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Shooting the messenger

January 24, 2014

Them that can, do. Them that can’t…whine?

Just ahead of the Republicans announcing their party strategy for the 2014-16 election seasons, there seems to be a full court press from the other side to discredit the rather numerous groups of people who feel government isn’t working.

Come on folks, this is so 1990’s. Maybe you think it will work because your base mostly grew up in the internet era, where they have been taught from birth not to think for themselves.

In this country it is still legally allowed for people to have differing points of view. Outlets like Fox News or even Rush Limbaugh have viewers and listeners because an awful lot of people think that the United States is pretty messed up right now.

In other countries like, oh, Libya or the Ukraine, dissent is simply not allowed and they actually do shoot the messenger. Here they just sic the IRS on them, and they are no longer even being coy about aiming that scrutiny at the far right wing of the Republican party, i.e. the Tea Party. Anyone that thinks that isn’t so hasn’t read Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) latest rant. You know, the one quoted in the Washington Times article where he says  ““Let’s remind people the reason they’re frustrated in Washington is not that government is doing too much, but because it’s gridlocked and not doing enough.” The senator from New York typifies the type of New Yorker that Governor Cuomo seems to have sanctioned as the state’s official citizen.

The Tea Party (actually it isn’t a real political party, yet) undoubtedly attracts its fair share of people who passionately oppose the whole idea of central government control of everything and everyone. Some of their point people are at least as far out there as any left-wing ideologue, but their central premise of trying to give America back to the people still has merit.

What scaring the far left wing of the Democratic party is that all of a sudden, moderates in both parties are beginning to listen and think about the Tea Party message. Whether the policies originate from the right or the left, maybe government has simply become too big, too intrusive and too powerful.

Anyone who thinks big government policy is working need only look at the results of the last five or even twenty years. “Are you better off than you were five years ago” will undoubtedly be part of the rhetoric in the mid-term elections. A large number of people are going to look at the price of gas, insurance coverage swept away by the ACA, the number of people that have no choice but to depend on government handouts, and ask themselves whether big government has really made their lives better.

If the Democrat’s best answer to that is to blame Fox News, they might have a problem. Most people want an intelligent mix of both ideologies. They don’t want to throw Granny off the cliff, but they sure would like her grandson to throw away his bong and get a job.

The more ridiculously obvious the far left becomes in its drive to take over America, the more likely it becomes that more people will move from the center to the very far right, just as a counterbalance.  

This administration has a very obvious problem when it comes to accepting criticism. The President appoints commissions and when they don’t fall into lock-step with his view of the world, he dismisses or ignores their findings. People like Senator Schumer apparently define centrist as “my way or the highway”.

Facts tend to be fairly persuasive. Fifty years of “take away to give away” policy hasn’t reduced the core percentage of poor people one iota. It’s hard to look at the real number of people forced into low-wage part-time employment and feeding programs for the poor, and believe that this is working.

 If your policies create more poor people, and then you want to raise taxes or increase the minimum wage to fix that result, there comes an ah-ha moment where people say “Hey, just five years or ten years ago I had a house, a good forty-an-hour week job, insurance I liked and could afford, and I could fill up my car for under fifty dollars. What happened?”

Despite the not-so-covert attempt to silence dissent, we can and do still have some slight modicum of personal freedom of speech, even if the people with dissenting views are worried about becoming a target. Maybe they won’t write a blog, found a nonprofit, write a letter to the editor, or show up as guests on the conservative media, but that doesn’t mean they can’t listen and won’t think. Voters are messengers it would be impossible to shoot. 

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