What I Learned on My Red State Book Tour

From Robert Reich:  http://robertreich.org/post/132819483625

Robert Reich
Sunday, November 8, 2015

I’ve just returned from three weeks in “red” America.

It was ostensibly a book tour but I wanted to talk with conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers.

I intended to put into practice what I tell my students – that the best way to learn is to talk with people who disagree you. I wanted to learn from red America, and hoped they’d also learn a bit from me (and perhaps also buy my book).

But something odd happened. It turned out that many of the conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers I met agreed with much of what I had to say, and I agreed with them.

For example, most condemned what they called “crony capitalism,” by which they mean big corporations getting sweetheart deals from the government because of lobbying and campaign contributions.

I met with group of small farmers in Missouri who were livid about growth of “factory farms” owned and run by big corporations, that abused land and cattle, damaged the environment, and ultimately harmed consumers.

They claimed giant food processors were using their monopoly power to squeeze the farmers dry, and the government was doing squat about it because of Big Agriculture’s money.

I met in Cincinnati with Republican small-business owners who are still hurting from the bursting of the housing bubble and the bailout of Wall Street.

“Why didn’t underwater homeowners get any help?” one of them asked rhetorically. “Because Wall Street has all the power.” Others nodded in agreement.

Whenever I suggested that big Wall Street banks be busted up – “any bank that’s too big to fail is too big, period” – I got loud applause.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/132819483625

3 Responses to “What I Learned on My Red State Book Tour”

  1. Karin Says:

    Thanks for posting this. Many in our Tribe forget that a lot of people agree (or will agree) with us on a host of issues, Many times, it is a failure of our own to listen to their agreements and see opportunities to find common grounds or dispel myths about each other. Glad I read this today after several weeks of bad news in our country and world.

    Slainte’,

    Karin

    • Suzan Says:

      Identity politics is a piss poor substitute for individual thought. Instead of giving us unfiltered information we now live in information bubbles where algorithms insure we are fed information that agrees with what we want to think. Perhaps you think it is purely coincidental that if you look at a product all of a sudden you will have the ads filled with offers to sell you that product. The same thing happens with Google bubbles. Your searches determine the priority future information will be fed to you.

      People who live in the coastal cities of the west and northeast live in the same sorts of bubbles and have a tendency to look at the rest of the nation as “fly over country”. Then they wonder why the people who live in the rest of the country tend to hate them and think they are over privileged elitist twits.

      Never mind that other parts of the country have universities, museums, symphonies, restaurants and everything NYC, SF, Seattle, Portland and LA have plus affordable housing.

      We’ve managed to devolve into a dystopia and it is tearing the country apart.

  2. tina Says:

    ALL of the country is affected by the very same algorithms. What you look at effects what you see. As a result it’s not just “liberals”, or “coastal elites” that see stuff that reinforces what they believe. EVERYONE now lives in a “bubble”. Listening to what many folks here in Texas believe absolutely proves that. In addition, If you grow up in NYC you can not possibly know what growing up in Lubbock Texas is like, and vice versa. So, instead of bringing us together, the internet may well be driving us apart —- unless we start off with an open mind.


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