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Stop being so negative—Please! 

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Let's Give Trump and Friends a Dose of Their Own Medicine—Tom Hall

I’ve been hearing sections of the confirmation hearing for the new Pence-Ryan-McConnell administration, and all I hear is negativity: 

  • J. Beauregard Sessions is against voting rights for black people; 
  • Rex Tillerson is against protecting America from his pal Czar Vlad, and from climate change; 
  • Ben Carson is against poor children having roofs over their heads during winter storms.And on and on and on. 

Haven’t we had enough of all this negativity?Isn’t it time for liberals and progressives to start focusing on what the incoming crowd of Corporate Republican Party zealots are FOR instead of what they are against?Think of how language works, and what inspires people. 

Once, there was a crowd of people who were against women having any right to control their own reproductive decisions.They were against abortion, and against birth control and sex education that might make abortions less frequent.They were a small and dwindling minority, mocked for their science denial and fake claims to “Christian” support for their beliefs. 

But then a P.R. consultant pointed out that they could make fabulous profits, raking in “contributions” for anti-women, anti-freedom campaigns, IF they simply changed their language.They should stop claiming to be “against” (“anti”), and start being “for” (“pro”).So they started calling themselves “pro-life”. 

The new label marked no change from their anti-science, anti-women, anti-Christian actual position.It was merely a change of label and description.The slightest inquiry into what “pro-life” means to them reveals the truth.A woman’s life at risk from a problem pregnancy is of no relevance.They are not “pro” HER life.As soon as a child is born, they say it should be left on its own, with no neonatal care, or treatment for any birth defect or congenital anomaly.If it is born too poor to take care of itself, or born into a part of the country suffused with industrial pollution that will limit its health and development from the moment of birth, that simply doesn’t matter.“Pro-life” does not apply post-birth. 

If progressives can develop honest messages about what the Donald’s administration team members positively stand for, those messages may have a better chance of reaching voters who are becoming concerned about the realities of the new regime.

Lots of people fell for the “pro-life” scam.People sent $Billions to for-profit churches and businesses that used “pro-life” campaigns for fundraising.And that should provide a lesson to people concerned about negativity in language.If progressives can develop honest messages about what the Donald’s administration team members positively stand for, those messages may have a better chance of reaching voters who are becoming concerned about the realities of the new regime.

Corporate Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, in his Christmas message to the faithful of his Party, called the Donald America’s “new king”.This after years of zealous support and activism in favor of voter suppression efforts around the nation.Now, Priebus is speaking out glowingly on the Donald’s embrace of ‘royalist’ governments, fromRussia’s Czar Vlad, to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to the Saudi royal family, and the new bloody clown dictating in the Philippines. 

We could accurately call this “anti-democracy”.While that would unquestionably be true, might it be more useful to call it “pro-royalty” or “pro-dictatorship,” or “pro-tyrant”?When asking supporters of the Donald’s new regime, is it more useful to identify what they are against or what they are for?The fear mongering of recent years, telling us that we need to fear blacks, Mexicans, Moslems, Asians (all of whom are naturally smarter than us white folks), national healthcare, public education didn’t do much to tell us what the fear mongers were striving for. 

Progressives should be focusing communications efforts on identifying, and persuasively articulating what king Donald and the Pence-Ryan-McConnell administration are for.Starting with the current list of cabinet nominees, we can begin to identify what policies these people are for, in contrast to what they are against. 

J. Beauregard Sessions is widely acknowledged as being against civil rights.Looking at his work and voting records, we can make his beliefs clearer for the average reader.He is FOR: 

  • Race-based voter suppression;
  • A return to Jim Crow laws; 
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  • A return to allowing individual states to enforce segregation; 
  • Allowing corporations to dump their polluting waste into our public waterways, park lands, and poor neighborhoods; 
  • Allowing college boys (especially athletes) to “sow their wild oats” without worrying about cry-baby women calling “rape” on them; 
  • Giving free rein to tobacco, big soda, and other industries to use false advertising for toxic or dangerous products. 

The list can be extended, probably covering every situation in which corporations can squeeze a profit out of the uninformed and the powerless. 

Ben Carson is against public housing, because it “coddles” people, especially children, and discourages them from looking for work.For the same reason, he opposes both the minimum wage and public education.But what he is he FOR?His confirmation hearing informs us that he is FOR: 

  • Ending public housing (but not subsidies to big corporations which own housing projects);
  • Ending the minimum wage; 
  • Allowing children, at any age, to drop out of school to enter the workforce (probably with “internships” and “training programs” that allow them to be worked without actually being paid). 

During the presidential campaign, Ben Carson also made clear that he is for imposing his weird religious beliefs on everyone else.He would like to make it official government policy that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that the archaeologists have been wrong, for centuries, about the purpose of the Egyptian pyramids.He wants the government to throw out all science ‘knowledge’ that disagrees with his religion.He hasn’t publicly stated whether he wants to burn all the books and computer memories that contain information contrary to his religious beliefs. 

We could call this “anti-religious freedom”.But isn’t it just as accurate to call it “pro-theocracy”? 

Similar analyses can be done for every one of the Donald’s appointees.But that is not enough.I said just after the November election that the new majority would try to end both Medicare and Social Security, as well as ObamaCare.Friends pooh-pooh’ed my worry.But Paul Ryan announced plans to gut Medicare the very next week.And a few weeks later, he ordered one of the Texass oil congressmen to introduce a bill to destroy Social Security.And right after the election, he assigned a committee to rewrite all Congressional ethics rules, to eliminate any ethics enforcement. 

There is a strategic policy push to destroy as much of the federal government as possible, before people start to see what’s happening.That’s why Mitch McConnell did away with any comprehensive ‘vetting’ of cabinet candidates, and forced quick, short confirmation hearings, and scheduled late night votes on ObamaCare repeal. 

That is also why it is absolutely necessary for people who care about a people-oriented government to work to reclaim the effective use of language.We must start articulating and talking about what the Corporate Republican Party is FOR.Help people understand what they want to DO, not just what they fear and hate. 

The politics of fear is about manufacturing lies about people who are coming to get us – invaders, bringing weapons and diseases.The politics of truth is about informing people about those already here, among us, who have goals to destroy our popular government, rape our treasury and impose a new oligarchy of the wealthy.

[dc]A[/dc]thens suffered this same process at the end of the 5th century, B.C.And Athens overcame it by exposing the corruption and dishonesty of the oligarchs who tried to impose dictatorship on the state.If they could resist and overcome, we can overcome.We shall overcome. 

Tom Hall

Tom Hall