Tonight is the first debate among the Top 10 most popular clowns in the GOP sideshow for President. You’re sure to hear lots of appeals to Freedom, Flag, Family and Guns; and frequent references to faux scandals like Benghazi, IRS, Planned Parenthood and Hillary Emails. Someone will probably say Huge and Great a lot. They’ll be myriad tall tales about bootstraps and whose father was a more destitute goat herder.
What you won’t get is much meat about policy. That’s because all 17 of the GOP presidential candidates are virtually indistinguishable when it comes to policy — see the right (red) side of the attached graphic. Basically, more tax cuts for the rich and more deregulation is the magical cure-all for whatever ails society. Oh, and kicking out all the brown people and punching all the poor people.
Here’s the crux of the problem: When folks are ill-informed about policy and civics, they end up voting based on personality and silliness. For democracy to work again, Americans need to connect their CANDIDATE votes to the POLICIES they like.
To make an analogy, do you frequent a restaurant because you like the food or you like the chef? If you don’t even like what’s on the menu, what difference does it make if the chef goes to the same church, has a nice looking family, or knows how to castrate a pig? Citizens should approach voting the same way — if you don’t even like the policy menu, then don’t vote for that policy maker (politician). Makes sense, no?
So take the ConnectTheDotsUSA’s “What‘s On The Menu?” quiz. On the left, you’ll see a menu of Progressive policies. All these policies are very popular with the American people in poll after poll, and yet they are considered “left-wing” according today’s political battle lines. That’s because the Republican party has moved so far to crazy town over the last three decades, dragging the political center with them.
If you like the majority of policies on the left side and want a policy maker who fights for your values, you are a Lefty/Progressive by today’s standards and should stop voting Republican, Libertarian, “Centrist” or “Moderate.” Instead, check out Bernie Sanders: https://berniesanders.com/issues/ and embrace your inner democratic socialist.
On the right, you’ll see the corresponding policy on the Regressive menu. While there is an occasional exception here and there —Papa Paul’s isolationism, Dick Cheney’s support of marriage equality because he has a gay daughter, and Jeb Bush’s less hostile view of undocumented Hispanics — these are the policies that Republicans and other right-wingers support in lock-step. Because many of these right-wing policies are unpopular with the American public, BIG CONservatives often resort to manipulative language to sell them. The Orwellian framing has been decoded here.