My daughter and her husband are looking at houses and apartments. They drove through our old neighborhood the other day and she was shocked to see the deterioration. We have a variety of economic events to look at: the recession is #1, the Phoenix area’s massive foreclosure crisis, the large numbers of illegal immigrants from Mexico returning to Mexico under the onslaught of SB1070 and Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s troopers, and the usual shift of resources to the more up-scale and Whiter regions of the Valley (the Phoenix metropolitan area is called The Valley of the Sun, El Valle del Sol). I told her this is why the election is so important: Romney will instigate the same program Bush did, tearing down programs that aid communities. Obama was a community organizer and understands the destructive force that undermined and deteriorating neighborhoods engender; the GOP answer is to make a lot of money to get out of the failing neighborhoods and leave it behind. The odd part is that each person in those neighborhoods voting Republican believes he will be the one to get out, probably by selling Amway or some other get rich quick scheme.
Why do so many Americans, enough to make this laughable entry into the presidential field a real contender, not see the way Republicans gut not only neighborhoods but whole nations? Why don’t they see that countries around the world fear and hate us because we destroy their political movements, their economic initiatives, their social reconstruction programs, all to preserve some corporations’ interests? It is really quite simple: they have been persuaded to identify with the aggressors. That is the amazing accomplishment of the GOP: they persuaded the White Southerners that their best interests were served by the GOP b/c the GOP would strive to preserve racial purity (the GOP is about as racially pure as you can get); they persuaded the right-wing Christians that their god would be restored to the public place b/c the GOP would pass laws requiring it; they persuaded laid-off workers that it wasn’t the GOP’s money interests off-shoring jobs and money that cost them their jobs but rather the labor unions and affirmative action; and they persuaded the uneducated that the reason their kids aren’t getting a good education is because of politically correct teachers squeezing the supremacy of White civilization out of the curriculum and affirmative action in college matriculation.
The GOP has done this well. They direct their racial messages primarily to Southern White voters, their jobs messages to blue-collar workers, their education message to suburban dwellers, and so on. The only thing the GOP lacks is morals; morals plus demographic trends in their favor, and for that they have voter suppression laws.