This apparently passes as intellectual analysis in GOP circles:
One of the things Obama’s been doing is deliberately trying to increase the percentage of our population that is dependent on government for your living. For example, do you know what was the second biggest demographic group that voted for Obama? Obviously the blacks were the biggest demographic, y’all know what was the second biggest? Unmarried women. 70% of unmarried women voted for Obama. And this is because when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have Big Brother Government to be your provider. And they know that. They’ve admitted it. And they have all kinds of bills to continue to subsidize illegitimacy… The Obama administration wants to continue to subsidize this group because they know they are Democratic votes.
—Phyllis Schlafly, conservative pundit speaking at a fundraiser for Michigan GOP congressional candidate Rocky Raczowski.
It’s difficult to know where to start when deconstructing this type of vicious bile, but we could start with the fact that Schlafly didn’t talk about corporate welfare, or disproportionate tax breaks for the rich. If she had, perhaps we could have taken her rant on blacks and single mothers a little more seriously (in terms of consistency at least), but of course Schlafly isn’t concerned with the government supporting people who look and act like her.
Victimizing minorities and the poor is a tried and tested technique employed by the Right to rally support against left leaning politicians who try to implement social programs to ease poverty/increase education etc. The Right would like the resources of the state to only be used for their benefit, and in the inherently unstable system of deregulated capitalism, the rich need quick access to tax payers cash should it all go wrong. We’re all welfare junkies, and because there isn’t enough cash to go around people like Schafly are sent out to pitch for the rich at the expense of everyone else. This of course isn’t socialism, but merely ‘lending a helping hand’ to the infallible capitalist system.
The truth is, people like Schlafly wear their prejudice on their sleeve when pronouncing their hatred for social welfare. By emphasizing the poor and disenfranchized over the rich and powerful, they betray their true fears that wealthy white people be compared to lowly blacks and single mothers.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.