When I was a kid and a young adult in the 1960s and 1970s (even into the 1980s), my grandparents in rural northern Texas loved Roosevelt, FDR, that is. Heck, everyone of that generation did. They praised him because he took care of them and saved them from the clutches of those awful Republican businessmen (who were out to steal their land — often to sell it to the railroad or some mysterious bogeyman — and take their money). The Republicans had who had started the Depression after all. Or so they thought. Those small towns and counties and others like them throughout the South and rural West voted Democrat as sure as the sun was going to come up, decade after decade. If Satan had run as a Democrat, it’d be Mayor Satan.
Then they’d sit around the table and wonder why Washington couldn’t (magically) solve their problems. Yet, strangely, often they’d sound Republican, complaining about high taxes, big government, stupid policies, regulations and powerful bureaucrats controlling their lives… “Those ‘fellers’ in Washington,” simply didn’t understand, they’d complain. If only Roosevelt were back, he’d fix things right.
That Roosevelt had fixed nothing (arguably made things worse) was a proposition that could not enter their minds. They simply recalled things like getting electricity or telephone service “out to the farm” during his administration (technically it was probably late Hoover but…), a highway finally got paved (though most of the farm roads were still dirt roads) or often-unemployed Uncle Harry had joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and wrote them about it from Idaho. At least he wasn’t bumming around any longer… And even if not everything had been fixed, well, at least Roosevelt put the businessmen in their place and made them poor too. And there wasn’t a Republican in sight.
Then World War II came along and everything changed for those communities. All the kids and younger men “went off to war.” Most didn’t come back but resettled in a city somewhere. But the important thing was that Roosevelt won the war (and died for it) and prosperity came. See, his plan had worked, despite Republican machinations.They were pro-Nazi, in case you hadn’t heard.
For the most part, however, these people simply wanted to be left alone to get on with their lives and dealings. Roosevelt had done that too. It was the Republicans who were for the regulations or rigging the market that would “cheat” a farmer out of his profit or take money from a “widow woman and her children.”
There was an immutability about this world view.
I remember one time, in the early 1980s, when I had graduated from the kiddies’ area to floating on the periphery of the grown-ups table, pointing out that some bugaboo they were on about was actually a “Democrat” proposal. Needless to say, I never made that point again (and beat a retreat to the outdoors to play with my cousins). One grandmother was completely convinced for years that Reagan was going to raise “the taxes.” That’s what Republicans did to the little man. Then they were going to give that money to the rich people, bankers and their businessmen cronies. That’s how those folks got rich. She had seen it “on Dan Rather.” They religiously followed the TV news, Cronkite, then Rather. It was Gospel.
Roosevelt, and therefore Democrats, were always good and Republicans were always bad — that could never change no matter how much my elders and their neighbors actually sounded like Republicans in their day to day conversations. It was my first real collision with political reality.
It should be noted that as they passed on, bless their well-meaning hearts, those areas have turned and are now solidly Republican.
I bring this up because for many, perception is reality. Most voters really don’t dig into issues, no matter how much they think they are “informed.” Their knowledge comes from their “education” (controlled by Democrats — education unions and the hard left college professoriate), reinforced by the pop culture they read about in newspapers and books, see on TV or in movies (again, controlled by Democrats). They are marinated in this, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year: Republicans and anyone who follows them, e.g. “Big Business,” are bad, mean, stupid, evil, selfish, greedy, uncaring… You don’t want to be any of those things, do you? While Democrats and their supporters, on the other hand, are good and they care about you.
That’s all you need to know.
So it should be no surprise now that someone like Obama can get elected and reelected. He cares about you and works hard for you. He said so himself and so did the paper, CNN, Charlie Rose, Katie Couric, etc.
It should be no surprise that someone like Hillary Clinton (or most any other Democrat) manages to survive, even thrive and get rich despite manifest crimes and shocking incompetence. They aren’t Republicans and she says that she cares. That’s all you need to know.
No one should be surprised that so many, especially younger people, have become accustomed to being taken care of, for their whole lives. They are used to “free” things (Mom and Dad paid for it) like Obamacare, soon-to-be-expunged student loans and easy-term “federally-guaranteed” loans and mortgages. They think that big government will make everything right and even tuck them in at night and look under the bed for monsters. And someone else will pay for it, too!
As of late we seem to have entered a new round of this “Roosevelting” of the populace. We have a generation or more of youth entering adulthood and young adults who are bat-poo crazy, if the campus turmoil is any indication.
These people have grown up in the lap of luxury: fed a plentiful diet while living in quarters unseen for 99.9999% of mankind’s history; entertained as if they were Roman emperors; required to do nothing to support themselves; had no expectations expected of them; doted upon incessantly and indulged on most every (childish) whim; basically treated as minor deities all of their young lives. And, yet, somehow, they have convinced themselves that they are “victims;” put upon by vast, dark and unseen racist, sexist, classist forces; afflicted with horrific conditions (physical and mental); or forced to buy defective or dangerous products; eat poisoned food; breathe poisoned air; live in poisoned environments; etc. Every living moment presents dangerous, existential threats to them they are taught to believe.
How is this so?
Look at how they were educated from their first moments of sentience. They are bathed every second of their waking lives in an unending agitprop from newspapers, magazines, books, TV and movies (many songs too), community leaders, politicians and teachers at all levels telling them how awful things are; how so many people are trying to ruin them; how awful and illegitimate the past is; and how life itself is an omnipresent threat to their well-being. Few dare tell them otherwise (not that they would ever see such counters or understand them). They are told how special and smart they are and no one dares tell them otherwise lest they hurt their feelings. Every adult they encounter (like college administrators) bows to them as if they were potentates.
They are encouraged to express themselves, often in dramatic (even histrionic), emotional terms because emotions are considered to be more legitimate and “real” than anything else. They are told that everything they think and know is right and good while anyone who disagrees with them or has a different opinion is wrong, bad, bigoted and possibly dangerous to them. Such people might need to be avoided, exiled, reeducated or destroyed they, not surprisingly, reason.
They are told that most all businesses are bad, act illegally, cheat people, foul the environment, steal from others (including the government), endanger and underpay workers, sell dangerous products or services and are a threat to all that is good. They are told that people who are successful have succeeded by ill means and on the backs of others (including you!). There has never been a good business of any size above a few employees. These people and their businesses must be regulated, taxed, run out of business and have everything taken from them and given to others, allegedly more deserving. The only hope for businesses is to succumb to liberal governance, make little or no profit, hire only liberals and give money to, devote resources to and support only liberal causes. Then they can be part of an economic public-private partnership — and be guaranteed approved business while competitors justly feel the wrath of public and government disapproval and regulatory constriction.
They have grown up in a world where increasingly everything is to be politicized — either changed, banned or redeployed as a weapon to propagandize and remake society from its abominable past and flawed present into a perfect future society. A world where everything and every moment of life needs to be regulated or monitored for deviations from liberal orthodoxy (AKA all that is good).
They are told that all who came before them were flawed and imperfect, if not downright evil. Prime example — the United States. There are few lessons to be learned from the past. They were all racists, sexists, genderists, classists and are against so many things now seen as good by the important people of today. The past needs to be rewritten or disposed of.
They are never encouraged to sacrifice or act modestly, humbly. Those are ideas and behaviors, with a hint of religion around them, from the past (and the past is bad). The past can never be innocent, it must be tried and convicted. If it feels good it must be right is the new motto.
And there are many of those racists, sexists, genderists, classists still around and they need to be defeated, exiled, reeducated or simply destroyed. Their mere existence is an affront to all that is good and wonderful and hinders the coming of the utopian future that can only be inhabited by the young ones — because they are the only pure ones. There is no room for intellectual or personal miscegenation in the future.
This is their world view. It has become their religion (existent religions being one of those bad things from the past that must be disposed of). Is it any wonder that they turned out the way the did. Give a small, ignorant child a loaded gun and guaranteed that someone is going to get hurt.
So now we find ourselves entering some sort of “Lord of the Flies”-style world with liberals occupying the capricious leadership, constantly “saving” us from “The Beast” while eliminating those who do not subscribe to the prevailing groupthink, and all the rest of us are Piggy, Simon, Sam, Eric and the littluns. Of course that story had a happy ending. I’m not so sure ours will.