This is a brilliant strategy: engage a red-hat-wearing Trump worshipper as a peer, talk about the class issues that they claim to be concerned about, and lead them down the path to solutions. Next thing you know, they’re agreeing that the big banks need to be broken up, the work place should be collectivized, and they’re all for seizing the means of production.
Proof that when you talk about issues from a laymen's perspective, people will agree with you even IF they claim to be conservative because it's a class issue. Many of us should take a lesson from this! Thanks to @SLCSocialist for showing me this! pic.twitter.com/QSg06FGYQb
— Jaybefaunt🏳️🌈 (@Jaybefaunt) August 21, 2022
You do have to avoid some of the buzzwords — the target would probably recoil if you whispered the word “socialism”, and for many of them, you’d have to hide the black folk, at first — but it’s an approach that might get them thinking, anyway. That’s a good first goal, to just get the wheels turning despite being crusted with Republican snot and semen.
Well class consciousness in MAGAts would seem to go hand-in-hand with a white identity politics. They may have been Democrats when the New Deal and Great Society suited them. But civil rights gains and immigration threatened their safe space.
In my youth, I was a community organizer in Philadelphia. One of my assignments was Fishtown, a poor white neighborhood. Most of the people called themselves conservative, or very conservative. But they’d say they thought the U.S. should nationalize the oil companies, that higher education should be free, all that socialist jive. But . . .
The racism was so thick you could cut it with a knife. In the next sentence they’d tell me that the biggest threat to the neighborhood was a plan to build a new high school there because that would mean the Ns would be walking through the neighborhood, and they’re all on welfare and they’re taking all the jobs and they’re going to push us into the sea . . .
That’s the problem, that’s all of the problem, there isn’t anything else.
“The American People will take Socialism, but they won’t take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to “End Poverty in California” I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.”
Upton Sinclair, Letter to Norman Thomas (25 September 1951)
PZ Myers says
I know Fishtown. One of my problems with Philadelphia was that they bragged about being a city of neighborhoods, which was true…but what it meant is that everyone was sorted by ethnicity and nationality, and woe be upon you if you were Polish and tried to buy a home in an Italian neighborhood, or were black and took a walk through Fishtown.
The suburb I lived in was Ukrainian, and the community made sure you knew it.
I don’t know what exactly is the right strategy but I know:
One, Conservatives (leaders and the followers) do not actually care about the social issues. For the leaders, the social problem of the day is simply a distraction manufactured to distract their followers from the terrible economic injustices the leaders themselves have created and have abused. For the followers, the social issues is basically a way for them to vent their misdirected anger and to assert some dominance over other people to feel temporarily good about themselves.
Two, fighting the conservatives on social issues makes their distraction more effective and actually that’s whole point of them manufacturing the said problems in the first place. They want to make it known that the other side does not actually stand for the worker class issue. And at this point of political debate, they have actually succeeded in convincing a lot of people who are less educated on politics that the Democratic party is the nutjob party who wants men to take over women’s sports and abolish the police, and on without having anyone of power in the Democratic party actually supporting these issues while the Republicans have actually people in positions of power who broadcast qanon and election fraud nonesense.
But on the other hand, letting them get away with injustices towards minorities and vulnerable people hurts actual real people so obviously we cannot not fight them.
Sir Humphrey Shows How It Is Done
(There might have been a more appropriate communism one, but I don’t recall that well)
Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says
We are symbol-mindef people.
If you want your see manipulation untempered by a written constitution, watch Britain.
(Britain actually have powerful labor unions, and now they are in a position to fight back as the lies no longer remain credible)
I’m not that hopeful for change. Conservative media just has to toot the dog whistle (CRT, her emails, death panels) and they’ll fall back in line.
@4 I’m familiar with Fishtown too. My racist asshole sibling lives there. Fits right in too.
@9 I’ve had some luck with the tax code, specifically the 2018 tax returns, the ones where a lot of people discovered, for the first time in a long time, that they weren’t getting refunds and that $12 extra in their paycheck meant owing lots of money on/before April 15, 2019. I like pointing out that their taxes went up while billionaire taxes went down. And that they should have saved that extra money from their paychecks and a whole lot more besides to pay that whopper tax bill in the spring of 2019.
Then I ask if they’re tired of winning yet.
Then I point out that all anyone had to do was throw some racism out, like chum in the shark tank, for them to vote against their best interests.
The following silence/lack of reply is always amusing, if bittersweet.
Susan Montgomery says
@6 This might apply
Jim Balter says
Sure, lots of these people share concerns and interests with us, as poll after poll has shown … but that doesn’t stop them from voting for Republicans because they don’t understand how policy relates to party, being constantly bombarded with propaganda funded by the uber wealthy.