I wrote the title of this post as a facetious way of showing how ridiculously desperate the Republican candidates are to divide the 99%, and how low they will stoop to do it. In an Op-Ed piece in USA Today on December 19, Mitt Romney writes about this country either becoming an “Entitlement Society” or an “Opportunity Society”. In what is nothing more than pandering to who I call the “Tea Party Terrorists”, Mr. Romney’s campaign has decided to try to create an ideological split among average Americans that is worthy of a Frank Luntz GOP messaging seminar.
A Mitt Romney Presidency (will show I’m not that far off with this title), is looking to cut $700 billion from “safety net” programs like Medicaid, Food Stamps, even the Free Lunch programs that feed our poorest children in schools. When asked in an interview with Fox host Chris Wallace ” But you don’t think if you cut $700 billion in aid to the states that some people are going to get hurt? Romney replied “In the same way by cutting welfare spending dramatically, I don’t think we hurt the poor. In the same way I think we cut Medicaid spending by having it go to the states, run more efficiently with less fraud, I don’t think we’ll hurt the people who depend on the program for their health care”.
When it comes to the upcoming Presidential elections, I feel a bit like Michael Corleone in Godfather 3 “Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in” because it’s not just Mitt Romney, all the candidates are playing a game of “Conservative Chicken” in the hopes of attracting “Tea Party” support. I have stated in this blog many times that I am not voting in the Presidential elections, that I was going to focus on electing real Progressives to Congress, but I keep coming back to the possibility that one of these Right Wing nut-jobs to be elected. I feel an obligation to our future to call these people out and try to educate the voters.
I implore you not to get sucked in to this “divide and conquer” mentality. Poll after poll has shown that the American people (by a large margin almost 2-1) feel that we do not do enough to help the poor, on education, health care, affordable housing etc. But the average American voter gets caught up in the language. The words “welfare” and “entitlement” bring out the opposite reaction and turn hearts cold. As long as we are getting caught up in the framing of the message that these campaigns are using, the only ones that are going to gain will be the 1%. This scares me because voters in this country are stupid (how else do you explain the shape this “democracy” is in), and as inspiring as the Occupy movement has been, we still need more support.
We have about 11 months until this election, so I’m asking you to “Occupy Common Sense” when you read the rhetoric from both sides of the aisle. See who is actually working in your best interests and those who are not. In most cases it is fairly obvious, but when in doubt just look to see who is supplying their campaigns with money. Get involved in your local communities as well, we have to grow our values from the ground up. Help find Progressive candidates to replace the “sell-outs”.
Remember if you are not among the richest 1% in this country, you need to join the “New American Revolution”.
Peace, Love and Justice for All