BY SHARON MARTIN
Remember Bonnie Parker’s man, Clyde Barrow? He was a sociopath who didn’t think about the children left behind when he shot someone down. Remember those CEOs whose companies bundled mortgages and didn’t think about the consequence of someone losing their home?
Sociopaths aren’t just criminals. They are the folks who pay lobbyists and buy legislators to get their way without regard for the country or the citizens. They push through laws that hurt working people while making themselves richer and more powerful. They do it in the name of economic freedom, free market, and conservative values.
Perhaps their smartest move was to make religion a plank in the conservative platform. How else could they attract voters in numbers to support economic principles that benefit very few Americans?
To get the religious and the poor and the hardworking laborers to go along with their schemes, all they had to do was invoke family values and a couple of hot-button issues for folks to rally around. Catch phrases and non-issues have gulled a lot of people.
As we press toward the general election in November, I have one criterion for any candidate for whom I’ll vote: tell it like it is.
I don’t want catch phrases, funny numbers, or clips from the other candidates taken out of context. I want you to speak plainly and tell me how you will vote on the issues.
Enough with the Red State battle cry, “I’m the most conservative.”
When a candidate tells me he’s more conservative than his opponent, what does conservative mean? Does that mean he wants to save money by cutting tax loopholes for corporations, money that can be used for a jobs program to put Americans back to work? That’s what conservative means to me.
Since when is cutting food aid to the vulnerable more conservative than insuring that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes? How is starving the poor a conservative value? That’s a moral value, or perhaps an immoral one.
What about Medicaid expansion? How is it conservative to give back our federal dollars, starve hospitals by denying them payment for low-income patients, then hike co-pays for the lucky ones who still have Medicaid?
Economic issues are moral issues that can’t be explained away with meaningless tags like Conservative Family Values and Liberal Elite.
Those are just word shrapnel bombs that hit folks’ ideologies.
Let’s forget ideology and get to the issues. Candidates, tell us what you believe so we can vote in our own best interests.
In the land of the free, let’s make sure our votes truly count.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer