Robert Reich (The real reason behind the GOP’s “culture war” Why …)

The real reasons behind the GOP’s “culture war”

Why are Putin and the Republican Party so alike? Simple: their culture wars have similar agendas.

Both are trying to distract attention from the economic plunder of their respective oligarchies.

Vladimir Putin blew up the so-called “culture of cancellation”.

This was his third outburst of “clearing culture” in recent months. It’s the same imaginary crisis that Trump and the GOP have been complaining about for several years.

Tucker Carlson, one of Fox News’s most infamous personalities, accuses liberals of trying to erase all kinds of things.

Last fall, Putin said that teaching children about different gender identities was, I quote, “on the verge of a crime against humanity”. Putin’s fixation on LGBTQ people is also echoed by the American right.

Republican state lawmakers are attacking trans people and limiting discussion of gender and sexual orientation in schools. And in Texas … “State Attorney General Ken Paxton likened children receiving gender-affirming medical care to child abuse.”

While Putin’s MO was to fuel Russian ethnic pride and nationalism, the American right wing fueled white nationalism.

To conclude from all this that authoritarians think alike, a deeper truth is missing.

Putin, Trump, Carlson and the American right wing have promoted the same narrative for the same reason: to fabricate fears of the “other” to distract from where all wealth and power have gone … all the way to the top.

Remember, Putin was put in power by a Russian oligarchy made fabulously rich by stealing and privatizing the wealth of the former Soviet Union.
Likewise, Trump and the radical right in America were funded by an American oligarchy: Rupert Murdoch, Charles Koch, Rebekah Mercer, Peter Thiel, and other billionaires.

The sowing of racism, homophobia and transphobia creates dangers of life or death for many people in our society. For both Putin and the American right it serves to divert attention from the economic plunder of the ultra-rich.

They want people to fear each other rather than unite behind higher wages, better working conditions and a fairer economy – and against authoritarianism.

To fight back, we must combat growing inequality by defending marginalized communities from the attacks of these demagogues. The real threat isn’t different identities – it’s corporate greed and political corruption.

We need to see Putin’s culture wars and America right for the cynical strategies they are, and build a future where prosperity is widely shared.