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Saturday, March 9, 2013

47 Percented: They Do Not Represent

Mitt Romney, speaking Truth to Power

This last week, everyone was abuzz over the findings of University of Michigan graduate students David Broockman and Christopher Skovron. What they charted out was the gap between what politicians perceive as their constituents' politics (leaning conservative), and what their actual inclinations are (leaning liberal.) OK, not everyone.

Basically, the blogs were abuzz.

I Googled around for awhile, and the closest I could come to "mainstream media" coverage was on the "Opinion" sections or blogs of newspapers, like The Washington Post's WonkBlog.

Can't have everything, I guess.

David Sirota:
...Citing “Richard Nixon’s pronouncement that a ‘silent majority’ of Americans backed his policies” and “Sarah Palin’s suggestion that a latent ‘real America’ supported her,” the researchers correctly note that there remains “a folk theory among conservative politicians that the American public is considerably more conservative than it seems at face value.” This theory is undoubtedly fueled by a Fox News-ified media that pushes such inaccurate fables.

That said, the persistence of fairy tales cannot explain the entire phenomenon. There is also the fact that in the age of money-dominated politics, many professional lawmakers do not come from the ranks of the commoner—instead, more and more are wealthy upper-crusters whose cloistered upbringing inside gated communities leaves them wholly unfamiliar with their constituencies.

Such isolation is then exacerbated during their time in office. Ensconced in a bubble of conservative-minded corporate lobbyists and mega-donors, they come to wrongly assume that what passes for a mainstream position in that bubble somehow represents a consensus position in the larger world...
Sirota is being kind. I know from personal experience (and I offer the infamous "47 percent" video above as evidence), that this class of "wealthy upper-crusters" (and their fawning supporters in the American bourgeoisie) are not particularly concerned with the views of their constituents at all. They may be marginally concerned about how their brand comes off, insofar as the vote still has some lingering influence on power in this country - even as it arguably dwindles - but they don't care one bit about how the unwashed masses feel about policy.

The reason is pretty obvious, but the obvious is too little spoken anymore, so I'll indulge in it here. Anytime someone's humanistic views clash with the imperatives of the cold hard cash, they are immediately consigned to the irrelevancy of the "great unwashed," the irresponsible, the "takers."

Far from being delusional or misinformed about the opinions of the majority of their constituents, these people are virulently anti-democratic and believe that "democracy" should only be extended to those folk who understand what really matters. It is Jim Crow philosophy writ large. Now, probably within the Vern diagram that filters in the views of the "voters that matter" to these "people that matter" (those of us who are capitulated to the capitalist paradigm and do our productive diligence) there still persists a biased misperception of just how much greed these folk countenance, but let's not kid ourselves.

They really don't give a fuck and they'll game this system in any way they can to keep us from taking care of each other. Taking care of each other well, I mean.

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