Friday, April 13, 2012
International tourists, FOX addicts and why facts can not trump beliefs
The J-O-B of a good friend places him in contact with international tourists on a daily; and he often finds himself in engaging political conversations.
As an intelligent and articulate black man, he is invariably asked by befuddled European travelers about the state of American politics. In particular, they want to know why so many white, middle-class Americans continue to vote against their own economic interest. Million dollar question.
Candidly, he explains that after a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, and GOP propaganda so-called middle America has been brainwashed to reject a middle-class agenda/platform -- they call it anti-free market socialism. That's right, these Foxoholics fervently embrace economic policies that hurt their wallet and help the one percent super-rich further loot our country in the name of capitalism.
Speaking about Foxaholics, I recently ran into a Fox junkie in a restaurant. Apparently, she and her husband had just been smoking some killer Fox rocks because they had that no one's home, glaced, wild-eyed look and they were incoherently yapping on some President Obama is the anti-Christ nonsense. Usually I just shake my head and keep it moving. This day, against my better judgement, I decided -- coyly -- to have some fun. The banter as follows:
Junkie: Obama with his spending is destroying our country. He is the worst president that we've had. He is driving up our national debt and bankrupting our country...blah blah blah...
Me: Don't you think after being handed two wars costing trillions -- which by the way Bush kept off the books which lead to a fuzzy math accounting of his true debt -- and a free falling economy, government had to spend money in order to re-boot the economy, as most economist agree. And can you explain, why do I never hear the right complain about Dick Cheney's -- remember him, he said Reagan proved the deficits don't matter -- Haliburton company being granted no bid contracts during the Iraq war and subsequently caught over billing the USA taxpayers by billions and billions of dollars?
Blank stare and silence for about 45 seconds
Junkie: His failed socialist policies are strangling our country and leading us down a path to destruction.
Me: Didn't his successful policy save the American car industry from ruins and thereby save millions of American jobs. In the waning moments of Bush's term, our economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month. Obama policies has the economy creating jobs again. And is it your desire to vote back in the same people and policies that created the mess Obama and the Democrats have been trying to fix with no help from the GOP. You and I both know the GOP is praying for this fragile recovery to fail so they can get the Mittens (Romney) back on the purse strings.
Chirping of the crickets and the ending of the conversation. They abruptly exit the bar area -- no rebuttal -- perhaps to hit some more FOX crack rocks.
Never Let Facts Get In The Way Of Beliefs
A recent poll revealed, 52% of Republicans in one southern state believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. First, nothing wrong with being Muslim. The problem is that despite Obama openly worshiping his Christian faith, the majority of southern Christians have ignored facts and formed erroneous beliefs based on bogus and often bizarre Birther like conspiracy theories.