Our politics and policies have regressed to a level that threatens democracy.
Political Spittle: A recent email from Jim Messina, Barack Obama.com has the subject "This is some sick crap." This guy leads Obama's political efforts. He is not some small time leftist blogger. The tone and purpose of this stuff is to enrage the gullible and motivate their hatred of some object of scorn, in this case the Koch brothers. That this language goes out under Jim Messina's name is the same as if it went out directly from Barack Obama.
The purpose of the spittle is to inspire hatred, resentment, and envy to motivate action.
While there is nothing new about political spittle there is something new about the number of voters dependent on government to whom the spittle is targeted.
Vested Financial Interest:
- About 63 million people receive social security benefits. Of these, 42 million are 65 or older while 21 million are under age 65.
- About 50 million people 65 or older receive Medicare benefits.
- About 55 million people are enrolled in Medicaid, 43% of whom are ages 19-64.
- About 50 million people are enrolled in the food stamp program. About half of food stamp recipients are 18 or older.
- There are about 225 million Americans eligible to vote
I could find no study that measures the number of people eligible to vote who also receive benefits from federal programs, but can extrapolate from the above that about 90 million voters, 40% of all voters, depend on government aid and many more have family members who depend on government aid.
Stated another way, at least 40% of current voters have a financial vested interest in voting for candidates who promise to maintain or expand federal aid programs. Now add in 20 million public sector employees and about 50% of all voters have a direct vested financial interest in growing government.
Political Spittle + Financial Vested Interest = Votes
Those with a direct financial vested interest in an election outcome easily embrace false and fabricated arguments supporting that vested interest.
Fomenting hatred and resentment among those dependent on government largess is unethical, yet it has become the standard modus operandi of Democratic politics.
A democracy that is trusted by the citizenry depends on independent individuals voting based on their conscience, not their financial interest. The reason conservatives must get control of the Federal government is not to lower spending, it is to lower dependency and in the process preserve democracy.
Regards, Pete Weldon