Update: I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. I haven’t posted since I got out of the last long hospital admission I had in October, 2016. Much of my absence is due to attempts to control my symptoms and possibly get a proper diagnosis, with limited success. Some of it was just plan “bleh” due to the election that the Republicans stole. At any rate, I will be writing weekly again. Publishing early this week because I have more tests for pheochromocytoma again tomorrow.
I made up that word, “mispauperism”. It means “hatred of the poor”. I wasn’t able to find out if there is an actual word for this, and I invite any readers to let me know if there is.
There are multiple reasons to be concerned or downright scared of the political climate in this country right now. To me, it’s different only in that it’s more visible than it’s been in a long time. Things that people used to say and do behind closed doors in public and private offices are now proudly being loudly proclaimed by our illegitimate president, his henchmen, most Republicans, and fascists/white supremacists/Christofascists.
You guys know that, though. You pay attention. You speak out and you demonstrate, write your congress people, sign petitions, vote, and so on.
What I want to write about today fits in with the theme of my blog, which is “what it’s like to live in poverty”. I hesitated about this topic today, because I really don’t want to come down too harshly on anyone on “the left” (being a leftist myself and all) – now, more than ever, is a time for unity.
HOWEVER, having been nearly banned from the Raw Story comments section, and having people jump down my throat on other “left-wing” sites’ comments sections, I want to address this.
We all know the right hates the poor. From Libertarians to Republicans, there is a deep-seated mindset that people are poor because we are lazy, stupid, uneducated, and addicts/alcoholics. It’s our fault. No one should help us because that’s just taking money from hardworking people and giving it to us, so we can buy iPhones, big cars, lobster and steak, and our drugs of choice.
Ok, done with them. I have written about this extensively in my blog already.
What some of us don’t realize, or won’t admit, is that many on the left hate the poor, too. It seems to be on a continuum, though, because the farther left you go, the more compassion you find towards us. This is where you find real community organizers, ones who come to our neighborhoods and help us lead our own mass actions and what-not. They are from all kinds of cultural and racial backgrounds.
Nope, this hatred comes from white liberals and white “intellectuals” – strictly middle to upper middle class white “progressives”.
I am not going to give the standard disclaimer of “not all white people”, because if you are getting all defensive….well, I don’t care, actually. If you don’t hate the poor then you won’t object to what I am writing. If you do, you’re probably one of the people I am writing about. And what I write won’t change your mind. Also, if you hate the poor, you are not one of my friends or one of my family members, so again, I don’t care.
What got me started with all this was the media and the comments sections categorizing 45 supporters as toothless, uneducated rednecks who were virulently racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic and so on. They think that all 45 supporters are on Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI/SSDI (or “welfare”, as they ignorantly call it, not being aware that there is very little “welfare” as they heard of it – being middle to upper middle class and all, they don’t keep up with those things).
They think that all 45 supporters live in red states, as if not one single person in blue states voted for 45 – or that no one voted for Democrats in red states. Even if those of us did vote for Hillary and we live in red states, well it’s our fault anyway because there weren’t enough of us.
And the kicker? The “progressives” opined that every single poor person should lose their healthcare and die, because “they all voted for 45”. Those inbred, genetically inferior (yes, they really do write that) yahoos who live so far into the country they have to pipe in sunshine – which is paid for by precious folks’ middle to upper middle class tax dollars, or something – are all “typical Trump voters”.
I thought, “Well, ok, these are supposed to be progressives, maybe they just don’t realize who 45 supporters really are – that the people who elected 45 are not the poor.”
So…I went researching. And I found this:
The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.
(“The Mythology of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support”, Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight website, 5/3/2016)
I have mentioned this on other blog posts, so it might not be new to many of you.
But, despite this oft-quoted and referenced source, and even some from other sources that say the same thing, the “progressives” didn’t believe it, wouldn’t accept it, and some even accused me of being a 45 supporter!
Even the Occupy Democrats told me to piss off, when I cited this and asked them to please stop publishing memes of hillbillies as the sole supporters of 45, because it wasn’t accurate and it contributed to hostility and fear of poor people at a time when we really need allies.
It defies logic. Poor people make up 14% of the US population (“Basic Statistics”, Talk Poverty website). Even if every single poor person voted, they wouldn’t make up even half of 45’s base. But that assumes that there is no voter suppression, no gerrymandering, no economic barriers to voting, or the sense that no one gives a crap about the poor so why vote? And it is backed up by research that poor people tend to vote for Democrats, when we do vote (“The Politics of Financial Insecurity”, Pew Research website, 1/8/2015).
So it’s not even statistically possible that the majority of 45 supporters are poor.