Erick Erickson, while filling in for Rush Limbaugh last week, spent part of his time addressing minimum wage. He parroted the usual conservative talking points on abolishing minimum wage, but he said something else that many people found telling. Erick Erickson stated the minimum wage is "mostly people who failed at life and high school kids." He went on:
Seriously, look, I don't mean to be ugly with you people, what? So, my producer from my show is in here, and he's just staring at me. Can't believe I said this. If you're a 30-something-year-old person, and you're making minimum wage, you've probably failed at life.Notice what he didn't say. Erickson didn't say "If you're a liberal, or black, or gay, or a single mom, or Hispanic." He said "30-something-year-old person." In other words, his comments apply to conservatives, too. Which begs the question: How many middle class or poor conservatives heard Erick Erickson's words, and while they were dressing for their minimum wage job, nodded their heads, and agreed?
Erick Erickson is not just a "conservative blogger." He is a frequent guest on Fox, he was a contributor to CNN, he runs a right-wing blog called Red State, and when he fills in for Limbaugh, his audience is in the millions. So, a lot of people pay attention to him, even when he's obviously insulting them. Conservative denial runs deep, however, and it stands to reason that poor right-wingers think Erickson was talking about someone else.
We've all been there. We've watched LGBT conservatives with our jaws in our laps, trying to figure out how a person can be LGBT and be part of a political party that wants to deny them basic rights. We've watched African American conservatives while pounding our heads on solid objects, listening to them deny the racism inherent in their party. Conservative "Christians," following a message of hate and intolerance. Conservative women, minimizing rape and domestic violence in droves.
Remember when Mitt Romney finally made his tax rate of 14.7% public? Our tax rate is 28% and we don't make anywhere near six figures, much less what Mitt Romney makes. We are solidly middle class, and our tax rate is double Romney's. You try explaining why that's wrong to a conservative. Go ahead. You know what you'll hear. Trickle down economics (here's a chart proving it doesn't work), the rich are job creators (nope), it's only "moochers" who don't pay taxes. Moochers, FYI, translates into liberals and minorities.
It's the same denial and disconnect that allows a conservative to despise abortion AND 55,000+ kids from South America, coming to the United States to escape war, violence, and poverty. The same denial and disconnect that allows most of the right wing to decry socialism as they cash their Social Security checks, and rely on Medicare. They scream for FEMA when disaster strikes, but don't want their tax dollars used on government programs. They hate anything that smacks of socialism, unless it's socialism that helps them. And I would bet that they want to abolish minimum wage, but not their minimum wage.
This is a topic I have written about, pondered, and questioned for years. How did the right wing convince people to vote against their own best interests? How do they keep doing it? Look at Mississippi. Poorest state in the country, and one of the most conservative. They hate President Obama, hate liberals, love the GOP. The same GOP that wants to do away with safety nets conservative Mississippians rely on every day to feed themselves and their families, go to the doctor, pay their rent. But try explaining that to them, and they'll argue with you until their lips fall off.
In all seriousness, what is it? How did the new and unimproved version of the GOP convince an entire demographic to destroy themselves? They've always been like this, the right wing: Reagan's mythical Welfare Queen, the Bush tax cuts, the rhetoric, and the bold-face lies. But have we ever seen so many poor and middle class people champion policies and politicians whose main goal is the destruction of the middle class and poor?
You and I both know there were conservatives, in their 30's and making minimum wage, who agreed with what Erick Erickson said. What I would like to know is how the conservative party-pundits and politicians-have managed to brainwash about half the population of the United States. I don't understand this at all.