Huffington Post contributor Leslie Stein recently discussed 10 Republican myths that prove the premise of her subtitle, “If Republicans Say It, The Opposite Must Be True.” We at AATTP have decided to write up our own list of top 10 Republican myths. There will be some overlap since she does touch on some important beliefs of the Tea Party religion. Feel free to direct any and all of your Right but wrong friends here so they can learn a little something.
Myth 10: There is rampant voter fraud, which requires every state to start passing new laws to prevent it from ruining our country.
Truth: There is little to no evidence of voter fraud in the United States of America. In a probe performed in Florida, one person was arrested — a Republican. If we’re going to use the kind of reasoning employed by the Tea Party, this means that the only people committing voter fraud are Republicans. However, what is actually happening is that all of the laws being enacted just make it harder for poor people and minorities to vote. In a vibrant democracy, we should be encouraging more people to vote, so that more voices are represented in the government, but the Right is scared of that prospect. They know that as more people join the voting ranks, their influence will dwindle.
Myth 9: Minorities will ruin America.
Truth: This country was founded on immigration. It is the infusion of new ideas and cultures over the course of the past two plus centuries that have driven the innovation and growth of this nation. At some point in the next century, the current “majority” white population will dwindle to less than 50% of the country’s population. This scares a certain demographic of people, especially TEApublicans.
Myth 8: Passing new gun regulations just punishes law abiding citizens for the actions of a few.
Truth: An overwhelming majority of people in this country, including Republicans, support making everyone pass a background check in order to buy a gun, regardless of where they’re buying from, yet even that law can’t be passed through the House. Pro-gun Republicans say it’s because it will somehow hurt law-abiding gun buyers and force them to wait unnecessarily, though we know it really is because they love their NRA money.
Myth 7: If you’re getting help from social programs, you’re simply just lazy.
Truth: The irony of this myth is that most of the poorest states are chock full of Republicans. Essentially they’re saying that you’re obviously just not trying hard enough if you can’t get ahead. Unfortunately, just because everyone has a chance to succeed in America, it doesn’t mean that everyone will. A recent study shows there is nowhere in this country where someone can work a standard 40-hour work week at the minimum wage and afford a two-bedroom apartment. This demonstrates the disconnect in how TEApublicans see people, and how the world really is.
Myth 6: The Affordable Care Act will ruin your life.
Truth: Millions of Americans are already benefiting from the ACA. Is it perfect? No, but even programs like Medicare and Social Security needed, and sometimes still need, a few tweaks to work out the kinks. What the Right seems to not understand or remember, is that this was their idea. They refused to consider full single-payer government-run socialized healthcare, and as such the concept of having exchanges that still allowed health insurance companies to exist was floated. Initially the left balked at it, but ultimately went along with it as a decent compromise. Unfortunately, all TEApublican complaints against it are based in lies. The fact is that they’re scared it’ll be a huge success. Let’s hope it is so that it can be shoved in their faces in the mid-term election next year.
Myth 5: Liberals love killing babies.
Truth: Giving women a choice in what happens in and with their bodies does not in any way mean that Democrats are running around telling pregnant women to go get abortions. What it really has to do with is scared patriarchal men who are trying to maintain control over their women. Doubt that? What about Rick Perry’s wife? Over the weekend she clearly reiterated the Democratic position on abortion, that we may as individuals not condone abortion but it is not our right to take that choice away from women. And what does Governor Perry do? He swoops in and claims she was being misquoted.
Myth 4: We still need to have drop down knockout fights over the deficit and the debt.
Truth: Both are being worked on continually and we have made a lot of progress. You’ll hear a lot in the news about the debt ceiling and the deficit, especially in the coming weeks, and there are some on the Right, especially TEApublicans, that continue to insist that they are both a problem.
Nowadays, TEApublicans rarely talk about the deficit and focus on the debt. Why? Because the deficit has been cut nearly in half since President Obama took office. Which shows that despite all of their complaining and obstructing, the economy is moving in a positive direction. As for the debt ceiling, a government should not default on its debts just as we the people should not. If you want to be able to take out loans for cars or houses, or pretty much anything, you need a good credit score. The debt ceiling debate should be a non-issue, but of course the Tea Party is so against the President that they’re willing to hurt the economy to “win” the game of politics.
Myth 3: The gridlock in Washington is not the fault of Republicans.
Truth: There would be no gridlock if not for the Tea Party. One might think it’s common knowledge that in order to negotiate, you need to be willing to give up and give in, but that is not how these people work. Their understanding of compromising apparently means that the other side gives up everything and the Right gets everything they want. Of course, they also seem completely oblivious to the fact that the Democratic party is in control of the Senate and the White House, and in order to get anything done in Washington they need to put forth legislation that everyone can agree on.
Myth 2: Trickle-down economics is still a viable economic theory.
Truth: The economic theory’s official name is “supply-side economics” and when it was initially pushed in the late 19th century, it was referred to as “horse and sparrow economics.” The name coming from the idea that if you feed the horse more food, it will defecate more, and thus will feed more sparrows (who apparently eat horse dung).
Doesn’t sound too appetizing does it? Well that’s because the theory is just that, horse dung. The concept of supply-side economics is that if the suppliers are producing more, then the demand will follow, thus fueling the economy. The reason why you don’t learn about this in school is because it is the opposite of how an economy actually works. Supply and demand stipulates that if there is demand, then the suppliers will have to hire more people in order to meet the demand. If there is no demand for a product or service, then having more of it available will not magically make people want to buy it. Applied on a macroeconomic scale, the Republicans push the concept that if you give lots of big tax breaks to people who are already wealthy, then they will be conscientious stewards of the economy and we’ll all benefit.
Reality is that people who are rich tend to spend that money on yachts and vacation houses and other luxuries that never trickle down to anyone beyond the upper middle class people who supply those luxuries. Meanwhile, if you give those tax breaks to businesses, just because they have more cash in hand does not mean that they will expand their workforce. That is reality.
Myth 1: Government is evil and anything government sponsored or related is evil by association.
This Republican myth has been permeating right wing culture for decades and can best be summed up by what President Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural speech: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” TEApublicans have taken this idea to heart and turned it into an extremist ideology.
This one myth has proven to be one of the most detrimental thought processes in this country and the root cause of most the obstruction we’re seeing. Without it, our country would already be twice as far down the road to economic recovery than it is. Unfortunately, it has fast changed from merely a myth to outright religion among Conservatives. Is government perfect? No. Should government do everything? No. But under the right auspices, government can be a powerful tool.
While the Left understands this and uses the lessons of the past, i.e., communism, to avoid ignorantly pushing radical policies that would be bad for this country, the Right consistently pushes their blanket doctrine, painting anything government-run as evil and labeling anyone slightly promoting government programs as socialist or communist without actually understanding the meanings of those words. Ultimately very little can be done to jump-start Washington without this myth fading into antiquity, but you can’t fix anything if you don’t try.