Progressives tend to get extremely disheartened by many Americans’ acceptance of the misinformation and lies that are now a staple of the Right Wing of the GOP and Fox News. They wonder if America is just too gullible to be a democracy. After-all, why do they continue to vote against their own interest?
Those that are running from the non-existent nanny state just may need one. Is it not true they want the state in a woman’s womb? Is it not true they want the state to dictate what goes on in your bedroom? Is it not true they want the state to decide what you can watch on TV, listen to on the radio, or watch at the movies? Is it not true they want the state to tell you who you can marry? Is it not true they want the state to provide Social Security and Medicare? One could go on and on.
How can these people be so confused? Marketing. The Right Wing in the past could run rings around progressives in marketing. In the book The Political Brain by Drew Westen, he explains that the Right Wing has been able to exploit the interests and fears of many in the middle class on a more emotional level. Progressives tended to not connect on an everyday or emotional level. In essence they may come across as being too cerebral.
Another part of the answer is found in the book What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank where similarly he indicates that the Right Wing simply ignores economics. In effect if you keep middle class Americans from realizing their true condition by having them worry about some other issue, whether it affects them or not, they take their eyes off of what really ails them.
Move To Amend Salt Lake City performs a skit called “Bread & Circus” that illustrates that having one’s “subject” take their eye off the ball in order to get or keep power is nothing new. Rulers would provide menial food, bread, but keep their subjects entertained with the circus to ensure they did not revolt because of their economic condition.
There is a post at DailyKOS titled A Bill O'Reilly Fan Recants: Dramatic Video that should give every progressive hope. The video is below. It shows that when one connects on an emotional level, along with the truth, it is convincing to the otherwise rational person.
This month Fox News and Right Wing listeners have gotten a wakeup call. They were lied to on the state of the election which gave them severe heartburn the day after. They have seen many politicians, who pre-election spoke about the ills of taxing the wealthy, change their tune. They have seen Thomas Rick indict Fox News on Fox News. Truth is beginning to take a toll on the Right Wing. The country will survive.