October 12th, 2010

"Had Enough?" Yes, Plenty, Thank You

"Had Enough?" Yes, Plenty, Thank You

In case anybody's been living under a rock, it's campaign season, and the rhetoric is out in full force. As are the campaign signs lining roadways and adorning people's yards. I've been seeing a number of signs for a certain George Phillips, asking me if I've "Had Enough?" and inviting me to help send him to Washington in order to do something about my having-had-enoughness.

The "Had Enough?" gimmick led me to assume Phillips is running as a Republican, since presumably his message solicits a show of dissatisfaction with the party currently in power. Curiosity eventually led me to find his web site (electgeorgephillips.com) today, and sure enough, he is campaigning against everything that actually makes sense: he's anti-stimulus, anti-marriage-equality, anti-health-care-reform, etc.

What scares me about people like Phillips is how they manipulatively/deceptively phrase key tenets of their platform in ways that appeal to your average less-than-informed voter who gets tossed around like autumn leaves by the political-winds-du-jour. In other words, he's pushing policies that will toss poor people out on their tails and perpetuate the steady/ongoing evisceration of the middle class in this country, and miraculously getting [some of] those same poor and middle-class people to vote for him by preying on their fears/insecurities/biases and appealing to some nebulous nostalgic idyllic sense of "tradition."

The Right Wing are undisputed masters of this technique.

Whether Phillips is aware of his deceptive campaigning, or whether he too is yet another misguided victim of the Rove/Palin/Beck/Limbaugh school of insanity, is up for debate. Indeed, I have to wonder how many of the frighteningly extreme candidates featured in the 2010 elections -- you know, the ones who think our current Party of No is too liberal -- are just misinformed themselves. After all, I have to give the old-school Republicans some credit; they're fairly smart about this, and while they talk a good talk, there's no doubt they're well aware of where their bread is buttered. These Tea Partiers, on the other hand, strike me as unwitting pawns of the Corporatocracy. It's both a testament to the brilliance -- and a horrifying artifact -- of our democratic system that such candidates can even be taken seriously.

So I don't know whether George Phillips really believes what he says, or if he's just supergluing his lips to the posteriors of wealthy benefactors who'll guarantee him a nice golden parachute as a lobbyist whenever he's done wreaking havoc on their behalf in Washington (or, shall I say, just getting started...). But either way, it doesn't bode well for the average people of this country, and I took the unusual step of sending his campaign team a message, thoroughly torpedoing a swath of his platform, through his web site. I say "unusual" since at best, I'll probably receive a form letter in response. So as to mitigate what was probably otherwise a big waste of my time, I'm reposting my message here:

I can't believe the kind of nonsense and misinformation you're propagating on this site, basically trying to prey on the ignorance of voters with sound bites like "government take over [sic] of the health care industry" which is a complete misrepresentation of the hard-fought reforms that were finally passed last year, which simply limit (still without altogether eliminating) certain chronic abuses of the greedy, profit-driven health care industry. More people can actually get health care now. I struggle to see how this is a bad thing.

As for the stimulus package, anybody who has any basic understanding of economics realizes the only problem with the stimulus was that it was too small, largely a result of "compromise" forced by the "Party of No" Republicans. (Paul Krugman is good at boiling this down to its basic underlying concepts, so you might want to give him a read.) And yet the stimulus has still saved this country a lot of grief, including preventing layoffs of numerous critical government employees (such as police) at such a dire juncture in our history.

Meanwhile, countless republican legislators currently in office who have repeatedly railed against the stimulus have been caught actively soliciting funds from said stimulus for their districts, and then having the audacity to brag about the resulting accomplishments. The whole anti-stimulus thing is just a big "anti-government-spending" PR stunt promulgated by the same republicans who have always been perfectly happy to dump countless billions of dollars into pointless wars and tax breaks for wealthy individuals and big corporations. Does the hypocrisy know no bounds?

And "traditional marriage?" Really? So you, like some others, are trying to hide your rapidly-going-out-of-style homophobia behind some empty platitudes about "tradition," ignoring the fact that marriage has been "redefined" a number of times in our history to rightfully bring about greater freedom and equality? Marriage equality doesn't hurt anybody, and on some level even you know it -- you're just hanging onto this last little excuse to marginalize and subjugate LGBT Americans, partly because it gets you votes from a diminishing subset of society which has always found itself on the wrong side of social progress.

And yet you fill your campaign platform statements with misleading declarations that sound great to the average voter who doesn't have the time or inclination to really do some critical learning and get a solid grasp of these issues. Anybody who votes for you is voting based on lies and misinformation, and I'm not sure how you can live with yourself given that, unless you too are simply so woefully misinformed that you actually believe your statements -- in which case you have no place running for office. (I would like to think our elected officials actually understand the matters they're responsible for handling.)

Yes, I've "Had Enough." I've had enough of politicians who actively pursue policies that hurt the people of this country, either because said politicians are transparently beholden to corporate interests (or marginalizing social inertia) and are masters of getting people to vote against their own interests, or because said politicians are themselves ultimately misinformed about the issues they claim to care about.

Either way, there's far too much at stake for the people of this country. You should be ashamed of yourself.