FOK News Channel for Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
First Guess: Lotto Nation
Video via FOK News Channel
KevJohnson72: @KeithOlbermann how come people who R not rich will never be rich R complaining about taxing the rich???????
15 Apr via UberSocial
The Republicans and Lotto Nation.
I'm Keith Olbermann in New York with the First Guess.
I got a fascinating, succinct tweet last week that may have unlocked the gist of our nonsensical politics for 2011, beautifully summed up by Clay Bennett's political cartoon of a mouse wearing a Tea Party shirt carrying a sign reading 'Support the Fat Cats'.
How come, @KevJohnson72 asked, people who are not rich, will never be rich, are complaining about taxing the rich?
That's it, isn't it? How have the Republicans, who are getting the unemployed to help them cut unemployment benefits, who are getting the underpaid to help them bust unions, who are getting those without savings to help them cut Social Security, who are getting those facing cataclysmic health problems to help them cut Medicaid and Medicare, how are the Republicans getting the principal victims of Republicanism to dig their own political graves?
The answer is startlingly simple. Those who are unwittingly collaborating with the Radical Right, those who should want the government to spend every dollar on the people who need it like themselves, those who are interested in protecting the rich are convinced - utterly, profoundly, life-alteringly convinced - that they themselves are going to be rich.
It's Lotto Nation.
It's not just that you know somebody like this, a conservative with credit card debt, possibly unemployed, smoking and drinking their way towards the hospital, screaming about socialism and Tea Parties and FOX News and Limbaugh and birth certificates, it's not if you know them, it's how many of them you know.
They do divide into two categories. The more easily led are absolutely convinced that they will win the lottery tomorrow. They could have played it a thousand days in a row and not even won a free second Lotto card, and yet they remain convinced. They literally believe money will fall from the sky and they will be rich and they will be damned if they'll let the socialists take that money they don't have, and are never gonna get.
The other kind is more reasonable, but only slightly. This self-defeating conservative may cling to his Lotto ticket, but he's just as likely to believe he will move up per the American Dream scenario that has been drummed into his head since childhood. He is better than those around him, he knows, and he will someday take over his gas station or law office and will then open a chain of them, and eventually get a reality television show or at least a guest shot on Undercover Boss. And he'll be damned if he'll let the socialists take the money he doesn't have and is never gonna get!
This kind represents the real tragedy. He is the hardworking, generally benign conservative who thinks the system should be designed only to keep money out of the hands of the lazy and slothful. It has not occurred to him, for he has blinded himself, to the reality that the politicians who he supports are there to make sure that even conservatives in the middle and lower classes cannot break through to higher ground and greater income.
And if he does have the insight to see the repression that the Republicans are building, ever more suffocatingly, into the system with each passing year, he blames it not on them but on scapegoats. The government is giving too much money to those lazy and slothful people. This inspires, or unleashes, his fear and hatred of immigrants and minorities - and African-American Presidents - and anybody else who he thinks is getting his money. If it weren't for the nanny state, he concludes, there'd be less taxes for him and more money for small businessmen like him. And when he thinks small businessman, he means working the overnight shift at the gas station. Or the law firm.
Anybody, talented or not, can become a multimillionaire in America, he has decided, and it's hard to argue that point with him. I mean, look at Glenn Beck! That taxes and government are designed to always keep the carrot in front of him just out of his reach, just out of the welfare recipient's reach, just out of the immigrant's reach - this has not and perhaps cannot occur to him.
Just remember, when you get the new spam email from the, quote, 'Federal Bureau of Investigation', the one that reads 'It is obvious that you have not received your fund, which is to the tune of $4.6 million due to past corrupt government officials who always almost held the fund to themselves, for their selfish reason, and taken advantage of your fund, all in attempt to swindle your fund, which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund -'
when you get that spam, somebody somewhere is reading the same one right now and thinking: I knew Obama had my millions!
So why do the conservative mice go to their economic deaths defending the conservative fat cats? Because either they do not know that they are mice, or they have been convinced, or they have convinced themselves, that they will someday become... cats.
See you late spring.