Republican Paul Ryan, like most other members of the United States Congress, is a millionaire.
Republicans like Paul Ryan — along with the millionaires and billionaires who comprise Donald Trump’s Cabinet and inner circle — literally want to take food, shelter and health care away from poor people.
Christa Patton is 68 years old. She is frail and no longer able to leave her home.
Patton would not be able to eat without the Meals on Wheels program.
“It is normal to feel aghast at and disgusted by the Republican Party’s war on the poor.”
Why do conservatives “feel such antipathy, disregard and hostility towards poor and other vulnerable Americans”?
Social psychologists have shown that, in effect, poor people are invisible to the rich and upper classes.
Conservatives are more likely to exhibit social dominance and bullying behavior. They are also more likely to defend social inequality as “fair and legitimate.”
Republicans often use language that robs poor people of their individuality, humanity and dignity, creating distance between “normal” Americans and the economically disadvantaged.
The concept of the self-made person whose success is a function of “rugged individualism” also works to legitimize the Republican war on the poor.
The brain structures of conservatives and liberals are quite different: Conservatives focus those feelings on their in-group such as immediate family and community.
Is there hope for the future? Yes, of course.
But it’s going to be a difficult struggle.
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