To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Where Are The Answers?



There is this stone in my shoe named Joe. Joe is a Tea Party advocate and, as anyone who reads my columns might expect, despises everything I write from a political standpoint.

Joe doesn’t hold back from sending me all the stuff that he assiduously researches on the Internet. Ninety-nine percent it is anti-Obama. Some of it is quite disgusting and disturbing, but the overarching themes are Obama is bad for the country and pro-Obama voters are stupid, etc. I get it.

After a couple years of reading all this rubbish I decided to ask Joe what his vision of America should be. How should the government work in Joe’s world? What would our society look like if the pet whines of the Tea Party were implemented and made the law of the land?

My lengthy questions went something like this:

Who would be your president and what would he/she look like?

How will you handle having your government retirement and social security checks cut off or greatly reduced?

Will you be OK if you get really sick and have huge medical bills while Medicare is cut?

Will you be able to afford your medications or your insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed or rejected?

Where will your grandchildren go to school?

Can you or your children afford their private school education even with vouchers?

If unemployment compensation is cut off and food stamps are cut off and unions disbanded and all regulations on businesses and banking are lifted and the minimum wage cut, how will people eat and cloth themselves and their children?

Who will have jobs sufficient to pay taxes?

If income taxes are cut, property taxes reduced or eliminated, if gasoline taxes are reduced or eliminated, if “sin” taxes are rescinded and sales taxes dialed back, who will pay for the $1 trillion per year military expansion to protect our borders from invading aliens?

How will our national parks look with thousands of drilling rigs competing for the sunlight with the few trees that are left?

How much will that 40-foot wall along the Mexican border really cost?

Will it work, or will it have to be manned with armed guards in towers and searchlights intersecting each other for 2,000 miles?

How would the world economy look if we just defaulted on loans by not raising the debt ceiling?

Would those other countries’ economies mind?

The response to these questions was silence. It was the first time I’d been able to shut him up. The silence is wonderful … and telling.

I suppose the Koch brothers will be able to afford buying all the elections that will make Joe’s world a reality by making sure that the correct politicians are in place to perform these tasks.

Hey, it worked in Wisconsin.

Will Joe’s world find someone as caring about working people as Scott Walker? There’s Sarah [Reload] Palin, after all. She has just the right intellect the Tea Party needs to undo a century of progress and good.

Vern Turner lives in Marble Falls, TX, where he writes a regular column for the River Cities Daily Tribune. He is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer.


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  1. Sadly in Oklahoma, many of the people voting for the Tea Party seem to be older folks who feel like have theirs and don’t give a darn whether anyone else coming after them have anything. Either they believe their descendants are so exceptional that they will be able to stand alone or they dislike or don’t have any descendants. Otherwise, they would be just plain stupid. I have no idea which is the most despicable. I was brought up to pity the stupid, but its getting harder and harder to retain that attitude.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.