See No Evil, Hear No Evil…

safety net2Joe the bug man is a staunch Republican. As far as I can tell, his political position is based on a single issue:

He has worked for everything he ever got and he doesn’t see why the government should pay others to lay about and do nothing.

You would think that given his strong views on politics, Joe would be well versed in national affairs. He listens to talk radio and watches Fox News, after all.

But when I mentioned the Koch Brothers in a chat the other day, he asked, “Who are they?”

That’s when it hit me. The right-wing propaganda machine succeeds not only by spreading disinformation. It also succeeds by withholding information.

While you and I might get all the news that’s fit to print (or broadcast), the conservative base is fed a censored diet that excludes any information that would damage the cause.

It’s no wonder Donald Trump declared after his primary triumph in Nevada that he loves “the poorly educated.”

He should also love the poorly informed.

Right-wing dogma thrives when people are uninformed and uneducated. Critical thinking doesn’t come naturally to humans. We prefer tribally shared bumper stickers and slogans.

The justification of a social safety net requires a fairly sophisticated level of reasoning. iIt’s not just a matter of compassion. There is an intellectual argument to be made for the common good, and I’m sure I don’t have to make it to you.

And, as for folks like Joe, who live in a right-wing bubble, intellectual arguments are a waste of time.

So when your neighbors, friends and relatives express distressingly misguided views on politics, don’t get mad at them.  Pity them. They’re victims of a powerful brainwashing machine funded by billionaires and operated by professionals.

Click for more on the Koch Brothers.

Why government provides a safety net

More on dumbing down America