I talk to people all the time that have no idea why the terrorists hate us. Conversations about politics have become this kind of rapid-fire, one sentence style of debate. As Noam Chomsky observed over 20 years ago, it’s quite difficult to say anything but conventional wisdom in a conversation like that: They hate us for our freedoms! We need to cut taxes on billionaires even more so they can create more jobs! We need to cut the deficit by hurting poor people but not job creators so they can, well, create more jobs! And more. It’s quite hard to tell a story with historical context and boring Facts.
It really is crazy how conservatives and liberals literally live in different worlds nowadays. Speaking with a friend, I kept mentioning the oil companies misdeeds, like the Gulf oil spill. He said, “But the world runs on oil!” I said, that’s not the point. They don’t pay any taxes! And they’re cutting welfare at the same time. (Which was kind of a mistake, because he hates people on welfare. I should have mentioned them cutting regulations and opening more offshore drilling than Bush, which is another Faux News-driven myth.)
And still, that misses the point. The world will only run on oil for so long. And we have critical global warming happening, (March broke something like hundreds of temperature records) which he of course is skeptical about, being that his news diet consists solely of Fox News. I couldn’t come to tell someone twice my age that he was being constantly propagandized by his channel of choice. He had probably watched that crap for years straight, every day. He probably believed every lie they come up with. The toughest part about Fox lies is that it almost always takes a nuanced point to prove them wrong. They do tell outright lies, but they obfuscate and twist facts much more.
Conservatives also rarely like to talk about corporate power, as if it either doesn’t exist, or they speak of it somewhat like libertarians, which is to say that corporations derive their power from the government, and if you “make it smaller” (whatever that means), then they will lose their power. Which to me is absurd. You just let loose private power that is largely already more powerful than our government, and obviously way more powerful than dozens of countries out there? No thanks. It seems to me that the Federal Government is the only thing holding back complete corporate control of this country and the world. To mention this to conservatives is to commit blasphemy.