Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why Republicans Hate the Poor

“You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” That’s trust-fund baby and serial business failure George W. Bush speaking to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005.
At the 2011 GOP presidential debates, audiences cheered wildly for poor people to die in agony without health care, for child labor and for wholesale executions. Republicans make it clear, over and over again, that despite their professed Christianity, they actually hate and despise the poor.
Screw the poor and make ‘em beg for more. That's the GOP motto.
“The Republicans understand the basic facts about American political and social culture,” Peter Clough said. “They know in the land of the ‘self-made man’ the propaganda machine has made us believe that those who fail are not victims of a system failure, but of a ‘lack of personal will’ to overcome the numerous and notorious obstacles erected by a class structure. Because of this, Americans loathe those who are taken down and left at the roadside, busted and beaten — they have no sympathy for the poor and marginalized — they hate them and wish they would simply go away.
“The makers of this situation are those who reap the benefits of this hatred — the competition for jobs (lowered wages), the resentment among workers for those who have lost work, the self-hatred among those who are unemployed. This attitude ironically enriches further the ruling class and its nefarious agenda of finishing off democracy, labor reforms, and efforts to share the prosperity created by workers."
Michael David Lopez said, “I’d also add that contempt for the poor in this wretched culture stems from two primary roots, one religious, the other secular. The ultra conservative Calvinist sect of Protestant Christianity, with it's bifurcated view of the Elect and the Damned, saw wealth as a certain sign of having been selected by predestination for salvation. Obviously one sure sign of being unworthy and part of the Damned was poverty.
“While Calvinism instilled thrift and is credited by the likes of Max Weber with providing an ideological base for capitalism, it also created a deep contempt for the poor as slothful, lazy, sinful and doomed.
“The secular offshoot of this Calvinist tradition was Social Darwinism. The idea that nature determined poverty meant there was little humankind could or should do to interfere with this natural selection. This is a favorite argument of the libertarian crowd.”
For example, GOP politicians often compare beneficial social insurance programs to slavery for two reasons: 1) because they loathe any program that in any way shields poor and middle-class Americans from their billionaire masters and 2) because they LIKE the idea of slavery and want to make it seem acceptable.
Those “traditional values" Republicans are always saying they want to reintroduce us to include child labor, sweat shops, company towns, county poorhouses, debtors’ prisons, economic serfdom, torture and slavery.
In fact, they are already reinstating slavery, by turning prisoners into forced labor at your for-profit privatized prison, while getting the taxpayers to PAY THEM to keep and exploit their slaves, what a deal. A vast corporate cost-benefit improvement over the original form of American slavery.
The irony is that the majority of the Republicans who hate the poor are, of course, themselves poor or one step away from it. Their hatred is fueled by unconscious self-loathing. 


  1. As always, insightful and spot on commentary. Why is Bill Kristol famous and not Dan Hagen?

    1. As John Mills said in the Dr. Strange pilot, "Working evil has its advantages."

  2. I must second the posting made by Steve Frazier. Dan's analyses are always terse, direct, and bracing. Dan IS more famous than Kristol.