Who Does Lying about Voting Benefit?

Who Does Lying about Voting Benefit?

Bev Jo

I

I usually don’t focus on the US or US politics, but we are in a crisis and what happens with the US, unfortunately, affects the rest of the world.

Please spread the word about this before the next election, to stop the lies that are being spread. The poor and working class are being scapegoated for Trump winning, when they are not the majority of who voted for him. So what is this contempt that most liberals/leftists have for the most class-oppressed really about?  Why do the privileged feel so superior? No one’s ego is worth the death and suffering that will result if the right wing/Nazis stay in power. (“Conservative” is one of the many euphemisms that needs to go. The murderers who got into power in 2017 are not remotely conservative. Please note and stop all the many ways terms contribute to keeping the oppressive power structure going. Language is half the battle, as we know with other crucial issues.)

So much should be common sense. If something doesn’t sound right in the media, is it really true?

“Why do people keep voting against their own interests?” (Implied: The poor and working class are such stupid fools.)

But are they?  No one I know voted against themselves (except for a few, mostly middle class, who threw their vote away to Jill Stein. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/292453-jill-stein-helps-trump-as-ralph-nader-helped-bush). I have a lot of friends and no one I know voted for Trump.

When pondering something that is not immediately clear, I always question: who benefits, who does this serve?  Dividing people along class and race lines, and erasing women and Lesbians, definitely serves the ruling class European-descent males. Some people do start to believe insulting stereotypes, and so pretend to be proud of being oppressive and stupid, which pushes them more towards the right wing. So why are privileged liberals helping the right wing?

This is not just a case of the media being against most people in the US, though of course some media does serve the right wing/Nazis. Other parts of the media have been alerting us to the worst of this criminal government (like Joy Reid on MSNBC). If we don’t want men like Trump to keep getting in power (I won’t call it “winning an election” since they cheat and he did not win), then the media needs to stop repeating dangerous myths. Why are they doing this?

For instance, if we don’t believe that the majority of US voters went against their own interests, then what happened?  How many of the most oppressed people were removed from voting rolls, called felons when they weren’t, and otherwise prevented from voting?  (We know many people were simply turned away at the polls, their voting information “lost.” Polling places were closed so people had to travel hours to vote, take time off work, risk losing jobs, etc. I heard of a man who had moved from Illinois to Wisconsin and then had to travel back and forth, spending hundreds of dollars to correct an error on his voting form, who was still not allowed to vote. In some places, people with obvious, common Black or Latina/o names were accused of being the same person trying to vote more than once and not allowed to vote at all. It didn’t even matter if they had different middle names.)  All the voter fraud easily accounts for Trump’s narrow win in key states. And that doesn’t even begin to deal with the Russian interference.

I think the reason for the myth of who gave the election to Trump is primarily classism. The class-privilege’s sense of superiority over the class-oppressed is more important to them than letting people know the truth. No matter how upset most commentators and especially most political comedians and talk show liberals/leftists seem about the election, they continue to smirk and ridicule the poor and working classes. They ignore or forget that the majority of the poor and working class are People of Color. And that the Euro-descent poor and working class were not those who primarily voted for Trump either.

There is so much confusion and lies from all directions about who voted for Trump. Even many friends repeat the myths and don’t seem to know that the poorest people voted for Hillary, and of course most people oppressed by racism voted for Hillary.  Black women and Lesbians of all races are completely ignored in the polls, yet they/we voted the most sensibly.

The liberals who trash Southerners online forget that People of Color will soon be the majority in the South. Samantha Bee has been the only political comedian I’ve heard who accurately describes the right wing goal in eliminating health care. She said that the right wing aren’t trying to repeal Obama care – they are trying to repeal LBJ’s original Medicare. Lyndon Johnson was the poverty class Texan president who did the most of any president to change racist voting laws, created Medicare for the poor, and tried to make college possible for all class-oppressed. But if he is referred to at all by the liberal media, it’s to make fun of his poverty class Southern accent, which is exactly what many liberals do about current Southerners and other poor people, again insulting and erasing the people who actually voted against the right wing.
Here is the exit poll from CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/election/results/exit-polls

24,537 people were polled to get this info, in about 28 states, which includes the swing states.

Note that of those with incomes under $30,000, 53% voted for Hillary and 41% for Trump. All voters with incomes over $49,999 voted 46% to 48% for Hillary and 48% to 50% for Trump. The higher the income, the more people voted for Trump. How does that translate to blaming working class and poor people for electing Trump?

Note that the vast majority of People of Color voted for Hillary, while the majority of Euro-descent voted for Trump.

The majority of women of all backgrounds, but Black women were the most who voted for Hillary.

Married men voted the highest for Trump, while married women and both unmarried women and men voted more for Hillary.

Jewish people voted most for Hillary, but christians, including Mormons, voted more for Trump.

II

As women and Lesbians are learning, the most effective way of controlling, dividing, and conquering a community (as well as individuals) is to re-define and erase them. Get them so confused that they don’t even know who they are or how to identify. Then they can be turned on each other.

That is exactly what most of the US media and schools have been doing to the poverty class and working class for decades. We are usually told we are middle class, even when we clearly are not and are treated very differently from the actual class-privileged. The term “working class” has almost been banned from the media, so when they go on about the “middle classes” suffering from lack of access to health care, housing, jobs, etc., people join in with adding to the myths. No, the middle classes are not having a hard time. Doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. are doing just fine as always. Those with middle class status but lower incomes, such as teachers, still do much better than the working classes and poor, but they at least can feel superior at our expense. And they usually fight like hell to not lose their air of superiority.

The gaslighting about class in the US is criminal. I remember being told in my mixed class grade school that we were all middle class. My best friend who grew up in an immigrant community with one parent an immigrant was told by her parents that they were working class. They were far more savvy and aware than my better educated US parents. (My father finished high school. My mother was forced by her mother to quit to work.)

It is no coincidence that the few workshops on class (never “classism”) I’ve been to at Radical Feminist conferences and gatherings are always run by the class-privileged, (though a few lie about their backgrounds. Class is not just about money and income, but status and power). It’s always amazing to see women I know who have avoided the subject suddenly claiming to be “classless” or “working class” when they clearly are not. I call this “class-splaining” after being astounded when rich women start lecturing the rest of us about class.

After the election, a very class-privileged German woman who is a professor at UC Berkeley, told me to not be mad at the Trump voters because they were really suffering. She had gone to Nevada and talked to them and they were in pain she said vehemently, which is why they voted for Trump – as if that made any sense with his record as a rich nazi who hates the poor. “They even lost their houses,” she said!  I said I never had a house to lose. And what does that have to do with betraying their own kind? When I tried to explain that I grew up around such people, in my family and neighborhood, she literally ran away, crying. How dare I challenge such an expert on class? No talking back allowed to class-splainers. Ironically, less than two years previously, in response to my saying how hard it was for the poor to survive in the Bay Area because rents were unaffordable with too many rich moving in, etc., she simply said “The poor should leave.” To make room for her, I suppose.)

This “quiz” from PBS, who should know better, is an example of how bad the mindfuck can be. Friends who took it were equally infuriated:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/do-you-live-in-a-bubble-a-quiz-2/

I grew up working class with poverty class parents in a Cincinnati suburb. My mother and grandmother were desperate to escape from rural farm poverty, but paid a price. My mother died in poverty in a Bay Area mobile home, while my father who tried to be upwardly mobile still died homeless. I have lived below the poverty line my entire adult life. So how/why did this quiz gave me a score of 34 and called me either:

0–43: A second-generation (or more) upper-middle-class person who has made a point of getting out a lot. Typical: 9.

11–80: A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Typical: 33.

This erases both me and my parents. They were poverty class, not middle class! And how on earth am I “upper-middle class”???  Certainly every time I’m treated as inferior it’s clear I’m not seen that way. (Those class-privileged who claim to not understand about class sure read us accurately and treat us accordingly.)

This quiz also completely ignores the urban poor and working class, which includes many People of Color.

Was the quiz deliberately designed to trick the class-oppressed into identifying with the class-privileged? That’s one way to get people to vote against themselves.

When examining this mess, their racist, sexist, heterosexist, and classist bias is clear. Their idea of class-oppressed is a white man with white male interests such as buying mainstream beer, being into sports, being in the military, being a fundamentalist christian, being a smoker, fishing, having a pickup truck and ironically having the higher income such men have that most women I know never had, making it possible to go to mainstream films, crappy mainstream restaurants, join a union (which usually requires having a good working class traditional male job.) Women who went to working class Catholic girls’ schools don’t have “letters.”

The questions geared towards women are insulting and objectifying. Avon?  No. I am not Fem or het and would not spend money on poison. “Have you had a “spouse” with a pickup truck?” (One of my lovers did have one but since we weren’t allowed to be married, I couldn’t include her as a “spouse”.)  No, my health can’t take being around smokers because I had to grow up breathing in smoke and toxic factory fumes.

I don’t even understand what parades the class-oppressed are supposed to be part of, but the quiz carefully excludes anything political, for “gay rights” or the environment or injustice as being for the privileged. Are the class-oppressed supposed to be so selfish and uninvolved? Isn’t that the class-privileged?  And why do they seem to think most Lesbians are class privileged, when we aren’t?

Note that they combine working class with poverty class and the assumption is that we are basically stupid. No acknowledgement that we might be smarter than the middle classes and do not follow their hateful stereotypes of us. No understanding that we self-educate and probably know more about health and eating well than they do and don’t waste our time and money on bad films or television.

After being yelled at and threatened by evangelical christians, no I do not spend time with them and no, that does not make me “upper middle class.” For the same reason of growing up marginalized by classism but also being a Lifelong Lesbian, of course I don’t have friends with extremely different politics. I’m not a masochist and I choose friends who deserve my love and support, and vice-versa.

III

The class-oppressed are practical. We do not expect perfection or pout, saying we won’t vote if the candidates are not exactly who we want. We weigh what is best for our and the earth’s survival. We don’t have illusions. We know the choice can be the difference between life and death for many because what happens in the US affects the rest of the world and it’s our responsibility to fight the right wing. (But this does not mean we say “we” when talking about what the US has done, countries invaded, etc. since we personally did not do that, and that identification with the power structure also seems particularly class-privileged thinking.)

We learn from what we have observed and from bothering to know history. We explore the truth and do not just accept lies. And we don’t throw our vote away by voting for a candidate who cannot win. (We recognize that the US does not have a parliamentary system.) We also know that many of the most oppressed people have died trying to get the right to vote and we do not take that casually. If those who were too petulant to vote actually voted, we would not be facing this horror from Trump.

Please disagree every time you hear anyone lying about who voted for Trump or lying about the poverty class and working class in general. Especially try to reach anyone in the media who could have an influence on this. And please object to the putdowns of Hillary and the Democratic party. No, they are not perfect. If they were, they wouldn’t be in the running. But is the psychopath in power better? Only the privileged and delusional can ignore the difference in quality of life and the deaths caused by the right wing.

Besides Trump and the voting myths, US liberal media continues ridiculing and playing superior to the class-oppressed. Please encourage them to stop since they might be too rich to be hurt by the right wing/Nazis being in power, but a lot of other people across the world will die.

 

About Bev Jo

I’ve been a Lesbian from my earliest memories and am proud to be a Lesbian. Lesbians are my people and my blood. My life’s work has defending Lesbians and our culture and existence against those who oppress us. Working-class, ex-catholic, mostly European-descent (with some First Nations, probably Shawnee, ancestry), from poverty class culture. I’m a Lifelong Lesbian, born near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. I became lovers with my first lover in 1968, became part of a Lesbian community in 1970, and became a Dyke Separatist in 1972. I helped create Radical Lesbian Feminist and Separatist community and worked on some of the earliest Lesbian Feminist projects, such as the Lesbian Feminist Conference in Berkeley in 1972, the newspaper “Dykes and Gorgons” in 1973, the women’s bookstore, Lesbian coffeehouse, and taught self defense to women and girls for ten years. I’ve been published in journals and anthologies, including “For Lesbians Only,” “Finding the Lesbians,” “Lesbian Friendships,” “Amazones d’Hier, Lesbiennes Aujourd’hui,” “Mehr als das Herz Gebrochen,” the Journal for Lesbian Studies, Lesbian Ethics, Sinister Wisdom, Trivia, and Rain and Thunder. With Linda Strega and Ruston, I co-wrote our book, “Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics for Lesbians Only” in 1990. Our book and my more recent articles have been updated at my blog https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/ I’ve been disabled since 1981 with ME/CFIDS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.) I love nature and plants and animals — and especially the animals who are feared and hated and killed by people who don’t even know them, just as Lesbians are. I’ve learned to love rats especially, who I do not consider inferior to humans. I’m a spiritual atheist, but I’ve found out that there is definitely life after death because a little rat returned from the dead for three days to comfort us. These hated little animals are so kind and loving, and willing to die for someone they love. I say, in our fight to protect the earth — distrust all “truths” we are taught by patriarchy. The true truth is often the opposite.
This entry was posted in Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics, Our book 25 years later with extensive additions. Bookmark the permalink.

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