Here’s my analysis, which I sent this morning to a Republican friend who has been struggling to convince me to vote.
1. Foreign policy – We agree. We love American military power and will extol it every chance we get to score points with patriotic voters. America should continue to police the world, bully other nations, and fight undeclared wars.
2. Unemployment – We agree. It is government’s role to manage the economy and create jobs. What kind of nut case doesn’t know that?
3. Medicare and Social Security – We agree. We love them. Taxing young people to pay for old people’s retirement checks and government-rationed medical care is the American way. We should continue it forever.
4. Taxes – We agree. We love them. We will always claim that we’ll give the middle class a break because that’s where the votes are. People are too stupid to understand that “loophole” is just another name for “deduction,” so it’s a slam dunk that they will cheer when we promise to get rid of them. Then – surprise! – their taxes go up even though the rate went down! Such a deal! We will fiddle with the tax code to get votes and to manipulate people’s economic behavior, but the one thing we will never do is question the morality or efficacy of taxing the pants off of productive people in the first place.
5. Afghanistan – We agree. Our troops are wonderful. Voters feel good when we say that. Did we mention how brave they are? With just a little more training, the people whose country the US government invaded and is now occupying will be able to provide their own security so we can leave – sort of. Foreigners love it when we help them like this. Fragging is but one way they show their appreciation.
6. Syria and Libya – We agree. Khadafy had to go. Assad has to go. Voters think we’re cool when we say somebody “has to go.” Phrases like “slaughtered his own people” help too. Supporting killers in other countries at the expense of productive Americans is a splendid idea, especially when we aren’t sure who the killers are, who they might kill, or what they aim to accomplish. If we assure voters that we won’t put “boots on the ground,” they’ll think we are soooo reasonable and restrained. A nice bonus is that these adventures always create more instability that we will have to fix later. Hey defense contractor campaign contributors, can we hear a big “cha-ching” from ya?
7. Abortion – We agree. We love this issue because we know that questions about the role of government in this will never be resolved, since they boil down to a fundamental disagreement over what constitutes an individual life. Thank goodness this tool will always be there when we need it to demonize opponents and whip up our base.
8. The tone of the campaign – We agree. God bless the hero who asked the question. Hero, hero, hero! We never get tired of saying that word. Voters get tears in their eyes when they hear it, and voters with tears in their eyes tend not to notice that our policies are exactly the same. Only the other guy engages in negative campaigning. Our side simply cites the record and tells the truth.
9. What I could give to this country that no one else could – That would be my unique ability to manage the biggest government in the history of the planet so it can fix all problems. Unemployment, poverty, the shrinking wealth of the middle class – government can fix those things and more if you’ll just put my team in charge. Hey, how about that, we agree!
In conclusion We agree! Things are bad. But cheer up: government can fix it! More debt! More deficits! More deceit! More drones! More dead foreigners! God bless America! Oh, and remember: there is a huge difference between Republicans and Democrats. Never in the history of Our Sacred Democracy have there been differences that are more differenter, so everybody vote!
Roland Walkenhorst [send him mail] earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 1975 and has worked as a news photographer and editor. He currently owns a small computer-controlled machining business, and plans to spend all of November 6 generating wicked topspin on the tennis court.