It has been some time since I have worked on a construction site amongst other typical construction workers who fuel their days by listening to loud radios blasting tunes from decades ago. So, since most of my available work [mostly caretaking of properties-a solitary effort] in the last five years or so has allowed me to "plug-in" to progressive radio, it was a stark reminder to me exactly how STUCK in the past or "retro" these disenfranchised white men remain.
Then, as I occasionally listen to a music radio station in Seattle that has no living DJ, it all dawned on me that Robo-Radio is part of the plan to keep middle-lower class males underinformed and voting against themselves.
As the SAME OLD HITS from the 1970s-1980s-1990s blared out over these industrial radios, I was able to overhear conversations between these dimminished white males. All they could talk about were boiled down versions of Rush Limbaugh's racist, sexist, xenophobic, ant-labor, hate based rants and raves that keep the "good parts" of these human hearts swept aside by the implanted fears, hatreds and angers put forth by the well crafted right wing hate machine. I sorta always knew this...but everything is now so magnified with the Tea Party leading the way. These guys simply HAVE TO HAVE...someone else to hate...and of course its themselves that they have been trained to loath.
This is where the liberal left can help out...IF they change some significant attitudes. Attitudes that although not neccessarily self-loathing, are self-defeating in that they have helped EXCLUDE union members, construction workers and most other blue collar types that USED to be part of our political communities...aka...white males. Here are some foods for thought about how to "re-enfranchise", and thus gain the company of the "angry white male". The liberal left should:
1. Embrace playing sports even though most liberals can't play a lick and sadly, snub those who can as being barbaric and inferior.This includes embracing ALL sports at ALL levels. Dave Zirin needs to be only the START of this restructuring. We need more!
I still have tremendous success at doing this when I am conducting CI...Civil Informationing [modernizing public activism] outside of Seattle's huge ball parks in SoDo [South Downtown] Seattle before and after games. My messaging presented on my large banner is basically: "Occupy Peace thru 9/11 Truth" on one side...and "PAPER BALLOTS-PUBLIC FUNDS-VOTING HOLIDAY" on the other side...and then I attach two of many other signs on the end of the banner arrangement and they read: "STOP KILLING-START HEALING" and "PLAY more SPORTS...CANCEL all WARS". Its pretty effective.
I call the common roadway and pedestrian walkway between the two huge sports facilities "Testosterone Alley" as it becomes filled with tens of thousands of professional sports fans on gamedays...OR...in other words...filled with GOOD PEOPLE! Yet my bold peace presentations still get approvals and support on a ratio averaging 30 positive responses for every negative response.
The message to the liberal-left here...these are basically the same disenfranchised white men who are at construction sites or who have been swept into "LimbaughLand...and they really DO want things better. But they have been long abandoned by the liberal left...and as a result, have been wooed by the conservative right who have helped them identify whom they need to hate-fear: non-whites and women. [BTW...rarely do any of the nealrly 50% of women sports fans disagree with my messaging...and ALSO...that's a message to you liberal-lefties all in itself! HMMM...almost 50% of sports fans are women...HMMM?]
2. Stop decieving yourself that YOUR education, wider selection of vocabulary [and the expectaion that the other "lessers" need the same], the larger number of books that you have read, and your degrees of higher education are all THAT MORE VALUABLE than some of the skill sets, life's understandings, wonderful accomplishments of those you look down your nose at!
Its sorta funny, the liberal left actually has some deep self doubts too. Because they usually can't play sports and dont often take to performing physical professions, I suggest that the lefties FEAR those who can...and as a result, here come the quiet put-downs. I hear it ALL OVER THE LIBERAL LEFT all the time. This attitude in itself diminishes not only the person who holds these fears, but it also helps diminish the wonderful and wide variety of people who the liberal left WANTS to have marching with them...ie: those who USED to march with them. Such vanity...and snobishness. You would think that people who are so much smarter...would be so much smarter...AYE?
3. Accept the FACT that Frank Luntz and the right wing spin machine has virtually made useless, and now has actually made counterproductive, the following two words: liberal and union.
Lefties...these words are thoroughly compromised right now and we need replacements...and the liberal-lefty-kneejerkers who are reading this right now are most likely starting to shake all about as they take a non-pragmatic position that: "We shouldn't have to defend these words..." Move on because we can do better...and history will keep the facts alive...lets get some stuff done NOW!
I'm an old PATCO guy and have seen the carefully executed plan to undermine these two words...these two movements...these two solid elements of our collective society. Now, if truth is to be accepted by the liberal-left [a hard thing for lefties to accomplish sometimes], then they would accept that when they use the words liberal or union, the average listener now has a totally diffrent, and negative-hostile definition. Deal with it lefties..we need to have productive conversations with these folks.
This is why there is such hope for what we are involved in...The Progressive Movement...because those who are not with us are by default...regressive. Is this not a far better message?
The labor or union movements need to come up with other words to replace the word "union" because this word is simply DONE...its usefullness has been successfully undermined. Labor leaders have to look at what they have failed to do over the years...continuously educate the citizenship that most people are IN the labor movement in one way or another, and that the history and value of unionism is a very important part of our history...and economic justice. This has been a MASSIVE failure on the part of union leaders which can be attested by the fcat that so many union members now vote republican.
Frankly, all the union "long-tooth" and un-modrnizable leaders should be retired as soon as possible, and a very NEW wave of far more articulate and objective leaders need to be installed to REFRAME both the VALUE of labor of ANY STRIPE...and to rename this effort into something like "fair wage organizations". Other wordsmiths can accomplish this...but it really needs to be done.
MY REALITIES...I'm in the streets between one and five times per week with many progressive signs atop the most radical one...9/11 Truth for Peace. And I am reporting, again, that these diminished white males are ready to become more informed...more involved WITH US...because they want to be treated more fairly and respctfully. It takes but a few words from me to disarm their hatreds and fears, and to make the point that we are ALL in this together.
This is what the 99% element is supposed to be all about. But its simply NOT going to happen with those on the liberal left who stand for two basic positions:
...they do not see the need for growth and change in themselves and their attitudes...
...they insist upon using tactics, concepts and word definitions from LAST CENTURY...
Today's youth just does not buy into EITHER of these two points...they really don't! And its why they have started this "Occupy" revolution without the 1960s relics noted here, and without those who think that "being together" comes at the hand of union strong-arming.
Its 2012...and no longer 1968...or 1938...and the liberal left has some work to do...mostly on itself!
love, peace and progress
PS: YES DENNIS...we want you and Elizabeth to move to WA State...we will get you back into congress for all of our benefit somehow-sometime. rdh