Jesus the Socialist

Did you know that in Europe, most Christians are on the left. Well that is at least how the parties are established. If you hold all other things constant it makes sense, Jesus was about helping the poor and disadvantaged so it would make sense to support the side that believes in welfare programs for the poor. This is another interesting cultural difference with the US, generally speaking Europeans tend to believe that society at large is responsible for the welfare of the impoverished. While in the US, we generally believe private operations and individuals at churches and nonprofits should administer welfare to the impoverished, not the Government or society at large. Interestingly our priorities are extremely apparent when you get off any interstate exit in a city and see all the homeless people, very possibly veterans, begging for money despite the fact that there are more empty homes than there are homeless in the US. The most important questions for today are, why do Christians overwhelmingly support Republicans and do progressives have something to offer them? 

To address why Christians support the right, lets examine all the topics outside of abortion, even though it appears to be the driving force, similar to Racial Justice and LGBT rights on the left. So, how have we come to the place where the Christians in America truly believe that Democrats and liberals have been waging a war against them for ages? First let’s look at all the areas where they are correct and how Dems constantly barraid them. Then let’s start to dissect where there is serious overlap with the progressive movement and the Christian faith. 

If you did not grow up in a church you probably haven’t heard many of their arguments other than the extremely political fights that make the news. One message echoed repeatedly is that the church and faith writ large is always “under attack”. Now if you are a protesting BLM activist you likely feel the exact opposite, make sure to check out our Cancel Culture and lack of meaning post if you missed it. While this message of attack is as old as the bible itself, it has become almost exclusively political. It is hard to tell when exactly it happened, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s people didn’t completely assume that if you are a Christian you had to be a Republican. Now we are led to believe that faith and Conservatism are not mutually exclusive. While this is hard to pin down, it’s a safe bet that social media helped wedge this gap. However this defensive posture from people of faith is a move out of self defense. It might be hard for some of the ultra woke to swallow this but imagine you are raising a family in a small rural area. You are a farmer, a christian, a great member of the community who gives back. However any time you turn the Television on, all you see are extremely liberal people writing extremely liberal shows for extremely liberal actors. Everytime you watch sports you are blasted with a political message. Take a step back from whose right technically on those issues, we have someone who is contributing to society and chooses to live a rural life, taking care of his family and paying taxes. Yet everywhere he looks at a screen, liberals are screaming that he and his neighbors are the problem. Imagine keeping to yourself and doing all the things our culture tells us we should do, work hard, take care of your family, etc. and all of a sudden you are “evil and obstructive”. 

“The Left has won the culture wars, now they are just riding around shooting the survivors.”

Funny how the Left is the party of tolerance, just not Christian tolerance, unless you are Joe Biden pandering to religious Black voters. While the church has a penchant for forcing their flavor on other religions or the non-religious in public places, the Dems never defend freedom of religion or speech when it comes to Christianity. However they fight tooth and nail for any member of the Muslim faith. While they probably do need more legal and moral support, if Vegas were placing odds, I would be the Democrats are exclusively pandering to the woke crowd and don’t have a genuine interest in helping the Muslim faith. 

Let’s call for a cease-fire. From a purely political perspective, with the Dems ramping up the cultural war on Christians, the Republicans are able to guarantee victory across the south and the midwest. From the left’s perspective it is a dumb strategic move to further this narative by constant attacks on the rural religious lifestyle. Who knows, maybe Texas would already be blue? Before your next attack on “some dumb republican I grew up with” try to find overlap.

How exactly we find common ground is a tall order, but not an impossible one. Let’s start with Eugene Debbs, the legendary Christian-Socialist. Yes, you read that correctly, Christian-Socialist! Debbs grew up in Indiana the son of a small business owner. For context, during Debbs lifetime American Cities and factories flourished, leading to many Americans seeking employment from someone else for the first time in their lives, for more on this check our piece on American Entrepreneurship. Growing up and even into adulthood Debbs did not even consider himself a left wing or liberal person, he was fairly centrist. He was however extremely religious, his faith came before all else. His political views started to change when he became head of a rail union, this is what led Debbs to his lifetime of organizing and agitating. 

In light of today’s politics, Debbs’ ability to tie american kitchen table values to socialism(and he really said it, no democratic socialism) highlights the complete failure of imagination we see in today’s corporate democratic party. Really try to clear your mind of any knowledge of Debbs and image this line coming from the pulpit of a church or a town square of a small town(it did!)-

“ It matters little whether Jesus was born at Nazareth or Bethlehem. The accounts conflict, but the point is of no consequence.

 It is of consequence, however, that He was born in a stable and cradled in a manger. This fact of itself, about which there is no question, certifies conclusively the proletarian character of Jesus Christ. Had His parents been other than poor working people — money-changers, usurers, merchants, lawyers, scribes, priests, or other parasites — He would not have been delivered from His mother’s womb on a bed of straw in a stable among asses and other animals.

 Was Jesus divinely begotten? Yes, the same as every other babe eve born into the world. He was of miraculous origin the same as all the rest of mankind. The scriptural account of his “immaculate conception” is a beautiful myth, but scarcely more of a miracle than the conception of all other babes. 

Jesus was not divine because he was less human than his fellowmen but for the opposite reason that he was supremely human, and it is this of which his divinity consists, the fullness and perfection of him as an intellectual, moral, and spiritual being”

That is an excerpt from his 1914 essay Jesus The Supreme Ruler. Before you get concerned this is not some radical religious left hook or something, it is just to highlight that the conservative right does not own religion. They are however appealing to and defending Christian voters, meanwhile the Democrats are actively disrespecting them at all turns. 

Trump won in 2016 as a result of 1% more of inner city voters that were not highly motivated to show up. To win you don’t have to win a whole group, sometimes you just have to give them less of a reason to hate you. Oh yeah, and maybe we should be trying to share some common values with our fellow Americans!

Check-Box Activism

There seems to be no shortage of upset and outrage these days. On a positive note, people do seem to want justice and equality. However, each person seems to have their own definition of justice and equality. Each side is going to war with an enemy that exists only in their own mind. The left is possibly more active than ever before, or so it seems, yet they are not solving any of the issues they are protesting. Police fatally shooting minorities is still just as large a problem, Occupy wall street is now a laughing stock of the elites and inequality is soaring. What happened to the MLK civil rights era style organizing? Obviously we will never have another MLK, but that is no reason to throw out effective tactics. Both sides have lessons to learn and responsibility to bear for our current state.

With all the outrage on both sides we need to back up and see where we have all gone off the rails on common sense, and honest effectiveness. Honest effectiveness is included because if we are objectively honest with ourselves, trying to gut each other on social media is not actually an effective or successful political strategy. You will never, and have never brought voters to your point of view from argument, this is a psychological concept, you trigger people to dig their heels in. With that being said, common sense tells us to occasionally get out of the trenches and check out the big picture. The classic business line- “there is a difference between working in a business and working on a business. If you only work in the business you can’t work on the business.” We all seem very angry and highly motivated, we’re going at it everyday online, but to what end? From the left and the right, it’s easy to see neither are making progress, even where there is overlap like in the case of a second stimulus package. So how is our energy and political engagement being diverted from what we want? More importantly, why don’t we care?

The idea of Check-Box Activism is based on a psychological concept of Jaques Lacan about why we engage in empty or symbolic gestures, or actions that have no real consequence. Think about the fact that we give and value gifts based on their uselessness- repurposing an old tool into artwork that hangs on the wall. All of our actions are actually directed towards this symbolic realm the messages we are sending are more like this, “I’m not really giving you an expensive or useful gift, but a priceless gift that I worked on to let you know that I care about you and our friendship, the gift is just a medium” And to the receiver we see the a grandparent receiving a piece of artwork from a grandchild, they will hang it up where it will be on display to proudly tell visitors, “my grandchild made that for me, it took hours and hours” with the real meaning “My grandchild made that for me because I am that special and because they love me that much.” 

Prior to social media, if you wanted to take a symbolic gesture that signals to everyone what you believe, you could go organize or actually volunteer. The only actions available were in private(inaction) or public acts of expression and engagement with the Government. Now we have a “Brave New World” style apparatus in social media that is doing a classic Bruce Lee redirect of our energy against us. Before social media to calm that internal desire to take action, and to clear your conscience you had to take action. Now we see tragedy and want justice, so we go online and retweet about climate change, we take our bags to the store, and an internal switch flips that says “I have done my part”. We feel internal pressure release with an “ahh” and hear the CHECK of crossing an item off a list. On its face it appears that we are lazy, yet that simply is not the case. 

So why do we spend our time in frivolous ways? Every person feels societal pressures in some way, it just depends on your upbringing and specific family culture. If you are a young person in virtually any group, you feel the pressure to go to college, get a great job, buy a house, get married, and possibly have kids. While pressures mount personally, we see constant news about climate change, wildfires, refugee crisis, migrant crisis, sex trafficking billionaires, big money taking over politics, completely public corruption, you fill in the blank. Not only are all of these legitimate, they are being forced down our throats at a rate never seen before with social media. What could the effects be on a brain constantly exposed to emergency and tragedy? Prior to the media, the bad news received was to the extent of your neighborhood. Then with Newspapers and eventually TV, you start getting non-local news. This beckons the question, are we capable of emotionally handling an entire country’s tragedies? We certainly didn’t evolve that way, now we are asking ourselves to not get overwhelmed knowing every tragedy on earth. Oh yeah, and there is an algorithm studying which topics will engage you the most and put it in your face 24-7.

There are so many people and causes screaming in our face to take action that an active tension is built on a daily basis. This makes you feel guilty, anxious that one day you could look back and regret not taking some action. And then…… you make a Facebook post, bashing real people. When we look out at potential options for being active, the only thing we see is that social media icon, and it is so effective because it clears your guilt as if you took action or stood up to a bully defending something innocent. This is Check-Box Activism, of all the things on the list of pressure-

  • Get a house
  • Volunteer more
  • Ask for a raise
  • Do something about climate change
  • Exercise more
  • Do something about racism

The two vague, yet threatening items serve as a distraction from our immediate life and they can be crossed off from the couch. With one post about what you believe and what you’re against, your conscience clears and endorphins flow. CHECK

Understanding the American Tax Code #2

Income vs Capital Gains

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles

In part one we discussed how America’s marginal tax code works, and the most common incorrect assumptions American’s make about the tax code. Check it out here if you missed it. Now that we understand basic income tax, let’s move on to Capital Gains and how wealthy people who understand the tax code can pay a smaller percentage of taxes than you and your plumber. 

For math’s sake let’s say you make $500,000 and Warren Buffett(can’t seem to stop using him) makes $500,000, he will pay a maximum of $100,000 in capital gains taxes while you will pay $149,457 in income taxes. Check out part one for this how to calculate this. 

Now let’s bring this down to reality, Warren Buffett can make that with one mouse click selling a stock. A doctor or surgeon might earn a large salary like that, but is still clocking in many hours of actual life saving work. 

How does this happen, why would a doctor have to pay more taxes than a stock trader? Capital Gains. Capital Gains are any profit made from the sale of an asset, like property, stocks and bonds. Side note: You probably noticed, your average working man or woman doesn’t have any of those. The extraordinarily wealthy do not earn income. They put all of their money into assets that rise in value, like land, and sell them later for more money and pay a lower tax rate. 

Wealthy people don’t make large salaries, they operate in the realm of assets and capital. They are paid in stock options. They buy and sell property, and when they die their fortune goes untaxed into the hands of their children, staying out of the system. 

How could this be? Well, wealthy individuals started lobbying to change the tax code and they succeeded with the Bush Tax cuts. It is really a brilliant strategy, they know the tax code is convoluted and hard to understand, a perfect place to change the laws for your benefit. We know today that companies like Intuit spend massive amounts of money lobbying to stop efforts to simplify the tax code. This forces people to file with TurboTax, they then criminally charge you to file taxes after committing to the government that the service is free. Do you ever wonder why ideas like Ted Cruz’s simple tax postcard don’t happen? 

Need to Heed

Welcome to a new series called Need to Heed, a running list of lessons we all Need to Heed. We all have little nuggets of wisdom, personal taglines we find ourselves repeating for years. In the south there is an old saying for everything. Expect these proverbs to be traditional and nontraditional, and expanding across all topics. The nature of TAR is to educate and inform the whole American person, which is why our first Need to Heed is from Bruce Lee –

“If you put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work, and into your life. There are no limits, there are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond.” 

Why Warren Buffett Defends Medicare for All.

Since the corporate Dems coalesced around Biden to make a completely united front against Bernie Sanders, the words Medicare for All have scarcely been uttered. The name Bernie Sanders has scarcely been uttered. Medicare for All was the literal line between Bernie Sanders and everyone else in the primary. If you remember, we got to see Kamala Harris try her hand going back and forth across that line, I guess when you’re that cynically opportunistic the grass really is always greener. Joe Biden was the only other candidate beside Bernie that even owned their position, everyone else squirmed out of their skin over the question. Elizabeth Warren didn’t mind going total Houdini when asked- “Will you back Medicare for all? Yes. Will you people pay any more in taxes? No. Will you eliminate private insurance? No.” Spoiler alert, those answers added up, do not total Medicare for All. Why was Bernie Sanders attacked for being the only one who told the truth about his plan? Do we want an America where we elevate ambiguous liars, or do we want a country where we face the facts and tell the truth regardless of how it sounds in a media clip? Medicare for All defined the primaries, now we must ensure the idea stays in the zeitgeist until it becomes a reality and Americans enjoy the healthcare that the rest of the world already has.  

The whole system is cockamamie,” the company’s vice chair, Charlie Munger. Warren Buffett added that private insurance is “the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness”

Instead of going into the life saving impact of M4A that we hear from the left, let’s go straight for the heart of why right-wing (and Biden’s) arguments about M4A are completely bunk, especially from a business perspective. The first base level fact you need in your M4A defense arsenal is that 32 countries already provide universal healthcare. Below the countries in green provide universal healthcare, those in blue provide some form of free health care and the red countries provide no healthcare. 

You probably noticed every “advanced” nation on earth has universal healthcare. We stand alone with impoverished nations and dictatorships. To state that nationalized healthcare is not economically possible, is to insult the American people and their potential, TAR believes we are the greatest nation on earth and if anyone else can do it, we can do it better. 

Let’s dive into the Warren Buffett quote above, bet you haven’t heard that one on the nightly news? Why is Buffett pro single-payer? First let’s break down why insurance is a complete racket and how it does not follow market laws. 

Lets start with an example- you are getting ready to buy a car, you have your eye set on a Toyota Camry, base model. You go to car lots and start looking at different models, different year makes, at different car lots. You narrow down to an exact make and model you want and start comparing prices online, you check Kelly Blue Book to know the price and find the best deal. At the end of the day you knew what you were going to pay, had many options and found the best deal. 

This is how markets work, competition dictates price and helps supply to meet demand. If someone tried to scam you and sell a Camry for $100,000 you would never buy it because you can look on your iPhone and know the market value of the car, then buy it elsewhere. However, market mechanisms are nowhere to be found with insurance. If you need to have a surgery, you can’t compare hospital prices and your insurance provider will not give you the rates before the operation. You can’t google how much any part of healthcare will cost, and to beat all, it could be something life threatening. You don’t have a choice, are you going to die or save your life without knowing the cost. Imagine going to the grocery store and swiping your card before they ring your items up, then assigning you a random total cost!? We would never accept it! So, how is this possible – laws and regulations. This isn’t natural capitalism or markets, this is an industry that has written the rules to line their pockets. 

Private insurance is only good for one business in America – Private Insurers. Everyone else is picking up the tab for them. This takes us back to Warren Buffett’s original criticism, it is the tapeworm of American business. Why? Because not only do we pay more per person than any major country, American businesses have to pay for the majority of people’s health insurance. Yes these businesses will possibly pay more in taxes with M4A, but it is nothing compared to the massive cost of buying insurance for your workers. Not to mention the complete unpredictability of insurance cost. Many are speculating that all insurance premiums will increase by 40% in 2021 due to COVID. American businesses are having to spend a fortune just navigating the insurance industry. 

This is also where you see small businesses hit a ceiling, at a certain amount of employees you have to provide health care. Why are we putting this burden on small business owners? On top of hurting our large businesses it is crippling to your individual American entrepreneur. Picture this – in many European countries an ambitious entrepreneur would go to college for free, leave with no debt, and have health insurance. Upon graduation they go full-bore on their project and require only small amount of capital to survive on while building their dream. Now picture an American student – They graduate college with $50K+ in student loan debt, thousands in credit card debt to pay for living expenses, and at age 26 they are thrown off their parents insurance to purchase their own. Oh, and who is insurance the most expensive for and least protective? Young individuals, buying insurance on the market as an individual. Looking to start your own business here in America? Better be able to make $300-600/month student loan payment and purchase private insurance for $100-$600/month. So tell me, who will quit first and take the first job offered to them? The American Entrepreneur or the European?

Next time you hear “Medicare for All” is bad for business, simply ask “Bad for which business?”. Who knew we would side with Warren Buffett?

No-Legislation Attached

If you ask most of your Democratic friends about the state of America and the culture wars, most would say the battle against oppression has never been more grave. The right is at our throats. What’s strange is there is a paradox here – The left believes they are losing the culture wars, even though they control 90% of the media(look at major endorsements of Trump v Hillary), the messaging on every television channel,  and the film industry. Yet the right has dominated legislatively since Reagan(de-unionizing, placing judges, repealing labor laws) and they believe they are losing their country more than ever. 

First lets highlight that panic and fear are powerful motivators, even when your status doesn’t warrant panic. Anecdotally I hear Republican voters say “this is the most important election of our lifetime, no matter if you like Trump or not we have to get those supreme court judges, because if the other side gets them we will lose the presidency for the next 50 years.” OFF TOPIC- of course we lose to them, our language is weak and passive. On the left you only see this kind of language used towards celebrities that have tweeted something racist or homophobic. The big difference is where Republican and Democratic leadership direct the energy and anger of their voters. 

So what are the results of each of these strategies? The Republicans have run the table on placing judges, stopping dem judges, passing tax cuts, killing unions through labor laws, and generally any economic legislation. The Democrats have succeeded at keeping their voters permanently on the hook with No-Legislation Attached Issues. Whether intentional or not, our voters don’t attach organization and legislation with change. We keep fighting stupid games with stupid prizes. And rest assured the class that funds the republicans, they don’t play stupid games- they play the most important games with the most important prizes. They use legislation to shape the economy in their favor as we argue. 

Why does the left take up this strategy? The same reason as the right, their donors. How many corporations have run racial inclusion, BLM, social justice ads since George Floyd? The is a complete perversion for many reasons. This is capitalism rotting just causes from the inside out. We are seeing companies that engage in near slave labor overseas, yet also claiming to stand for racial justice in the USA just to sell more sneakers, hamburgers, and purses. Talk about delegitimizing a cause, make the whole fight nothing but lip service via tv ads that include no solutions. The second reason businesses are so keen to take up these social justice narratives is specifically because there is No-Legislation Attached! Why is the CEO of Citigroup, one of the major banks that no doubt plays a role in racist policies that make it more difficult and expensive for African Americans to buy a home, now being highlighted by the left!? It is much more affordable to shoot out a tweet and cash in on a hot marketing fad than to actually help Black Lives in America. 

There is a lot of talk, but how much do Black Lives Matter when we cripple so many hard working black women with a stagnant starvation wage that we refer to as minimum wage? How much do Black Lives Matter when we let predatory lenders prey on the impoverished and unbanked in their community? How much could a Black Life matter when we let them die in the street if they do not have insurance? Those questions require legislation, the kind MLK and Bernie Sanders fought for, and it is going to cost. This is were our supposed “friends” at the DNC stop agreeing with us and take up their donors position that we must be destroyed. MLK told many around him that once he started down the road for economic justice for workers, he wouldn’t be around much longer. He told those around him, his white allies will soon abandon him on his next fight – the fight for economic justice would cost them, literally. While his white allies might have taken some risk backing him, they had plenty to gain, they seemed like heroes for not being racist. Yet he knew they only wanted the image or “checked box” of helping, and when it came to making this system fair on economic grounds, they had no intention of seeing Black Lives prosper. 

“What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Hijacking of American Entreprenuership

There are many entry points to this story, the chronological one being in the 1850’s onward. If we harken back to the early days of America we would find a country of self-employed farmers. In our current age of worshiping the likes of Elon Musk, we completely gloss over some incredible facts in that one sentence. We don’t even register that the majority of the people in the country were self-employed, entrepreneurs. How many people do you even know that work for themselves today? Then a massive shift in the late 1800’s, the country was becoming industrialized, and people had a boss for the first time!

For the first time people had to think about working conditions. How bad can an employer treat an employee? Prior to the factory, questions like this never crossed the American mind. They had never been at the whims of a small group, this was a country of completely self dependent people who rebelled against authority constantly. They were accustomed to deeply rewarding work that put food on their table, and gave them standing in a community. 

Perhaps this was the beginning of the end of small town America. The local bread maker is now the 100th guy on the breadline in a factory. There are no longer small local economies, today we see Walmart instead of small business. Picture a small rural town pre-Walmart, they have a butcher,  bakery, local grocery store, pharmacy,  bike shop, and mechanic. When the butcher buys bread from the local baker, the profit(everything after his cost of business) goes to the baker. That Friday he buys meat from the butcher, and gets his son’s bike fixed at the local store. Picture that profit on each transaction. Now eliminate all of those businesses and picture Walmart. The baker and butcher went from business owner to making starvation wages. Any profit made in the small community is transported out of that town and into the Walmart bank account. Now play this scenario out all over the country with all the other massive chains. This is literally redistribution in reverse. 

Fast-Forward to a different scene- American colleges present day. In any given business class students are looking as case studies of Nike, Coca Cola, Apple, etc. They are told stories about Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, people who bet their whole life on massive all consuming ideas. They are the poster children of entrepreneurship and more importantly- of The American Dream itself. The idea of grandeur has absorbed americans entrepreneurial ambitions. We see the local, service business workers portrayed as morons, uncouth people who just can’t think big enough. The view is great from the college high horse while on campus.

However the fall is painful. Your robotic analyses of an underserved market that you could write a business plan for would cost millions. You don’t have it, you have no credit, loads of debt,  and no experience so no one would invest. Next thing you know, you’re back in your hometown being forced to apply for jobs in some city. 

This is where an interesting breakdown in supply and demand happens. Academic elitist culture has portrayed anyone in a small town, and especially the trade worker as the enemy. These are the “idiots ruining the country”, the scary backwoods characters in movies that say offensive things and harass women. This creates a blind spot for college students with business knowledge and no employment. We don’t even consider a local service business entrepreneurship, it just isn’t flashy enough. The result is all these low-middle class kids who go to college only to find they can’t find “marketing” jobs in their hometown and they are massively in debt. Yet there is a massive lack of people looking to learn skills like plumbing, hvac, roofing, etc. What is causing this mass of educated people to overlook extremely profitable work, with a rewarding self-employed freedom? Who knows, but this idea from Lacan feels like a start.

Our desire is not something innate inside us. Indeed, for Lacan our desires are not even our own – we always have to desire in the second degree, finding a path to our own desire and our own recognition by asking the question of what the Other desires.

Class War

We in no way condone violence. TAR is strongly supportive of non-violence. 

“I wanna war between the rich and the poor. I wanna fight, and know what I’m fighting for.“

What are we fighting for? Promotion of anti-racism? To completely snub out small town fools and cancel celebrities? An economy where “nothing changes” like Joe Biden has told his donors? 

Here’s an unpopular opinion- We will get nowhere believing the Democrats are with the people. These are extraordinarily wealthy people, with extremely powerful donors. You did not grow up with people like this. That conservative “rich” business owner from your hometown is not even 1/10th the status of this class. Your doctor making $250,000/year is not in this group. Most people have never actually met a top 1%er, yet they are writing the rules and laws that influence your life. 

So who are these people and how did we end up on their team? And aren’t the Republicans the wealthy corrupt party? It is hard to say exactly when this change occurred to the democrats, but a good guess is in the Jimmy Carter administration. This is the beginning of corporate Democrats and the first step of walking away from white working class voters. Many of the lobbyists we see in the Ragan administration were in the Carter administration as well. 

We then see Richard Nixon(with the aid of Pat Buchanan) start speaking the language of the working class. Nixon upended and destroyed the Democrats dominance they had since FDR and the New Deal by literally adopting it’s talking points. Nixon bridged the gap between the 1% and the workers, they now felt like they were one in the same, a trend that is extremely evident with Trump. The left has been playing a dual game of imitation and catch up ever since, relying on celebrity “special flower” candidates to win.(Clinton, Obama, Mayor Pete)

Once the Democrats started losing this working class ground, they actively turned around and ran from their working class constituents. Sprinting into the arms of the white college educated elites that occupy the suburbs. Truly showing their colors, they never cared about advancing workers rights, they were simply using poor whites and poor minority groups to win elections. After all workers are not in their class, they don’t live a life anywhere close to an actual American. They could already speak the super woke language of affluent suburban whites, and their donors hated labor more than anything on earth anyways. This was more than an easy transition, it was a new job with a big raise. Serving the technocrat college educated class is great, they have all the money and work for our donors!

In the same way that the Trump tax cut didn’t help any of his actual voters, the Democrats engage on culture war topics that will never actually help their voters. Yet if they can just come out and say Black Lives Matter and support the protest, they will never have to actually fight for the economic rights of the protesters. And they don’t want to, the elitist Dem voters who work at technology companies are their bread and butter, and these people are on the winning side of massive inequality. 

Random fact: Nixon did more than almost any President to protect the environment.

So you’re a member of the working poor, or a union worker, why would you be with the Democrats? They haven’t raised your wages? They let your union collapse? They signed disastrous trade deals that closed your factory? Sadly fewer and fewer people are finding a good answer to that question. The Democrats have abandoned economic populism, they will do everything in their power to never have an economic agenda again. This was evident in the fact that the Democrats are more united in their hatred of Bernie Sanders than of Donald Trump. 

So what choice do we really have? The class war started long ago, you just had no idea your side was losing so badly. The upper class has already taken over both political parties and divided all of the workers on fad cultural issues. Perhaps the battle worth focusing on is the class war within our respective parties, realizing that you have much more in common with a Trump voter than you do Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Never forget, every working American is on your actual team, from MAGA hat wearers to fast food workers. Never forget the success of the ultra wealthy can only come at the expense of workers. 

Cancel culture and Lack of Meaning

Pete Davidson was recently on Hot Ones before the release of his new movie The King of Staten Island and had some interesting thoughts about millennials and cancel culture. Here is the link to the interview, to summarize Sean Evans asked Davidson about deleting his social media and why he no longer performed at colleges. He explains that millennials latch on to any cause that is just and feel they should immediately react, even if they haven’t checked another source or even thought twice, if something is labeled as politically incorrect they immediately “put you on blast” 

We’ve all known this, but what Davidson said next was so interesting- somewhere in their mind they feel they are actually doing something good, standing up and providing justice. Looking objectively, it’s hard to imagine someone who is degrading and humiliating a person they grew up with has good intentions. As a thought experiment just imagine the mindset that what Trump has done today, truly is threatening your existence and way of life. Today is highlighted here because the liberal(and conservative when they aren’t in office) news cycle is only made of world ending stories that seem to be forgotten the next day with the next story. This is a hellish way to live, albeit a self maintained one. If you are living in this mindset, you really believe a trump voter is ultimately an enemy that needs to be silenced and removed from discussion. (If this attitude was reversed and the right treated any group this way we would scream RACISM! )

Why is this political cultural war the hill so many millennials are willing to die on? You don’t see this passion applied to anything else in most of their lives. When was the last time you were so passionate about something you would confront someone over it publicly, or be willing to sacrifice a real human relationship? Why are the culture wars the deepest meaning in our lives? Perhaps philosophy can take us in the right direction.

“God is dead” – Nietzche 

While Nietzche has been used as a Christian boogie man due to that line, the context is always removed. He was not some radical atheist trying to whip out the church, he was actually extremely disturbed that he discovered what would be the end of religion. Both religious and non religious people best take note of his message. His specific argument for god not existing is unimportant for this article, lets focus instead on the fallout that he predicted. Essentially he believed the concept of God was invented like the wheel to move heavy objects, humans need meaning and the ultimate piece to that puzzle was God. Therefore if the world is at a place where the majority of people don’t really believe in God, those are people who are now facing a massive existential crisis of meaning. He was not saying there isn’t meaning or you couldn’t find it, but now we all have to find a new solution. A new meaning for our lives, and new overarching goal or “team”. His ultimate fear- what would we put in its place? Religions are mostly based in ethics and values, what if something gave us meaning that was based in violence or hatred? 

Even if religion or believing in God is not your thing, it is still beneficial to think about God. While those on the left might cringe, consider the fact that the Left uses aversions to religion as a tactic in the same way the Right uses religion to attract voters. This is the core of identity politics, and if you find yourself constantly attacking religion itself(bashing anything labeled religious before hearing anything else), you’ve been played by the same forces that we ridicule the right for- blind certainty about their side. When we throw the baby out with the bath water and automatically fight anything resembling the right, we are like fighting roosters, so angry and threatened we attack everything in front of us. The worst part, our democratic owners throw the “fighting roosters”(us) in the ring against our friends and family, and we attack with fury. In the same way we chastise a working class voter who “goes against their own interest” by voting Repulican, we should chastise “open-minded” liberals for being social justice warriors. We are constantly cutting out and excluding people, actively shrinking our own tent! This is not a winning political strategy!

What if we thought as strategically as the Republicans who swooped the working class from us in the 70’s? Perhaps we would see that we have younger generations who are struggling, that their anger is being used and abused by the Democratic party. We all need the community that religions provide to their practitioners. We all need a bigger purpose, there is a vacuum in our lives, whatever you do, don’t fill it with social media news. This is how we start as open minded and politically ambitious, then look up at 45-50 and see that the democrats culture wars didn’t change a thing in our actual lives. We didn’t get healthcare, didn’t enact climate change legislation, didn’t raise taxes on the wealthy, and we didn’t lower the cost of college. All we did was cultivate a hatred for the town we grew up in and the people from there that occupy our Facebook feed. As we bicker with Republican voters, we are all sinking together as the working class.