The Racial/Ideological Divide in these Dis-United States
Countless times, I hear WDEL's conservative talk-show host Rick Jensen argue with an African-American caller (and progressive Whites too) about the dangers of big government. Rick will often frame his arguments in terms of civil liberties and freedoms.
Countless times, I hear that caller spurn Rick's arguments, and then Rick becomes increasingly agitated that the caller isn't giving Rick's arguments thoughtful consideration. Ultimately, it comes down to this: While the caller may not implicitly trust government at all times, the caller certainly would trust government over business. And certainly trust government way over folks who idolize the 2nd Amendment and talk about states' rights all the time.
For Republicans worried about how long-term demographic trends spell curtains to the G.O.P., it becomes a vicious circle: Some (not all) in the party seek more racial & ethnic diversity, but non-white Americans see an overwhelmingly majority white, anti-big-government party. Indeed, all the talk on the Right about "losing America" is often seen as a racial code-word.
Consider this column from The NEW YORK TIMES on liberal cities attempting to implement parts of the progressive agenda stymied in Congress and in many state capitols..
As this column notes, the more affluent folks and corporations can vote with their feet, and it's an open question whether vastly poorer cities can successfully follow the templates of New York City, Seattle, or even Pittsburgh. Of what relevance is any of this for Camden, New Jersey (a shooting gallery, despite the presence of Campbell Soup; Rutgers-Camden, & Riverfront attractions); East St. Louis, Illinois; Gary Indiana; Oakland, California, or even Wilmington or Dover?
"Countless times" Loudell listens to right-wing Jensen, but claims not to be right-wing, himself.
As an executive, he has filled the local airwaves with right-wingers Limbaugh, Gallagher and Watson - never a progressive host - but claims not to be right-wing himself.
He posts snippets of right-wing opinion here but claims not to be right-wing himself.
Funny thing about right-wingers: Their opinions are "news." Other opinions are "bias."
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 8:00am
Let's be clear, Bill. This is getting very old.
I listen to Rick and I listen to Al Mascitti, just as I try to hear all our programming here on WDEL (when I'm not on the phone myself).
Too bad you don't know anyone at WDEL who could recount the battles I have with Rick off-air daily. That's right. Daily.
And I'm actually to the Left of Al on certain issues: For example, I'm an anti-capital-punishment absolutist, he's not.
My views span the ideological spectrum, but on a number of issues I am MUCH more Left, progressive, than you.
And to repeat something I've said before: I don't agree with ANY talk show host anywhere in America more than 30 or 40% of the time, and I leave the top of the ballot blank - when voting - because my views on major issues don't fit the construct of ANY political party in this country.
Bt the way, talk about the pot calling the kettle black: In your remarks in a previous blog, you used the Rushism, "feminazi". A detestable word both demeaning to feminists and making light of the racist evils of Nazism.
I actually agree with your last statement.
Now perhaps we could return to the main points in this Op-Ed.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 8:58am
Have to agree with Allan. It is old, and it is very far from reality.
Especially Bill's missing that the Al (Mascitti) anchors the entire morning show.... such a criticism as that made by Bill, is just flat, and somewhat embarrassing to listen to. We squirm in our seats as we feel sorry for the person making such a gaffe'd filled statement.
That's now behind us...
As someone who does listen to all in the daily lineup, I would have to agree with Allan on both Rick's take and the callers who call in. That is an accurate description of at least what we hear on the receiving end of the wavelength...
I would like to jump up off that, up to the next level. I am seeing something different and this comes from the perspective of viewing the economic downturn in 2009 and the rebuilding of a different-layered society ever after.
My theory is that the underlying cause is economic, and is based on the comfortability one has with one's position of wealth... I believe that are substituting the tools of race to express our frustration, because right now, it just isn't cool to attack wealth itself, but that is changing.
Case in point: 2011 when the tea party formed on the Mall, there were no police to be seen... But when Occupy gathered on the Mall, perhaps thousands of riot police formed up in 3rd-World fashion, snipers positioned openly on the building tops, water cannons parked behind the police lines, and helicopters (3) constantly hovered with open machine guns five hundred feet over the crowd. If any of you have been around a lot of helicopters at once (Mike on Guam?), you know how that ratchets-up tension and makes everyone jumpy.
Both groups are non-violent American Citizens. Ironically, it is the Tea Party which openly expresses violence, vigilantes, armed overthrow, and making your point with a (def. not a well-formed as in Bundy) militia. Point is: belonging to one is much cooler to our mainstream society than being part of the other... Since one can't say: GO OCCUPY, YEA UNIONS and outwardly support them and still have a job-future in corporate America, one tends to use race as a disguise to cover it.... +Dam* ______ People!" the blank filled in appropriately depending on which economic side of wealth one is on.
This is why there appeared so little outwardly racism in Clinton's time, and it is much more open, especially on the right, today with an Afro-American president. Setting up the paradox -- that we can't be a racist country because we have a majority elected minority as our head officer -- but we can't do anything because of insane gridlock in the House, that seems totally fueled by racism. No one would use economics to say: "Our goal is to make this guy a one-term president." Yet. if one looks at the 2012 race, it was the pitting of two large sources of cash against each other! The 1% versus the 99%... a few large contributions against literally tens of millions of small ones.
Oddly, many of those today who use the term "liberals" as a derogatory term are really calling out Afro-Americans and those who support them. It seems to be on track of becoming a substitute racist term, without officially yet being a racist term. Listening to the callers and Rick in the afternoon, one could easily substitute their word Liberal, bile dripping off its end, with any perjorative term used against any race in our nation's history... I've heard the same sentences, and expressions behind them used against Italians, for heaven's sakes...
To finish, the in practical term, racism is still vibrant. That is what you hear. But in our daily lives we don't really live that way, nor do we act that way at work for the most part. As a society, outside of all this divisive political mustering, we really don't care about a person's skin color anymore... Yes, some still may, but out of 315-million people, it is a very small percentage... I guess the real test is that if someone were going to save you $20 on your monthly cable bill, would you turn them down flat based only on the color of their skin? If you were a true racists, you would. At points past in our history, that is exactly what would have happened. I don't see much of that going on in this country at all....
I think that if you fixed the disparity of wealth, so that all races had equal access and ability to do well, or even just equal hope of someday reaching the top in any other fashion than just winning the lottery... much of the racism we see today would become invisible. I argue it is primarily a manifestation, or diversion of our real anger and frustration, which is primarily economic, and is not based on a submicroscopic gene that produces color in one's skin.....
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 9:29am
”…A lot of questions marks. These include:
Will tighter restrictions on police lead to higher rates of crime?
Will increasing benefits for the poor draw more people seeking those benefits?
Does expanding housing for the homeless increase the homeless population?
At what point do redistributive initiatives drive out affluent taxpayers?
How many corner stores and other borderline businesses reach a breaking point when forced by new regulations to not only raise wages, but to grant employee sick leave and other city-mandated benefits?
Can the new progressive mayors lay the groundwork for a national agenda, or will bold and innovative policy experiments that privilege New York and Seattle fail their disadvantaged cousins like Stockton, Detroit, Buffalo and Baltimore? ”
As you know, I am not a fan of Big Government/Progressives (I also don’t trust Big Business), but Big Business still isn’t as powerful as the Federal Government and its powerful alphabet soup of agencies (especially the IRS). A recent poll stated that Millennials also have huge “trust issues” with Big Government.
New York City (and the other Big Progressive cities) are headed FFWD towards Detroit if they follow the same policies the Motor City embraced years before “her” demise. Even the “elite” eventually get tired of high taxes and high crime. The list of questions above seems to support/predict my opinion/prediction for NYC and the other Big Prog cities.
I agree with Mr. Loudell that the G.O.P. is facing extinction unless they wisen up and “open the fold” to Libertarians, Tea Partiers, and diverse groups of individuals…our country is supposed to be a Melting Pot right?
Kavips: I agree with you on the improper usage of the word Liberal and its use as a derogatory term/verbal weapon by “right-wingers”... I'm not sure that it's racist, but it does sound hateful of all who disagree with their views/beliefs.
BTW, today’s “Liberal” is not the same as a “classic Liberal”…Classic Liberals want smaller government and more freedom. I have a lot in common with my friends who are “classic liberals” but don’t have have a lot of political "common ground" with my Progressive Democrat/Republican friends.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 10:09am
Earl. Good distinction on the differences between classic liberals and progressive liberals.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 10:27am
Kavips said, "Case in point: 2011 when the tea party formed on the Mall, there were no police to be seen... But when Occupy gathered on the Mall, perhaps thousands of riot police formed up in 3rd-World fashion, snipers positioned openly on the building tops, water cannons parked behind the police lines, and helicopters (3) constantly hovered with open machine guns five hundred feet over the crowd. If any of you have been around a lot of helicopters at once (Mike on Guam?), you know how that ratchets-up tension and makes everyone jumpy."
I definitely can agree with that.
Kavips also said, "Listening to the callers and Rick in the afternoon, one could easily substitute their word Liberal, bile dripping off its end, with any perjorative term used against any race in our nation's history... I've heard the same sentences, and expressions behind them used against Italians, for heaven's sakes..."
It's one of the reasons I do not listen to Rick Jensen's show; his snide sneering-sounding voice gets old for my ears very quickly.
I don't believe Rick uses the word Liberal as a code-word for race [the few times I've tried to listen], but rather against anything that doesn't fit his ultra-right-wing mindset of how the world should be. Sadly, Jensen would rather impale himself than upset his G.O.P./TEA pals as he and they believe and preach: all things DEM bad; all things G.O.P./TEA good. That is essentially his mindset, just like Rush/Beck/Hannity; they've just got larger audiences. But I have never gotten the feeling that Jensen is a racist; but then again, I don't listen that often to his show and could be wrong.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 10:40am
Personally, Rick is a decent, sincere fellow; he'd give you the shirt off his back.
And he's been involved with inner-city projects. It's just that he truly has this animus to more government regulation, programs, etc.
But may we return to the central thesis of the article above?
That urban folks - particularly minorities - believe in the virtues of government and income redistribution, and that's why the G.O.P. is doomed to failure in efforts to broaden its racial/ethnic/religious diversity?
(To Mr. Grey, the G.O.P. establishment certainly doesn't cure its diversity program by embracing libertarians, Tea Partiers, etc. Those people too are disproportionately white and in the country's interior and south. Yes, you have some younger people who embrace libertarianism - Rand Paul - so the libertarians may lower the age demographics. But from my observations, the libertarians are still disproportionately white males, albeit better-educated, but not women, not minorities.)
Of course, it doesn't help when some G.O.P. party chair or activist in the hinterland does something blatantly racist.
Some conservatives believe sincerely (others, cynically) that absent government regulation, everyone in America has a chance to succeed, sometimes spectacularly.
Many others believe, in such a system, the already rich would exert even greater control. Furthermore, big government is needed to check the excesses of big businesses.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 11:41am
You're right about the G.O.P. establishment being unable to cure their diversity by embracing the Libertarians and Tea Party... if the G.O.P. establishment-types embrace these groups they would probably lose their positions of power. I also believe you are probably correct about the demographics for a typical Libertarian.
Maybe the Delaware Tea Party is majority white...but, many Tea Party candidates/supporters around the country represent a very diverse group of individuals and backgrounds. The current G.O.P. sure doesn't reflect the demographics of our nation.
I agree with your opinion that Big Government is needed to keep Big Business in check...BUT, the number of new regulations over the past 5 years is astronomical/crippling for almost all industries.
We also need a free press to help keep Big Government in check (gatekeepers)...I just heard an interview with Sharyl Attkisson this morning and she reports this current Big Govt has been anything but honest about Benghazi.
Mr. Loudell: It would be awesome if you could track Attkisson down for an interview...
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 1:31pm
Still getting blocked trying to send an e-mail via Ms. Atkkisson's website (at least, the only one I can find).
Try yourself. If you use your search engine for Sharyl Attkisson and "contact".
(Since she's working on a book just now, perhaps she's intentionally blocking unsolicited e-mails right now.)
I don't know how else to reach her...
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 1:55pm
Hmm.. doesn't she have a blog? Try inserting it into the comments. I would think she would have a blog, at least now, that she is independent...
I would agree that some Tea Partiers are people of color, particularly in the rural South. And I'm sure they get called Uncle Tom's by those making less than they do...
As you probably have heard, the minimum wage increase was killed in the Senate today. I believe 54-to-42... Very interestingly, the only Republican voting for raising the wages to $10.10 was Republican Tennessee Bob Corker... who is in hot water over the unionization of the Volkswagen plant. Looks like he has changed his perspective on labor. Could be some very interesting dynamics taking place in Tennessee we don't yet know about... This session just completely trashed all school reform bills brought before it, I know... Things like more charters, vouchers, no unions, Common Core, stripping teachers' certifications based on test results, all pushed by the top leaders, fell flat in a mostly Republican House and Senate.
Just mentioned that, because that was something very unexpected... One would have assumed, based on his previous words and actions, that he would have religiously followed the Republican Party....
But that said, I wonder if Republicans have amnesia and have forgotten mid-term election are now only half a year away? I can't see how anyone could vote Republican when reminded that Republicans voted to keep minimum wage at its 2009 level; they voted to keep tipped wages at their 1991 levels; and they voted not to allow a majority vote on this topic, knowing well that the majority of votes would have carried it. It was filibustered.
All someone has to say is "remember they voted to keep wages down at 2009 levels" and any undecided voter, even if sympathetic to Republican values, instantly gets switched to Democratic.
Like what on earth are they thinking?
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 2:03pm
And Mike, echoing Allan who got to it before I did, you particularly, being a talk--news guy yourself, should know that radio is entertainment and one gets hired for playing a role, and like any actor, it might not be who they really are. I've seen Rick outside the studio, and Allan's description is pretty accurate. If you met him in person first, then listened to him on the radio, you would swear someone was pulling your leg in saying he was the same guy.
So I think it would be fair that if you are going to bash the character, make sure all know it is the type of character being bashed, and not the person playing the role.
We tried pinning Ronald Reagan to "Bedtime for Bonzo" back in 1980 and that didn't work either... lol...
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 2:09pm
Mr. Loudell: I sent her an email...it didn't block me but I don't know if she reads all her unknown e-mailers. If I were her I'd be quite skeptical of all e-mails after her computers were hacked.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 2:27pm
Anyways that is not what I came to mention. As you may know above I made the argument that the division of this nation is between the 1% and the 99%... I think that can be refined down further. To this:... capital gains versus labor... This division is non partisan and depends upon where one is employed. Most of those in the top 1% do receive capital based income. And some in the 99% also receive capital income or are employed by those who do.
This distinction finally explains the deaf ear that investors have shown to arguments that increasing demand by raising wages, is good for the overall economy. It may be, but they thrive off of the rise and fall of stocks, so what the economy does or doesn't do, is really secondary to them.
Allan has often expressed wonder in his time slot over how bad economic news sends stock prices soaring, and how good economic news drops their value like a rock. Of course it makes sense once you understand the inner workings of finance and the "why" behind the higher prices of stocks... But to the average person, good economic news is good, and bad economic news is bad, because he derives his business and income from the economy .... If there will be more business, that is good. If there will be less business activity, that is bad.
Point is, the real divide in America, and it is reflected across the board, is the difference between those who earn capital gains, and those who get paid in wages for earning a living.
From the 30's to the 000's, the deck was stacked towards those earning a living. Since 2000 up through today though, it is stacked toward the accumulation of capital gains...
We need to shift the focus back.. and the best way to do that is raise the tax on capital gains... There are many different ways to do it, but it needs to be done soon before we cross that invisible mark beyond which we can not return....
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 2:47pm
Oh my... sorry to come back quickly, but today's news just mirrors exactly what I was saying.
Though the stock market has been increasingly climbing and the news reports are calling for the betterment of the economy, today we get the first estimate of the GDP and it is the worst since the Republican Debt Crises in 2011, and prior to that, the worst since we pulled out of the recession.
Get it? By results, THIS IS THE WORST QUARTER IN A LONG TIME...
Reasons given were lower exports, reduced levels of non-residential fixed investment, a decrease in private inventory investment, a deceleration of personal consumption expenditures, and less spending by state and local government spending.... In one word, austerity.
We have imposed austerity upon ourselves through the Republican House of Representatives and that is destroying the economy, while at the same time, keeping the stock market pumped up at record levels...
Who is making money, and who isn't?
Easily fixed by taxing those who do make money, and using that money for capital investment. (Since our goal is capital investment, we should also allow the complete write-off of anything invested into capital here in America only...) So the net effect could actually be despite higher tax rates, lower taxes paid, with the balance going to capital investment....
But it is funny how that news just came out bolstering what I had just said previously...
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 3:49pm
Kavips: I don't know Rick Jensen personally; he may be the nicest guy in the world off air - can't say - but I truly cannot stand his "radio personality", which is what I was commenting on, [It's one of the reasons I do not listen to Rick Jensen's show; his snide sneering-sounding voice gets old for my ears very quickly].
Just as Rush/Beck/Hannity might all be really nice guys off air too, but a small dose of their "radio personality" gets old fast too or my ear. To my ear, Hannity is the worst, with Jensen being a close second. Beck and Rush are more tolerable, to my ear.
You had implied that Rick might be using the term Liberal as a code word for race. I addressed that too, based on my limited exposure to Jensen's show, in which I defended him, so I'm not sure what you mean by bashing him [I don't believe Rick uses the word Liberal as a code-word for race [the few times I've tried to listen], but rather against anything that doesn't fit his ultra-right-wing mindset of how the world should be. Sadly, Jensen would rather impale himself than upset his G.O.P./TEA pals as he and they believe and preach: all things DEM bad; all things G.O.P./TEA good. That is essentially his mindset, just like Rush/Beck/Hannity; they've just got larger audiences. But I have never gotten the feeling that Jensen is a racist; but then again, I don't listen that often to his show and could be wrong].
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 5:41pm
So far this week in right-wing world, Rush said L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling was "set up" by Magic Johnson in a plot to get the price of the team down and for Sterling to sell out.
Then Glenn Beck said Hillary is a lesbian, but may only be one because it's fashionable and she will do anything that's popular. Beck said Hillary will have sex with another woman on the White House lawn to get votes.
Jensen may have said outrageous things too, but nobody was paying attention. Tree falling in an empty forest ....
What is it makes talk show hosts so nasty? Fortunately, advertisers have started telling their ad agencies not to place ads on right-wing talk shows.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 6:40pm
Hmmmmmmmmm. Funny thing. I didn't hear them say any of that.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 7:55pm
AllanLoudell: I have not heard your off-air battles with Jensen. At least he is not your subordinate and forced to listen in silence. I have heard your off-air views, however, when they were forced on subordinates. I found them offensive, personally judgmental and creating a hostile work environment.
What I most object to is your pretense of impartiality and objectivity. I submit that when newspapers and news commentators were clearly partisan, they had far more credibility with and respect from the public. Few people believe that there is no bias in the media, mainly because the media keep claiming they are not in order to effect a one-size-fits-all presentation (and a larger audience for advertisers). Funny, Fox News is held in higher regard because people know what they are getting. When Walter Cronkite died the clips they showed were the times he took a stand and show who he was. Same for Murrow. It's why talk shows are more popular, and more influential, than so-called "news."
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 8:18pm
Bill has just confirmed what I've been saying all along: He and Mark Rice are one-in-the-same.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014 9:20pm
Thu, May 1, 2014 1:20am
Thu, May 1, 2014 1:27am
Bill: You know who you are, and so do I.
Thu, May 1, 2014 8:52am
Won’t Get Fooled Again Change it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fall that's all
But the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war
I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie
There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss.
~ The Who
Thu, May 1, 2014 11:41am
Ah, do we ever know who anyone really is?
You keep talking about Jesus, Pizza, and you don't really get him, either.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 1, 2014 1:37pm
Mrpizza: All of us, other than Allan Loudell and the WDEL employees who occasionally post here, use pseudonames. Even IF Billsmith is the former Mark Rice, so what? What's the big deal? Bill might decide to change his pseudoname next week to, NOT Mrpizza. I just don't see what your obsession is with whether or not Bill used to be Mark Rice. If I moved to Maryland, I'd change my psydoname to Mike from Maryland.
Thu, May 1, 2014 2:05pm
Mike.... lol. Mr. Pizza's obsession is food. that is obvious as is his "handle": Mr. Pizza...
So as someone obsessed with food, he obviously misses this person before my time, known to you as Mark Rice...
Rice is food.
There is no one on here with food in their name, so Pizza is psychologically obsessed....
The only regular commentator who comes close to being edible, is Earl Grey...
Watch out Earl...
Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 1, 2014 3:13pm
Kavips: I think you may be on to something.
Thu, May 1, 2014 4:49pm
I picked my name because I'm a fan of Robert Heinlein. One of his better known characters, who appears in several of his stories, is Woodrow Wilson Smith (aka Lazarus Long, who was extremely long-lived and had to keep changing his name).
I am considering:
Mr. Cheesesteak Hoagie
Mr. Egg McMuffin
Mr. Pie a la mode
If MFD moved to Maryland, he'd still be from Delaware, just like Allan Loudell is from Illinois.
I never tried it but tea might go well with "tea." They grow some excellent weed in British Columbia so maybe it would be good with Red Rose tea (and some Tim Horton's donuts).
Or, I could stay with a libertarian theme and go with...
Thu, May 1, 2014 7:32pm
MFD: Forget pseudonames, I think I know who Bill REALLY is!
EarlGrey: Thanks for the post of "Won't Get Fooled Again." I'm a HUGE Horatio fan!
Thu, May 1, 2014 7:35pm
To MFD and Kavips: The reason there were no police on the mall for the TEA event is because there's no need for it. TEA people have a sense of decency about them where OWS has on numerous occasions demonstrated criminal behavior.
Thu, May 1, 2014 7:36pm
Ya know, Bill Smith could even be Al Mascitti.
Thu, May 1, 2014 8:07pm
Allan Loudell is Pennsy.
Jensen is Pizza.
MikeFromDelaware is MikeFromDelaware.
Kavips is Liz
Thu, May 1, 2014 8:18pm
Oh, speaking of Al Mascitti. I heard him on a promo for his show today spouting off propaganda about Walmart underpaying employees and costing the taxpayers money.
Hey Al! I hope you get your $15-per-hour minimum wage and that Walmart closes every one of its stores in the U.S.A., because that'll result in 50% unemployment. Then they'll have to REALLY raise your taxes, and at least some of those displaced Walmart employees are going to be rioting and looting our streets, because there won't be enough jobs at those UFCW-controlled grocery chains where the average employee is paid $120,000 per year.
By the way, how about raising THEIR taxes?
Thu, May 1, 2014 8:21pm
Bill: In the Bible, there were two Judases. There was Judas Iscariot, and there was Judas NOT Iscariot.
Here, we have Mike from Delaware, and you are Mike NOT from Delaware.
Thu, May 1, 2014 9:34pm
Pizza: Go back to Sunday School. There were seven, not counting two Judes and a bunch of Judahs. It was a common name.
Thu, May 1, 2014 10:10pm
I once knew a guy named Mike who lived on Carr Road.
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