The Dog Whistles of Reasonability and Sensibility

For those who don’t know, political dog whistles are things said that seemingly mean one thing but which are meant to communicate a hidden meaning to those who understand the language. In the Democratic primary, we are inundated with the political dog whistles of reasonability and sensibility. As you will see, the corporate-run media and their beloved bought and paid for centrist candidates use the dog whistles of reasonability and sensibility to ensure old white people they have their backs.

Joe Biden and Wall Street Pete, the leading centrist candidates, fly around to their private fundraisers with corporate executives. They eagerly accept large donations from the health insurance industry, the banking and finance industry, the fossil fuel industry, and all kinds of rich people whose interest lies more with corporate profits than the good of the American public.

After basking in corporate cash, they wax poetically about the reasonable, sensible American.

The reasonable, sensible American always lives in the Midwest.

The reasonable, sensible American appreciates their employer-sponsored health insurance and doesn’t want government taking it away.

The reasonable, sensible American doesn’t want government touching Social Security and Medicare because the reasonable, sensible American is looking forward to those government-run programs.

The reasonable, sensible American doesn’t recognize the contradiction between opposing government-run health care and wanting Medicare.

The reasonable, sensible American understands taxing corporations too much is bad for workers. If corporations are taxed too much, they will leave.

The reasonable, sensible American appreciates that in order to have a chance at increasing background checks to all sales of firearms, America simply can’t try to take weapons of war off of American streets.

The reasonable, sensible American agree America’s best defense is a huge military and worldwide intervention in places where the people aren’t as “reasonable and sensible” as are they.

The reasonable, sensible American appreciates the difficult job of police officers and doesn’t blame them for being scared around black or brown people

The reasonable, sensible American doesn’t realize how careful their reputation of reasonability and sensibility has been cultivated by the corporate masters to ensure reasonable, sensible solutions are those that benefit corporations at the expense of Americans and America.

If you don’t believe me when I say reasonable and sensible are dog whistles for older, white, more conservative, largely male voters, consider what comes to mind when you hear the term “America’s heartland.” The supposed heart of America is majority white, older, and more conservative than are huge portions of America.

The next time you hear a politician talking about reasonable, sensible voters, do yourself a favor and ask yourself who is funding their campaign. When you get that answer, ask yourself who really stands to benefit from their proposals.

Dog whistles can feel good. Everyone wants to be reasonable and sensible. When reasonability and sensibility is defined as a society where people die from treatable illness because they don’t have insurance, people go bankrupt because they got sick, and it’s okay for a few to have billions while others drink toxic waste–reasonability and sensibility don’t seem so reasonable and sensible.

Simply put, if a politician champions the reasonable and sensible that politician doesn’t support universal health care, true progressive tax reform, and all the things America must accomplish to create a more reasonable, sensible society.

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