If it was a Hollywood script, you might be raising an eyebrow if you read the plot summary that explained the poor in the movie, will play the part of the of biggest supporters of the most well to do’s in this society! How could it be possible that the biggest cheerleaders for the rich and well–to-do, be the poor and disenfranchised? Joe and Mary, working two jobs and asking neighbors for help with day care, are the ones that think the current 1% rich and getting richer are over taxed! And that anyone who isn’t trying to get ahead is just a lazy bum who needs tossed off welfare!
For those who ever doubted that mass marketing your political philosophy with twenty-four hour news bobble head blither blathering doesn’t have an effect on the overall American psyche, think again. Building on the number-one tenet of the American Dream that we all have a shot at becoming rich and famous no matter who we are in this country, you quickly begin to understand why taxing the rich is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater by the poor and getting poorer. After all, if the dream worked for them, you and I still have a chance to make it too, right? God forbid we should get there and be taxed right back into poverty! Besides, we need heroes and in a capitalistic society and who makes a better hero than a self made man? Pulitzer? JP Morgan?
Despite the fact there are small pockets of protesters all over America upset over the imbalances of our system, the basic idea that we all still have a chance, holds as tight as superglue in our collective American cultural minds. Even though mortgages are being foreclosed at astonishing rates and that bankruptcies are at an all time high, there is no public sentiment to raise the taxes on any corporations or people who are considered the rich!
The secret behind keeping the poor feeling as if they have chance is to encourage them to use their guts to think and not their heads. You don’t have to be a college graduate to use your gut to figure out what is wrong with this country, the news/personal opinion/sitting on a couch looking like your best friend bubblehead TV Commenters explains. Anyone can do it. This thinking system allows one to actually believe a Larry the Cable guy type politician is as qualified as any Yale graduate in finances to run the country. Or that a Herman Cain, who has settled sexual abuse cases with actual payments to women he groped, is a viable candidate in a general election! By some accounts, the sexual abuse issues have increased his standings in the polls.
Gut thinking will also allow us to accept those candidates who support women staying in the kitchen, not the boardroom, as well as to excuse those who while campaigning can’t even remember their campaign proposals! One might be able to dismiss a candidate’s promises easier if he gets elected and forgets what he said doing campaigning, especially if he forgot the same while he was actually campaigning!
The battle between head and belly thinking in American is a discussion we will reserve for an upcoming series of blogs here in the Time Pieces. But suffice to say gut reactions are seldom based on fact, and when pure emotion is our guiding star we always go wrong!
As I write this, protesters are being forcibly ejected from parks all around the major cities of America for protesting policy and the way the American Dream has played out for them. Discovering that one’s right to free assembly has limits is just the first step in awaking from an American Dream. A lot of us are now realizing it is not a one size fits all Dream anymore, but then again it never was. Unless we were using out guts and not our heads to better understand what living in America is all about!