One of the more interesting things about being an independent, is the election propaganda I receive. This year we have "scare the crap out of you because democrats are coming to take your money" propaganda from the GOP.
I kid you not. Two mailings from the TN Republican Party have the same information inside. The front of one states "Failing to vote could be a costly mistake." The picture shows a pair of male hands folded over a wad of $20 and $10 bills. (Sorry, I'm writing this far away from my scanner) On the back, above the information for early voting, in red letters the mailing states: "Protect your pocketbook by voting early." The front of the second mailing shows a man holding out an empty pocket from his pants, and states, in yellow block letters: "If Democrats take control, they are coming to (size and color of the font now changes to larger italicized white letters) pick your pocket."
Inside, the first claims that "Democrats will raise taxes in America..." the second says "Democrats want to raise taxes". Next is the same in both: "If you don't vote, liberal Democrats will take control of Congress and raise taxes." The second mailing has an additional blurb below this statement: "The first thing liberal Democrats are planning if they take control is to rollback the Republican tax cuts that have created millions of jobs over the past three years."
That is followed by a listing of how these supposed raised taxes would cost families, single moms, senior citizens and small business owners. Allegedly the figures they use are from the US Department of Treasury. Not one of these discusses how the Bush/GOP tax cuts only benefited the wealthy. In fact, other than the top 1% of earners, and those that just echo the GOP talking points, most have opposed the tax cuts, because they just don't perform the way they were sold.
Have the tax cuts really created millions of new jobs? The White House states that 5.4 million jobs have been created since August 2003. Yeah, technically that is millions of jobs. However, the majority of jobs gained have been through jobs created from increased government spending. Additionally, if you actually look at the slow job growth we are currently in, and compare it to historically similar times, we are far, far behind in job growth (same report).
Really, the GOP has nothing to crow about, nor to scare you. In fact, it is their own policies that have put you in the financial situation that you currently find yourself.
I haven't even talked about the decreasing wage many earners are seeing, which the GOP ignores. In fact, I showed in early September how the median income for TN'eans has dropped during the last 6 years.
Let's contrast this with the mailings from the Democrat side, the first featuring Harold Ford, Jr.
The front states "Faith in our future" and shows Ford holding a little girl (family member?). Inside, the headline says: "Harold Ford is the change we need." Then it continues in-between two pictures of Ford,
These days, our families are under siege. Greedy oil companies gouge us at the pump. Prescription drug companies make medicine unaffordable. Politicians turn a blind eye to struggling schools and dangerous streets.
Harold Ford and the Democrats will fight for family security. They'll work for higher wages for working families, affordable health care for our children, and make our schools and streets safer."
Let's face it, this is nothing new. Just about everyone I know has talked about the price gouging at the pumps -- whether or not the fortuitous increase in prices after Katrina and the end of 2005/beginning of 2006 were legally determined to be price gouging or not, that is how many, many people felt. Health care is in crisis -- in TN many people were dropped from the state program. Our schools are more concerned with accountability rather than teaching. As far as higher wages, it was the GOP on the Hill that tried hooking minimum wage to tax cuts for the wealthy. (Obviously, the GOP doesn't give a rats behind about working people) In TN, minimum wage didn't get passed either. In other words, these are all topics many average people in this state (as well as across the nation)discuss, or think about (not necessarily obsessively) how it directly and indirectly impacts their families.
The second democrat mailing was a long postcard. There is picture of Bush on TV with a male hand holding a Comcast TV controller on the right-hand side. On the left side, block white letters on a black background the statement: "Don't just change the channel. Change America. Vote early Oct. 18-Nov. 2" On the flip side, on the left side, two pictures -- one each of Bredesen and Ford, and above that the statement, "We need Democratic leadership in Tennessee and Washington" and another reminder to change America, and the early voting days.
Now, there is one more thing, that is really trite, but made an impression on me. The GOP mailings were sent to the surname Family, whereas the Democratic mailings were labeled hubby, me, and son surname. The dems bothered to take the time to individualize the registered voters of the family.
Bottom line we have installing fear through unsubstantiated declaration of losing money(GOP) vs lets work on the problems that so many people are concerned with. Which party has the average person in mind?
Personally, I find the TN dems to be no better than the GOP in many instances. Ford has been a Bush rubberstamper a lot of the time, I'm sorry to say. However, I would much prefer that over someone that would be a Bush rubberstamper all of the time.