In my travels I hear quite a bit about low information voters. There seem to be quite a bit of people who become low information voters because once the boxes that appeal to them have been ticked, they cease to listen to anything that deviates from their beliefs. This can happen on both sides of the political divide in America today. I have seen this recently, meaning over the past six years more on the Right than the Left.
A recent post at Breitbart.com can act as a clear illustration of this premise. Sarah Palin’s facebook post about celebrating Freedom and not Government was met with harsh criticism from the Left which provoked harsh responses from the Right. As much as this was expected, I was surprised when a commenter tried to compare and contrast the stands that Palin takes vice what he feels as a conservative what Obama/Clinton stand for politically:
2016 Presidential Election
Gov. Sarah Palin:
2. loving God
3. loving founding fathers
4. saving unborn babies
5. supporting traditional marriage, morality, responsibility
6. defender of U.S. Constitution
7. less government control and regulations and more individual’s freedom/liberty
8. low taxes/letting people keep more of what they earned
9. energy INDEPENDENT/drilling and fracking for more gas and oil to create jobs
10. reducing debts for future generations
11. cutting irresponsible spendings
12. free market capitalism/
no crony capitalism
13. no coporate welfare/foodstamps/bailouts
14. helping the helpless, not the clueless
15. no rewarding bad behaviors
16. SAVING America from bankruptcy
17. RESTORING America’s greatness
Obama/Clinton (2 faces of the same coin):
2. hating God
3. hating founding fathers
4. agreeing with China on killing unborn babies
5. supporting gay/lesbian (i.e. uncle/aunt and nephew/niece, 2 brothers,
2 sisters, …), immorality, irresponsiblity
5. supporting immorality, irresponsiblity, gay/lesbian marriage between 2
individuals (i.e. a man and a woman, 2 men, 2 women, uncle/aunt and nephew/niece,
2 brothers, 2 sisters, …)
6. attacker of U.S. Constitution
7. more government control/regulations and less individual’s freedom/liberty
8. high taxes/ripping off people
9. energy dependent/man caused global warming or climate chaos
10. more debts for future generations
11. more irresponsible spendings
13. more coporate welfare/foodstamps/bailouts
14. getting the clueless/useful idiots become addicted to free stuffs/entitlement programs
15. rewarding bad behaviors/illegal immigrants (undocumented democrats),
DESERTER/TRAITOR Bowe Bergdahl, … etc.
16. BANKRUPTING America
17. TRANSFORMING America into some socialist utopia
For the purpose of clarity I feel it is my duty to point out the fallacies and misinformation in this list. The poster has clearly placed his/her own beliefs into what he feels a proper candidate for President should hold as values when in fact none of these are true factors in what makes someone suitable to hold the highest elected office in America. Once again, a conservative is trying to use “shaming” and the fear of ostracism by not being accepted by a group he feels is the majority to elevate an unqualified person to a state of qualification.
1. Conservative v Liberal/Progressive
Ms Palin is a conservative but in opinion she is more of TEA Party conservative than an establishment one. Ms Clinton is a pragmatist who has a more centrist political view that most political scientists would call “progressive.”
2. loving God v. hating God
I would begin with the question which God? Or even better whose God? The commenter being a conservative clearly means the Christian God as to the bulk of American conservatives this is one true god. Unfortunately for conservatives, there is no religious test for being President of the United States. Having a president that shares their religious beliefs and values might give those voters on the right a warm fuzzy but it isn’t a constitutional requirement. Equally, I see no proof from Ms Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State that she hates the Christian God or that President Obama hates the Christian God. These people are politicians not students at a theological school running for recording secretary. Religion does not matter in this debate because people can have no religion and be ethical moral people and people who wear their religion on their chests can act in terribly immoral and unethical ways.
3. Loving the founding fathers v hating the founding fathers.
I have a very big problem with the use of the word hate here but it does serve a purpose. The reference to the founding fathers of America is a dog whistle of code of white male conservatives. It means Hillary is bringing feminine power that will make white conservative men obeisant to her authority; an authority that terrifies men who have had it their way since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Second it is more code to the disrespect white conservative men feel at having to acknowledge a person of color as their Chief Executive. As much as it causes eye rolling on the Right the bigotry on the Right regarding America’s first black president has been a torrent of disrespect as has never been seen in American politics. Of course, to say this it becomes clear that Palin as a candidate will bow to male hegemony and respect and protect white male conservative unearned privilege.
4. saving unborn babies v agreeing with China on killing unborn babies
As I have written many times the abortion debate is less about sex and more about demographics. For decades the fear that their would become a balance between the majority white American population and the minority population has fueled the anti-abortion movement. Sure there are a small percentage of people from the minority camp that see this as a moral issue but the bulk of the anti-abortion power brokers are in this fight not for God but for votes. If the numbers of white women in the south and Midwest having abortions dwindled to near zero many of the people who pour billions into the anti-abortion crusade would spent their political capital elsewhere. It really doesn’t matter what a President palin thinks about unborn babies what really matters is that Roe v Wade is settled case law.
5. Supporting traditional marriage, morality and responsibility v supporting gay/lesbian (i.e. uncle/aunt and nephew/niece, 2 brothers,
2 sisters, …), immorality, irresponsiblity [sic] supporting immorality, irresponsiblity [sic], gay/lesbian marriage between 2 individuals (i.e. a man and a woman, 2 men, 2 women, uncle/aunt and nephew/niece, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, …)
Since I don’t have the time nor the desire to write a multichapter several hundred page work of non fiction on this topic I will distill my comments to a few sentences. Traditional marriage one hundred years ago, in 1914, meant in several states that only a man and a woman of the same race could marry and that the woman had no property rights within that marriage. Just over fifty years later traditional marriage had changed to allow men and women of different races to marry, something that would have caused a firestorm of controversy in 1914 much like the controversy in America surrounding same sex marriage in 2014. The comment attempts, poorly, to conflate two men or two women marrying with incest which is illegal in every state in the Union. Despite a federal ruling, 12 states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books making sex between those of the same gender illegal and oral and anal sex among married couples illegal as well. I don’t know of a single advocate for same sex marriage who wants siblings to be able to marry each other or parents to be able to marry children. This line of thinking is horribly fallacious.
6. Defender of the Constitution v attacker of the COnstitution
Yet another code word canard for “in support of white privilege v attacker of white privilege.”
7. less government control and regulations and more individual’s freedom/liberty v more government control/regulations and less individual’s freedom/liberty
There is little Sarah Palin can do to make America more individually free. In reality one of the things conservatives understand the least is that of the rules one has to follow on a daily basis in America local and state laws come into play far more than federal regulations. I believe this commenter is making an appeal here against ObamaCare, poorly, and a veiled reference to Progressives wanting to take guns away from the American people.
8. low taxes/letting people keep more of what they earned v high taxes/ripping off people
I have always liked the argument of allowing people who want to pay no taxes to have to put a coin in their toilet to flush it each time and then see how they feel about taxation. None of these conservatives seem to be able to twig to the notion that it isn’t the taxes it’s the wages. Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and one would see a renaissance in the American economy that might hold until the early decades of the 22nd century according to our lead economist Carlton Pryor. The only people being ripped off in America are those who have lost middle class status, the truly disabled and those working 40 hours a week for minimum wage being called “moochers” by the Right.
9. energy INDEPENDENT/drilling and fracking for more gas and oil to create jobs v energy dependent/man caused global warming or climate chaos
There is a cancer in the minds of conservatives that America would be energy independent if they could just control two branches of the government. That is one of the greatest economic and political lies ever told. Conservatives like the commenter still believe that if America drills for its own oil they could produce the 22 million bbl a day they need to keep the freedom of cars and personal transportation which is at the heart of their belief about freedom. Many petroleum scientists feel that close to half of the oil in the ground on Terra has been removed. The Rham Institute for Resource Studies estimates that by 2020 45% of the oil will have been pumped and by 2050 that number will be 55%. It would seem prident that in the coming decades America would want to keep some of its own oil in the ground. However, the drilling on government land, in Alasaka’s ANWR would not result in lower prices because the market sets the price based on supply. Over supply by America would be met with reduced production by OPEC. According to an April 2014 report of American oil resources 43% of oil was locked in federal lands and the total oil reserves on and offshore were 67.41 billion bbl. At current usage rates this would last 8.7 years. I’m agnostic on global warming or climate change; I’ll leave that debate to climate scientists.
10. reducing debts for future generations v more debts for future generations
Where were these cries during the Reagan and Bush II years?
11. cutting irresponsible spendings [sic] v more irresponsible spendings [sic]
I don’t know what irresponsible spending Obama has done that has harmed the US economy. Palin has had no experience since resigning as Alaska Governor so she doesn’t have any federal budgetary experience. Per Carlton Pryor, Lead Economist TED-OG, “[She] was a supporter of the war in Iraq which was a waste of $3 trillion which would have nearly fully reversed the Great Recession by paying $32,000 to every working American over the age of 16. This would have been a more prudent measure had the Great Recession been properly foreseen.”
12. free market capitalism/no crony capitalism v socialism
This is another red herring. America is a curious economic admixture of socialism [Social Security, Medicaid] and capitalism [tax breaks for oil companies and off shore accounts for corporate persons]. I can only imagine this is a feaful swipe at Obama/Clinton and knowing that if HRC is elected single payer will come to pass by the end of her first term.
13. no coporate [sic] welfare/foodstamps/bailouts v more coporate [sic] welfare/foodstamps/bailouts
Where do I begin? This seems to go against the religious ethic of helping the poor, but that would be a facile digression. Once again, Carlton Pryor, “The bank bailout, done during the Bush II administration was a necessary first step toward pushing back from the precipice of Depression. Had this and the Stimulus not been done we would not be having this conversation but rather a conversation about whether America would recover economically in time to save itself as a nation. Now with the American economy finally healing a 2016 election of Ms Palin and retrograde economists that would advise her would be to run headlong toward that cliff and leap, on faith, to demise.”
14. helping the helpless, not the clueless v getting the clueless/useful idiots become addicted to free stuffs/entitlement programs
Well I would imagine this commenter want President Palin to do away with Social Security, which is an entitlement program and allow millions of Baby Boomers to be reduced to eating pet food or starving to death in the streets. This isn’t hyperbole, this is what would happen under this sort of draconian economic policy.
15. no rewarding bad behaviors v rewarding bad behaviors/illegal immigrants (undocumented democrats), DESERTER/TRAITOR Bowe Bergdahl, … etc.
Bad behaviors are most often not rewarded in America. Counties, cities and states all have laws to punish criminals. On the immigration front I stand on the fact that what made America great were the immigrants who to this day provide the diversity needed to maintain a powerful democracy. Bergdahl? I’ll leave that to the Judge Advocate General to investigate his status and whether a Court Martial is required.
16. Saving America from bankruptcy v Bankrupting America
I honestly don’ t know what Palin can do, without a cooperative Congress, from 2017 until 2021 to save America from bankruptcy. If anything her administration’s potential policies will send America into that abyss.
17. Restoring America’s greatness v TRANSFORMING America into some socialist utopia
Did you hear the dog whistle? More need for male white privilege to keep “the Other” from taking their share of the American Dream.
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