I'll bet that you've often wondered how the GOP holds on to its middle class voters when it clearly works against the best interests of constituents that are not well-heeled? In the past, I've said that the GOP playbook uses the big three; fear, uncertainty and doubt to keep middle class constituents under control and in line. The purpose of this article is to drill down on those principles of propaganda and uncover the specific mechanisms that they use to generate that fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Here are some of the powerful tools that seem to be in the GOP propaganda toolkit:
There isn't enough Social Security reserve money to go around. If the baby boomers don't make cuts now, there won't be enough left in the fund for 1000 years from now. What are future young people going to do? They will be paying into the system for nothing. Why are those baby boomers so selfish? Let's make those cuts and do it for the children!
That GOP false argument has the added effect of pitting young against old and puts the Republicans closer to their dream of eliminating Social Security by helping it to die a death by a thousand cuts. If you liked that, you're going to love the next one.
Obamacare is going to destroy Medicare by siphoning away money from it.
What could seriously hurt Medicare and every other form of health care is the ever spiraling cost of drugs, hospital fees and every other aspect of health care, especially insurance. Part of the Affordable Care Act attempts to get some of it under control. That's a good thing because left, unchecked, rising healthcare costs could reach the point where even with insurance, few people would be able to pay for it.
Those union guys make more than I do. Why should they make more than I do when I do the same job?
You get the picture here? Instead of the brainwashed GOP voter asking “Why am I making so little?” the fool actually asks, “Why is he or she making so much?” Losers who try to bring other people down, instead of raising themselves up are what's destroying our country. Sadly, the GOP seems to be the home of pathetic flunkies like that.
Someday I'll become a billionaire, so I have to protect their freedom to earn lots of money.
Yes, and someday the skies will open up and diamonds will rain down on all of us. In the meantime, the middle class of poor GOP voter and his or her family will probably barely make ends meet on a meager big box store and or fast food joint paycheck with GOP electeds fighting minimum wage increases tooth and nail.
We are the official party of patriotism and the founding fathers!
Our founding fathers would be appalled at the betrayal of our country caused by “free” market principles. The GOP stooges who wrap themselves in the American flag vehemently support a corporation's right to offshore American jobs, thus weakening our economy, destroying our manufacturing infrastructure and building up the Chinese economy. As a byproduct, when U.S. corporations manufacture in China, the Chinese get their trade secrets, building up Chinese technology. Gee whiz, when I last looked, China was a Communist country! Yes, I know that the Democrats also support “free” trade but not as vehemently.
In my humble opinion, with their unconditional love of corporations and billionaires, the Republican party is not the official party of the founding fathers. Here's a quote from one of the founding fathers that confirms that. " I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
We are the official party of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
If Jesus walked the earth today, I'm sure that he would strongly dispute that. The GOP seems to glorify selfishness and a lust for money, especially if it's at the expense of the poor! The GOP always seems to latch on to the parts of religion that divide us and uses them as red meat issues to keep their base engaged and under control.
The Big Lie Theory:
Obamacare is evil because it has death panels!
How many time have we heard that baloney? That's the entire principal of The Big Lie theory. If you repeat an outrageous lie enough times, it becomes the truth in the minds of the public. That's why we were subjected to a barrage of deceptive ads and soundbites from the GOP and various shill organizations. The Big Lie Theory worked well for Joseph Goebbels and still does for the GOP and their wealthy backers.
The next time you discuss politics with Republican voters, don't get angry with them, feel sorry for them because they are truly enslaved by their blind trust of an entity that is using them to benefit their real constituency, billionaires and corps.
Did you ever notice that GOP politicians seem to repeatedly try to undermine or even repeal every Democratic initiative? It appears that they have long memories because their attacks on laws that were enacted for the good of society as a whole not only go after Social Security but even, in the case of some of their electeds, after child labor laws. That would make their party symbol appropriate because they seem to never forget about and endlessly resent any law that was written to help John and Jane Q. if that law was crafted and passed by Democratic electeds.
FDR, JFK and LBJ era Democratic electeds have passed countless bills into laws that have become solid and essential parts of the American way of life. Believe me, Republican electeds resent each and every one of them! So many laws, so much GOP resentment! How does the GOP keep track of them all? Let me give you my theory.
Hidden is a secret vault in an inner sanctum is a GOP Grudge Checklist. Every time a Democratic bill is passed into law, a Republican scribe enters that law into the pages of their Grudge Checklist. That checklist goes back into the vault and becomes a GOP time capsule that will emerge some time in the future at a point in time when we, the people take those laws for granted, become complacent and indifferent. At that time, each law becomes an IOU to their wealthy backers that the GOP fulfills with repeated repeal or privatization attempts. If their one percenter backers can't make a buck from privatizing a social program, they want the program eliminated so there is more money in the budget to give them tax breaks and subsidies a.k.a. corporate welfare.
As I said earlier, the Republican Party symbol of an elephant is appropriate because their electeds have long memories that mark every Democratic social initiative for repeal or profiteering in the future. Conversely, the Democratic symbol of the donkey is appropriate because they have short memories and forget how hard is was for the true Democrats of the past, like FDR and LBJ to get their programs passed and are willing to throw all of it away for short term political gain. If you are uncomfortable with that situation, get out, get involved and let your electeds know that you will not stand for politics as usual.
Can someone answer these questions?
When a politician takes the oath of office and when he or she signs an agreement with ALEC, are they now involved in "A Conflict of Interest?" They, in my understanding are defending and upholding the Constitution of the United States of America, not corporate American interests.
When politicians vote to cut benefits for veterans and Food Stamps for low income people and then vote not to raise taxes on the 1%, CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
When politicians close the government and furlough federal employees and civil employees and yet keep their gym membership, expense accounts and salaries, is that CONFLICT OF INTEREST and Not in the Best Interest of the People of the United States?
When Did Special Interest Groups become the politicians' constituents and NOT even live in their respective areas? Most in my opinion are lobbyists who work for corporations that HAVE agendas they want pushed forward.
Just indulge me for one more question that has me totally confused. When did the corporations and groups like ALEC get elected to Dictate the Laws of Our Land?
These are just my opinions and concerns. Do they ring a bell for anybody else to question what is really gong on and not just sit idle? Just remember one thing, 2014 is right around the corner and we can exercise our right to vote. Oh and one more thing, remember how they also stick in pork barrels when they write laws. Who do they really benefit?
Ciao for now.
Pork barrel Webster's Dictionary definition:
Government projects that benefit people in a particular part of the country and that are done in order to help the political careers of elected officials
If you've been reading these posts or listening to my show for any length of time, you know that I was and am strongly in favor of nationalized healthcare. Unfortunately, due to well funded corporate financed external influences and Democratic "compromise" that bordered on complicity, so called ObamaCare was diluted into its present state. My theory is that something is better than nothing. As it stands now, the plan protects us from what, in my opinion are some of the nastier excesses of the health insurance industry like refusing to insure people who have many pre-existing conditions or raising their premiums above the threshold of affordability. All in all, it is a giant step forward that protects us from many of the excesses that made the pre-ObamaCare health insurance corps resemble the death panels that the GOP claimed ObamaCare would create.
Thanks to GOP lies and that of shill organizations who buy deceptive advertising on the mainstream media, ObamaCare was greatly whittled down. Even that wasn't enough for many members of the GOP who became obsessed with obliterating ObamaCare at any cost, even if they take down our economy with it. After many, many attempts, they decided to use the debt ceiling as a club to hold over the Democrats' heads. What we need to make clear to them is that they are holding it over our heads and we won't stand for it!
The GOP has already rammed their extortionary bill through Congress. Hopefully, the bill will be dead on arrival in the Senate, but if it isn't, we need to let our Senators know how we feel and let those electeds who voted for defunding know that we will vote them out on election day. Funding our country shouldn't be contingent on letting the GOP and the corps who own them destroy something that clearly is long overdue and will literally protect America's health.
What? You say that you've never heard of the “Two” Party Two-Step? Well you are in luck because I'm going to put my dance instructor's hat on and we are going to spend a little time tripping the light fantastic together. Yes, that means that I am going to teach you the easy to learn, hard to forget steps to this deceptive political dance. Alrighty then, just put on your dancing shoes and let's go.
Just stand in the middle of this room and we're ready to go. This dance has a caller just like a square dance and all you have to do is to listen to him and do exactly what he says. Here he goes now: “Ya take two steps to the right and a small step to the left, Two steps to the right and a very small one to the left, - - SLAM!! Oops, it looks like we just hit the right wall of the room and can go no further.
Holy mackerel, we have gone so far to the right that we are pinned to the wall with nowhere else to go! Let's take it step by step taking a look at the way we danced in slow motion to see how we got here. Ya take two steps to the right (Ronald Reagan who actually took us way to the right, George H.W. Bush and a little one to the left (Bill Clinton, even though he's really a Democrat with mini Republican ideals). Two steps to the right (George Bush took both steps and then some himself) and a little one to the left (Barack Obama squandered his potential with intentional compromise with the GOP).
By now I think that you are getting the picture and hopefully, see a pattern there. The post LBJ crop of Democratic presidents, especially the last two didn't or never intended to offset the damage to ordinary, non- wealthy Americans that was done by the preceding Republican administrations. I like to say that Bill Clinton did more to enable and advance the future GOP agenda than most Republican presidents and Barack Obama, a man who has appointed a multitude of CEO's and Wall Streeters as “advisors” always seems to make soaring speeches that promise everything, but lead to watered down legislation that benefits the wealthy far more than it benefits ordinary Americans.
At this point, you are saying, “How can I change things? What can I do?” The answer to that is to use the analogy of buying a car. If you bought a car from a manufacturer that has, over the years given you lemons that caused you nothing but problems, you'd be looking for a different car manufacturer. Selecting a president is a far more important a decision than your next car because that selection can affect every aspect of your present and future life. You owe it to yourself to find or help your fellow Americans form a third party that looks out for ordinary Americans, not corporations, big banks and Wall Street. America, it's time for a new set of wheels and to learn some new dance steps!
During his press conference on Monday, President Obama let the GOP know, in no uncertain terms, that he wasn't going to put up with their obstructionist tactics that use the debt ceiling to impose their questionable agenda on us, whether we like it or not. I hope that the President's words are followed up by strong actions and mean an end to his seemingly endless attempts to "compromise" with GOP politicians who are only interested in bringing down, or weakening his administration. As I've said before, an administration that tries to be all things to all people winds up being nothing to everyone.
The GOP continually mistakes President Obama's conciliatory approach for a lack of political conviction. In other words, they mistake kindness for weakness. The Republicans are trying to use the bogus debt ceiling to coerce Obama into compromising away years of Democratic social programs. That's why Obama's brand new tough talk has to be followed up by strong action. The question now is, will FDR's legacy be obliterated on Obama's watch, or will he step up to the plate and be a real Democrat? The choice is his. For America's sake, I hope that he chooses wisely.
I was watching the news reports of the senseless carnage that took place in that idyllic town in Connecticut and was overcome by an overwhelming feeling of grief and despair. Over the next few hours, my grief was replaced with a firm resolve that I was going to do everything that I possibly could to help prevent innocent children from being gunned down by weapons that belong on a battlefield, not in the hands of our neighbors. While I can't come up with a unified theory about the things that cause a person to reach a level of desperation and hopelessness that brings him or her to the point of taking the lives of fellow human beings, I can tell you what and who enables those sick individuals to effortlessly arm themselves. Hint, it's the same folks who want to cut your Social Security and Medicare.
Obviously, I'm referring to the GOP, a political party of consummate bullies that vigorously defends their well heeled campaign contributor's.... oops, I mean their principles! In my humble opinion, today's GOP has no political platform other than what is dictated to them by said contributors. The end result is that you have a party of extremes that defines "freedom" as the ability of an individual to own a weapon of war. One that defines protecting seniors as making cuts to Social Security and Medicare by privatizing them, making cuts to them or raising their eligibility age. One that defines "job creation" as giving corporations the "freedom" to offshore our jobs and be rewarded for it with tax breaks. One that defines "patriotism" as sending our fighting men and women off to war only to cut their veteran's benefits when they return.
If you think that imposing the legislation that results from those extreme definitions on an unsuspecting public makes the GOP America's top bullies, you are wrong. GOP politicians are squarely in the middle of the pecking order of bullies and take their orders from the real top dog bullies, their wealthy and corporate campaign contributors. The GOP voter is at the bottom of the bullying food chain and is reminiscent of the stooge toady that follows the bully around the schoolyard, doing his bidding in Jean Shepherd's A Christmas Story. In the case of the issue of gun control, I feel that the GOP is following the dictates of anti-gun control organizations like the NRA. For the sake of our children, we must stop that kind of bullying immediately!
The road to social justice for every American is a long, circuitous one. Over the years, those who have chosen to travel down that road, despite the roadblocks put up by many Republican politicians, have given us many things that we take for granted today. Franklin Delano Roosevelt fought tirelessly to give America Social Security which helps scores of Americans retire with dignity and lets many more know that a severe disability isn't a one way ticket to starvation. Lyndon Baines Johnson used his political prowess to shepherd Medicare through Congress and the Senate, giving seniors and the disabled a healthcare safety net that should be given to everybody.
Social Security and Medicare as rights are both measures of our evolution as a society, much as the elimination of debtors' prisons and the passing of child labor laws were for earlier generations. There was a common thread that ran through all of those steps that brought America forward. That thread was the strong Republican opposition that each of those Democratically supported socio-economic advances elicited. What turned those dreams into reality was that politicians like FDR and LBJ had the will, integrity and political courage to take a stand and fight for them! Voters weren't shy about letting FDR and LBJ know that they wanted Social Security and Medicare.
Today's Democrats seem to forget that their party is the party of FDR and LBJ, a party that has helped us evolve as a society. Many of today's Democratic electeds seem to prefer to pay homage to Ronald Reagan, the father of trickle down economics, something that has lined the pockets of the rich and emptied ours. They would rather compromise with (sell out to) the Republicans than fight for programs that protect our interests. In short, the real Democrats of the past wouldn't call them Democrats.
Programs like Social Security and Medicare have withstood the test of time, the bush tax cuts have only been around since around 2001 and have helped put us in the fiscal mess we're in today. I become disheartened when President Obama and other Democrats call making cuts to Social Security and Medicare or raising the eligibility age in exchange for eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the rich a "Grand Bargain." That's hardly what I would call a "Grand Bargain", in reality, it's a fool's bargain!
Hurricane Sandy's Object Lesson For The GOP:When it comes to the deficit - Those are just numbers, these are people!
President Obama's prompt and decisive response to hurricane Sandy graphically illustrates that the GOP religion of deficit cutting is actually harmful to the future of our country. The President pulled out all the fiscal stops to help hurricane victims. Think about what would have happened if the President stopped to worry about how spending money to help those people would affect the future of America's children. Needless to say, I have some choice words for the GOP and their cult of deficit cutting. To hear my rant, visit my Listen Here! page. Do it for the children!
Now that the conventions are behind us with party “D” having had their usual lovefest and party “R” having had their usual hatefest, we have to get down to the business of getting our candidates elected. This process causes angst for many of us on the progressive Democratic side of the fence who feel that our issues weren't properly addressed over the past few years by those who promised “Hope and Change.” Likewise, many people on the Republican side of the fence are starting to get the sinking feeling that their party has gone totally over the top. I totally agree with that!
I can certainly understand why any Republican voter would be thinking about jumping ship and voting Democratic. I can also understand why some Democratic voters feel that they were let down by politicians who talked a great game in 2008, but didn't fight hard enough for issues that are vital to the survival of working people, the poor and the retired. While I'm pretty sure that those Democrats who feel let down are not going to vote for Willard Romney, some are still talking about either not voting or voting for a third party candidate that doesn't have a chance of winning. That kind of protest vote may be emotionally satisfying, but it is self defeating. Our system is rigged so that it only allows you to successfully elect candidates from one of the two major parties, the evil one or the lesser of two evils, voting for anything else goes to one of the two parties by default.
I can't tell you what to do or how to vote but here's what I'm doing: I'm voting for Barack Obama and for every Democratic candidate on the ballot. I'm going to try to convince you, my neighbors, my closest friends and my family to do the same. I'm going to ask you to do duplicate my actions and get the word out. With any luck, we'll be able to secure a Democratic majority in both houses, giving President Obama a clear path to getting laws passed that more closely match his original campaign promises of 2008. This time around, I would like to see a lot more FDR and a lot less Ronald Reagan.
With a Democratic majority in place, there can be no excuses for legislation that protects corporate interests at the expense of we, the people. Any such legislation will be a painfully obvious violation of our trust and hopefully, will result in a massive third party movement that will include almost every voter and become the next winning party and the ruling political party in America for years to come.