Young fresh Republitude.
I caught wind of the conventioneer/conventionette at Steve and Jen's place, the News Blog (name possibly in a state of flux). They have a full rundown of the festivites and shared several interesting observations, and spoke with some young Republican Folk about why they are republicans. Fealty to authority from the young is alarming on its own. But coupled with a wispy grasp of history and a boatload of inaccurate preconceptions, it can become downright frightening.
JiaMei Chen is a Chinese Republican from California and a student at American River College (also in CA).
Me: What makes you a Republican?
JC: Well my family is a big influence on it, but also all the different stuff I’ve seen and stuff. You know what, you probably gotta excuse my language when I talk about liberals. I grew up in Shanghai, right, and China's a Communist country, right? When I got over here I saw there’s a two party system, liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, right? But all the liberals really stand for is social welfare, support all the laziness, socialists, free this and free that – tax all the hardworking people, give it away for nothing, you know? People just sit around, just sit on their butt all day and don’t do nothing. They drive a brand new Cadillac and stuff! What about the hard-working-class people? And we get taxed 50% out of our pocket, you know? I mean that’s socialist, right? So, that’s the reason I just think that you know what liberals just don’t make sense. Also probably the religious belief. I won’t vote for a single person that is pro-choice.
Where does one start, I mean it is all so very wrong. But I have to admit that when I first saw this over at Steves place (can't find the link as the archives are buggered) it sent chills down my spine. In essence you can boil this sentiment down to "Democrats are in favor of taking my money away and giving it to lazy niggers". It took me back twenty years or more when I first heard the canard "Cadillac driving Wellfare Queens".
Conservative politicians have a talent for telling memorable anecdotes that capture the essence of their beliefs on any particular issue. One of the most enduring of these came from Ronald Reagan on the subject of welfare. He cited a Chicago "Welfare Queen" who had ripped off $150,000 from the government, using 80 aliases, 30 addresses, a dozen social security cards, and four fictional dead husbands. The country was outraged; Reagan dutifully promised to roll back welfare; and ever since, the "Welfare Queen" driving her "Welfare Cadillac" has become permanently lodged in American political folklore.That was an example of Reagan at his race-baiting best. Untrue, but what the hell, those shiftless niggers were going to bleed us dry.
Unfortunately, like most great conservative anecdotes, it wasn't really true. The media searched for this welfare cheat in the hopes of interviewing her, and discovered that she didn't even exist.
As a bit of class warfare, however, it was brilliant. It diverted public attention from insider traders in their limousines to Welfare Queens in their Cadillacs, even though the former were stealing thousands of times more from the American people than the latter. Just one example of the cost of white collar crime would become apparent a few years later, when President Bush bailed out the Savings & Loans industry with $500 billion of the taxpayer's money -- enough to fund 20 years of federal AFDC.
That this bit of flotsam managed to take hold in this young chinese immagrant, or any mind, as the gospel truth, disgusts and sickens me.