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Stuff You Should Consume - March 30, 2023
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“In Michigan, an agenda countering the anti-woke GOP frenzy takes shape” by Greg Sargent, Washington Post
In the emerging Democratic reading, the old vision of a White, male, breadwinning working class concentrated in burly jobs shapes much political analysis, but it’s a pundit fiction. With service, retail and health-care sectors growing as manufacturing and mining jobs dwindle, the new working class is far more ethnically and culturally diverse — and more socially liberal — than commonly supposed.
Those developments are entangled with the decline of labor, which has partly resulted from many “right to work” laws such as the one in Michigan. This has produced a crucial combination in today’s working class, as Rich Yeselson explains in the American Prospect: It’s both more diverse in ethnicity and life experience and less represented by unions than before.
“The Republican Plan to Make Voting Irrelevant” by Sherrilyn Ifill, Slate
This effort—to remove powers from elected representatives who are Democrats—has become the new method of disenfranchising voters and maintaining perpetual Republican political power. And it is being undertaken with alarming frequency and speed across the country. This may be the most dangerous and efficient structural attack on our democracy. Its threat, and pernicious ingenuity, lies in its ability to make voting itself irrelevant. Voters may turn out in high numbers and elect their candidates of choice, but if the official is not one whose views align with those of the Republican Party, they may find that their powers of office are removed by antagonistic GOP-controlled legislatures.
How to Push Back Against Fox and Misinformation” by Kat Abughazaleh, Media Matters
“Twitter is Dying” by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch
However if the point is simply pure destruction — building a chaos machine by removing a source of valuable information from our connected world, where groups of all stripes could communicate and organize, and replacing that with a place of parody that rewards insincerity, time-wasting and the worst forms of communication in order to degrade the better half — then he’s done a remarkable job in very short order. Truly it’s an amazing act of demolition. But, well, $44 billion can buy you a lot of wrecking balls.
That our system allows wealth to be turned into a weapon to nuke things of broad societal value is one hard lesson we should take away from the wreckage of downed turquoise feathers.
“How Working-Class White Voters Became the GOP’s Foundation” by Ron Brownstein, The Atlantic
The economically vulnerable districts that each side holds also present a stark demographic contrast. Low-income Democratic seats tend to be in urban centers with large nonwhite populations. In more than three-fourths of the Democratic seats with a median income below the national level, and in virtually all of the Democratic districts with more uninsured people than average, the minority share of the population is also higher than the national average.
Some low-income Republican districts also have large minority populations, particularly in Texas and Florida, where the GOP has made inroads into culturally conservative Latino communities. But mostly the low-income GOP seats are centered on working-class white areas, many of them outside metropolitan areas.