Manipulating Emotional Issues to Obtain Votes
This article is an excerpt from the upcoming
book release of Toys, War & Faith: Democracy in Jeopardy
and has been edited for Internet presentation.
Most Americans are increasingly frustrated with the leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties. They’re upset over the corruption and manipulation used by the two major parties to maintain power while serving their corporate benefactors and not their true constituents. Some of the most emotional and manipulated issues are:
It’s a falsehood to say that the Democratic Party, the Green Party, or any other political party is for abortion when they are not. Being against abortion and not wanting to make it illegal are two separate issues. Some citizens simply argue, from a pragmatic point of view, that abortion should be illegal because there are plenty of people willing to adopt children. If this is true, then why does the world have tens-of-millions of children dying from neglect every year? In reality, the abortion issue is far more complicated and many citizens, on both sides of the issue, are trying to obtain a solution that saves the most lives in an imperfect world. Furthermore, making an act illegal is not the panacea that many would have one believe. For example:
Many wealthy and middle-class women will leave the country to have abortions.
Many poor women will die in back rooms from botched abortions and so will the embryo or fetus.
When abortions are legal, many women obtain counseling from religious organizations and, in-turn, decide not to have abortions. However, when abortions are made illegal, they will not risk exposing or discussing their pregnancy with others (including religious counselors)—adding to the number of abortions.
If abortions are made illegal, RU-486 (an abortion pill) will become a black-market drug. This will maintain a high abortion rate and increase the death toll among women from unsupervised medical use. It will also increase the presence of organized crime to supply this drug and other forms of abortion—increasing death and violence throughout society. The impact will be much like the effort to ban alcohol in the 1920s and early 30s through prohibition.
Nevertheless, even if one disagrees with these arguments and feels that a particular political party will save lives with their policies on abortion, then they must also weigh the deaths that political party will cause using their economic and environmental policies. Citizens who feel strongly about the 1.3 million annual abortions in the U.S. need to consider that their candidates may actually kill tens-of-millions of people and harm billions more around the world annually by maintaining and enacting exploitive economic, environmental, and political laws. In addition, by not strongly supporting contraceptive services around the world, the number of abortions increases and so does the number of babies dying once born. This type of activity is well documented throughout this book and by Dr. Charles M. Kelly’s book, Class War in America: How Economic and Political Conservatives Are Exploiting Low- and Middle-Income Americans. Dr. Kelly, a professor of business management and ethics, writes: "As we enter the new millennium, voters had better figure out which politicians have the interests of our total society at heart, rather than just the interests of the ‘educated’, the established and emerging rich, and the powerful."1
The Republican and Democratic party bosses continue to protect unsustainable industries and technologies within the world economy—causing global warming, environmental destruction, and a massive decline in biodiversity (our life-support system on this planet). The League of Conservation Voters (www.lcv.org) provides detailed information on how political parties vote on environmental legislation.
Citizens need to seriously reflect on the motives behind television and radio ministers, pro-corporate politicians, and the use of abortion as a political issue. We need to ask ourselves: Is it a genuine concern for the unborn or could it be a deceitful and manipulative method (spawned by greed and power) to turn religion into a political machine, obtain votes, win elections, and exploit humanity on a colossal scale?
2. Guns & The Military
As expounded upon in Chapter 6, the right to bear arms is an important separation of power that all political parties need to respect. Pundits supporting the Republican Party like to claim that no other political party protects these rights. This is a false statement. In reality, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, and other political parties strongly support gun rights. In addition, they argue for reasonable restrictions to prevent children and criminals from obtaining weapons. They also argue to keep powerful weapons (not hunting weapons) out of the hands of individuals to safeguard the citizenry. Over time, many of these powerful weapons would be stolen or misused by their owners. If an internal arms-race is allowed to develop between citizens, America and its children will suffer greatly. The only winners will be corrupt politicians and wealthy arms-manufacturers. We must remember that if the people who are supposedly protecting our gun rights destroy our soil, water, air, and society, the protection provided by these guns will be a moot point. The gun rights advocated by a political party must be weighed against their overall benefit to society and the harm that political party causes in other areas. The small, if at all beneficial, increase in gun rights provided by Republican party bosses in exchange for destroying our environment and exploiting the middle class and poor is far too high of a price to pay.
As for the military, most political parties want a strong defense. However, chieftains of the Democratic and Republican parties waste billions of dollars on weapon systems America does not need or even want. Why? Because they must pay back their friends in the defense industry for campaign contributions rendered. In addition, their exploitive economic and political activities around the world create much animosity toward the U.S.—driving the need to maintain a large military force in the first place and keeping U.S. soldiers bouncing all over the world to subdue dictators the Republican and Democratic party bosses (and their corporate benefactors) helped put in power over the years. Amazingly, as described earlier, Republican party bosses have even used our military to overthrow democratically-elected governments to please corporate benefactors. The Center for Defense Information (www.cdi.org), founded by Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Jr., provides additional insight on military spending and waste.
Another favorite tactic of Republican and Democratic party strategists is to "bribe" military personnel with promises of increased pay and benefits to obtain votes. However, before voting for one political party over the other, the oath military members take requires them to consider the total consequences a political party will have on the long-term preservation of our Constitution. Military pay, benefits, and funding are only a small part of the total picture surrounding this objective. Military members have a responsibility to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic—corrupt and self-serving political parties fall into this category. If a political party uses exploitive economic, environmental, and political legislation to benefit themselves and their wealthy benefactors, are they not corrupt? Does this not violate the ideas and instructions expressed in the Constitution? Does this injustice and abuse not destabilize world peace and expose the Constitution to great harm? The voting process must keep greed and corruption in check, if not, war will eventually result—jeopardizing the very survival of our Constitution.
3. Tax Cuts
All political parties know that tax cuts are popular with voters, as they should be, in today’s high middle-class tax environment. However, the real test of a party’s moral character is how they voted to establish the current set of tax laws in the first place and how they propose to divide future tax cuts among the population. During the last twenty years, the Republican and Democratic party bosses have typically only supported tax laws and cuts that favored the wealthy class and, when the dust settled, it was the middle class and poor that ended up paying an unfair share of the total tax burden (the average American pays nearly thirty different taxes). It’s easy to reduce the income tax, then turn around, and manipulate other types of taxes or increase corporate welfare on unsuspecting citizens. The same type of manipulation is being used to justify the privatization of our nation’s public schools and social-security system. Corporations and Wall Street will use a combination of excessive profits and criminal activity to gut these institutions—leaving the taxpayers with another mess to clean up. Nevertheless, such trickery gets lots of votes. Citizens for Tax Justice (www.ctj.org) and the book, Class War in America, provide additional insight on such deception.
4. Welfare, Low Wages, and Job-Loss Fear
It’s true that the welfare program has had abuses in the past and will have more abuses in the future; however, there’s no such thing as a perfect program and these imperfections don’t justify ignoring the truly poor and sick in our country. The system simply requires proper oversight and stiff penalties for abusers (many of which are corporate executives defrauding the government). Please keep in mind that nearly 20% of America’s children are being raised in poverty. In addition, many of the homeless are mentally ill and need medical attention. If this is allowed to continue, what kind of future will America create for itself?
When third political-parties want to help the poor in a responsible manner, we had better listen. Prior to 1994, leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties provided inadequate oversight—opening the door for abuse by freeloaders and wealthy businesspersons. In 1994, administrators of the Republican Party promised to provide the proper oversight and make welfare more responsible and efficient. Although the subsequent Welfare Reform Act of 1996 moved many freeloaders back to work, it also moved many single mothers into low-wage jobs—leaving children in questionable daycare centers and little opportunity for mothers to continue their education and better the lives of their children. Many taxpayers will say: That’s not my problem—they should’ve been more responsible. Nevertheless, these children will eventually grow up into adults. It’s in the taxpayers’ interest to help children (despite their parents’ irresponsibility) to become productive, taxpaying citizens. Otherwise, these children will drain far more funds from taxpayers over their lifetime.
Many citizens believe that laziness is the primary reason for poverty. This is not the truth—low wages is the primary reason for poverty in America! The Republican and Democratic party bosses excel at keeping wages low. They accomplish this by rejecting minimum wage increases, legislating laws to hinder the bargaining power of workers and their unions, increasing immigration to the U.S. to make sure businesses have a large supply of desperate people willing to work for low wages, enacting trade agreements that allow foreign countries to compete with U.S. workers—creating a race to the bottom on wages and benefits.
Pundits of the two major parties justify these legislative policies by arguing that it’s the only way to safeguard and create jobs for Americans. However, it’s not an accurate statement. Their real intent is to divert attention away from their low-wage economic legislation and frighten workers with job-loss fear to gain additional votes. When America allows foreign workers into the U.S., how does this create jobs for U.S. citizens? When America sends work overseas, how does this create jobs for U.S. citizens? Yes, maintaining a low minimum wage increases the number of jobs, but are they the type of jobs that respect human rights and a civilized society? Using this kind of perverse logic and justification, even more jobs could be created in America by lowering the minimum wage to $4, $2, or even $1 an hour, but these jobs (like the current minimum wage) don’t respect human rights, fairness, or the dignity of our great nation. Could the number of jobs in America be safeguarded and increased if the wealthy class and their politicians didn’t extract so much profit from workers using exploitive legislation in the first place? What is the chance of Americans maintaining a living-wage job, if American workers are forced to compete with more than six billion people in a world economy that’s only designed to employ a small fraction of these workers? Of course, many wealthy people love the current system, it allows them to staff their businesses, factories, and have all their personal "needs" accomplished for almost nothing in return. President Truman asked the American people once, "How many times do you have to be hit on the head before you find out who’s hitting you?"2 It’s an appropriate question for today.
Does it make sense for our elected officials and the United Nations to allow multinational corporations to force large sections of the world’s population (already living in a sustainable culture) into a global-economic system that won’t even pay its current workers enough to protect basic human rights? It does if one’s a member of the wealthy class (which includes most federal politicians and their corporate benefactors) and they want to exploit people and their environment for quick profit. Dr. Kelly states, "Greedy and materialistic people never change their behaviors to meet moral or religious standards—they redefine their moral or religious standards to justify their egocentric behaviors. And when enough of them gain control of government, their concepts of morality becomes the new national standards for behavior...the world’s mainstream religions have concluded, in one form or another, greed is one of the seven deadly sins—and for good reason. It eventually destroys human organizations and societies."3
The world’s economic system must begin an immediate shift toward sustainable technology and population, jobs that ensure respect for human rights, economic fair play, and the preservation of our biodiversity. Imagine the number of jobs that could be created if the world started building solar-power equipment, started building environmentally-sound automobiles and mass transit, switched over to organic-farming methods, and made many other logical changes to our economic infrastructure. Imagine what a positive effect this would have on the environment and humanity’s physical and spiritual health. Voters have the power to accomplish this critical task. The current economic system is merely a product of human creation and can be easily changed—it just takes the ability to overcome emotional and manipulated issues.
5. Same-Sex Marriages
Even if citizens disagree with marriage, civil unions, or contractual arrangements for homosexuals, they must still weigh the harm a political party will cause humanity in other areas before voting in favor of that party. It makes no moral or logical sense to allow a political party to kill tens-of-millions of people around the world using economic and environmental exploitation, just to prevent marriage or civil unions by homosexuals.
6. Character & Trustworthiness
Because of President Clinton’s unethical behavior during the Monica Lewinsky and numerous other scandals, many people believe that the overall leadership of the Republican Party is somehow more trustworthy than the leadership of the Democratic Party, but perhaps they’ve forgotten about President Nixon’s unethical behavior during Watergate or President Eisenhower’s overthrow of Guatemala’s democratic and progressive government to please corporate benefactors.
Leadership of the two major parties excel at extracting wealth from the environment, middle class, and poor. They, in-turn, give it away to the wealthy class, using one-sided tax laws, labor laws, trade agreements, stock market and banking regulations, and a host of other manipulations. Most of the trustworthiness or family-values chieftains of the Republican Party claim to possess are a mere illusion fostered by the mainstream media (remember, the wealthy class owns virtually all of the media outlets). So whether intentional or not—America hears what the wealthy class wants and it’s a message of selfish individualism and consumption in a world of limited resources, and it’s a callous disregard for human rights and the environment. In addition, the mainstream media creates a long list of programs to discredit anyone who disagrees with the worldview of the wealthy class.
We must ask ourselves: Are the so-called liberals and conservatives on television news and talk-radio shows genuine? Could they be intentionally selected from the far left and right of the political spectrum, knowing that they will make controversial statements—giving America an extremely distorted view of political parties? What incentive does the mainstream media have to air any concerns or opinions from working-class Americans? What prevents the wealthy class from using their media outlets to air only their view of the world? Could the mainstream media and the wealthy class be using one-sided propaganda to discredit all political parties except the Republican and Democratic parties—to create divisiveness on emotional issues to breakup unity among voters and at the same time increase advertising revenue?
Greed is an incredibly deceptive, intelligent, and evil force within humanity and must be countered by using mature faith, healthy skepticism, thorough research, and critical thinking. So the next time one hears mainstream-media pundits speaking (conservative, liberal, or whatever they want to call themselves), we should keep the above questions in mind. We must always consider who’s funding their airtime and what their true motives may be. Citizens must also seek out alternative views to the mainstream media (the organizations listed at the bottom of our home page provide an excellent place to start).
If we vote for a political party based only on emotional and manipulated issues, while letting it destroy our environment and kill tens-of-millions of people around the world, all of us (and especially the children) will suffer greatly for this destruction and injustice. It’s imperative for humanity’s physical and spiritual health that citizens start to understand and weigh the total consequences of voting for one political party over another.
Center for Responsive Politics
(For More Information on Money and Politics)