Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Very Uncomfortable Truth

I've often heard folks ask the question "Why do Americans vote against their own interest?".  On the surface it seems like a legitimate question.  American voters tend to consistently vote against their own well being.  They seem almost eager to shoot themselves in the foot and employ politicians who couldn't care less about their needs.  Even when it's obvious that the policies and positions many politicians hold are detrimental to them, by and large American voters still eagerly and often aggressively support those who basically care nothing for them. 

Now the prevailing mindset is that many American voters are simply ignorant.  I admit there is some truth to that statement.  Many Americans are clueless as to how government works. Few take the time to examine the platforms and history of the candidates they support.  Few research.  Many simply vote down party lines. They subscribe to partisan rhetoric and nonsense and eagerly carry water for their party of choice.  So it's easy to see how people arrive at solely at ignorance.

Lately though I've been thinking.  I have a additional theory.  One that leads me to a very uncomfortable truth.  I submit that many Americans AREN'T voting against their own interest.  That many of them are aware of exactly what they are doing.  That many of them go in with eyes wide open when they place certain individuals into positions of power.  It doesn't make sense until you consider one simple truth: That many Americans are completely invested in systemic white supremacy and that is where their interests lie.

Think about it for a moment.  It's often why many Americans vote the way they do.  It's why they gleefully vote for individuals who wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire.  Many Americans seem more than willing(almost eager) to suffer if it means marginalized people will suffer more.  It's why despite struggling they'll vote for politicians who consistently rob the poor and give to the rich.  It's why they vote for politicians who wipe their asses with the Constitution and consistently violate their rights. They'll gladly give up every right they possess if it means marginalized people remain subjugated.  As long as they have someone to look down on they can feel good about themselves.  They are voting for systemic white supremacy...and they know it.

They aren't voting for equal opportunity.  They aren't voting for clean air or water.  They aren't voting for education.  They aren't voting to keep our streets safe.  They are voting for systemic white supremacy. It's why they'll support a politician who cuts funding for public assistance but supports using tax dollars for a border wall.  It's why on one hand they'll claim they support religious freedom and in the next breath support a ban on Muslims.  It's why they claim to resist government tyranny but applaud (or look for excuses) when agents of the state kill innocent Black civilians.  They are voting for the bigotry that exists in their hearts, made manifest in government.

Lyndon Johnson said that "if you can convince the cheapest white man that he's better than the best Black man he wont notice you picking his pocket.  In fact, give him someone to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you".  It was true then, it's true now.  Many Americans aren't voting against their interests.  They know what they want and they are willing to suffer to get it.  Sisters and brothers, that should disturb every last one of us.  Thanks for reading

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