Good Governing as a Gift

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Mr. Romney said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”

The president’s health care plan, he said, was also a useful tool in mobilizing black and Hispanic voters. Though Mr. Romney won the white vote with 59 percent, according to exit polls, minorities coalesced around the president in overwhelming numbers: 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge,” Mr. Romney said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

I really want to quote this whole post. This is a big part of the Republican attitude towards government that’s dooming them. Someone should make it illegal to do things that voters like in order to get their votes. That’s clearly just vote-buying. The role of government is to make tough choices that cause people to suffer, but which will vaguely someday lead to more jobs. If a policy is directly making people more prosperous and they like it, it’s a “gift,” meaning a bribe.

But I’d say this way of thinking is the basis of today’s Republican party. They’re the party of making America competitive, meaning we’d have a huge, desperate lower class that will work any job for any wage, with an upper class and corporate system that face no restraint or tax. This would never appeal to people in the lower class and the free-falling middle, which is why the GOP has always sold it in terms of racial resentment and kept hidden the part where directly helping people is wrong.

This election was the first clear sign that racism would no longer be effective, so it’s fitting that these last four years of campaigning have been especially characterized by racial attacks. That’s also why these have been the years of “true conservatives” actually articulating their agenda of hardship for America. As the GOP was losing their method of concealing their policies they doubled down on both losing strategies. Abandoning their economic core of unfettered capitalism would mean becoming an entirely new party, and it likely wouldn’t happen easily. So it remains to be seen if there’s a new kind of fear or resentment the GOP can capitalize on to save themselves.


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