Scapegoat The Rich
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Poverty gives rise to scapegoats.
When a nation caters to the rich, while offering the rest nothing but financial precarity, its citizens will turn on each other.
The FBI reports that hate crimes have surged to their highest level in 12 years.
Today’s New York Times reports an average day on Twitter will see 3,876 slurs against African Americans and 3,964 against gay men. In the past two weeks, Anti Semitism on the platform surged 61 percent.
It should come as no surprise that the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, finds nothing more comforting than watching the American people turn against each other on Twitter instead of against the man who owns it.
From the New Deal until Bill Clinton held office, the scapegoating battle lines had been clearly marked.
Republicans, the party of Wall Street and millionaires, deflected the real cause of poverty away from the rich and powerful by scapegoating Mexicans, immigrants, Liberals, unions and (in very hushed tones) the Jews.
Conversely, Democrats, the party of unions and the working class, blamed poverty on Wall Street greed.
It wasn’t perfect, but at least you knew which side you were on and who to scapegoat.
But then Bill Clinton became president and Democrats decided to give their fingers a rest and stop pointing at the rich and powerful.
Republicans, meanwhile, continued to scapegoat, adding more and more marginalized groups to their repertoire, and soon life was as out of balance as the ratio of what a corporate CEO makes versus his employees.
Instead of doing what they were supposed to (scapegoat the very rich), Democrats insisted rising income inequality was nobody’s fault. These new Clinton Democrats used their Ivy League educations to gloss over the immorality of corporate greed. Instead of passing judgement on the evils of union busting, they pushed their new found religion of “complexity.”
Instead of inspiring voters to hate the rich and powerful, the Clintons made the middle class and the poor feel stupid for not understanding how hard it is to navigate our new 21st Century economy.
The Clintons made voters feel childish for wanting the instant gratification of a social safety net when we lost our jobs and were starving. See: Bill Clinton’s welfare reform.
Scapegoating the greedy billionaires was no longer an option for Democrats because the party was now run by them.
Meanwhile, Americans grew poorer while Republicans scapegoated blacks, Muslims, gays and other minority groups.
Hate crimes are rising this year thanks to the Republicans.
If Democrats don’t get back into the scapegoating game, nature dictates that hate crimes against drag queens, Asians, immigrant Mexicans and Jews will increase.
I don’t blame Republicans for tricking Americans into hating each other. After all, they are just doing their job.
Democrats need to do theirs.
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