Victims with scapegoats

posted by Jeff | Thursday, April 25, 2019, 5:55 PM | comments: 0

If there's one thing that really bothers me about American politics right now, it's that the loudest voices sell a clear message: You are disadvantaged and here's who we can blame. The right blames brown people (and Democrats) for all of your pains, and by golly, you best get on their train to squish them all. The left blames rich people (and Republicans) for all of your pains, so don't trust those CEO's and Wall Street types. Either way, you're a victim.

The reality isn't either of those things, of course. Using pure data, the fact is that immigrants add to our economy and (legal or not) are less likely to commit crimes than natives. No reputable economist believes immigrants are a drag on the economy or taking jobs away. On the other side, those well-to-do people are not trying to keep the man down, and while the middle class shrinks, it does so because people are mostly rising to the upper class. The poor are stuck, and that's definitely a problem, but it's not because CEO Joe is trying to keep the little people down. There are a ton of problems that collectively create this situation, but it's not the people making millions.

In either case, the real problem is the people that we elect that subscribe to these camps. If you buy into this, and give them a job in Washington, you've already absolved them (and yourself) of any responsibility because they've got their scapegoats. If they do nothing, and they aren't doing much, you've already agreed with them that it's someone else's fault and they can't be held accountable.

This scapegoating nonsense is not constructive either. It doesn't move the us forward, it just lets us wallow in the status quo. Sure, there are no shortage or problems to solve, and many of them affect regular people every day. The "-isms" of the world, economic disincentive, amoral and immoral circumstances... there are countless things that keep people down. Trying to solve those problems will change things, but blaming people for them will not. It feels good to blame someone, but there's no lasting relief.

Insist on solutions and action, not blame.

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