Saturday, October 17, 2009

The fears of the GOP base - last defenders of America

A Dem consulting group has tried to capture the worldview of the GOP base by focusing on samples of Georgia GOP voters. They're not that far from my own thoughts on the rise of Klan 2.0, but the consultants take their subjects relative lack of explicit racism at face value. Amateurs! These guys need to do some Anthro 101 course work.

Even so, I think it's a useful portrait. We're looking at tens of millions of euro-Americans who are both terrified and completely disconnected from reality. These are the Palin people Peggy Noonan dog whistles to. Obama needs to manage their fears, to walk them back from the edge. They'll never vote for a rationalist, but we don't want them panicking.

Welcome to the Beckians ...
Democracy Corps: Republican Base Voters Living In Another World | TPMDC

... "They believe Obama is ruthlessly advancing a 'secret agenda' to bankrupt the United States and dramatically expand government control to an extent nothing short of socialism," the analysis said." While these voters are disdainful of a Republican Party they view to have failed in its mission, they overwhelmingly view a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of this country's founding principles and are committed to seeing the president fail."

The analysis argues that Obama's unpopularity among conservative Republicans is both quantitatively and qualitatively different from liberal Democratic ire against George W. Bush -- that the GOP is more heavily conservative than the Democrats are heavily liberal, and that the hatred of Obama is more intense than Dem hatred of Bush was...

... The voters in these focus groups saw Obama as being deliberately out to destroy the American economy in order to undermine personal freedoms, and that the speed of his agenda was a part of this strategy...

... Conservatives see themselves as an oppressed minority, holding on to knowledge that isn't represented in the wider media and culture: "Conservative Republicans passionately believe that they represent a group of people who have been targeted by a popular culture and set of liberal elites - embodied in the liberal mainstream media - that mock their values and are actively working to advance the downfall of the things that matter most to them in their lives - their faith, their families, their country, and their freedom."

So who are the protectors of this knowledge, the sources of information they trust. Obviously, Rush Limbaugh is widely admired -- but at the same time, he's seen as being overly abrasive at times.

The real unblemished champion, the one they most identify with on a personal level, is Glenn Beck: "Two aspects of the discussion on Beck among conservative Republicans were particularly noteworthy. One was a common fear among the women for his personal safety, a belief that his willingness to stand up to powerful liberal interests was putting his life, as well as the lives of those working with him, in danger. Of course, his willingness to face this danger head on only adds to his legend."

And the base sees themselves as an emerging, growing movement -- manifested in the Tea Parties -- that will restore the country to its proper roots, but that is dismissed by the media ...
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