I read Thomas Frank's book, What's The Matter With Kansas
, unsatisfied, wishing it went "all the way."
I devoured it upon publication, agreeing totally with his thesis: that "red staters" vote Republican at their economic peril. But, I turned every page believing the next would reveal what lies at the heart of Kansas; what's the secret explanation for their peculiar "normality."
I got nothing. Just one story after another about "chronically outraged," midwesterners "offended by everything...convinced that they are powerless to change the world."
PROBLEM OF AUTHORITY
WHY are Red Staters "chronically outraged'? WHY the "imagined persecution" and "hate" toward the left? HOW can a "taste for authoritarian leadership" blind them to real oppression? They weren't just born this way. It's not biological. These are psychological "units": hate, outrage, perceived persecution. Since 82 percent self-identify as white and christian, it's easy to imagine a sociological explanation, based on religiosity (degree of devotion). But there's something beyond Sunday sermons -- something in the fabric of their existence. Something essential, psychological. I believe Kansans are psychologically conditioned
to these affects. It's not geography. It's not farming. Otherwise we'd be talking about ALL midwesterners. Iowans don't exhibit this psychology. How come they aren't our national symbol for conservatism?
"Kansas" has been used as a symbol for family paradise by everyone from Ann Coulter to Frank Baum. We imagine toe-headed boys at afternoon little league and fall festivals at the church. "Family" lies at the heart of the symbol. What is it in the psychology of these particular midwestern families, that predisposes them to paleo-conservatism? Why does the idea of family "equal" authoritarianism?
If we want to take the country back in one piece, we need to know what lurks in the hearts and minds
of Red Staters that makes them prone to pushing this country toward fascism. HOW does it work that these folks can be herded into war and economic dire straits and take us with them?
Frank observes that Red Staters respond to identity politics, ironically, despite their "railing against" identity politics as it applied to gays and people of color in the late 80s and early 90s. They LOVE identity politics when it applies to THEIR identity, i.e. suburbs, SUVs and super churches. Frank digs deep into this "identity," asserting it's a Christ-like persona they affect -- a "humility to service," evident in their sacrifice of economic interest for the good of the culture. Abortion, homosexuality and sex education will be extinguished. Economic security will come later, I suppose in the thousand-year paradise on earth. This is their myth. What is their essence?
TO BE CLEAR, Bush DID NOT win either election. We have a problem with election fraud and this needs to be fixed. But I do think the acquiescence to authority throughout middle America most certainly ENABLED the stealing of the last two elections
. Apathy toward authority (respect?) was reinforced by a mainstream media whose mission is limited by pandering to this demographic. If this country didn't have a malignant attitude toward "authority," Bush would have been impeached many times over. Now think about Clinton. He represented authority too. What's the difference? S-E-X.
LETS UNPACK the mind of the Red Stater. Lets separate their individual and social consciousness and get to the bottom of the Red Staters' problem with SEX. Religious devotion requires servitude to authority and suggests limits to sexual behavior, but not all religious people crave unquestioning authoritarianism the Red Staters do (suicide bombers notwithstanding). There's something deeper the Red Stater psyche that drives them to church in the first place. Something deeper drives them to the particular forms of religion they choose. This "deeper something" REINFORCES social and religious conditioning. This quality renders the Red Stater powerless to authority.
If we can identify what, in the individual consciousness
of a Red Stater, makes them prone to exploitation from authority, we will have the key to dismantling the mechanism of our creeping fascism.
EYES ON JESUS
Frank mentions a "Christ-like" sacrifice in their swapping economic issues for social issues, and yet he contends they aren't aware of how they are ripped-off in the trade. This is a very odd contention. They aren't AWARE of their exploitation? I usually know when I'm getting screwed. What's their problem? Perhaps we need for more blue collar spokesmen like Ed Schultz. But, how can we assume they will become aware of their sacrifice when they can't even see their setbacks or failures? Their political life seems entirely unconscious and beyond our reach.
In the individual consciousness of the Red Stater lurks a pre-modern world of Gods and monsters; good and evil.
Deep in the unconscious, it's S-E-X that separates the good from the evil.
Red Staters are OBSESSED with sex (and death, it's ugly sister). The struggle of good vs evil manifests in the bedroom. It's the same for everyone, no matter how low your knuckles drag. Sex animates our world and death sets it's limits. Advertising works because our unconscious psyches are fertile ground for symbolic conditioning. The difference between a Red Stater and a Blue Stater is the dominant myth that is used to unconscious desire. In the dominant myth of the Red Stater, the world is falling into social chaos and sex is to blame. This is convenient because ostensibly, we can CONTROL sex. Can't we?
The Red Stater can't just mind their own beeswax when it comes to sex, because if someone is getting a blow job, like the tsunami-causing Chinese butterfly -- they will feel it. They mean well. They are Do-Gooders at heart -- believing only "they" see the problem and only "they" can save us.
They are AGAINST sex education. "If kids knew what all that was down there, it would be like telling them, 'it's okay.' We can't have that."
They are AGAINST pre-marital sex -- "My parents waited. I waited. You can too." No wonder they are chronically outraged.
They are AGAINST abortion -- "If she wasn't ready for children she shouldn't have spread her legs."
They are AGAINST homosexuality. "Because that's just disgusting -- the thought of two men together."
sidebar -- funny they don't identify pedophilia as an urgent moral issue:
Notice how Red Staters animate these issues. Their outrage is pornographic. The examples I used above are from real conversations with co-workers, colleagues and friends. The focus is on THE DEED. The Girls' have done GONE WILD and it's no wonder if you read Genesis.
Progressives don't see (nasty, dirty) S-E-X when these issues are raised. Gay marriage? We don't imagine guys going at it. We imagine a loved one denied rights when their parter dies. As a matter of fact, it's unseemly to focus on sex willy-nilly. Everything in the world isn't about sex, and we are loathe to jump on that bandwagon. There's bigger fish to fry for christsakes. The fight for freedom, equality are all bigger than sex. Dogs and cats can be getting it on for all we care. Live and let live, we say. Our passion is empowerment, because "teach a person to fish and they eat for life." We trust in reason -- maybe a little too much.
These folks have given birth to a theocracy movement, plain and simple. This is the paradise. This is the utopia. Dominionism, Constitutionalism, Reconstructivism -- they all prey on the mythical authoritarian family unit
. Creating a cycle of obsession and repression is a means of control. Whoa, big leap here, you say. Stay with me.
As many psychologists of the last century pointed out, a child's first experience of sex is instinctual and parents must walk a fine line between allowing normal, constructive instincts and discouraging instinctual behavior that will prove harmful to a child's social development. A child's lifelong "moral code" develops from parental conditioning -- specifically training the child away from INSTINCT toward SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE behavior.
Nose-picking is a good example. Nose-picking is instinctual for a kid with a booger. Little Johnny doesn't know that nose-picking is socially unacceptable. He just digs until he strikes gold. Mmm -- salty. It's instinct. And sickening. As the parent suppresses some instincts and reinforces others, the developing child experiences a conflict between instinct and morality which becomes their moral code for the rest of their life. Got an urge? Better check to see if it's moral. If Poppa would beat you for it, chances are it's not moral. Still got the urge? Better go to confession. Repeat the process until the urge is buried deep in your unconscious.
What happens in your basic authoritarian (patriarchal) family when a child begins experimenting sexually? Punishment? What "lesson" is given the child along with the punishment? What is the lesson they take away for the rest of their life? What becomes their "moral code"?
We can answer this EXACTLY, by following the James Dobson method of discipline where, instinctual, unsanctioned behavior (sexual or not) is punished with violence (spanking), and prayer -- used explicitly to "break the child's will" and "show them who is in control" in order that they will learn "to yield to the loving authority...[and] to submit to other forms of authority which will confront him later in his life -- his teachers, school principal, police, neighbors and employers."
There you have the a priori conditioning that keeps the Red Stater in line, in church and fighting for The Victory.
As in any social movement, the new American Theocracy has folks at the top like Dobson, who move the pieces on the playing field and make a pretty penny from their instructional videos. The followers -- those who want nothing more than to live their "in service." The masses may not all be asses, but they are instinctual creatures whose behavior can be predicted and manipulated.
They are welcomed into The Family and provided a set of causes that resonate with their upbringing -- sex is a no-no, until the authoritarian, patriarchal family (Dad) says so. Just look at what happens to those who disobey. Abortion. Disease. Homosexuality.
For these guys, "a great heavenly host" fights the "forces of darkness" every minute. We are simply barking up the wrong tree looking for "reason" in the actions of Red Staters. They are driven by unconscious forces. HOW TO MAKE THIS WORK FOR US: we aren't in Kansas, anymore
All ideology has a FUNCTION and a MEANING in The Unconscious. Yes, sometimes a cigar is simply a fine Father's Day present, but I contend, this cycle of obsession and repression is a sure way to imbue that cigar with a life of its own. We have to jump into this struggle and slay the dragons, especially the imaginary ones.
The nexus of their individual and social psychology is SEX. Look at how they are attacking Hillary Clinton. She's a lesbian. She let herself be raped. Chelsea is therefore an abomination. The way they talk you'd think they are minutes away from grabbing the torches and chasing the monsters down to the river.
UNVEILING their sexual sickness will disarm their only means of attack. This shouldn't be difficult. Our modern culture is saturated in decades of progress in sexual matters. It is an abomination that we are being dragged down in this muck. We already MASTER this aspect of the argument. We already have the high ground. Want to get them out of their comfort zone? Talk about sex. Expose this vulnerability by keeping the pressure on.
Remember Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals
Pick your target.
Freeze your target.
Personalize your target.
Polarize your target.
Our target is the backwards, repressed sexuality of Red Staters.
Freeze them out of their comfort zone by making them face this issue.
Personalize the target. Here's a list
POLARIZE the target as they as they are forced to side with pedophiles or get back on track with democracy.
We aren't in Kansas, anymore.
The fascists need the repressed sexuality of authoritarian families to provide fodder for their endless wars. Let not give them that. I want our sons and daughters right here at home -- at lookout point, where they belong.
Do this today. Talk to your kids. Let them know they are okay. Sex is not a 4-letter word. Love them and give them the strength they will need on their journey. The Red Staters are correct on this matter. It all starts at home.