“Wedge issues” are issues that do not interfere with the agendas of the elite, but divide the population into opposing camps. Wedge issues may be issues of great importance, but they have certain factors that make them useful to those who wish to divide and conquer a society.

A useful wedge issue will obsessively focus attention on emotionally charged issues that raise intense, but differing feelings among different sectors of the population. They are also issues that those seeking control and power are not affected by. The anti-gay movement is an obvious example.

A skilled propagandist will find the natural cleavages in a society, as skillfully as a diamond cutter finds the structure in a diamond. With an accurately placed chisel and the right blow, the diamond breaks along the crystalline lines of weakness. Similarly, with the right messaging, a society can be divided into opposing camps.

Racism is a pressing issue. The amount of suffering and injustice caused by racial discrimination is unfathomable. Often, people raised in racist societies can have a deep need to cling to their identities as being of a superior race. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is proxy-image-2.jpg Fanning the fires of racism by our president, or inflammatory  messages in the mass media, increases the polarity.

The predictable angry reactions, from those seeking a just and egalitarian society, fuel rage within racists.  Distorted reporting by media outlets such as Fox and Breitbart serve to further inflame racist elements. This strategy has been successfully employed by those who wish to divide and conquer.

Sexism is likewise a crucial issue in our society, which must be addressed. The treatment of this issue in the media  has tended to polarize many women against men. If divisiveness is encouraged between women and men, our unity is weakened. We distrust each other rather than focus on the needed solutions together.

Finding cleavages to divide the “liberal” element of our society is important to those who are in the process of dismantling our democracy.

These and other wedge issues are of extreme importance, but tend to distract public focus from other issues that urgently need to be attended to.

Some examples of other critical issues we need to pay attention to are:

    • The fact that the climate of the planet is now careening out of control due to human activities.
      • This is already producing catastrophic results, and will cause sea levels to rise, flooding coastal populations.
      • Food production will be severely impacted.
    • American democracy is being destroyed as we speak
    • Net neutrality has been eliminated.
    • The military industrial complex is slaughtering civilian populations throughout the planet.
      • Huge funding, needed to address other problems, is being spent on military buildout.
    • Our toxic environment is now causing one out of three people to get cancer while environmental protections are being gutted.
    • The nuclear arms race is back on, and nonproliferation treaties are now null and void. The Doomsday Clock, from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is very close to midnight and counting.
    • The list can go on.
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Rupert Murdock

Almost the entire mass media is now owned by a few ultra-right wing ideologues, who use this powerful tool of communication and indoctrination to advance the oligarchic takeover of our society.

Wedge issues are issues that do not interfere with the agendas of the elite, but divide the population into opposing camps. Due to our divided society, we have become unable to work with each other to prevent the perfect storm that is now brewing.

Right now, when we need to be unified in a massive struggle for our very survival, we are fighting with each other.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Mushroom-Clout-1024x686.jpg

Often, working with those who we have differences with creates mutual respect and helps us to transcend our conflicts.

We would do well to focus on our mutual survival at this time, and settle our differences later, if we are around to do so.