Super Tuesday is coming up, and Oklahomans will once again flock to the polls. By Oklahomans, I mean the very few who will actually be voting. It can safely be assumed that Barack Obama will be the Democratic Party’s nominee this time around, which means that the Super Tuesday primary is being held for the exclusive benefit of the small percentage of GOP voters who make up the “Republican Base”. Since the actions of this select few may affect us all, it’s important to follow the GOP primary, even if the last Republican you would have actually voted for was Teddy Roosevelt. Here is your Primary Primer on the code words, dog whistles, and two toned phrases you will encounter this silly season. Let the eagle soar!
Obamacare: Officially known as the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare represents everything those in the Republican Base hate and fear about the current administration. For every Republican candidate, repealing this is their first priority. This is usually identified as an insane and excessive socialist program that will destroy the American free enterprise system and kill your grandma to boot. In reality, Obamacare is Universal Healthcare. It will ensure that every US citizen will be covered by a least a basic healthcare plan, bring down the cost of health care, end abusive practices by insurance companies, and cut the deficit all at the same time. Currently, the US is the only developed country in the world without Universal Healthcare for its people. At least until Obamacare goes into full effect in 2014.
Entitlement Programs: This is a tricky word. Basically, it can be any government program that Republicans wish to cut. For example: welfare, food stamps, Medicare, public employee pensions and even Social Security. These programs are widely popular across the board, so they use the term entitlement rather than mentioning them by name, thus insinuating that someone is getting something they didn’t earn. Actually stating that one wants to cut the elderly off of healthcare and deny poor people vitally needed life-assistance programs may make one appear a touch too evil for a general election.
Deficit Spending: This isn’t so much a code word as it is a redundancy. Saying we have a deficit already means the government is spending more than it makes. Saying both together just adds extra emphasis that every program that the government funds contributes to the deficit. Military spending is never mentioned as deficit spending, but any and all social spending is. The strategy, (“starving the beast”, first coined by human hair farm Grover Norquist), is to cut government revenue to the bone and then point to the resulting deficit as a reason to cut programs.
Right-to-Work: This has barely anything to do with people literally having a right to work. These laws would more aptly be called “Anti-worker’s right to assemble and bargain with their employer” laws. Come election time, people almost always vote for propositions that give people rights and rarely vote to take them away. (Shh, but don’t tell anyone I told you.) The origin of this term refers to the fact that workers entering a union job are required to join and pay dues. While forcing people to do something is generally bad, most potential workers don’t have a problem with this. Union jobs typically come with better wages, healthcare, and an improved work environment, plus leverage to keep employers from taking advantage of their workers. Which would you rather do: pay $20 a month out of your paycheck and have a union to get your back, or have the Right To Work for minimum wage with no benefits and no contract?
Job Creators: Also occasionally called “the producers”, this literally means “rich people”. The entire Republican economic philosophy is that giving rich people more money will create jobs, and those jobs will benefit the lower and middle classes. This principal can be demonstrated by looking at all of the jobs created by rich Americans in the banks of Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, the BMW factories of East Germany, and the coca fields of Bolivia. It doesn’t make sense to me, but it does seem to make sense to the wealthy. They’re all for it.
Class Warfare:The Jobs Creators (time for you test out your decryption skills) are not very fond of the idea of having a four percent tax increase. The last time they had to pay that much money was in the late 1990s, and we all remember how terrible the economy was back then. They view this as an attack on the noble, successful class by those less fortunate (or, the “shirker class”.) The tax increase, plus the pending closing of loopholes that allow them to pay lower tax rates than everyone else, leaves the rich feeling persecuted.
Hopefully, with this intel, you can better make an informed decision in the voting booth. Spread the word, before the top-level GOP find out and squash this dissenting article. I only hope I can get this out before…no…Stop! You’ll never….