How Republicans Use Shame To Hold Their Base
Credit: Salon
July 18, 2014

Take a minute and read this article by a former Republican who, while receiving government assistance, was conditioned to hate the government.

I felt my own poverty was a moral failure. To support my feelings of inadequacy, every move I made only pushed me deeper into poverty. I bought a car and got screwed on the financing. The credit I could get, I overused and was overpriced to start with. My wife couldn’t get or keep a job, and we could not afford reliable day care in any case. I was naive, broke and uneducated but still felt entitled to a middle-class existence.

He describes how ashamed he felt of his own poverty, and how Republicans used that shame to keep him angry and part of the base.

The people who most support the Republicans and the Tea Party carry a secret burden. Many know that they are one medical emergency or broken down car away from ruin, and they blame the government. They vote against their own interests, often hurting themselves in concrete ways, in a vain attempt to deal with their own, misguided shame about being poor. They believe “freedom” is the answer, even though they live a form of wage indenture in a rigged system.

It's one of the best first-person accounts of Republicans' cynical plays on the emotions of people to serve their corporate masters that I've ever read. I've talked to many who are waking up to how they've been played, but are still too ashamed to admit it. If more spoke out, perhaps these Teabirchers would crawl back under the rock they came from.

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