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Date: 2024-05-21 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00023844
US POLITICS
POLITICAL PARTY LEADERSHIP IS 'OUT TO LUNCH'

Two Major Republican Scams Progressives Inexplicably Refuse to Expose ... Republican America is far poorer and more dangerous than Democrat America. Why do progressives help right-wingers sell brazen lies?


Bob Glennan • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) • Flickr

Original article:
Peter Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
Two Major Republican Scams Progressives Inexplicably Refuse to Expose

Republican America is far poorer and more dangerous than Democrat America. Why do progressives help right-wingers sell brazen lies?

Written by Mike Males

DEC 28, 2022

Republican and Democrat America live under very different conditions. The economic and social disparities are stark and growing between the 1,572 mostly-rural counties Republicans rule at local and state levels versus the 229 mostly-urban counties Democrats govern.

Table 1. 2020 disparities between Democrat and Republican America


Sources: Internal Revenue Service (2022); Centers for Disease Control (2022); Census (2020).



Figure 1. Per-capita income trends, 1990-2020

Republican America is like a second-world country. Democratic areas are a first-world state. In between lie 1,312 counties with 149 million people under mixed-party rule.

Right away, a paradox appears. Republican areas are Whiter and older than Democratic areas, and older Whites are America’s richest demographic – one whose wealth should insulate them against violent outcomes like homicide, shootings, and overdose. How, then, does Red America manage to be so much poorer and more lethal, especially for older Whites, than Blue America?

It takes real effort. The White personal income disparity is so large – $58,100 in Democratic areas, $35,700 in Republican areas – that it can only result from liberal, immigrant, urban, anti-White-Christian conspiracies. White economic failings, like the famous circular firing squad, drive the enraged victimization narrative that drives far-right voting that keeps them poor.

In election after election, Republican voters persist in empowering corrupt, incompetent idealogues who siphon local resources to remote, wealthy interests and enact bizarrely dangerous policies. As I documented using my hometown of Antlers, Oklahoma, as an example, the poorer, more dangerous, and devastated Republican areas get under unitary Republican rule, the more heavily they vote Republican.

While repeated analyses conclude that it is “Republican policies” that make their areas impoverished and deadly, they fail to hold Republican voters accountable for choosing those policy-makers. The reality of Republican destructiveness is obscured by heavily-funded right-wing media.

Bizarrely, some calling themselves liberals adopt a blame-both-sides framework that depicts White working-class and rural Republicans as victimized like constituencies of Color. Clearly, there is a world of difference between the poverty, disadvantage, and attendant dangers forced on America’s black, brown, and younger populations by systemic racism and oppression versus the self-imposed hardships right-wing Americans force on themselves by empowering demagogues.

What can liberals do about this? Metropolitan taxpayers (Democrat areas pay 30% more federal and 57% more state/local taxes and 38% more charitable donations than their populations’ share warrants) should be informed as to how much they are subsidizing the dangerous antics of Republicans (whose taxpayers pay 27% less federal and 45% less state/local taxes and make 26% fewer charitable donations than their populations should be contributing).

Progressive policies affirming inclusiveness and social safety nets – though still with a long way to go to achieve the equality and security they promise – work far better to improve human economic and social conditions than do reactionary lashings founded in hatred and paranoia. That fact, easily documentable and visible on the ground, needs relentless liberal/left publicizing.

Republican leaders and media commentators deplore welfare recipients and constantly ridicule “liberal-run cities” but never mention that Red America is grossly dependent on Blue cities for its welfare.

It is long past time for the liberal-left to stop aping right-wing media’s false narratives distorting Democratic cities and vital constituencies like young people. Atlantic Magazine exemplifies self-destructive progressive stupidity and moralizing, and it is not alone.

Blue America is leaving Red America in the dust. Increasingly frantic Republican conspiracies, lies, and threats show today’s right wing knows it – just like the Antebellum South.

MIKE MALES Mike Males, UC Irvine social ecology Ph.D. graduate, is senior researcher for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and co-founder of YouthFacts.org.

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