DECONSTRUCTING “MOST AMERICANS THINK THE COUNTRY IS HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!”
IT’S TRUE: BUT THE LEFT AND RIGHT HAVE DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSING REASONS WHY
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. In fact, probably closer to ten thousand times depending on how much TV you watch and how often you tune into right wing radio. And it doesn’t matter if you’re watching MSNBC or Fox News, the homily “Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction” is beamed into our brains like the millions of radio, television and microwave waves that pass through our thick-skulled heads daily. And, it’s true. The vast majority of Americans do think the country is headed in the wrong direction. Poll after poll proves it.
Last Friday night while watching Bill Maher on his politically incorrect, HBO's “Real Time With Bill Maher” the issue of “the majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction” arose, again. Bill and his panelists, like most of us, accepted this statistically accurate conclusion without comment. But what is rarely discussed when “America’s Direction” is pronounced, is the reasoning that undergirds this sentiment among the American populace. And, depending on whom you’re talking to, the reasons for why people think this is true could not be more starkly different. Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Baggers and Rush Limbaugh have a long laundry list of why they think the country is in deep shit trouble ("Libruls"), while Liberals, Democrats, Progressives and Noam Chomsky have an entirely different list. It’s almost as if the two groups were living in an entirely different country. Or universe.
Generally, here’s how the left-right, liberal-conservative, Republican-Democrat breakdown sorts itself out in more or less, broad brush, philosophical terms:
But our daily lives aren't necessarily ruled directly by philosophical treatises. (Indirectly, let's say over the long term, they most certainly are, however.) We more often respond to events and actions that have an effect on our daily lives, like our jobs, or education, or wages, or racial discrimination or our personal safety.
Below are a series of charts that explore the differing views between the left and the right:
WHY PEOPLE ARE POOR:
I don't think there could be a more cogent example of the vast gulf that divides liberal and conservative views.
IMPACTS OF DISCRIMINATION:
VIEWS ABOUT FAMILY, RELIGION AND HOMOSEXUALITY:
VIEWS ABOUT U.S. FOREIGN POLICY:
Think about this chart as the Republican and Democratic campaigns for the Presidency continue on and on and on and on and what foreign policies Democrats and Republicans are proposing. There are stark differences.
VIEWS ON GLOBAL WARMING:
Well, this is no news.
VIEWS ABOUT ELECTED OFFICIALS:
Now tell me again that it's the Democrats who are being uncooperative in Congress.
ASSOCIATION WITH PEOPLE LIKE/NOT LIKE ME:
There's a hell of a lot more in the answer to that question then meets the eye. Or the ear, I suppose.
So as we struggle to change the direction of the country - righties towards authoritarianism and Fascism, lefties towards effective government and Socialism - remember that while both groups see trouble ahead, the reasons are very, very different.
Have a wonderful day!
* I am of the opinion that if all of us Liberals lived at the North Pole, we would have no difficulty pointing to the South. On the other hand, I also think that South Pole dwelling conservatives would have not a clue as to which direction is North! Just sayin'.