WFHWTF: Week three by two

So, patient zero, Padawan One, fucked us all.

It was such a week, I honestly cannot remember WTF the weekend was. We bailed on a tonne of shit. We suffered as a family. We endured.

The week started with the younger Padawan’s head looking like the Moon from coxsackievirus. Thankfully, the rest of them was pretty chill. Well, as much as a 10 week old will allow it compared normal, which isn’t chill to begin with. Meaning, it’s been predictably challenging. But thankfully, the older Padawan is essentially over it, so there’s that.

On the other hand… my hands… oh, gawd, my…fucking…hands…hurt!!!! “My hands feel like I grabbed a porcupine that was hugging a cactus”

My depressed immune system (thank you psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis and related meds) made me exceptionally vulnerable to this and by the end of the week I had a case of it that far exceeded the mid ones our younglings had.

Hightlight of the week was the brand new outside firepit. Lowlight was almost not being able to utilize it, or make food, or even at one point comfortably pick up either Padawan, because I couldn’t functionally use my hands. It was somewhere between breaking my hand and being in a sports cast and having my worst case of poison ivy.

Yeah, yeah, oh woah is me. We missed birthdays. And graduations. And ad hoc invitations. Maybe no one missed me. They might miss my partner or the Padawans thought!

Anyway, speaking of the Padawans. While the older one is pivoting to mom again, the younger one is finally acknowledging me. And their feet and toes. And the idea of being tickled. And a bunch of goofy other shit. The world is like a cracked open coconut.

In the meantime…My hands feel like I grabbed a porcupine that was hugging a cactus. By Thursday ever single good thing that happened bonding wise was lost in the fact that I hated myself. My surroundings. The 90+ degree heat wave. The lack of comfort food in the house.

That kind of undermines the whole idea of bonding. It was tough on me. The otezla doesn’t help. I’m off it again. It’s a catch 22. I’ll catch something else other than the number and we’ll have to figure this shit out all over again.

Anyway, by Thursday when everyone was in bed I finally put the firepit to good use. A rye and I sad aside it, nearly in tears. It actually felt quite cathartic.

Listening this week advanced last week by one decade. The rap and punk influence embraced the intersection in the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Iced T, Downset, Ice Cube, Biohazard, a Tribe Called Quest, the Fugees

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WFHWTF: Week um, two the second time

So, the week began seemingly easy enough working from home with a two month old.

And, yeah, if you followed last week, that didn’t last long.

Part of the weekend was spent in Dirty Jerz for birthday celebrations. Most of our family birthdays fall in clusters so at different points in the year it seems like we spend a solid block of like two-to-three weeks with some kind of candle blowing gathering. Not a complaint. Just an observation. And, what I observed is, apparently there’s small windows of time everyone is fucking, followed by long stretches where they were not.

The trip was just the older Padawan and I. It went surprisingly well. The travel was pretty easy. Lunch with my parents was so good I even got to take a nap. And the party had lots of kids. Lots and lots of kids. Like at once point it was so loud a 747 could have flown through the room and no one would have heard it.

I learned a lot while observing others. I learned some parents have unhealthy attachments to their kids while others live in a literal Lord of the Flies / Peter Pan kind of chaos that comes from ignoring them. I learned that dressing nice for a party is apparently a thing of the past. Not that causal is bad, but there’s a fine line between this is casual comfortable and this is something someone probably-still-drunk would have gone to a 7 am college course in.

Looking down my nose at some people (and it’s a long look down, have you seen my French pointy nose?) being a bunch of granola-y progressives probably cost me…

By Tuesday had a hoof-and-mouth outbreak. OK, not it wasn’t Aphthae epizooticae that impacted bovines from like 2001 through 2003 and was more like coxsackievirus which is a typical childhood infection better known hand-foot-and-mouth.

Shit’s not fun. We didn’t quite realize that’s what it was till even later when the irritation on the hands went to the knees, ankles, elbows and more and then the Peds confirmed it. By then it was too late. Patient zero had spread the infection to the house, to the daycare, to… well, he caught it most likely at the party so not to there and the birthday celebrator survived unscathed.

So, as you can image. It’s been a lot of crying in the house. The older one has terrible twos so it’s hard to tell how much of it is age versus being out-of-sorts from the infection but honestly I’m going with the former over the latter. They’re quite asymptomatic most of the time anyhow.

By the end of the week the younger one began to show the early signs of infection too. And, they’re symptomatic to everything so it’s hard to say how much is being a two-plus-month old and how much is the infection. I’m not making bets, there’s no good answer.

And, with that, the stress levels went through the roof. So did the volume we listened to music at, among other things.

Most of the listening was 80’s music. I’ve been on a kick over the last few months with the era. In part that whole process of doing the favorite/most influential records I worked on, in part coincidentally a bunch of those songs/artists have just cropped up, in part because I routinely just go through these phases.

Without going too tangental there’s actually two interesting short stories that go with this. Driving home from daycare the other week the older Padawan took a shine to Run DMC which may have helped spur listening to more old skool rap with them and that brought back out LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Salt & Peppa, Beastie Boys and more which they had some interesting reactions to. The second was an earworm of Tear For Fears which eventually devolved for me into a bunch of pop-doom stuff like the Cure, Depeche Mode and so on.

Ultimately, the randomizer brought us a wide ranging exploration of those plus some “hair metal” from Bon Jovi, Skid Row, the Cult and Living Color along with classic thrash by Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Anthrax and Slayer offset by pop the likes of Madonna, Blondie, the Bangles, Prince and Springsteen. Some punk by the Clash, Bad Religion, the Misfits, 7 seconds and some prog by Yes, Rush, Queensryche, Savatage, King’s X and even some stuff that I didn’t keep track of because it was just a random track or two.

Can’t really say the younger Padawan really reacted better or worse to anything over anything else but honestly, the point isn’t that at under three months, it’s more that they just acknoladge music is playing and that, they do.

This kind of music. Music from the little butterfly music maker that mimics the styles of “classical.” The little “juke box” toy that has a bunch of “classical” songs that honestly were seemingly popularized by MGM and Warner cartoons back in the day. And, of me singing all those made up songs yet again.

And, that last one is most important. This week the younger padawan acknowledged the diaper song. I don’t remember if I mentioned it for the older one but it’s a jazz-sleeze approach, pst-dh-p-st-dh-p-st-dh-p-st-dh with a lyric scheme of “we change the diaper, we change the diaper, the one you peed in, your dirty diaper, we change the diaper … diaper” and then it goes into a little drum break that I inspired from the intro to the cartoon Archer, that is a tickling that follows a “dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-da-da” kind of cadence before looping around to repeat. They immediately chill out to the singing and by the time the drum part comes they are essentially doing their version of smiling to occasionally cooing along.

It’s the first real solid connection I’ve felt to this point of feeling like I’ve been fighting hard against maternal attraction which is something that really didn’t happen as pronouced the first time around (unless I’m misremembering)

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WFHWTF: Week, wait what week are we on

I think this is technically: week one version four.

The week started out about as frustrating as it could. Lots of screaming. Ill timed screaming. Unrelenting screaming. Neighbors probably wondering WTF is going on screaming.

Can’t change the diaper fast enough.

Can’t warm the bottle fast enough.

Can’t have the Mylicon and other gas remedies kick in fast enough.

Yeah. And, what’s worse? We had friends come in and help sit for the younger Padawan and as far as they expressed they didn’t experience anything of the sort.

Am I a bad fuckin’ dad?

No seriously? Am I?

I get why my partner can instantly calm them. Fresh milk. Oh, and the last like eight weeks worth of boob bonding. Don’t underestimate the soothing factor that has. I don’t.

But, really, it still doesn’t make me feel any better that a recent college grad and a grandmother can essentially negate the fraternal lack of bond between my youngling and I. No. I harbor zero ill will. Good on them. They broke through for a day were I was struggling. Probably was good for the Padawan too. Or, everyone are good liars about what the day was like. Baby included.

Honestly, the week was a shitshow.

I HATE my new office space.


There’s not a window to be found. Not even a communal one that I could find. Listen, I went to an award winning, nationally recognized High School in Central Jersey that was nearly devoid of windows. I value the education but the situation sucked ass. The kids there succeed in spite of the situation, mostly through brainwashing that says windows are a distraction. This, this is demoralizing. And I was only there for like four hours moving between our old work space and the new one.

There’s no privacy. None. This isn’t even about the idea of open space compared to partial cubes or whatever. Again, I went to an award winning, nationally recognized High School in Central Jersey that was devoid of actual classrooms. No seriously, there were office cube style partitions between what were referred to as class spaces. These faux walls were movable, maybe 7 feet high and didn’t go all the way to the floor. They didn’t deaden sound so they offered no privacy. In college, I experienced something similar in communal music practice spaces. In my first job I experienced this in sales and marketing where the people sharing the space weren’t even selling or marketing the same stuff and there were no walls. Zero. Nada. You looked at a coworker, or maybe the wall (I was lucky, it was the wall) and hoped to keep your focus. In a later job I experienced it in product management where the people you sat with in a long string of desks might not even be on a remotely related team and were doing there thing with no division between you.

So, even with ALL that experience the new office blows ass. I not only have NO separation at all from my coworkers. but, what’s worse I have none from any of the public spaces within the floor we share. The area is like a hallway between the kitchen and what seems like another public gathering space. People are having lunch a mere few feet away. I hear them talk about, well, let’s just say I don’t want to know about your bowl movement at work when I have to actually experience some of the subtitles at home. And, it gets worse from there. VD. check. lying to clients. check. fucking a coworker in what will surely be a #metoo moment. check. And, for fuck’s sake, I was there like 4 hours at the new workspace.

Oh, so you’re wondering how paragraphs on paragraphs of fuck where I work would be good? Well, I hate the physical space, but I LOVE the company. It’s a temporary space, hopefully the space changes for the better when we migrate again. And, they are providing me with this opportunity again to work from home and experience self-growth, the development of my child and the bonding of the family. It’s why I LOVE working for Euro companies. I’d likely, unfortunately, NEVER, find this stateside. The US HATES its workforce. NY only guarantees like 6 weeks off, which you have to take out of your normal time off bank for anyhow and only under certain circumstances with a culture that negatively judges you for taking them. My counterparts in our successful Euro offices have few of those restrictions and a culture that expects you to take them.

Anyway, trying week. Sucked. Felt like a shitty dad the entire time.

Then, at the end, in the midst of the shit, literally and figuratively. But mostly literally. Sometimes up to 8 diapers during the day were 7 of them were with poop.

But, there were giggles. Lots of giggles. Like, huge, long held, belly laughs that rattled the whole body. For both of us.

And some good tunes to boot that.

First week is what it is for listening. It’s way more for me than it is for them. It’s mostly been classic rock. Mostly British shit from the 60s and early 70s rock. the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath mixed in with Jefferson Airplane, Mountain, Chicago and whatever else happened to come up. Basically, under duress you go back to your roots. Mine are of CBS-FM and reel-to-reels. This was an enlightenment, if for nothing else, after the fact I’d realized what I’d done.

There was a patch that was solid fuckin singer-songwriter in there of Springsteen, Cohen, Waits, plus CSNY and a few others. It’s significant because it was what brought out a lot of the old , made up songs i’d used on my first Youngling. I’d kicked them around already and the first Padawan was already singing them along with me, like “[padawan] don’t you cry, not today, cuz it’s ok” in three four time… but

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Observations and other quips

I’m not saying I was on fire today, because these really aren’t that insightful or well crafted, but they came essentially three in a row which is unique for me in-and-of itself.

1) when you drive windows down & music blasting you want to be judged.
Don’t worry. I am judging you.
Your taste in music sucks.

2) I hate having to play sidewalk chicken. It’s not that difficult. Just stay to the right. If you’re not to the right your doing it wrong.

3) the White Bellied Sea Eagle, Haliaeetus family same as the American Bald Eagle, occasionally referred to in short hand as weagle, ends a penguin’s life

the Capitals of Washington, D.C. often use an eagle with a wing in the shape of a W, affectionately known as a weagle, also ended a penguin’s season.

such is the wheel of life…

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Quip: Christmas when?

Crazy Eddie created THE calendar schism known as “Christmas in July” but can anyone explain “Elf” being run on repeat in early-May, or is CMT on some unique amurikkka form of meth?

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Teachers versus Babysitters versus a Bachelor’s Degree

Teachers are often called “glorified babysitters” by those who devalue the efforts educators. Due to this common preconception by both cynical politicians and an uninformed general public diminishing the actual work put forth by teachers there is a meme in circulation taking the babysitter comparison to heart.

The meme uses some very simple, rounded numbers that include no citations and the math works out something like this

8 hour day
190 days per year
25 students per class
380,000$ expected salary to babysit students

That seems pretty extreme. Granted, the idea of teachers being babysitters is a pretty extreme idea in the first place so a bit of hyperbole might be in order. But, let’s try citing some real world numbers and come up with a calculation that is a bit more tangible.

7.25$/hr Federal Minimum Wage
6.5 hours of “instructional time” (time between the school bells) according to the Center for Public Education
180 “instructional school days” (days when students are in class) documented by the ETC
25 Students Per Class (retaining the meme’s number because it is closer to the cumulative primary and secondary school average of 24.2 documented by the USDOE-NCES. NCES breaks it down as 21.4 primary and 26.8 secondary while OECD calculates an 27 student average per public school class)
179,437.50$ expected salary to babysit students

When using these more realistic numbers still actually produces a fairly high expected wage, especially when compared against these numbers

55,000$ average annual teacher salary according to the NLB
59,039$ is the average income for all earners in the US according to the Census Bureau

However, suppose we decide that there are some fundamental issues with the underlying calculation in the meme. Such that:

  1. There is an economy of scale or other valuation of resource allocation at play that would negate the per-student wage breakdown during allocated “instructional time” hours.
  2. Not all of a teacher’s time is spent on strictly on “instruction time.” Teachers contractual requirements which should be calculated into their wage distribution include non-instructional time such as mandated administrative tasks (eg, staff meetings), mandated professional development, required participation in extracurricular offerings, etc.

This would reduce the salary to the more standard concept of per-hour worked basis that matches what we’re more used to calculating work value at.

While we are leveling that playing field, lets also qualify the following pieces of information when referring to “Teachers” from here on out:

  1. We are looking at the available information for full-time, licensed, Public School Teachers K-12 since this is what is most available in the public record. It dos not include private, charter, parochial, GED programs or other alternatives to public primary and secondary school educations as well as pre-and-post primary and second education even if publicly funded (eg, Pre-K, AP, etc), and doesn’t include adjunct, assistant, associate or supplemental educational staff (eg. Classroom Assistants or Teacher’s Assistants such as for special needs, ESL, etc), administrators, social workers or other professionals in the Public K-12 system.
  • Public School Teachers are generally required regulatory, statutorily or contractually to have a Bachelor’s Degree, or, in rare cases equivalent certification in certain jurisdictions, in order to receive their accreditation or license to teach in any given district. So we should compare populations beginning with minimum education level equivalents since Teachers have a minimum level in order to enter the field.
  • Bachelor’s Degree Recent Graduate

    50,500$ starting salary for a recent Bachelor’s Degree recipient averaging the very similar National Association of Colleges and Employers, National Center for Education Statistics and Collegiate Employment Research Institute reports.

    38.5 hours per week average according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    7.7 hours per day (eg 9A to 5P w/ unpaid breaks) when dividing the BLS hours number against a 5 day work week
    48 weeks per year average according to Bureau of Labor Statistics
    240 days worked per year when dividing BLS weeks number against a 5 day work week
    1,848 hours per year worked when calculated out

    27.35$ hourly starting wage for an average Bachelor’s Degree recipient

    10 hour per day (eg 8A to 6P) when averaging self-reported surveys such as from Glass Door,
    50 hours per week when multiplying Survey hours against a 5 day work week
    50 weeks per year assuming a 2-week vacation with absolutely no other time off
    250 days worked per year when dividing the weeks assumption against a 5 day work week
    2,500 hours per year worked when calculated out

    20.22$ hourly starting wage for an average Bachelor’s Degree recipient

    23.785$ hourly average of the two Bachelor’s Degree recipient calculations

    New Teachers

    38,600$ starting salary for a new teacher according to the BLS.

    6.5 hours of “instructional time” (time between the school bells ie 9A to 330P) according to the Center for Public Education
    180 “instructional school days” (days when students are in class) documented by the ETC
    1,170 hours per year worked when calculated out

    32.99$ hourly starting wage for teacher

    You’re probably thinking that looks pretty good compared to the average Bachelor’s Degree recipient. However, the presumptions on hours per day and days per year are woefully incomplete as factually teachers are contracted or legislatively mandated or otherwise required legally to work time beyond that of “instructional hours.” and as such it is the combination of instructional and non-instructional hours that they are being paid for. So, let’s do a simple correction here:

    9 work hours per day using the NEA and the UTF both estimates of the instructional hours and required administrative hours (ie 7A to 4P)
    192 mandated work days based on a summary of public contracts aggregated through BLS reporting
    1,728 hours per year worked when calculated out

    22.34$ hourly starting wage for teacher

    10.5 work hours as estimated by independent researchers, union self-reporting averages and other calculations of contractually mandated plus situationally required plus volunteered time spent.
    210 work days based on an estimation by the UFT, NEA and independent researchers as a calculation of contractually mandated plus situationally required plus volunteered time spent
    2205 hours per year worked when calculated out

    17.51$ hourly starting wage for teacher

    19.925 hourly average of the two Teacher’s salary calculations

    19.37% premium an average Bachelor’s Degree recipient earns compared to Teacher
    or alternatively speaking
    -16.22% less in wages are earned by a Teacher compared to an average Bachelor’s Degree recipient

    Even if we were to add in that ridiculously inaccurate, extreme hourly wage interpretation for teachers that leaves off a portion of their paid hours worked it only brings the three calculation average to being in-line with an average Bachelor’s Degree recipient.

    Experienced Professionals

    Arguably, teachers are starting out well below their peers in other professions so it only stands to reason that with experience they would likely continue to lag behind their peers in wage increases and related financial advancement.

    59,124$ is the average income for 33% of earners in the US who possess a Bachelor’s Degree according to the Census Bureau.

    58,950$ average annual teacher salary according to the NEA (which, you’ll note is higher than the BLS rate cited above).

    At first blush, it would appear that experienced accredited teachers earn roughly the same as their Bachelor’s Degree peers on average. However, it should be noted that according to the NCES 74% of teachers possess additional certifications beyond their Bachelor’s while 56% of teachers possess a Master’s Degree or higher while an additional estimated 10% of teachers posses multiple Bachelors degrees (eg BA Teaching + BS in Biology).

    69,732$ is the average income for 18% of earners in the US who possess a Master’s Degree according to the Census Bureau.
    84,396$ is the average income for the less than 10% of earners in the US who possess a doctorate, professional or other advanced degree according to the the Census Bureau.

    Unfortunately, teacher’s average salaries aren’t typically broken down by degree type, so it’s difficult to do an accurate comparison of experienced teacher’s value to that of their equivalent non-teacher by education level value.

    92,920$ the BLS calculation of the average of the top 10% of teacher’s salaries.

    Generally, there’s also no distinction here between years of service, level of education, teacher’s specialty, physical location of the district (remembering it’s effect on Cost of Living), etc. which could all be factors in producing these salaries.

    125,750$ BLS calculation for the average salary of the top ten highest paid mid-career Master’s Degrees (eg

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    May Day

    For a country traditionally priding itself on hard work it never ceases to amaze me that the modern incarnation hates the workforce so much.

    As the United States moved from its colonial agrarian & trade economy into becoming an industrialized nation it faced down some cold, hard truths about how it was built and continuing to mature. In a very over-simplified view the first incarnation was decreased use of the indentured servitude system. Next a major reckoning came with the Civil War and the outlawing of outright slavery. After, the industrial sector faced the sometimes violent organization of its workforce into unions fighting for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. Eventually, Government codified some of these demands into the foundation of what would become labor law, which was also influenced in part by the Women’s Liberation Movement and the Black Equal Rights movement that followed.

    And then the post-Goldwater era of the Republican Party happened. I’m never sure if it’s really Pro-Business as they like to call it or simply Anti-Labor.

    The Russian Revolution of 1917 was built upon a general disenfranchisement with Tsarist Russia’s famine and economic collapse during the first World War. The resulting provisional governments of Soviet Russia aspired to the utopian ideals of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the hopes of creating a “workers paradise” where every person would flourish. The anti-monarchist and leftist pro-labor movement was not isolated to Russia. Several of its neighboring regions, including Ukraine (consolidating the Tzarist Russian Providence and the abdicated region of Poland after the Russian-Polish War), Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (which formed initially into TSFSR), and the Slavic region known as Belarus (consolidating the Tzarist Russian Providence and old the Lithuanian Kingdom) aligned themselves similarly. In 1922 the regionally formally aligned itself into what became the early USSR under Vladimir Lenin’s rule. As a political theorist, Lenin adapted the Marxist ideas into his own ideology seeking to create a temporary dictatorship of the proletariat as political prelude to the establishment of socialism and the complete “freedom of the worker.”

    The idealist theory went awry when the dictatorship aspect of the so-called transition to socialism was put into the hands of the tyrannical Joseph Stalin. His vision of social, political and economic reform was less about the proletariat, despite is rhetoric, and more about the consolidation of his own power which was made increasingly possible through his victories in WWII on the Eastern Front. Post-war, Stalin refused to conceded the occupied land on the Eastern Front, annexing several countries while establishing puppet regimes in others. The US was still engaged with Japan in the Pacific Theatre and the rest of the European allies were unable militarily to respond to Stalin’s threats and essentially ceded the Eastern Bloc setting the foundation for the Cold War.

    The propaganda machine engaged during WWII to manipulate American public opinion remained intact, and thus shifted it’s ire from the now defeated Nazi Germany to the Red Threat of Russia. A common tool used was to broadly disparage socialism and communism as theories as being fundamentally incomparable with the American interpretation of democracy and capitalism. The reality was that what Stalin instilled in the USSR was a military dictatorship that hardly resembled Lennin’s vision, forget about the underlying concepts of Marx and others, where the fundamental idea of dictatorship of the proletariat is to create a state in which the proletariat, or the working class, has control of political power.

    Most Westerners had no idea that Stalinism and socialism were not synonymous. Nor did they care. They just knew that our enemy was the USSR and anything our enemy embraced socially, economically or politically must be bad. Every aspect of the differences between the USSR and the USA had to be exploited in order battle the Red Threat. As the arms race aspect of the Cold War escalated so did the absolutes of the propaganda resulting in the weaponization of fear, more commonly referred to as the Red Scare.

    Thus, among other aspects of the Soviet Union to be propagandized the idea of brining equality to the proletariat was politically twisted into a bastardization of the Robbin Hood idea where the righteous rich were being robbed by the lazy poor in an unfair redistribution of wealth.

    By as early as mid-century the portrait of the American worker was suburban middle class. Having benefited from the influence of Unions and a booming post-War economy driven by a lack of worldwide competition the average American not only didn’t think they could relate to the concept of the proletariat but had convinced themselves they were mearly in transition to being part of the righteous rich.

    The combination of not perceiving being oppressed and the propaganda against all things Socialist eroded the idea of worker’s rights that were foundational to the American transition into the world power it had become. What remained was a populous loathesome of certain ideas because they could be even remotely construe as communist or socialist or Russian that they would actively hurt themselves in the process.

    And, that’s exactly what happened.

    In parallel, the Republican Party was in transition during this time. Formerly a progressive party several factors began moving it rightward to becoming conservative including the GOP embracing the Second Red Scare and Joseph McCarthy’s antics within the House Un-American Activities Committee, the welcoming of the Dixicrat movement as former Southern Democrats abandoned their party as it moved more liberal, the backing of Robert A. Taft’s incarnation of the Conservative Coalition against the New Deal coalition, and empowering of Barry Goldwater’s approach to conservatism (often called “extremist” at the time) over New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s more moderate vision of party traditionalism.

    That last point is vital because although Goldwater would go on to lose the 1964 Presidential campaign many of his foundational strategies were employed successfully later by Nixon and Reagan as the core of the party moved increasingly right during a time when the American Psyche was fragile. Shaken from the effects of the Viet Nam War, the increasing economic struggles precipitated by international competition, and the effects of the Civil Rights Act, the Gun Control Act, Roe V. Wade, etc. swaths of voters that were already feeling disenfranchised by what they perceived the United States as becoming were able to be manipulated by Republican message stoking those fears and anxieties.

    The tactic of focusing on singular issues for voters allowed the Republicans to target messages heavily weighted in “us” versus “them” depicting the opposing view as “UnAmerican” in the same way that post-War propaganda generally approached attacking the USSR as the anthesis of American values. The “them” in these new propaganda campaigns though wasn’t always explicitly Democrats as a political party. Rather, it was a more tacit caricature of who non-conservative people were perceived to be. These fictional narriatives played into both the insecurities and biases of certain segments of voters at the time.

    For example Republicans didn’t like the societal safety net programs that were designed to help the working poor. They attacked them as being vestiges of socialism where your hard earned money was subsidizing people who didn’t deserve it. It was no coincidence that the so-called welfare queen imagery conjured up was that of urban blacks on a permanent vacation. It didn’t matter that the programs were heavily used by rural whites or that the majority of documented abuses were from suburban white enclaves because the problems with these programs actually lie with someone else. Thus, all of a sudden programs that were fundamental to supporting the plight of working class, such as Medicade, unemployment, public housing, etc. were now demonized by some of the very workers they were meant to help. Of course, it didn’t hurt that these were progressive programs that the modern Democratic Party supported so undermining these programs undermined the public perception of the party and its voters.

    Same could be said for Unions. They were attacked as precursors to socialism where hard workers were forced to give up their individual accomplishment in order to subsidize their lazy coworkers. It was no coincidence that the so-called lazy coworker was depicted as an urban black always out on lunch break. It didn’t matter that blacks were hardly ever union represented in the workforce or that much of the abuse of union powers, such as embezzlement of funds, taking bribes, etc. was perpetuated by suburban whites because the problem with unions was framed as being someone else. Thus, all of a sudden labor unions that were once the bastion of representing the working classes needs ere now demonized by some of the very workers they were meant to help. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Unions aligned, in part, to Democratic Party so undermining what they represented undermined the public perception of the party and its voters.

    The same could be said for Labor Laws. Where once minimum wage, safety regulations, hour

    By the time Gingrich-led Republicans overtook congress in the 1990s the damage was already done. The Koch-led Americans For Prosperity crafted the Tea-Party movement simply capitalized on decades of built up hatrd based on racism, sexism

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