Blame Reagan For America’s Persecution Complex, Victim Mentality and Decline

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Persecution complex is, in late 20th and 21st Century America, a perception of hostility and ill-treatment at the hands of “the other” because of race, political, or religious beliefs, and is very closely related, if not engendered by, what psychologists refer to as Victim mentality. Victim mentality is rampant among evangelicals, white supremacists, and angry conservatives who acquired (learned) what they regard as a highly-valued personality trait. Americans were not always, and did not consider themselves, weak and terrified victims of imagined negative actions of “the other,” but to hear them wail and moan, that is certainly the case. This is regardless there is no  clear evidence they have suffered anything and in fact, have been empowered to persecute and victimize other Americans through their religious and economic legislative arm; the  Republican Party.

Over the past two years, there has been a preponderance of reports, surveys, and research documenting America’s decline in every imaginable measurable category. It does not matter if it is the middle class’s demise, lower wages, lost pensions, the nation’s pathetic and crumbling infrastructure, homelessness, child poverty, gun deaths, or income inequality, all signs point to a very specific time frame when America began its race to mediocrity within the third world, and failure to keep pace with developed nations. Regardless which category America is lagging the rest of the world, everything points to the election of Republicans’ man-god Ronald Reagan as the beginning of America’s fall and the victim mentality plaguing the population claiming they are being persecuted.

Conservatives in the 21st Century, from Republicans to teabaggers to Koch-libertarians have embraced, perpetuated, and transformed Reagan’s extremist language into party policy to great success with their claims that America is destined for a “thousand years of darkness” unless conservatives destroy government tyranny. Government tyranny, by the way, manifest in what Reagan and Republicans claim are fascism, religious persecution, and liberal social programs such as Social  Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, taxes, and workplace and environmental regulations. All programs that, according to Reagan and Republicans, amount to stealing from “real Americans” to give to other non-Americans (read minorities) including every aspect of the extremely popular New Deal programs. In fact, nearly every Republican anti-government policy embraced by the victim-segment of the population was inspired by Reagan’s extremist pronouncements.

For example, it was Reagan who embraced the religious right and ushered in their influence over government and domestic policies as a Christian nation with a warning that “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” It was also Reagan who inspired the evangelical crusade to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Christian Bible with rhetoric proclaiming that “Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face.” In fact, although prior to Reagan’s presidency the religious right’s stance on contraception and abortion was that it was a personal medical decision between a woman and her physician, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops convinced both Reagan and evangelicals that all good Christians “have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child” according to Ronald  Reagan.

The push to decry education as liberal indoctrination, oppose science, and reject empirical data today was initiated by Reagan’s statement that “They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. I say there are simple answers to our problems and they are found within the covers of the bible.” It is likely why evangelicals overwhelmingly attribute America’s woes from climate change to poverty and an African American President to the bible’s last days and Armageddon.  Science and economic expertise is too complicated when a simplistic ‘bible’ answer is close at hand.

However, every Republican policy today is an extension of Reagan’s perpetual preaching that Americans are persecuted and victims of government; whether federal, state, county, or local. Every Republican and Koch brother anti-government utterance over the past six years is directly attributable to Reagan who spent over a decade warning Americans that their government existed as a “hostile alien force seeking only to steal their money to give to “others” and “eradicate their freedoms.” It is the Paul Ryan “takers versus makers” ideology and Willard Romney’s “47% moochers” remark that teabaggers and the Republican base embraced as victims persecuted by the government that takes their poverty wages and gives them to moocher retirees, Veterans, hungry children, and disabled people.

This idea is part and parcel of red state conservatives who blame unemployment, poverty wages, and lack of healthcare on other Americans laziness, regardless if they work. Reagan claimed unemployment insurance was nothing more than a “pre-paid vacation for freeloaders,” and it has been parroted ad nauseum by Republicans over the past three years. It is stunning, really, but a fair number of Americans working for companies like Walmart and McDonalds actually believe they earn poverty wages because other Americans working at Walmart and McDonalds receive food stamps, Medicaid, or earned income tax credits provided to “freeloaders” by the hostile government stealing their money. After over thirty years of hearing Republicans parrot Reagan’s assertion that “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” and that “Government does not solve problems; it creates them,” it is little wonder Republicans are able to campaign, and win, on the promise of eliminating the source of their base’s misery; the government.

Many Americans are perplexed as to why low intellect Americans, predominately in the bible-belt and red states, consistently vote against their own best interests; often with full knowledge they will increase their own suffering. It is due in great part to their persecution complex and victim mentality as well as their inherent stupidity. However, for over thirty years Republicans have pounded into their pea-brains that until Reagan conservatives destroy the government, hand the nation to corporatists, and replace the Constitution with the Christian bible, they will be victims of  “a hostile alien force” intent on persecuting them with fascist programs such as food stamps, Social Security, minimum wage, Medicare, Medicaid, roads, and schools.

There has never been a greater anti-government movement as the Republican, teabagger, and Koch brother crusade Americans are witnessing today, but like America’s decline into mediocrity, it all began in earnest with Republican man-turned-god Ronald Reagan. An evil man-god and B-movie actor who dutifully read a John Birch Society anti-government script and basically transformed an entire generation of Americans into victims of the Republican Party; not the government.

23 Replies to “Blame Reagan For America’s Persecution Complex, Victim Mentality and Decline”

  1. ” ill-treatment at the hands of “the other” because of race, political, or religious beliefs” . . . . .
    Don’t forget class. Mr Limbaugh has been complaining about his imagined “class war” for decades

  2. Well-said, Rmuse.
    Well thought, well argued, and well said.

    Pity, so many of Reagan’s victims are the haters, racists, grifters and Joe Plumbers who most enthusiastically embraced his smarmy dog whistles.

    Aw shucks.

  3. I couldn’t agree more! I well remember the Reagan administration. Of course I seldom listened to him because he made me want to gag. I thought his administration would NEVER end.

    I didn’t hate the man, but I didn’t like him or his policies. I certainly can’t imagine being influenced by him. I was born and raised in Dallas,TX and I don’t remember the people I knew being so in love with this bumbler.

    No disrespect intended, but I thought he seemed to be developing dementia while still in office.

  4. It seems to me that most Republican administrations have been a disaster to our Country, through history.

    Ronald Reagan, a B-movie actor, was gifted in play acting parts. He look at being Gov. of Calif. and President of USA as just more acting gigs. Followed his play scripts to an EMMY Award walk down the Red Carpet.

    The Old saying you can fool some of the people some of the time …. He learned he could fool the Repubs., ALL OF THE TIME. I always felt during his Presidency, I was walking down the “Yellow-brick Road”.

  5. Because Ronnie had worked so long doing PR for GE, he memorized their side speech and began to make it his own, (and since he was always acting) and since his supporters loved to hear that side, well…he got better at repeating it.

    His supporters seem to forget that he left us with a huge deficit when he left office.

  6. I’ve known, and said, for many years that America reached it’s zenith the before Ronnie RayGun was inaugurated. It’s been a downward spiral into plutocracy, false theocracy, perpetual war and re-invigorated racism ever since. Trickle Down economics was the greatest gift to the wealthy since the notion of “Divine Right” was dispelled. Now, the plutocrats simply buy their royalty. Actually, it’s a more certain path than having to be born or scheme your way into it. They won’t give it up without a fight. 1980 was a crossroads for America, a nexus. Grotesque wealth disparity, the rise of the religious right, deregulation, the evisceration of the middle class, union busting etc all began their rise. We took the wrong path, and I doubt we will ever recover. Reagan was, without a doubt, the worst president in US history.

  7. Reagan’s “trickle-down” scheme wasn’t working in California but dingdong decided to foist it on the U.S. and it has NEVER WORKED EVER but the ignorant GOP keeps trying it.

    It took democrat governor Brown to almost fix the 40 year mess governor Reagan began.

    He ignored the AIDS crisis.

    It was very creepy for him to call his wife…MUMMY

    The middle-class began its deline

  8. Not to mention that since the days of the great traitor working men’s wages have remained stagnant for the most part. Reagan’s destroy the unions crusade and drop taxes on the rich(and remove many of the middle class’s deductions to pay fo0r it) practically started this country on its way to ruin. And that’s what today’s pinheaded republicans want to do. They so want to be victims they would shoot themselves in the head to do it. At the same time saying we cant leave debt to their kids but they will leave war and massive debts. They just dont know it.

  9. I’ve been saying for decades exactly what the author says. My Country has been very good to me, I went from a shoeless country boy into a military career. The military paid for all my education from GED to a Masters degree, even gave me a year off with pay to graduate. Took a position at a community college after service and subsequently retired. I now lead a comfortable live on my military and teachers retirement with social security. My brother in law has the almost exact same history yet he is a blue water Republican who hates the very government that has done so much for him. Can’t even talk with him without him passionately going all Rush, all the time. I simply can’t understand his hatred for all that has been so good to us both.

  10. Reagan was a pompous Republi-con _monster_. He invited the anti-science “Jesus played with dinosaurs” crowd into the political process for his profiteering handlers.

    Verily, he ushered in the awful tyranny of class, institutional disrespect, lack of fair play, the death of the middle class, the rise of a monstrous and fascistic oligarchy… …needless misery, squalor, and sickness in a withering quality of life. He provided for a horrific mixture of Church and State. Reagan was the glad harbinger of preying corporate psychopaths, the proud herald of personified business entities, and the sly officiator of an unethical wealth gap going beyond mere _chasm_ passed _canyon_ to cosmic _rift_…

    Thankfully RON Reagan’s apple was able to roll rar from the scabrous reaches of the terrible and medieval minded shadow that was the deteriorating brain of Ronald Reagan.

  11. RR was the “Great Communicator” as long as he had a script–written by someone else–to read!

  12. A co-worker calls Reagan the greatest president ever.

    When I point out all of our current problems stem from his policies, he says “Who cares, He made me feel good about myself”.

  13. There is this Christian belief that god favors and looks out for dumb animals and they are trying as hard as possible to become dumb animals. They really do wholeheartedly embrace stupidity as next to godliness.

  14. Jobs Bills That Don’t Create Jobs: What Republican Control Could Mean
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/30/republican-jobs-bills_n_6227190.html

    Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said he was unimpressed with the economists’ findings. “Notwithstanding cherry-picked ‘expert’ opinions, the American people understand that expanding the supply of domestic energy, reducing regulations, improving education, and cutting wasteful spending will help our economy grow and create jobs,” Steel said in an email.

  15. The darkness in America began with Joe McCarthy, followed by John Birch Society (founded by Papa Koch), Ronald Reagan and continues today with the authoritarians (so-called conservatives (TGOPs)which are without conscience) and tea party baggers (founded and funded by Koch Brothers).

  16. I like your little description of your life and how different you and your brother are even though you had the save advantages

  17. Not Sure How Phineas Priesthood Escaped My Attention
    http://vixenstrangelymakesuncommonsense.blogspot.com/2014/12/not-sure-how-phineas-preisthood-escaped.html

    I saw the story of Larry McQuilliams originally as just kind of a sad case of someone simply losing their shit in a pretty flagrant way–firing more than a hundred rounds at various buildings and so very fortunately, not harming actual people (other than giving them one hell of a scare). Understanding now that he might have viewed himself as a kind of soldier/martyr–not unlike a al-Qaeda shahid, genuinely unsettles me. Somehow, even if such terrorists were active in the 90’s, I never came across that term -Phineas Priesthhood–before. But I think I might want to pay attention to that current, now, especially as racial tensions and distrust in government seem to be on the rise.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Priesthood

  18. Bravo Rmuse……thank you!
    It’s very important to recognize when this happens in real life with your RW encounters and turn the tables.
    Also, do not let false articles on social media about usually POC mooching off the government via food stamps or welfare go unchallenged…..counter with facts.
    Ps…..support your local paper, be active, they can be your best friend. I adore mine!

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