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BILL MOYERS: This week on Moyers & Company how dog whistle politics use race to influence your vote. Historian Ian Haney López breaks the code.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: Dog whistle politics doesn't come out of some desire to hurt minorities. It comes out of a desire to win votes. It's racism as a strategy. It's cold, it's calculating, it's considered, it's the decision to achieve one's own ends, here winning votes, by stirring racial animosity.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. A dog whistle doesn’t sound like much to your ears or mine, but it will make the neighborhood canines come running faster than you can shout Lassie or Rin Tin Tin.

This whistle sends its signal at a frequency only dogs can hear. Which makes it an apt metaphor for this new book, Dog Whistle Politics, by my guest Ian Haney López. He’s broken the code on the racist politics of the last 50 years, as politicians mastered the use of dog whistles to turn Americans against each other while turning America over to plutocrats. The dog whistle of racism, says Ian Haney López, is the “dark magic” by which middle-class voters have been seduced to vote against their own economic interests.

Ian Haney López is now a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, after teaching at Yale, New York University and Harvard. Dog Whistle Politics is his third book. Welcome.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: Thank you very much, glad to be here.

BILL MOYERS: So why did you use this for the title of your book Dog Whistle Politics?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: Well, think about a term like “welfare queen” or “food stamp president.” On one level, like a dog whistle, it's silent. Silent about race. It seems race-neutral. But on another, it also has a shrill blast, like a dog whistle, that can be heard by certain folks. And what the blast is is a warning about race and a warning, in particular about threatening minorities.

And the idea that I'm trying to get across here is, racism has evolved. Or, in particular, public racism has evolved. The way in which racism, the way in which racial divisions are stoked in public discourse has changed. And now it operates on two levels. On one level, it allows plausible deniability. This isn't really about race, it's just about welfare. Just about food stamps. And on another, there's a subtext, an underground message which can be piercingly loud, and that is: minorities are threatening us.

And so when people dog whistle about criminals, welfare cheats, terrorists, Islam, Sharia law, ostensibly they’re talking about culture, behavior, religion, but underneath are these old stereotypes of degraded minorities, but also, and this is important, implicitly of whites who are trustworthy, hard-working, decent.

BILL MOYERS When I talk to people, I'm doing a group discussion somewhere, if I ask white people in the audience, if race is still relevant in your lives, they say absolutely not. You know, we're colorblind, is often what you hear.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: Right. Absolutely.

BILL MOYERS: And they believe that, don't you think?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: They do believe it. And it's important they believe it. And it's important for us to recognize that they believe it and that it's genuine. Look, here's a hard, difficult truth. Most racists are good people. They're not sick. They're not ruled by anger or raw emotion or hatred. They are complicated people reared in complicated societies.

They're fully capable of generosity, of empathy, of real kindness. But because of the idea systems in which they're reared, they're also capable of dehumanizing others and occasionally of brutal violence. And that's an important truth. Most people are not racist out of some sort of a sickness of the soul. They're racist because of the society in which they operate.

BILL MOYERS: How so?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: We need to understand that race has been one of the ways in which we’ve explained why certain groups get certain privileges and advantages and why other groups don’t get privileges or are exploited or are excluded from the country.

This operates not just in terms of class relations and group relations, this operates in terms of a common sense understanding of who’s trustworthy, who is decent, who is law-abiding, and in contrast, who’s loathsome, who’s diseased, who’s dangerous. That common sense of race used to be openly expressed through the 1950s, let’s say. Now it’s not openly expressed. And that’s one of the great triumphs of the civil rights movement. We ought not to gainsay that. But on the other hand, it didn’t all go away. It’s still there under the surface. Now it doesn’t, we don’t hear it in the language expressly of race, but we hear it in the language of culture and behavior.

BILL MOYERS There are some assumptions in society, a general proposition, unexamined, that blacks prefer welfare to work, that undocumented immigrants breed crime, and that Islam spawns violence. Those are dog whistles, are they not?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: I think they’re absolutely dog whistles. They’re dog whistles in the sense that they’re stereotypes.

A stereotype is a sort of cultural presumption of minority inferiority: blacks are lazy, Latinos are dirty or filthy, Muslims don’t respect human life. Those are stereotypes. Dog whistles are when politicians use coded language that try and trigger those beliefs. But they’re not the stereotypes themselves. And, it’s important, because dog whistling is not about bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of stereotypes.

BILL MOYERS: So you make it clear in the book, that this is sort of an old sport, politicians communicating with small groups of impassioned voters and a kind of code that only kindred spirits understand. Nothing especially troubling about that. But it's when it comes to the issue of race that you see a real injury.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: What makes race different? Two things. First, the message that politicians are trying to communicate, when they dog whistle in racial terms, is a message that runs directly counter to widely held values and norms of racial egalitarianism. The triumph of the civil rights movement is to teach us, to teach Americans that we're all human, we're all in this together. And so for a politician to come forward and say, I want your support because minorities are threatening and I believe that you ought to vote in solidarity with whites.

No one can say that expressly. That would be the end of a political career. So they use a dog whistle term and they say, I want you to vote in a way that cuts off food stamps and limits welfare and gets tough on crime and slams the border on illegal aliens. It's a racial appeal, but it has to happen in code. That's one difference.

The message that's being communicated is a message that violates core, common moral norms. Second difference, yes, there are lots of different cultural provocations that are expressed in dog whistle terms. Race is one of those. But I want to also suggest it's not just one of those, it's the primary cultural provocation that has been used by conservatives over the last 50 years. Race is special because it does so much damage not only to people of color, but in the way it restructures our society as a whole.

BILL MOYERS: Give me a clear example of that.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: So we know Ronald Reagan used to talk about welfare queens. But he also had this other stump speech that he would give. He would speak to his audiences and he would say, I understand how frustrating it is for you when you're standing in line at a grocery store waiting to buy hamburger and there's some young fellow ahead of you buying T-bone steak with food stamps.

Now the first time he told that tale, it wasn't some young fellow. He said, some “young buck." And a young buck was a racially-coded term that stood for a strong African American man. And so that term, that moved from being a dog whistle to an outright racial provocation. Reagan backed off and he started talking about, some young fellow buying a T-bone steak with food stamps.

Think about the characters in this story. The first character is the person buying a T-bone steak with food stamps. And that's conjuring the image of the lazy minority who's strong, who could work, but who doesn't want to work, and prefers to be on welfare. But the other image is the you in that story, who Reagan's talking to. And the you is ostensibly the voter, the hard-working taxpayer, the law-abiding American. That voter, that hard-working American implicitly has a racial identity. And that's white. So there you can see this racial narrative. You, Reagan is saying to white audiences, you're being taken advantage of.

There's a third character here. Government. It's government ostensibly that is taking advantage of whites, that is taking their money through taxes, and then giving it to these undeserving minorities. So what did Reagan suggest? He suggested tax cuts. We shouldn't, you shouldn't have to pay taxes to a government that's just taking your money and giving it to minorities. And indeed, what did he do? He enacted tax cuts. In the first year of his tax cuts, $164 billion went to American corporations. Over the 1980’s, the Reagan tax cuts transferred a trillion dollars to America's top 1 percent. Yes, voters got the tax cuts they thought were aimed at cutting off undeserving minorities. But in fact, it was a politics that was showering money on the very richest Americans.

We have to understand the way in which something has fundamentally changed in American politics. We used to understand that the biggest threat in a political life was the power of concentrated money. The power of big money and of corporations to hijack the marketplace and to hijack government.

But now, Republicans for 50 years have been telling voters, the biggest threat in your life is that minorities are going to hijack government. That government has been taken over and now serves them. So when white voters vote against the government, they think they're voting against minorities. But in fact, they're voting to give over control of government back to the very rich, back to the big corporations.

BILL MOYERS: Mitt Romney, decent man. 47 percent.

MITT ROMNEY: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48 — he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect.

BILL MOYERS: Was that a dog whistle?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: I think it was. I think it was. And I'm so glad you raised this example, because it's really striking. Here, all of a sudden, you have a presidential candidate who's dismissing 47 percent of the country. What terms does he use? He says, these are people who are dependent on government, who refuse to take responsibility for themselves. Who want free stuff.

Now it's a dog whistle on one level because he's seeming to use the terms that are typically associated with minorities and he's attaching them to half the country. So in a way, you're getting the poor are being racialized. So even when they're white, even when it's half the country, and he's talking about people who don't pay income tax, he's saying, these people are like minorities.

So that's an important dog whistle. But more fundamentally, it's a dog whistle in terms of this larger understanding of the relationship between people and government. He's saying, if you need government help, you don't deserve it. We should all be in this on our own. We should all be rugged individuals. If you make it, you should be celebrated and you don't owe anybody anything. And if you fail, too bad for you, but we can't worry about you.

And that's incredible in the message. How could that message resonate? Now remember, he's going to win a strong majority among whites. How could that message resonate with so many whites? It could only resonate because whites are steeped in the idea that the federal government is only helping minorities, it's only helping losers, and they don't want to understand themselves as losers.

BILL MOYERS I’ve watched that video time and again, wondering if he really knew what he was saying. But is it possible he didn’t think of that as a dog whistle?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: He’s pretty clear that he thinks it’s the narrative that his audience wants to hear. I’d say one more thing about this.

After he loses the election, he gets on a conference call to explain to his major donors why he’d lost the election. And he gives them the same sort of analysis. He says, and he doesn’t understand that the L.A. Times is listening in, he says, Barack Obama promised to give things to people. He promised to give things to poor people, to young people, to black people, to Hispanic people, and that’s why we lost. It’s the same basic narrative. That a government that tries to take care of people is actually the enemy of the country and the biggest threat in our lives. And that, in particular, it’s threatening because it’s taking care of minorities.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: So when I say that people like George Wallace or Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan or Mitt Romney, that they've engaged in dog whistle racism, often the retort is, these are decent folks. They're not bigots. And I want to say, I'll grant that. I'm happy to grant that. So what? This isn't about bigotry. This isn't about hate-every-black-person animus.

Indeed, dog whistle politics doesn't come out of animus at all. It doesn't come out of some desire to hurt minorities. It comes out of a desire to win votes. And in that sense, I want to start using the term strategic racism. It's racism as a strategy. It's cold, it's calculating, it's considered, it's the decision to achieve one's own ends, here winning votes, by stirring racial animosity. And that's the decision that George Wallace made, that's the decision that Ronald Reagan made, that's the decision that Mitt Romney made.

BILL MOYERS: But we were talking in my office yesterday with the young people who had been reading your book. And they said, but wait a minute, if it really works, how did Barack Obama win two consecutive races for the presidency by fairly comfortable margins?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: So if you want to see how it works, think about the demographics of the Republican Party today. The Republican Party today is 90 percent white in terms of where it draws its support and it's 98 percent white in terms of its elected officials. The country as a whole is almost is 65 percent white. You don't achieve that level of racial homogeneity by accident.

It reflects 50 years of using race to mobilize voters. Or, again back to Barack Obama. Obama won, but not among whites. Among whites, Mitt Romney won three out of five white votes. Now you might just say, well, maybe he won among white men. That was one of the refrains. No, he won among white women too. Or you might say, well, maybe this is just a function of the deep South.

True, he did better in the South. But Mitt Romney won a majority of white voters in 46 out of 50 states. Or you might say, maybe this is just an older generation. Maybe this is going to die off. No. Mitt Romney won a majority of the white vote in every age cohort of white voters, including the very youngest. There is tremendous support in the white community for politicians who warn the public about the dangers confronting them by minorities. Who warn them about a federal government that is ostensibly by and for minorities.

Yes, Barack Obama won. But we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking we don't have a big problem in our country when 60 percent of whites are voting, are willing to vote for a politician who promises to slash taxes for the rich, to deregulate the economy, to slash social services, and indeed, to defund large parts of the federal government.

BILL MOYERS: So at one point, I tried to write a little summary of where I was in your book. And I wrote down, what he's saying is that conservatives use the dog whistle to get the support of those still harboring racist sentiments and then convince them to go along with other policies that favor the rich even though those policies hurt everyone else, themselves included.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: I think so. I think so. Now, I would say it slightly differently. I'm talking about what's happening with white voters. But I'm not talking about all whites. I'm not talking about every person of European descent, let's say. I'm talking about voters for whom being white is central to how they think of themselves and how they think of social relations. And this may be conscious, but more likely it's unconscious.

BILL MOYERS: How can it be unconscious?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: It's unconscious because of how race works in America. Okay, so why do we think in racial terms? There's a big push to say, focus on cognition. Focus on the way we think. People think automatically in terms of group categories.

We tend to prefer in-group members and to disprefer out-group members. Fine. That's hard-wired in human cognition. But in a society structured around race, race becomes the category through which we do a lot of our automatic thinking. And now here's that last point. Our environment continually tells us that race is relevant.

BILL MOYERS: How so?

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: Think about the suburbs versus the inner cities. Think about elite universities versus poor public schools. Those are racialized spaces. They are occupied alternately almost exclusively by whites, or instead by a heterogeneous mix of nonwhites. And that seems to confirm these deeper stereotypes about what race is and about how race really defines fundamentally different group characteristics.

All of this is operating at an unconscious level. And while race-- there's been a lot of racial progress and that has opened up room for elites like Barack Obama, like myself, in fact, racism has adapted in a way that continues to damage minority communities. I think about mass incarceration, I think about mass deportation. I think about the conditions in many poor areas of our country, rural and urban. But also, and here's the important point, race has evolved in a way that has damaged the broad middle class in this country.

BILL MOYERS: That's the subtitle of your book,” How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class.”

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: And here's the core point that I'm trying to get across. This hasn't been just about minorities. Yes, minorities have been demonized. Yes, we've been told that minorities are criminals in a way that has led to a rapid expansion of the carceral system. Yes, we've been told they're abusing welfare in a way that has led to massive cuts in welfare. That's all true.

But at the same time, this demonization of minorities has led people to demonize the federal government. And indeed, to demonize government generally. So when we think about the shutdown of the government the House Republicans keep pursuing, why do they pursue that? Why would anybody support a shutting down of government?

Because government itself is now seen as a problem insofar as it's seen as by and for minorities. So this is the beauty of dog whistle politics. On one level, it always allows plausible deniability. Because it’s always giving a reason that is seemingly race-neutral. And yet, on another level, it’s always triggering racial fears. Now I want to back up and say it’s possible that people have concerns that are not connected to racial politics and indeed aren’t strategic, that are completely genuine. I understand that.

And I also want to say, look, this is a complicated society. There’s lots going on. There’s going to be basic disagreements about the role of government, the role of public schools, the role of religion in society. I have all of that. I don’t want to be understood to be saying it’s always racial provocation, it’s always dog whistle politics. But acknowledging that there might be these other factors is not the same thing as establishing that dog whistle politics isn’t a powerful force in our society.

BILL MOYERS And it works.

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ And it works. If we want to understand how we got to levels of wealth inequality we haven't seen in a hundred years. If we want to understand what produced the Great Recession and why since the Great Recession 95 percent of the recovery has gone to the top 1 percent, we need to focus on how race is shaping contemporary politics.

BILL MOYERS: We’ll dig further into Dog Whistle Politics in our next episode with Ian Haney López. Here’s a preview:

IAN HANEY LÓPEZ: Democrats have understood, they understood even as early as 1970, race was going to be an effective wedge issue against them. And when the Democrats responded, they responded not by contesting that politics, but instead by embracing it. And this is part of the story of dog whistle politics. Republican shift right and the Democrats have tracked rightward, following them.

BILL MOYERS: Meanwhile, you’ll want to go to our website, BillMoyers.com, for my web exclusive interview with Adolph Reed, author of the provocative cover story in the March issue of Harper’s Magazine, copies of which are now being delivered to the Hillary Clinton camp and the White House in plain brown envelopes. Its title: “Nothing Left: The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals.”

That’s at BillMoyers.com. I’ll see you there, and I’ll see you here, next time.

[Credits]

Full Show: Ian Haney López on the Dog Whistle Politics of Race, Part I

February 28, 2014

What do Cadillac-driving “welfare queens,” a “food stamp president” and the “lazy, dependent and entitled” 47 percent tell us about post-racial America? They’re all examples of a type of coded racism that this week’s guest, Ian Haney López, writes about in his new book, Dog Whistle Politics.

Haney López is an expert in how racism has evolved in America since the civil rights era. Over the past 50 years, politicians have mastered the use of dog whistles – code words that turn Americans against each other while turning the country over to plutocrats. This political tactic, says Haney López, is “the dark magic” by which middle-class voters have been seduced to vote against their own economic interests.

“It comes out of a desire to win votes. And in that sense… It’s racism as a strategy. It’s cold, it’s calculating, it’s considered,” Haney López tells Bill, “it’s the decision to achieve one’s own ends, here winning votes, by stirring racial animosity.”

Ian Haney López, a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, is a senior fellow at the policy analysis and advocacy group, Demos.

Don’t miss: Part II of their conversation »

Producer: Candace White. Segment Producer: Robert Booth. Editor: Sikay Tang.

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  • Anonymous

    I would like to pick up on the use of the word cognitive by Prof. López. He says: “We tend to prefer in-group members and to disprefer out-group members. Fine. That’s hard-wired in human cognition.” I want to suggest a modification of that view. One which will have political consequences. I want to suggest that the distinction between ‘us’ and ‘other’ is an intrinsic part of our species bequeathed by evolutionary history. It is the cohesive force of groups; particularly visible if we think of the earliest human communities. What is new is the assignment to the ‘other’ by skin pigmentation.

    This distinction is not only subconscious as Prof. López says but even deeper than that. It comes from the limbic system and is not part of our cognitive understanding at all. It is expressed through emotions. The bridge between this primitive limbic system that moves us and the world of thought or cognition has always been mediated through our mythic understanding mediated through origin myths, poetry, music, religion. These are the bridges between the cognitive realm in which we view the world and the limbic in which we feel it. We have developed particular sensitivities which hear the dog whistle Prof. López has described.

    Experts in mass marketing – whether of cereal or candidates – have learned to disassociate the sound(bites) that carry mythic force from their deep roots, and to manipulate them and us to great effect.

  • Benjamin Nelson

    Fascinating. Thanks for this.

  • Matt

    How would you explain the demographic fact, which has been born out by numerous psychological, sociological and political studies and surveys, that self identified liberals are less xenophobic, less tolerant of economic inequality, etc, than those who are self identified as conservatives? Does the difference between these two groups express itself in the brain structure, and, or perhaps even the dNA? Are self identified liberals more evolved?

  • Justicia

    Blacks don’t vote for black candidates all the time. If Blacks voted strictly on racial lines then Black Republicans would win over White Democrats in districts with a significant black electorate.

    Black voters choose candidates they believe represent their interests — and Republicans (including Black Republicans) have nothing to offer but sneering contempt of the poor and working class.

  • Reiner Wilhelms

    When Romney talked about the 47 percent, that wasn’t a dog whistle, that was a fog horn.

  • Reiner Wilhelms

    I don’t believe this. It’s much simpler: Try group behavior. Liberals, just like conservatives, or right wingers, usually agree with their neighbors. What a silly idea to believe “liberals are more evolved”. That is actually a good example of a dog whistle statement. What’s next – phrenology to make predictions about political orientation?

  • Matt

    Actually not. The sociology backs my assertion. Liberals tend to be less xenophobic and have less tolerance for economic inequality. As to whether or not such attributes would be considered more evolved, that certainly is a judgement call. The studies and surveys bare this out. It is true that people of like values tend to congregate, and that confirmed bias operates within all groups, but this, in and of itself does not negate the fact that conservatives and liberals have distinct predilections. The research is solid.

  • Matt

    Black Republicans. All 3 of them.

  • george the sceptical

    It says they got better sense than to vote against their own interests.
    What’s your excuse?

  • george the sceptical

    Actually, no.
    Google: The Conservative Brain.
    Turns out neuroscience has discovered that you have a big amygdala. This causes you to be more fearful, and allows you to listen to Glenn Beck without screaming.
    As far as phrenology goes, I’m of the opinion that many more bumps on your head would be a good thing. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  • JJ042804

    Lol

  • JJ042804

    Racism is racism, no matter in which way it’s used. Specially if it’s cold and calculated.

  • carlin123

    Please Allow me to summarize Mr. López book for you in 4 words.
    Conservatives bad, liberals good.
    Instead of wasting your time reading this self-indulgent drivel watch a youtube video or read a book by Milton Friedman or Thomas Sowell two enlightened gentleman with empirical data to back up their arguments.

  • Gregory D. Allen

    Great piece and a discussion I have been attempting to have with my conservative friends for some time. I think he make this issue very clear, without pontificating or embellishing the facts.

  • Anonymous

    Mitt Romney is just a classic upper-middle-class hypocrite who got Govt help for a tainted Salt Lake City Olympics but would deny it for anybody else.

  • ErnestineBass

    Howard Stern is more of a Libertarian/Libertine.

  • ErnestineBass

    The root problem is classism. Always has been.

  • Vera Gottlieb

    The US is as far removed from ‘democracy’ as our planet is from the Sun. And when large corporations don’t pay taxes, or hardly any…what is this called?

  • Anonymous

    Obama won the last election in part because the 47% who are getting from the government were afraid that they would lose some of what they were getting from the government if a Republican got in office! That is the bottom line!
    Both Dems and Reps receive money from the same corporations so what we really have is corporate governance!

  • Reiner Wilhelms

    I take the risk to nevertheless dismiss this as “very interesting” pseudo science. There are always structural distinctions between any two people, and because there are so many possible variations, there can easily be differences between selected groups of people which appear systematic but are actually random. Since there are billions of small distinctions between humans, you are likely to find always something among that huge arsenal that appears to be statistically different on some moderate level of significance. If you can show something with a confidence of more than 99 percent I will pay attention – but it would require quite a large number of cases. The other problem is selection bias: How many studies are there that did not find any differences? Probably very few because no one would published them as they simply confirm the common sense, and hardly any one who is not searching for these differences would do such a study.

    Of course I would say it’s not completely crazy to suspect there may be differences. The upbringing of a child to an adult person from birth on is going to have some influence on brain structure – it should be if we believe that the “mind” emerges in some way connected to the specifics of a brain. For example, it has been shown that specific brain structures are slightly different between people who learned fluency in a second language as adults versus those who grew up bilingual.

    So on the other hand, I also don’t believe in the other extreme of everything being behavioral, and I would not dismiss that there could be systematic differences that may predict, for example, whether or not someone turns schizophrenic. But I’m not sure what the state of neuroscience is there.

    Added later: I do agree though to the original poster, chadler.

  • Robin Swieringa

    “Most racists are good people. But … they’re also capable of dehumanizing others and occasionally of brutal violence. And that’s an important truth. Most people are not racist out of some sort of a sickness of the soul. They’re racist because of the society in which they operate.” – Haney Lopez, opening the discussion on Moyers and Company

    I was dumbfounded when Haney Lopez made the above statements, and utterly disheartened that Mr. Moyers offered no challenge to them. Unhappily enough, Professor Lopez was, in fact, issuing his own “dog-whistle” statement, deciphered as follows: The bulk of the racist comments to which he referred throughout the program were made by white politicians and referred to black people. Thus, the “racists” to whom he refers are white people. Therefore, Haley Lopez’s dog-whistle message is “an important truth” that “most [white people] are “good people…but…capable of dehumanizing [black and other people of color] and occasionally of brutal violence [towards black and other people of color]…[not] out of some sort of a sickness of the soul [but] because of the [American] society in which they operate.”

    THE most important truth about white persons’ racism, dehumanization, and violence toward people of color is exactly what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. averred: that it is, in fact, a sickness of the soul. Further, the “society made me do it” defense for one’s violent actions, when ascribed to poor and black persons, has been held in contempt by white people for decades in the courts of law and public opinion. Does Prof. Haley Lopez honestly think that he can give — or that we’ll go along with his giving — dog-whistling white folk a both clean bill of spiritual health and a free pass on personal accountability for one’s choices?

    Prof. Lopez’s opening comments may sell some copies of his book to some “good” white racists who otherwise wouldn’t have bought it, but this “dog” who can hear the whistle — whoever blows it — is going to keep her money in her pocket!

  • Reiner Wilhelms

    Very much agreed, but you see the problem right there: you had to write an entire essay to make your point and it wasn’t easy to read …

    It simply takes much longer for anyone to react and act rationally and with their main lobe switched on, than just following kneejerk reflexes.

  • jimpower

    Actually, the ONLY reason the top 1% vote Republican is for the “freebies & goodies” (as Romney called it) the GOP gives them.

    The overwhelming lion’s share of government handouts go to the top 1%, who get BILLIONS in Welfare Subsidies, Welfare Tax Breaks, Welfare TARP, etc.

    The GOP sees the role of government as a bottomless Welfare feeding trough for the elites, while laughably pointing their finger at the poor & minorities as being “moochers” who in reality only receive a fraction of what the “self-made” (ie. cradle-to-grave Welfare recipients like Romney, Trump, Bush, Cheney, etc.) parasitic 1% get.

    Obama wasn’t giving the 47% the 13% income tax rate that Romney claimed to have paid. The 47% pay closer to 33% income tax. Thanks solely to the Welfare-Worshipping GOP, Romney and his ilk pay little-to-no taxes – which is a MASSIVE government Welfare entitlement handout.

    And, as usual, the “liberal media” is forbidden by it’s rightwing owners from ever pointing out or discussing this incredibly important fact.

  • Anonymous

    Racism, besides fear or misunderstanding of the “other”, also has a significant economic basis. Slavery provided cheap labor and abolishing it threatened white jobs — the basis for much of the current anti-Mexican immigrant sentiment (not limited to whites). Anti-semitic prejudice historically has often had economic roots in addition to religious intolerance. I worked for years with Jamaican healthcare aides who privately derided Haitian women (who often would work for less money). It’s easier to blame visible food stamp recipients for the tax bite in one’s paycheck than impersonal corporations that collectively receive much more federal welfare. Of course, the corporate-controlled media benefits from promoting the “other” stereotypes as a distraction from the real reasons for loss of jobs and income inequality.

  • owl

    Not sure. I don’t hear “race” in these referenced politics. Any issue these days can be remotely related to race, does that make the person bringing up the issue a racist? If so, who is the real racist? On the other hand, I kinda like the analogy of dog whistle politics – and I can see certain issues are particularly heated up to provoke a particular population to support one party over the other. We are all ‘dogs’ who can hear custom-designed whistles at some point, its not just race. The dogs’ votes = their power. We need to be careful what the parties really want.

  • Denni A

    spot on!
    you have to admire the masterful cravenness in how the robber baron’s have been able to twist and distort who the real ‘moochers’ and ‘welfare kings’ are and managed to distract the 99% against each other when we should be uniting against the 1%. if only we could resurrect Teddy Roosevelt.

  • Denni A

    every American should watch this liberal, conservative and all political persuasions to really understand the psychology behind dog whistle politics. it gave me a better understanding why those with the most to lose vote against their own interests.

  • MelleB

    Excellent. 2 Brilliant men.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Denni, I got this address that you gave from our other website and thank you very much since I had missed this.

  • Anonymous

    Racism is something that is taught from 1 generation to the next but yes it can also be a ‘sickness of the soul’. As far as the question of ‘giving a clean bill of spiritual health’ who said anything about a free pass? May I assume that you Robin are white?

    What Lopez has done is put in writing what we of color have talked about but obviously too many whites don’t acknowledge about themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Tremendous gains for whom Sully? Please think about it. What exactly do you mean by reverse discrimination? You don’t really believe that the conservative groups and now the extreme wing nuts are welcoming to people of color do you? How welcoming is it when for example the State House of North Carolina has made it almost impossible for many to even vote? When the AG of Penn. is shown on the news last summer announcing that they had accomplished making it more difficult for people to vote? Don’t talk about reverse racism or discrimination ’cause it’s not going to hold up. You Sully are the perfect example of whom Lopez was referring to and yes as he also stated, you don’t even recognize the fact of it and that’s what’s really sad.

  • Anonymous

    Good points made by Arty, I was wondering if it was an outline for his doctorial.

  • Anonymous

    I hate to tell you Dave but welcome to Mittens’ 47%.

  • http://www.shotokai.com/ingles/history/hagi.html‎ Taylor Gregg

    Your ‘gains’ are mostly legal and superficial, regardless of how good they may be. Now that the frightened Caucasians see their majority cultural bending towards more color, the racism is coming out in the open. It doesn’t take Sherlock to hear the dog whistles…

  • Robin Swieringa

    Hi, Allison!

    Yes, I’m white, and I agree that he has, indeed, put into writing what my African-American friends and fellow church members and I have known for a long time, and I am glad that he is calling out presence and use of dog-whistle messages in American politics. But that is precisely why I was angered by his opening comments: I don’t believe that people in a dominant cultural group who are racist and can get involved in violence over racial issues deserve to be called “good people,” as he called them; nor do I believe that his opinion that “society” is the cause of their racism and potential violence should have been accepted without question or challenge (hence my use of “free pass”). And it was Hayden Lopez who said that racism is NOT due to a sickness of the soul, which was the source of my “clean bill of health” comment.

    To me, then, it did seem like Hayden Lopez had himself fallen into the dog-whistle trap. I was surprised that Bill Moyers allowed these opening comments/ideas to be put forth
    without challenge — and it’s the “without challenge” part that also contributed to my use of the free-pass terminology.

    I agree with you that racism is learned, and I know that disassembling the societal structures that have institutionalized the racialization of politics, economics, wealth, social rewards, etc. — and continue to do so — will continue to be a difficult and long-term project.

    Thanks for your comment, Allison. I hope this clarifies my thinking!

  • http://www.shotokai.com/ingles/history/hagi.html‎ Taylor Gregg

    Somehow I don’t think that ever smallest part of us humans we call ‘rational’ will save us, no matter how much we may wish it. It is perfectly rational when fearful of losing one’s cultural identity to lash out and blame “the other.” Us vs. them is one of the most primitive of our responses to that fear, and as natural as breathing. Such is the basis of racism, one of the more deplorable of human traits, but once essential to our survival. In denying racism an honored place in our culture we are trying to move towards a higher moral plane, but the squeeze is on, and fear may win out in the end…

  • http://www.shotokai.com/ingles/history/hagi.html‎ Taylor Gregg

    No evil intended; none of us is ‘evil’ by nature, but all of us are capable.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s because I’m of mixed race and can see many sides of issues. I have always been able to float in and out of any group except Asian. A neighbor who had asked me several yrs. ago if she could refer to me as a ‘girlfriend’ (who even does that?) has come to realize that I’m not what she had supposed me to be. Yes, she’s a ‘good’ person (not an axe murderer) to a certain degree but prejudice she is. I’ve known many whites like her and butter of course wouldn’t melt in their mouths, I trust most as far as I can pick them up and throw them. And thank you for responding.

  • Anonymous

    And what did you think of his theory of voting against their own good which is the other point Lopez made and not even realizing that’s what they are doing?

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  • Reiner Wilhelms

    Thanks for the link. I remain unconvinced, even though I don’t feel too motivated trying to scrutinize each of those studies in particular. But I did have a look at the article where that color figure comes from, which is supposed to support the view of ‘political believes encoded in DNA’.

    It is important to know that the graph is based on putting together the results of many different studies together, were the ‘political traits’ that were investigated by different studies are sorted in decreasing order by the variance that could be explained based on genetics.

    But when you look through the different political traits from left to right in the figure, there appears nothing systematic about it, in fact it’s surprising how similar the the traits are going from one end of the diagram to the other. Notice the following:

    The three that rank highest in terms of proportion of variance explained as based on genetics are on the left of the figure: ‘Political knowledge/sophistication’, ‘overall ideology (liberal-conservative)’, ‘right wing authoritarianism’, and the three lowest on the right of the figure are ‘Ethnocentrism’, ‘sense of civic duty’, ‘political party identification’.

    Now wouldn’t one expect that these groups of traits should appear closer together? But they are at the extremes of the figure, which suggests that “political knowledge” is supposed to be mainly genetically explained, while “party identification” is minimally explained by genetics.

    My bet is that these different ‘political traits’ were investigated by different studies, one by researchers who really wanted to prove the genetics influence and the other by people who wanted to disprove it.

    This whole topic is a bit bizarre and it appears that only “political scientists” and media outlets are interested in it. I don’t trust political scientists, and have my doubt whether that’s actually science. But I fully expect that they will come up with results that support their view point. Someone there cited makes this statement:

    “What we do with this knowledge is another matter. How do we look at public opinion differently knowing that some of what we measure has a genetic basis? I am not sure what the answer is.”

    I think that the best answer is to be extremely vigilant about how these fluffy ideas are used, because in a society where racism is still very much alive and kicking, this stuff is very easily used to support racists ideology.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this.On this topic I often think of Stephen Covey and one of his habits of highly successful people: seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.

    It is my great hope that one day people can have a genuine dialogue around this important issue. It is my experience, however, that many people who have valuable recommendations to offer are shut out of the conversation. It has become more like a monologue with the media as moderator, but it has message points all neatly laid out and is unwilling to listen to anyone who comments outside the boundaries of those talking points. This never really moves us forward in a significant way.

  • NJHope

    He is an a . . . That is all I know.

  • NJHope

    The Mr. Lopez types? A person looking at the whole of an issue should be praised, even if he is not including all the statistics over the course of its history. He is trying to pull a specific set of tactics that demean and hurt people, and put them in front of you so you can see how harmful they’ve been. I for one, would like to see more progress on inclusion, for all of us, whether of color or of the female sex. I am white, and I have been discriminated against over and over, but I want all discrimination stopped, no matter whom the perpetrator is. Since I’ve been discriminated against by mostly rich white males, I can “see” why so many people of color hate them. Bullying is what it really boils down to. All bullying is simply evil. The fact that you don’t “see” what your House of Representatives in Congress has done over the course of Obama’s terms, to discriminate and hate him, is the really sad thing to me.

  • Anonymous

    Sully I’ve replied to both of your response’s to me but Disqus is being wonky and tells me I can’t respond to an inactive comment!

  • Anonymous

    Amen to that NJHope.

  • Anonymous

    ‘Strategic’ racism IS and always has been racism.

    These are NOT GOOD PEOPLE, just because they don’t hate EVERY non-white person. They are destructive people, part of a PROBLEM that causes stunted and shortened lives. Poverty is one of the greatest violence. Ok, it’s ‘automatic thinking’, often unconscious. This is a big part of what racism is!

    Ditto, sexism; sexists and those who are inconsistently sexist live with those they consider ‘different by nature’ & somehow second or another ‘class’ or type in terms of their own rights (aka women & children)! This sort of ‘thinking’ (which I have to put in quotes) IS subtle and pervasive. No brilliant insight or news there!

    OK, the policies of these racists, and the dog-whistle approach they use, also happen to favor rich and demonizes government. So racism is as a subtle & not so subtle wedge issue, ‘dogwhistle’ style. And it keeps power flowing to corporations & the ultra wealthy, stoking inequality that ensures MORE inequality. And people STILL don’t wake up. It postpones real change in the status quo, especially in the face of the coming minority status of white people. This sort of thing makes war easier to sell and dupes people into voting against their own interests — if you consider a renewable civil society, the thriving ecological life support systems, prosperity or peace in your interest.

    Is this big news? Just don’t tell me these are ‘good people!’
    All humans are imperfect & inconsistent, but self-responsible and liable for their actions in a social sense. Ditto governments and what they promote.
    Does it let you off the hook because you are kind to your dog? (Didn’t an episode of House of Cards end with an unscrupulous man crying over the death of his dog. Nazis went home from the concentration camps to their families.)
    That we capable of being controlled & manipulated, propagandized, appealed to with subtle messages that make the ‘divide and conquer or distract; strategies effective — well, YES. If you want a better society, and this book is part of waking up people, OK. Otherwise – I don’t get it.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that classism is another of those big ‘isms’ (like racism and sexism) that keeps the status quo with those already in power.

  • Mari McAvenia

    I agree. The thing is, “good people” get absolutely nowhere in this country. Responsibility, civility, open-mindedness and fairness are dismissed as personal weakness – at best – and these behaviors are punished by fearful, insecure, greedy others, at worst. Good people are easily exploited and not too many stay in the public eye after being kicked around and used too many times. The “winner take all” political economics of America push the vast majority of good people under the bus. This is a serious issue for our children, elders and all those who don’t pack a mean, vicious punch to go along with a bullying “me first” attitude. Sad but true.

  • Mari McAvenia

    Crazy, ignorant and they’re proud of it, unfortunately.

  • Robin Swieringa

    I understand … :-)…

  • Mari McAvenia

    Don’t you know that the non-white BFF is THE hot, must-have fashion accessory these days? ( it’s OK to laugh, even as we wipe away the tears of frustration.) Let me tell you a “funny” true story: Years ago I worked at a store in an ethnically diverse neighborhood. A line of people stood across the counter from me in every color except “white”. My co-worker, a recent immigrant from China, was talking with another Chinese woman about how she felt: “I don’t like the white people !”, she blurted, rather loudly.
    Everybody’s jaws dropped as they looked at me for a reaction. “Neither do I .” , I said and that got everybody laughing at once. OK, here’s the punchline : I’m “white”. Well, pinkish, at least.

  • Anonymous

    Can liberals blow dog whistles, too?
    What about rhetoric by someone such as Jesse Jackson and Sharpton? Or how is it perceived when a U.S. Attorney General speaks out about a racially charged case (Zimmerman-Martin) and impugns the decision of a jury that acted in good faith?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t disagree, but media missed a prime opportunity to ask both Romney and Obama in the presidential debates, “How does the government make up the loss of that (nearly) 50% of people who no longer pay income taxes?” It would have been a fair question, as well as provocative, for both candidates.

  • Robin Swieringa

    I think that not-the-1%-or-10% people vote against their own good (i.e., for the GOP/TeaP) because they believe that they could someday join the ranks of the top-10% income group and the GOP gives them an acceptable (but false) reason for their not having yet achieved it: big govt. and/or social support programs that they are not benefitting from. The GOP says, “You can be one of us (wealthy!) one day if you and the government stop taking care of your neighbor!” I’m not against wealth or the wealthy per se, and I recognize that one can become wealthy in one’s lifetime and even agree that one’s taxes should be raised (like Warren Buffet said). But there are institutional barriers to those who are not in the dominant socioeconomic group and the GOPers deflect attention from those by blaming the govt. and those “others” in need of help.

  • Anonymous

    I think you have a point, but you will get verbally swatted by this crowd. Racism, like sexism, is an ugly aspect of being human. The conversation is interesting, but because both liberals and conservatives play politics with racism, it is an issue that will not go away. Think of the Sharptons whose very livelihood depends on keeping African Americans in a state of anxiety. And this never moves them ahead in society, but it makes for sensational media and promotion for the Sharpton kind..I assume Sharpton, Jackson and others like them are paid by the national Democratic Party. Otherwise, what is the source of their incomes?

  • Anonymous

    Funny Mari! Thanks

  • Anonymous

    My personal world is just fine Sully and for the most part always has been but thanks anyway.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. That jury acted in anything but “good faith.” They felt threatened by a black “hood” because they wanted to act out their own hatred for violent black kids. It’s understandable, but it’s not “good faith.”

  • L. Christopher Bird

    That’s the point of it being called “dog whistle” as stated time and time again, that these things are framed in such a way that denial of racism is plausible, and is couched in racially-neutral language, but infers commonly known (and held) stereotypes of a racial nature.

  • Matt

    One must also be cognizant that advances in neurological and genetic research and consequent data, which is happening very rapidly and that implicate inherited IQ as well the evolution of societal and political memes, can be stifled by political correctness. It cuts both ways.

  • Anonymous

    education of the masses has failed. the masses do not know how to think critically. the masses think that as long as they have cell phones, cars, etc. everything is ok. this allows easy manipulation by liberals and conservaties.

  • Anonymous

    both sides are crazy ignorant and proud which allows manipulation and the state we are in right now!

  • Anonymous

    blacks, hispanics, whites, jews etc. vote for those that look like themselves. this is american politics period. all voters should get both sides of the political issues, make up their minds and refuse to be in lockstep with the established parties.

  • Prof. Longhair

    I was raised in a mostly white working class Irish-Portuguese community in a Northeastern city & taught by catholic religious staff from grammar school thru college; my goal was to enter social work as a career & despite (or because of) my extensive training in this field I was completely unprepared for what I found in a State position in Human Services—-thousands of very poor white, black, brown & even some Asian very poor—it all clashed directly with the conservative middle class values I had been brought up with to “work & pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” & it took me years to understand that there a re so many in the good old USA that are locked out of participating in their society because they come from “broken”, disfunctional homes & have very little if any chance of making it in American Society; I noticed that even the very poor whites were so adversely affected by coming from dysfunctional families, that they also had little chance.

    As time went on I began to accept things & found ways to provide help for those in my caseload, with the result that I, along with many of my co-workers were held up with deep scorn & even hatred for doing what I assumed was my job.

    Most of these programs have been since discontinued due to budget cuts & a more conservative trend in the country; there is still so much anger & hatred toward needy people who can’t help the position they find themselves in, and the reluctance of our society to provide help.

  • Anonymous

    It also wouldn’t be a question based in reality.

  • 10Swords

    That seems right, he ran as a Libertarian, but Howard Stern has a history of supporting local Republican politicians. I have no idea how anyone could possibly ascribe liberal values to him.

  • Anonymous

    Why is that?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always enjoyed knowing who my haters are. People always talk about the haters in the south but I found them to be the most honest. Whereas everywhere outside of the south it’s more subtle therefore more hurtful when discovered.

  • Anonymous

    You sound frustrated, but maybe you haven’t noticed that there are millions of white, Hispanic and Asian people out of jobs or “working for the man” in jobs they dislike.

    The guy interviewed by Moyers made some good points about the middle class, but what most people with an agenda don’t mention is that millions of Americans were unprepared for the quickly changing American service-and technology-driven economy. Those who were have, in general, done well. They got educated and trained to be able to take the jobs that have been created.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe you have never served on a jury. You take an oath, and I believe that most people take that oath seriously.
    All I am saying is that I find it unprofessional and disingenuous for a presidential administration to zero in on a single case. The president has so frequently claimed to be “out of the know” on numerous issues – from the NSA spying, the details of Fast and Furious, the details of his own signature health program, and his CIA Chief’s affair that just about everyone else in the Army and in D.C. knew about. How does the President of the United States of America know so little of issues of security and international significance, and so much about a single case in Florida? This did as much to diminish Obama as his bungling in Syria and with Russia (for starters).

  • Anonymous

    The percentage who don’t pay income taxes is much smaller than 50%. The close to 50% number is derived from ignoring FICA, which is the second largest source of federal revenue. To say half of Americans don’t pay income tax is like saying any work you do before your lunch break doesn’t count.

  • Anonymous

    So Romney’s much-maligned 47% remark was incorrect?

    Technically, I was rounding off to 50%, based on Romney’s comment. But let’s say 47% of Americans don’t pay income tax. If you are leading a country, the reason they don’t pay can be moot. What you should be concerned with is how you make up that colossal difference. Even if you’re missing 40% of your income, that’s major. Anyone who has ever owned a business, worked for a for-profit entity and managed a budget gets this.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it was absolutely incorrect. They “don’t pay” as long as you ignore the other sizable tax levied on income.

  • Anonymous

    What do you think comprises income taxes?
    And people who pay income taxes also pay those other taxes – state, sales, etc. Double the pleasure, double the fun.

  • empeejay

    I was intrigued enough by Haney-Lopez’ assertions on Moyers yesterday to see if it had compelled any interesting threads. Reading the comments from the perpetually offended here makes it a mine field of political incorrectness, and therefore no fun. No Jewish jokes? Can’t be a trusted friend with someone of another race? Bah!

  • moderator

    Please only flag a comment if it breaks our comment policy. Doing so because you disagree with the content, will limit your ability to participate in our community.

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    The United States levies two taxes on income: an “individual income tax” under 26 USC 1 and a flat tax under 26 USC 3101. The whole “47% don’t pay” figure is based on ignoring the flat tax under 26 USC 3101. And citing to sales taxes, etc. don’t really help your argument, as the effective rates of those taxes are much higher on “non-payers”.

  • Anonymous

    What Romney was talking about, I assume, are people who pay no income taxes. Many people do not, for whatever reason. If they don’t have income, or don’t have a certain amount of income, they don’t have to be taxes – except state, etc. My 85-year-old mother does not pay income taxes, but she worked 40 years and paid plenty during that time. I heard a few weeks ago on a public broadcasting station that nearly 14 million disabled people have left the work force. 14 million! They receive government (disability) benefits. The thrust of the interview was that about half of them probably could work but chose not to.

  • Anonymous

    Are you for real? “Get Real!” tells you about the prejudice s/he faces on the job and your response is “hey at you least you HAVE a job”. Of course its frustrating to face prejudice. A response like yours is frighteningly lacking in empathy, to the point where I would probably not leave my children alone with someone like you.

    And of course you trot out that fake non-factual economic theory that is so popular in the US- “the system is working! there are plenty of good jobs! If you are struggling, you just need the right training and one of these many many wonderful jobs could be yours.” In reality, everyone made more in the past than we do today, skilled or unskilled. There are simply less jobs available, and they pay less. On average, young people today are more educated and have less babies, but they’re earnings are still not stacking up against previous generations. Tell me again where all these great paying jobs are just waiting for a qualified candidate to apply, you lying prick

  • Anonymous

    This is not a hot job economy for sure. And most of the jobs created since 2009 have been low-wage. There are good jobs out there, many not being filled because people are not qualified. I read a few weeks ago that there is a huge demand for accountants, technology specialists and people skilled in the trades. What can I say? I have friends who commute 2-3 hours round-trip to jobs. Others are home only on weekends, and still others have moved to other cities for jobs, families in tow. There are people of all races without jobs. Reportedly women are doing better than men in the job market because they have more education.

  • Anonymous

    He was talking about people who pay no “income taxes” as defined under 26 USC 1, but that ignores the income tax levied under 26 USC 3101.

  • Anonymous

    Great show, but ironically it is not inclusive. Appropriately on Academy Awards day, the theme is like the highly nominated film Gosford Park, (inspiration for Downton Abbey) which exposed the terrible class based discrimination which used the same dog whistles.

    My guess is many many millions of non-minority Americans who are also victims of the libertarian politics since Reagan, are asking ‘what
    about me’. No pension or benefits, minimum wages, offshoring of jobs, election funding abuse, cuts to entitlements, have affected 80% of the population.

  • NotARedneck

    White racists vote RepubliCON because it is a racist party but DESPITE the fact that it is bad for nearly all of them.

    Blacks won’t vote RepubliCON because it is a racist party AND because they can see it is bad for them.

    See the difference? Apparently the latter are more intelligent, perceptive voters who are unlike those whites who are swayed by BS Madison Avenue right wing nonsense because it panders to their inherent racism over their economic well being.

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  • Anonymous

    Focus. You’re missing my point.

    What if your employer came to you and told you your salary would be cut in half, or in third? And your financial advisor said that your income would experience an overall drop -whether 50%, 47% or even 25%. How would you react? Are you wealthy enough to shrug it off, or you are laid back enough to say, “The universe will take care of me”? Our government is taking in significantly less money through income taxes (individual, payroll taxes, etc.). How does it make up that shortfall?

  • http://tiny.cc/ewcollins Eliot W. Collins

    Barack Obama probably won at least nine out of ten black votes. He won among black men, and he won among black women too. He won a majority of black voters in all 50 states. He won a majority of the black vote in every age cohort of black voters, including the very oldest.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not missing your point. Your “point” is that we should somehow penalize these people for having lower tax liability. You want to know a way to make up the short fall? For starters, you can start taxing the salaries of hedge fund managers as salaries and quit letting them pretend it’s a capital gain.

  • NotARedneck

    “For starters, you can start taxing the salaries of hedge fund managers
    as salaries and quit letting them pretend it’s a capital gain.”

    Such an important issue and it gets almost no coverage. The speculator scumbags have their

    anti social stupidity subsidized by productive, hard working Americans. The irony of it is terrible but far to many RepubliCON “movers and shakers”, (i.e. – those who fund the party) profit mightily from speculating and have entirely given up making real investments that would put people to work. Of course, they lie about this paradox at every opportunity. You can always tell a right wing moron because they swallow this lie, hook, line and sinker.

  • Anonymous

    the world is dismal. the pandering to the least common denominator, the lowering of standards, the acceptance of the mediocre as the norm all make the world a dismal place. dismal because most people accept what is put in front of them without question. an example is the loud shrug of most americans when told that the govt. was/is spying on them because it can!

  • Reiner Wilhelms

    True, but this wasn’t started as a discussion about general genetic inheritance but rather about things like political orientation and whether or not someone is a left or right leaning or becomes a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’. – And that’s where I find the debate about inheritance ridiculous, given that the claims about connections with intelligence and other more general personality straits stand on very weak statistical grounds, which I find actually confirmed to some extent in the article that you linked to.
    Sorry I had to ‘have the last word here’. I agree that it all cuts both ways.

  • Anonymous

    No. I never once insinuated the need for a penalty for people unable to pay. There are wealthy individuals who don’t pay their share of taxes, as well as jobless, poor, elderly, disabled and those who beat the system. My question was and still is, “How do you make up the shortfall? Yes, hedge fund managers would be a start, but a spit in the ocean.

    My point is the enormity of the issue. Media were more intent on demonizing Romney than on having a serious debate about a colossal shortfall in the income of our country’s treasury in a soggy economy.You must have given your parents and teachers heartburn.

    By the way, you don’t take money away from wealthy and make others wealthy, well off or, most of the time, not even better off. The wealthy always have money and know how to get more. Most poor people may rise from abject poverty to living off fewer subsidies and less welfare. It’s a tragic, deeply ingrained situation. Taxing hedge fund managers or the Bill Gates’s of the country are a drop in the bucket.

  • Anonymous

    Romney wasn’t demonized by the media. If anything, the media class loves that sort of crap. Hence their constant cheerleading for entitlement “reform”. Romney was demonized because the public is wising up after eight years of Bush that cutting taxes for the rich isn’t going to increase their living conditions.

  • Anonymous

    You and I mostly agree, especially about the tax cuts. However, I am far from wealthy, but over a period of time the cuts did benefit me. It wasn’t a large amount, but I saved/invested it. The idea was to induce the public to put money back into the economy, but I didn’t obey. Maybe others paid off bills, ate healthier food, etc. – same benefits being discussed now re: raising the minimum wage. I agree with that, but as a taxpayer I fully understand it is from my wallet to theirs. That’s okay – people at the bottom struggle, and the tragedy is that most of them and their children will always be chased by poverty.

  • Anonymous

    No one contests this. I don’t blame most of those voters on one level, but on another, I just don’t see that his being in office has advanced their lives. According to what they say via media, they are in a worse predicament than ever.

  • Anonymous

    In the late 70s/early 80s social demographers and economists predicted a decline in the middle class. Few average Americans believed them. I recall having the ability to save via IRAs and 401(k) plans, which I did. When technology roared, so did the economy, and fools rushed in. That bubble burst, then the housing bubble burst after millions of bad housing loans were made, and the economy still sags. The period I am referencing enfolds six presidential administrations – 20 years of Republicans and 18 years of Democrats (so far).

  • Anonymous

    Your long term perspective shows the decline involves far more people than minorities. I would suggest that the libertarian minded Reagan began this decline with his tax revolt, and anti union anti regulation politics. I believe this is a high correlation with the period begun by Reagan and the growing income gap, the massive increases in ceo pay and the decline of the middle class.

  • http://tiny.cc/ewcollins Eliot W. Collins

    Which were the four states where President Obama won a majority of the white vote? Please provide a source. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Partially accurate.
    Labor unions were already in slow decline when Reagan took office. In 1980 I began working in the metro Atlanta area for an Ohio-based company that had come South to avoid unions. It was not an unusual move. Many companies had grown weary of union heavy-handing. Auto makers, for example, were employing very highly paid union people, many of whom could not move up in their jobs – only pay grades – because they lacked skills or education. The world was quickly changing, with a large generation of college-educated people entering the workplace. Many union workers found themselves well-trained but to perform a single job on an assembly line.

    As humans we like to be quick and clean in pointing to blame. In this case, Reagan. But the reality is much more complicated when global transitions are taking place. I am amazed that people have assigned Reagan such god-like power.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, you are correct. I am not referencing just minorities. Meant to put this in my other comment. And yes, I had begun to read about the decline of the middle class in the early 80s, but the transition began in the 70s. Remember the Carter years?

  • Anonymous

    Clearly, like the weather, there are many variables to explain the outcome, but as Bill Moyers has show many times, the winner take all mentality of the past 35 years has been a key variable. The fact there are politicians who refuse to increase taxes on the rich, but will cut food stamps, or emergency unemployment, shows how libertarian the Ayn Rand crowd is. It is surreal.

  • Anonymous

    I recall that taxes were raised last year for the wealthiest Americans. Has that been rescinded? Even if they are raised year after year, the poor will still be poor. The rich will continue to be rich.

    You must know by now that even the politicians always interested in throwing money at people, or certain segments of them, expect something in return. Having the government into you means it has more control over your life. Even if our government sincerely cared about the less fortunate, they would take some of the millions used to promote healthcare, for instance, or the millions they spend on conferences, and put it toward promoting education and training for jobs in poverty-stricken communities. Just a “stay in school” message would help. That is the best pathway to a better life for all people capable of learning, especially the poor. Otherwise, they are likely to ascend only to a level of “less poor.” I am sure dependency upon the government is not an empowering state of existence.

  • Matt

    it is a statistical fact that children who are the progeny of parents with measured high IQs tend to also rate high in the same metrics. There is little dispute. Environment alone, is not the only factor, though factors such as measured delayed gratification in young children are predictive of academic achievement and environmental factors certainly play a role. That argument is pretty much settled.

  • Anonymous

    Education is a key, but in Toronto (yes Rob Ford country) it was reported that The proportion of young people working non-permanent, low-wage jobs has
    doubled in the past decade to nearly 12 per cent … Last year 32 per
    cent …with a postsecondary credential were either in a temporary job,
    employed part-time or unemployed. About a quarter of graduates say their
    degrees are “not at all related to their jobs.”

    Hayek had the right title – road to serfdom – but the wrong cause. The great system of free enterprise has been hijacked by libertarian narcissists. Their tax revolt and exploitive version of a good idea, free trade, has devastated the American people.

  • Anonymous

    Education and/or training.
    People do not need degrees from the Ivys to do well in life. They must want to better themselves. Their goals can be living comfortable, secure lives – not seeking rock-star lives of wealth and celebrity. Few people attain this. Media celebrate these types, plus Wall Streeters, and average people develop envy of what others have.

    What is happening globally was predicted years ago. It is the way of the world. Un-elect the people who represent you if they aren’t listening to you when you contact them.

  • Ed Kohler

    Looks like Obama won the white vote in more states than that: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/opinion/blow-election-data-dive.html?_r=0

  • Anonymous

    If I understand what you said your husband is retired from the military. Assuming he was a senior Non Commisioned Officer or Officer he has a good retirement package for life. Plus he probably is late 40 or 50 yrs.. To get a civilian IT job paying 100K is extremely fortunate. If he is 50 not many companies are not looking to training that old a person so a 85k dollar job plus military retirement . WOW I say you truly are blessed & some,(not me) might say you should get out of the labor market & make room for the folks we are both concerned about. The last years have not been good for job creation. It is hard for folks but I seen the late 30′s & this is easy street compared to that. One thing we had then was the family unit & community.. We looked out for each other & did not look to govt for help.. helped each other. This country does not have the fiber to weather tough times anymore

  • Anonymous

    My conservative friends have never expected to be rich from their vote.. I heard most times they want less govt & more jobs created by business investment.. Govt does not create jobs.. the private sector does.. which has been handed tied with regulations in the last yrs..Govt siphons off money that the folks would use for capital investment for jobs creation.. To say expect to get rich from their vote is not a factor.

  • Anonymous

    Lopez uses the dog whistle phase all too often. Are only whites racist??? My phrase is ” The racists dog does not hunt anymore.. its tired;& wore out. Dr King was right when he stated we should judge a person by the content of their character & not the color of their skin. The sickest folks I’ve met are judging by race first.. My African American friends have a difficult time in this sociely..particularly if they are conservative. Why?? Can they have a mind of their own like a liberal.????

  • Anonymous

    Based on your comment I wonder how Obama ever got elected if whites did not vote for him. ???

  • Anonymous

    Yes the gains have been good but yet some who make money or political points with race will not acknowledge to progress.. It is not perfect but a better nation ..

  • Anonymous

    To have different idea of govt than the President is classified as discrimination & hate.. I can not accept that premise as I disagree with President’s policies.. that make me a hater and discriminatory. Please.. can we disagree without the names??Please Please.

  • Anonymous

    Kraft make an elongated point of the right’s ability to divide the country & thus the voters. I’ve heard allot more about “war on women”; class warfare; & racism from the left this past years than from the right..The media is part of the DNC it seems. Both play divide & conquer game.

  • Anonymous

    Romney’s point was that those folks were not going to vote for him which is true but the media turned it around along with Obama’s campaign. Reid stated he did not pay taxes for 10 years but that does not make it true especially coming from Harry Reid. When is FICA income tax ???

  • Anonymous

    Might that hard wire difference explain why conservative are far more giving to charities as a % of income vs the liberals. i.e Joe Biden filed 200,000 plus income with abouot 5000 to charity?? Might follow along your lines.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Reid is in his own universe. If the Nevada GOP had run the rational Republican female candidate in Nevada, instead of the goofy Tea Party candidate, Reid would no longer be in the Senate. Polls showed the other woman could have beaten Reid, but the GOP elected the silly-headed Tea Partier in the primary.

    You must earn income to pay FICA. Where the debates get out of hand is that the O. administration is referring to Social Security/Medicare as an entitlement. In most cases, American workers are collecting on what they have paid into after they retire. It is not the same as collecting food stamps or health care subsidies, which American taxpayers foot the bills for.

  • clearview30

    Many Caucasians stated that they did not like Reagan’s policies. They stated that they liked him. Perplexingly, they voted for him. Such voters have dug an economic, political and social ditch not only for themselves, but for the nation as a whole.

  • Anonymous

    This is a vile roiling of waters by attributing to the basically color-blind “Tea Party” the old “racial” thinking that is primarily the province of color-conscious liberals who mistakenly think that racial categories should have great significance and thereby divide the nation. Professor Haney-Lopez should be ashamed to be at the center of such racial discord.

  • Anonymous

    This was medicinal for me. Thank you for inviting such a brilliant scholar and thinker to your show. I’m not going crazy after all…

  • Anonymous

    Obama has certainly “advanced” my life and my friends’. He’s not perfect, but vital for the times. Maybe you are hanging with the wrong people.

  • Anonymous

    Amen!

  • Anonymous

    Remember, Professor Haney stated that the Democratic Party was trailing the Republican’s policies and codes for many years…This is true, I’ve observed it.

  • Anonymous

    You should visit the public middle schools in Texas. I have. These kids don’t deserve it. What the Texas Board of Education had done and our legislature, is a crime. And over 50 percent of the students are Brown.

  • Anonymous

    In what way has your life been “advanced”? The stock market has risen, but I don’t see much else positive. Jobs are down; incomes are down; our international standing is down; religion is under governmental pressure; governmental spying on Americans is up…

  • Anonymous

    I live in San Antonio, which is a very difficult place to find a good job. The Obama Stimulas package got me a job which saved my life. And other friends of mine. I almost bought a house because of it. Recently, Obamacare has been vital to me and other professional friends who work for themselves. Last year, I suffered from a grapefruit-sized brain tumor…I was diagnosed with benign menigioma. Obamacare certainly will help me now with the needed follow-up treatment.

    I know that many people assume that those on the left are lazy and don’t work. That’s not true. Unfortunately, the March of media deregulation silences many voices like mine.

    Barbara

  • deborah coleman

    The Tea Party is bank rolled by the Koch brothers, they are not color blind.

  • deborah coleman

    John Stewart show, the Republicans plotted before Obama was inaugurated, if Obama is for it we are against it. Bank rolled by the Koch brothers.

  • deborah coleman

    Advanced? The Republicans exposed every dirty trick they use to stay in power. It was enlightening.

  • deborah coleman

    Their game screws the middle class. He’s telling to wake up and smell the Republicans.

  • deborah coleman

    Truth hurts!

  • deborah coleman

    Co-operatives or employee ownership in shares. Their labor makes corporations rich and above the law.

  • deborah coleman

    they are taking it all my screwing their constituents the middle class. and dividing the races.

  • deborah coleman

    their thieves!

  • deborah coleman

    the rich greatest fear is losing it all, and they despise the poor for reflecting the possibility.

  • deborah coleman

    Will the real welfare queens please stand up? 6 billion dollars a year in our tax dollars in subsidies and tax breaks to the wealthy. We are paying the NSA to spy on us. wake up people.

  • deborah coleman

    You are distracting yourself from the truth. You are being used and screwed by your own, to increase their wealth. Focus

  • deborah coleman

    so you are going to continue to vote republican.

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  • http://tiny.cc/ewcollins Eliot W. Collins

    Thanks Ed. According to the reference that you supplied, Obama won the white vote in eight, not four states, and these were all states with small minority populations. Without a doubt, however, Obama won the black vote in all 50 states.

  • Anonymous

    Some of your assertions are completely wrong. Jobs, for instance are up, way up. Our international standing is up, way up. Religion needs more government scrutiny than it is getting. An unrealistically high stock market is not necessarily a good thing.
    Meanwhile the national deficit has been cut in half, cost of healthcare has been reduced, while benefits and beneficiaries have increased. And, all of these gains have been made despite a totally entrenched Republican blockade.

  • Anonymous

    The Truth being?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s actually the taxpayers of the USA who have done as much to advance your life and that of your friends as has Mr. Obama. Other than that, you will have to be more specific.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t get what he meant. Was he insinuating that Democrats are so weak and so lack creativity that they would follow the lead of the evil Republicans? Or what did he mean? Give me some examples of what you think he meant. I need help here.

  • Anonymous

    Jon Stewart?
    Well, I confess I had you pegged as an intellectual lightweight, maybe as someone who gets information from The Economist or New Yorker. But Stewart … sure. Sure. That’s more like it.
    So who do think bankrolled a black college professor for a political career? Did he and Michelle have garage and bake sales to fund his senatorial and presidential campaigns?

  • Anonymous

    Am so thankful the good Democrats do not accept money from wealthy, greedy corporations. Whew! Now I can sleep well.

  • Anonymous

    What politicians from either party have actually helped Labor Union members? Why not just confine that to Democrats? Just today I heard that some unions are disappointed in Team Obama because he has not made good on his promises. I guess it’s that old talk is cheap reality, and the other reality is the gullibility of many people who see hope in politicians’ promises.

  • Anonymous

    You’re not paying attention. The Democrats, prior to the “New Deal,” are also to blame, he said so, for trailing the Republican policies. My Chicano political friends have explained to me over and over how much money is needed to stay elected. This is why people like me are not in politics. And I bet even Che Guevara would be criticized for something or other.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a Chicana from Texas. Of course many Whites here would rather spite their nose to save their face — I got called names for eight solid years in the Texas Panhandle schools. Now it’s “soft” racism, it’s the policies that seek to keep us uneducated, undocumented, and in bad health. My WWII father recently passed in a nursing home…every aide there was brown…who do these people think is gonna take care of them? Oh yeah, this country will never change…this is what Obama means to us.

  • deborah coleman

    Sentence after Truth.

  • Anonymous

    You refuse to see. Obama’s policies have made the world alot better for us. We aren’t in Iraq. Healthcare. And college education before it’s over. What part of this isn’t advancement to you? Have you travelled and seen the rest of the world and what they have?

  • Anonymous

    Anyone paying income taxes in 2014 is paying attention. Yes, most of us know all about how much money is required by all politicians to even stay in office. That is why they will tell us anything, and make all kinds of outrageous promises, to get elected.

  • Anonymous

    So what has Mr. Obama done for you lately? Talk does not count. It’s action that makes a difference in lives.

  • Anonymous

    What are you smoking?
    What is “the truth”? Do you know have the vocabulary to respond to this?

  • Anonymous

    It was George Bush’s plan to get out of Iraq. Obama just followed that. And we are still in Afghanistan after O. man made the misguided decision to send thousands more troops to their deaths or injuries there, and spend billions of U.S. dollars.

    Before you do any victory dances about healthcare, better wait a few years. About as many people have lost policies as have signed up for them. At last count only about 3 million have signed up in five months. In 2009 we were told that at least 30 million people were uninsured. What happened to them? The O. administration isn’t talking about that because, so far, healthcare is a failure. According to the White House’s own numbers, very few people have benefitted from O-Care.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t presume that people like me are not about “action.” It takes real grit for a working-class person to get a college degree and “advance” as you put it. Re: The Democrats — Dr. Lopez said that they also followed the “White” line of keeping people like me at arms length for a long while…are you having problems with people like me understanding this dialectic? We want progressive policies, and we can accept a party that has been reluctant with us. I will not support Republicans who do not recognize the past and its ramifications. I realize this is difficult for some to embrace. But Whites will have to face — in this century what has happened, it is our American destiny.

  • Anonymous

    Muy true, as we say in Texas.

  • Christanne

    Does anybody else see the connection between people like Haney-Lopez and entrenchment in the educational (Harvard, Yale, Berkeley) and other institutions that are not working for most Americans? It’s not that I don’t believe his contention about race. It’s just that I think he is blind to his own milieu. What would he say about Ivan Illich’s contention that endemic industrialized “progress” is proving as unsustainable as he said it was in the ’70s? I’m afraid that political use of racism might turn out to be a distraction from the real play being made – stoking fear people that they won’t get their piece of the pie. Remember Archie Bunker!

  • Susie

    Great show! Love Bill Moyers! Great guest! I hope some of the people in the cool-aid line see the show and consider a different path. I hope…

  • Nodramame

    I think racists are evil if they are deliberately racists. Most racists see themselves as regular people who think the worst they hear about people of other cultures is the truth. That is what gets them to vote against their own best interests. They aren’t evil. They are deluded and afraid. And trust me, I am a man who has experienced racism in it’s many forms. it;s all insidious. But some of it, most of it is just short sighted and misinformation. Now the politicians who practice this “Dog Whistle Politics”, they are evil.

  • Nodramame

    Over 5 million have signed up for ACA within the last three months. That does not make it a failure. There are no more combat soldiers in Afganistan. And unless things change even the security forces won’t be there. So Rumioneone, I think you are wrong on both counts.

  • Nodramame

    First Mr. Obama is a President, not a dictator. He needs the cooperation of the congress. And the Republicans in the congress have said from the first day of his first term that they intended to make him a failed president. They weren’t successful. We don’t have health care. We would have a raised minimum wage were it not for the congress. We would have a roaring economy were it not for the Republicans in both the congress and the Senate. But we do have a growing economy because of the work that Mr. Obama has done. What has John Boehner and Mitch McConnell done besides be obstructionists?

  • Nodramame

    color-blind Tea Party. Your jokes are not so funny. I don’t know one “liberal” who thinks racial categories should have great significance. I do know many liberals who recognize that racist conservatives would rather pretend that nobody else in the world matters but people like them. If you recall, it was the conservative politician that created the red lining that prevented people of color from getting home mortgages. Liberals worked to fix that but conservatives still do things like sell mortgage products to people that is structured in a way to undermine the person of culture. Simply talking about race, by the way, does not make one a race baiter. We have the racial problems that we have in this country because people like you refuse to have an honest conversation about it. I would think that’s because of guilt.

  • Nodramame

    Actually prior to the new deal the two parties were switched. Black people were Republicans because Lincoln was a Republican. But thinks began to change because of the New Deal and completely turned around when Nixon created the Southern Strategy after Johnson passed the Civil Rights Bill and the Civil Rights Act. That pretty much sealed the deal. Republicans began to appeal to unapologetically appeal to the racists in our society. It was not mere coincidence that Ronald Reagan kicked off his first campaign in Philadelphia, Miss. At that point the only thing it was known for was the death of three civil rights workers. It’s also not coincidence that Nancy in introducing her husband opened by saying, “It’s so nice to look out and so so many shining White faces.”

  • Anonymous

    I don’t approve of Republican tactics. McConnell is probably going to lose this fall, and he should. Maybe that will get the attention of some of his colleagues. I disagree, though, that the Republicans have stood in Obama’s way. He is his own worst problem. How is it that voters could have elected someone with so little experience and no proven leadership abilities and expect any different than what we have gotten? Obama likes talking and posing for photos, but he seems to wither when it comes to rolling up his shirt sleeves and dealing with dirty issues – whether a dissenting House or international world leaders (Putin, Assayd).

    As for the economy, most of the jobs created since 2009 have been low-wage – waiters, hotel desk clerks, admin. assistants. The healthcare plan still has a long way to go to be considered viable. You can’t deny American citizens plans they paid for in order to move make those funds available to someone else. Besides, we heard daily about 30 million Americans without insurance. It seems that a sign-up goal of 7 million – wait, I think it was just corrected down to 6 million – does not build confidence in the plan or the administration.

  • Anonymous

    We are still in Afghanistan, and our troops are still being killed there, though not at the rate they were when Obama called for the surge in 2009-10. We are still spending billions there.

    As I mentioned in another response to you, the sign-up is paltry for healthcare, based on O’s own numbers of Americans who need healthcare. Just observe how desperate the administration is. They’re humiliated. The insurance companies are unhappy. They went along with this plan because they thought they would be rolling in the dough at this point in time. The administration has had to spend millions of our tax dollars promoting the plan to young people. They can’t afford it. It would have been cheaper just to have provided Medicare for everyone and have some official who is not corrupt auditing it for wayward expenses. Honestly, we are in a world of trouble with that person in the WH. Can’t believe we have three more years of his ineptne3ss.

  • Anonymous

    Americans have always been generous. In the past we have given billions to charity and have, for the most part, been okay with paying taxes that benefitted people who could not help themselves. After the Great Recession – and things are still not that great economically – we feel overwhelmed by all the poverty. We simply can’t keep up the spending. People need to be accountable for themselves. They need to do what it takes to get educated, or get trained, so they can meet the demands of the job world. I live in a large metro area with failing schools, pothole-filled roads and rising crime. If my taxes are going for something beneficial, I prefer they go for that.

  • nld3

    As an independent, Its sad because the Left uses race as well. If anyone wants a little control on the borders you get called bigot! It works both ways.

  • http://www.billmoyers.com Theresa Riley

    Dear nld3: Watch Part II for examples of Dem dog whistling: http://bit.ly/1f7mVCm

  • nld3

    Will do, thanx

  • nld3

    It will be real interesting how Bill covers César Chávez. With that new movie coming out. Which I’m sure the movie will not show César Chávez’s Opposition to Illegal Immigration & Racial Advocacy.

  • Nodramame

    5-6 million sign up for ACA is paltry?

  • Anonymous

    Considering that of 300-plus million people in the U.S., 30-40 million are without insurance (Obama numbers), yes, even 10-15 million would be paltry. I would love to be a fly on the wall of the Oval Office when Obama is meeting with his healthcare team. I believe the original goal was 8 million, then 7 million and now they’ll take 6. This indicates two possibilities:
    * Total arrogance on Obama’s part, believing that people would just fall in line for ACS and/or
    * There was a gigantic lapse in properly planning for not just the roll-out but the “what if” aspects of something so major.

  • Nodramame

    Everybody is spending but the super rich When people who earn their money in the market and other investments pay significantly less percentage wise in taxes, there is a problem in this country. The Republicans have done an amazing job of pitting working class and middle class people against each other. And as long as you have an issue with what we do for those who are struggling while not holding the rich accountable then the country has a huge problem.
    If you will recall, at the top of President Obama’s first term there was money and plans to solve our infrastructure problem, the Republicans refused.

  • Anonymous

    Neither party has great leaders. In fact, neither party has any especially impressive leaders. Maybe in 2016 we will have two strong presidential candidates to choose between. I prefer it not be a Bush or Clinton, but we will see.

    The rich are going to be rich. No law of the land is going to make them less rich. Sadly, the poor often stay poor. Many of today’s poor are not educated or trained for today’s jobs. There are millions of single mothers who are struggling – and their children are struggling. The children are likely to repeat the cycle. They will stay in or near poverty. If rich people gave $25,000 tax-free to a poor family of four, what would they do with it – invest in education? Pay off bills? Buy the latest and best TV?

  • Nodramame

    Actually the only indication I see is all of the work including lies and misdirection by the Republicans to try and insure that the insurance plan failed. How many votes did the House have to kill it? How much money has the Koch brothers spent to tell people it’s not good for you. The plan itself is patterned after the Massachusetts Health Plan which is patterned after a plan from a Republican think tank.

  • Anonymous

    What lies?
    Everything Republicans and others have said about healthcare has come to pass. As people lose their insurance policies – as many or maybe more than have signed up for ObamaCare – they are discovering first-hand all the negative aspects of the plan.

  • Nodramame

    You watch way too much FauxNews to have any idea what the truth is.

  • Anonymous

    Apparently no one has ever told you this, but be careful about assumptions. You don’t even know me. Why do you think you know what I watch on TV? You mistake me for someone who allows others, including media, to think for them. Maybe this is because you do this. I don’t.

  • Nodramame

    I love this. Republicans are great at accusing someone of doing exactly what they are doing. You don’t have honest conversations. It’s a waste of my time.

  • Nodramame

    No faith in humanity it seems. No imagination for working towards making things better for anybody.

  • Anonymous

    I sensed that you are someone very important.