          I can’t speak to what conservatives are like in your country, but here, conservative politicians don’t give a rat’s ass about the people. In fact, there isn’t one bill in the last 50 years, that was created, pushed by, voted by a majority of the GOP and signed into law by the same that benefitted the majority of working Americans.

          This is what our country has devolved into. You have right-wing hate radio, FNC and certain social media sites working the “us vs them” meme to deliberately thwart any collective action from the people to take power away from the corporations and put the power back to the people.

          Someone said, “Our world is not divided by race, color, gender, or religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by race, color, gender, or religion.”

          Corporations have no problem finding enough fools to create havoc in our world.

          That pretty much explains the influencers. They’re the people who control media and now many in the government. There are still some people fighting back, which is why they have resorted to using law enforcement and the threat of weapons if the people protest. Because they have no ideas to help, only a need to control.

          • A very thorough critique of the right C.A.I., thank you for sharing your thoughts.

            I don’t necessarily agree that the problems of politics is all on the conservative side, but in Australia the minor parties have been more extreme in the last 20 years, so Labor moves more to the right to attract Green Party voters, and Lib/Nats move more right to attract One Nation voters. Both the major parties almost ignore the ‘middle of the road voters’, who get disengaged.

            Not many voters bother to sort through the facts, and rely on journalism & social media that doesn’t have more depth than a headline or sound bite.

            And I agree Michael that when I refer to Labor as left, it’s relative to Aust, and similar I assume in the US. The ‘socialist’ policies of universal health care and subsidised tertiary education we don’t question in Australia (although education funding will always be challenged with a conservative government so that’s not a great example!).

            Thank you all for a civic discussion!

            • I won’t disagree that both sides create problems, but I will state with absolute certainty that, without a doubt, the right in the US hate democracy. Right now, there are hordes of righties at early election polls doing everything they can to stop people from practicing the most fundamental right of a democracy–the right to vote. You can’t say you love this country if your main objective is to destroy the fundamental right that allows it to exist.

            • Not sure if you’re going to see this, but I think it’s important to note that the conservative party and media have spent years causing mistrust. Mistrust of the government. Mistrust of people of color. Mistrust of gays. Mistrust of liberals. Mistrust of scientists, and so on. The cult has swallowed this hook, line and sinker, which is why so many buy into this QAnon.

              The irony is, is that the people who are screaming to not trust anybody, are asking the rubes to trust them on that message.

              That mistrust permeates civic discourse. A conservative tosses aside any facts that disagree with their worldview by dismissing for any reason other than an actual fact that counters it. You can’t reason with people who don’t believe in facts.

              But literally, nearly all of today’s society’s ills can be traced to conservative policies. That explanation has filled books if you care to look for them.

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