On the HBO show “Real Time,” host Bill Maher examined the apparent disconnect between what presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders says and what the Republicans seem to hear. “He’s the one making their heads explode when he talks,” said Maher.
Maher played a clip of Donald Trump attacking Sanders. In the clip, Trump referred to Sanders as a “Socialist-slash-Communist” and a “Maniac.” It’s amazing to hear Trump referring to any other candidate as a “maniac.”
Maher proceeded to play a clip of Bernie Sanders making statements during last week’s democratic debate. Following Sanders’ comments, Maher replayed the clip but translated it into what Republicans actually hear Sanders saying.
Here are a few examples:
Sanders: I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they accomplished.
Republican Translation: I will not rest until every American is driving a faggy little car with three tires. You will watch soccer and you will like it.
Sanders: When I was a young man, I strongly opposed the war in Vietnam.
Republican Translation: I would have loved to fight in Vietnam, but for the other side. Not only do I hate our troops, but sometimes, I lock John McCain in his office, do a Vietnamese accent and laugh.
It’s clear that the Republicans do have a very strong disconnect when it comes to understanding certain words. They have a tendency to repeat those words like two-year-olds without understanding the meaning behind them. Words like Benghazi, Sharia law, Islam, socialism, and communism are all words Republicans parrot over and over again, but if you press them on specifics relating to the history, origins, or meaning behind those words you’ll probably just get a blank, hateful stare as if you asked the dumbest question in the world.
This video explains how Democratic Socialism works and why Republicans have been conditioned to fear it.
I think the biggest issue has nothing to do with economic constructs, but rather American Exceptionalism and an increasingly narcissistic materialistic American culture. American Exceptionalism is defined as:
“American exceptionalism refers to the special character of the United States as a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and personal liberty. Sometimes this special character is inferred from the nature of American political institutions founded in the 1776-89 period–the declaration of independence (1776), revolution (1776-83), constitution (1787) etc. Thus the “revolution” and its aftermath freeing the US from British control are important in ideas of American exceptionalism. But often the political differences are said to be underpinned by material differences brought about by the wealth/resources of the United States, sometimes seen as a direct product of the freedom of the American people, but by others as the product of the inheritance of the North American continent’s abundant resources. This is the frontier version of the theory, and this and the ideas of social mobility and immigrant assimilation are closely tied to this set of ideas of American material prosperity. Many aspects of American history may be left out or distorted in the traditional narratives–particularly the histories of Amerindian peoples and the contribution of other ethnic groups that preceded the Anglo-Americans, e.g. Hispanics. Race and slavery are seen as tragic exceptions, and the abolition of the latter was viewed as a partial resolution, encompassed in Lincoln’s idea of a “new birth of freedom” in the Gettysburg Address.”
This is a very popular segment from the HBO show “Newsroom” which crushes the ignorance behind modern day “American Exceptionalism.”
Those are just a few of the things which motivate Americans to support things like the War On Drugs, the Prison Industrial Complex, and a for-profit healthcare system, while many of those same Americans view ex-convicts, the homeless, drug addicts, and the working poor in general with disdain. Even poor conservatives in states like Mississippi hold these beliefs which are contrary to their own best interests.
It’s unclear how “We The People” will ever be able to fully wake up from the corporate marketed fairy tale which Americans have been indoctrinated into for generations. The American Dream has become the American corporate casino, which highlights the winners and labels all losers as lazy. While right now only a few people are waking up and spreading the message. However, as the top-heavy colossus culture of greed and excess begins to topple over, more and more Americans will be ready to hear what people like Bernie Sanders are really saying.