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Shane Morris @IamShaneMorris
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Hey y'all. Need some help on how to deal with really racist, backwards, bigoted family members? I bet you do. You'll likely have to share a table with some of them on Thanksgiving.

So take it from me, someone who was born and raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt. (A thread.)
We all joke about that really bigoted uncle who pounds a few too many drinks before we're settling down for turkey -- and we joke, because it's true. Somehow, against all odds, Donald Trump still has like a 33% approval rating.

1 in 3 people are willing to put toddlers in cages.
What do bigots love talking about more than anything else?

Shit they know absolutely nothing about.

That's because rather than reading, or evaluating reasonable doubt, they've been mainlining Sean Hannity into a hungry little vein for the past two years.
Phrase #1: "Where did you hear that?"

Don't directly confront a bigot. That shit is like looking directly into Sauron's eye. Instead, give them some space to explore their bigotry.

Uncle: "ISIS coming in with these immigrants."

You: "Really? Where did you hear that?"
Phrase #2: "What if we could do what you want, but do it even better?"

You see, here's what you need to understand. They have a knee jerk reaction to ISIS, because they only understand ISIS in the abstract -- not as a nuanced expeditionary caliphate in the Middle East.
Uncle: "The Democrats are stopping us from building a wall to keep our borders safe."

*Here's where you deploy something I call the "do it better than a wall" trap. They push, you pull.*

You: "You know what would be better than a wall?"
Uncle: "Better than a wall?"

(This is where we break with the Qin Dynasty, and employ solutions that aren't 2,000 years old.)

You: "Of course. We need to maintain our borders, but we shouldn't do it like feudal China. We have things that are better than walls now."
You (continued): "I saw a few experts on Fox News saying the best way to police our border is with ground sensors, UAV's with thermal cameras, laser detection, and other modern systems. That's because our border with Mexico is expansive, and imminent domain laws are a pain."
This is true: Fox News has featured border security experts, and this is what they actually say. Walls are expensive to build, expensive to maintain, and wholly ineffective.

You just don't see them often, because most of the time they're busy... uhm... lying.
Experts on border security don't get much airtime, because chanting "BUILD A NETWORK OF MODERN INTRUSION AND DETECTION SYSTEMS AROUND A DECENTRALIZED REGIONAL MONITORING INFRASTRUCTURE" just doesn't have the same ring as "WALL".
So what you do now, to your bigoted uncle, is agree.

"You and I both want to stop illegal immigration. I just want something that costs less, and is more effective. I want to keep track of everyone entering the United States, and it's not fiscally responsible to build a wall."
It's called bipartisanship at Thanksgiving. Democrats and Republicans agree on illegal immigration: We need to stop people from entering our borders illegally.

Democrats want a low cost solution using modern technology.

Republicans see 2nd Century feudal China as inspiration.
But oh, what if your bigoted uncle wants to wax poetic about the economy! Lordy, the man who is literally receiving a Social Security check is going to regale you with the evils of socialism.

Nothing gets my dick more erect than this moment. (Except turkey.)
(I realized that last tweet made it sound like I want to fuck a turkey. I meant I wanted it to sit on my face. I personally have never fucked a turkey, but I'm very sex-positive, and woke. If you want to stuff the bird with something other than cornbread, more power to you.)
Uncle: "These Democrats just want everything for free."

This is where you, once again, agree -- but in your own way.

"You're right. We shouldn't just be giving away free money. Not just people though. Corporations, too."
Over on Subsidy Tracker, you can learn all about how "all these companies are stealing from you" -- because, in their world, "taxation is theft" and on the same note, not paying taxes while others pay, means they actually pay for your share.

You with me here? Okay...
You: "George (that's your racist uncle's name now), they're taking your money and giving it to Boeing, General Motors, Shell, Disney, Time Warner... hell, even Bed Bath & Beyond!"

Uncle: "It's wrong!"
(It's also true that I dated a girl who worked at Bed Bath & Beyond, and we literally fucked on one of their display beds after hours. Then she went and got a towel and wiped me down and put that motherfucker right back on the shelf. Shoutout to Tina. You're grimy as fuck.)
The harsh reality of our economy is that globalization has forced us to heavily subsidize... everything. (You can find it all here: )

What we haven't done is hold the companies we're subsidizing accountable for how they pay their workers.
Your racist uncle isn't going to understand that. So what you need to do is play into what he understands. Pivot to "The Good Old Days".

You: "I just want America to be able to go back to the good old days, when people could work a factory job, and earn a decent living."
You see, your racist uncle loves the Good Old Days, when things were better*. (*If you were white.)

In the Good Old Days, your uncle and his buddies would work a solid nine hours, come home, crack open a beer (or 12), and abuse their wives. You can't do that anymore.
The Trump crowd loves talking about bringing steel jobs, and factory jobs back to the United States. You know what those jobs all have in common?

Unions that collectively bargained for fair worker pay.

You: "You're right, Uncle George. Let's bring back good union jobs!"
In 1965, 31% of all US workers were represented by a union. This was actually down from almost 45% in 1955, when everyone* lived a perfect, Leave It To Beaver existence.

[*straight white men]
If we want to be intellectually honest about "Making America Great Again", we need to recreate the climate that made America great...

Low cost college tuition.
Progressive taxes on the wealthy. (Under Eisenhower, the wealthiest 1% of Americans say a 91% income tax.)
It's the "again" part that I'd like to focus on, because this is their stated motto, and you should be able to walk your racist uncle George into what "again" means. It's about repeating what we did in the past.

Trust me, your uncle ain't talking about bringing Devo back.
Remember that people only understand things through the lens of memory. Your uncle is a racist old bag of dicks because he wasn't sitting at a different lunch counter, or drinking from a "colored" water fountain.

It's easy to be on the upside of racism. That's why it persists.
America held its largest share of the global economy, and had the highest median pay... under Eisenhower. When almost half of American workers were in unions. When we taxed the wealthy. When we instituted massive public works projects.

Those "good jobs" were often govt jobs.
Making America Great Again would mean repeating some of the same things we did in the 1950s.

President Eisenhower was worried about "fringe workers" not able to pay their bills. So he advocated by raising the minimum wage by 50%. And you know what happened? He got 33% done.
If our plan is to "do it again" that would mean expanding unemployment insurance benefits to an additional 17 million Americans. It would mean an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.64.
Under President Kennedy, our Secretary of Labor was the lead counsel for the AF-CIO (a labor union): Arthur J. Goldberg. He was, at the time, the leading labor lawyer in the nation.

Nothing against Alex Acosta, he just doesn't have any background in labor... at all.
Trump is trying to "save coal jobs" -- but in the past, that's not what we did.

In the 1950s, people were afraid that automation and other factors would rapidly eliminate low-skill jobs. (This story tends to repeat itself.)
That's why we need a strong Department of Labor. The Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 (ARA) and the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 (MDTA) provided job re-training and financial allowances for unemployed workers in sectors where employment was in decline.
So when your uncle says, "We need to save our steel jobs!" -- remind him that in his "MAGA" mentality, he's been blinded that we have never tried to save industries that were on the downturn.

We just moved on, and got better at something else. You can't ice skate uphill.
The story of America, and our economic greatness, is the story of labor. When American workers experienced leaders, the American people benefit.

Look at James Hodgson, Sec. of Labor under President Nixon. He worked for 25 years at Lockheed. His policies brought factories here.
Hodgson had some real challenges to face. This was right when Japan was making its return as a real industrial powerhouse. He figured that it was better to partner with them, than lose entirely. His policies ended up pushing through the 80s and 90s.

He didn't recommend tariffs.
It was the policies that Hodgson recommended in the 70s that allowed American and Japanese automotive companies to partner in production in the 80s and 90s. Today, his legacy is still alive: We build Toyota trucks in TEXAS, and BMW's in South Carolina.
I'm all about "making America great again" if it means looking to the actual policies we put in place. Remember when Chevrolet couldn't compete with Toyota to build a small car? What'd they do? They slapped a Chevy badge on it and called it a Prizm... and built it in Fremont, CA.
At this point, look, I'm just ranting, but I think you get my point. The MAGA crowd, if they actually want to do the "again" part of "making America great" -- they need to look at what we were doing before, because it worked. I'm not arguing that we've stagnated.
What do I want?

More union jobs.
More collaboration with overseas businesses.
Higher minimum wages.
Unemployment insurance for more Americans.
Lower college tuition. (Spending MUCH more on education.)
Infrastructure restoration.

That's what we did in the 50s-70s.
If you want to wax on about illegal immigration, here is it: Since 2008, more Mexicans have been leaving the United States, than arriving.

In fact, the largest numbers of Mexican immigrants arrived illegally from 1965-1986. (source:… )
Here's a narrative you won't hear much from the MAGA crowd: Under Ford and Reagan, we basically didn't give a fuck about illegal immigration, because we knew they were the only ones willing to work on artichoke farms in Central California.

That doesn't sound as "tough" though.
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