Every conservative is a fat, Christ-addicted gun nut (and here’s a meme that proves it)

Not exactly, but isn’t it fun to think that way? Doesn’t that get your liberal heart beating with real force?

What I’m actually considering here is a doppelganger of sorts of that argument — the persistence of the “liberals want to live on government handouts” myth. It’s an interesting political phenomenon in that no one internal to the idea actually believes it.Anyone who can read a simple map and isn’t colorblind knows that the reddest states have been receiving the largest share of federal tax dollars for a long time (Texas with its strong oil economy being an exception). There’s a near-perfect correlation between states with a high percentage of residents on food stamps and other government entitlements and states that vote for candidates who rail against these programs. And on an individual level, there are plenty of people who, regardless of where they live, are on disability or unemployment or otherwise have someone paying their bills, yet still rail against socialism and Democrats and extol the virtues of hard work and self-sufficiency (some readers will remember “Gribbit,” and you can read about his exploits here using the search function; he’s been in remission for so long I don’t have the motivation to link to any of that bullshit, but although he’s a great example, he’s merely one of many).

If any of this is supposed to be a secret, it’s a very open one.

Conservative commentators who propagate this idea, like Milo “should I have gray hair and sunglasses today or do I look like enough of a shithead without that stuff?” Yiannopoulos, are well aware of this, and are only aiming to rally the rubes with their rhetorical saber-rattling; the rubes know it too, because when you’re sitting at home with no job and a refrigerator full of Mountain Dew and past-its-due-date meat that Uncle Sam paid for, it’s kind of hard not to notice. So both the senders and the recipients of this message are in on the joke, although only the ones who have money are really laughing at it.

Therefore, when right-wingers toss that one out there, don’t get upset. It’s not meant to be a zinger with real sting — it’s nothing but noise-making from shills combined with the grunts of generalized discontent from self-loathing poor people who love the idea of Making It On Their Own but for whatever reason lack the means of realizing that idea.

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