In just over 30 hours we will know who our opponents are in the various local races.
I kept my head down from Republican firing squads while they had a contentious primary on purpose. They were eating each other alive, and we collected all the screenshots. There was no reason to give them a common enemy early on.
But that all changes Wednesday.
We all know that no matter how disgusted Republican voters are with their Republican candidates now, they will still vote for the person with the R next to their name in November. In their world, the worst Republican is better than the best Democrat.
We will have to watch as voters who were opposed to candidate A will now be doing back flips trying to explain why their original opinion was taken out of context and candidate A is now their person. We will watch as the reasons they voted against candidate B in the primary no longer matter and they'll swallow their pride to back them in the general election. And lastly, we'll watch as they stare at screen shots of all the negative things they previously said and claim that it's "fake news" and never happened.
But starting Wednesday, the next phase of my campaign begins. And despite the uphill battle of trying to talk to voters who consistently vote against their own interests because of that R next to the name, I still have to try. Before the ads start flying and folks start attacking the Democrats for things that don't make any sense, I thought I'd do a preemptive post that can clear up some vocabulary issues often faced by the right. Feel free to reference this page throughout the election as I can guarantee that these words will be used, incorrectly of course, and I look forward to seeing this link posted as a response with the comment "you've misused a vocabulary word and here is the correct definition". If someone makes a bingo card too, so be it…
Socialism: That's right! This will be the most commonly misused word of the campaign. From Dictionary.com: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, capital, land, etc., by the community as a whole, usually through a centralized government.
This word will be thrown around to dissuade people from voting for the Democratic candidates lest they run the risk of turning Union County into a haven for socialists, or some nonsense. The problem is that Union County already is a haven for socialists. We live in a mostly socialist country. We, as a community, pay taxes. Our tax contributions go towards community improvements like police departments, schools, roads, fire departments, infrastructure, sewer, gas, clean water, etc.
To quote Harry Truman (from 1952):
Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security. Socialism is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people. When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan "Down With Socialism" on the banner of his "great crusade," that is really not what he means at all. What he really means is "Down with Progress--down with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal," and "down with Harry Truman's fair Deal." That's all he means.
Here's the real kicker; most of the candidates we'll be facing in November know this. Of course they know that the Biden ARPA funds that they're anxiously spending to improve the county fit their idea of socialism. Of course they know that they're supporting a system that only exists because of community contributions. But in order to court certain voters who are attracted to fear-based buzz words, they know that making false comparisons an easy way to get a vote.
This way, the Republican candidates don't have to talk about their platform or past actions at all. The Republican County Commission raised my property taxes by 18% this year. But they won't lose a single vote from people who suffered from their decision because…wait for it…SOCIALISM!
Communism: As communism is based on Marxism, any reference to either from an individual in a political setting shows only that they don't know what either of those words mean. From Dictionary.com: a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.
I have been a Democrat for 19 years and an active member of the Union County Democratic party for the last four years. I have never met a Communist. Not once. But it's a fun scare word and I'm sure it will get thrown around out of sheer ignorance. To help you, the reader, I have two easy examples to help you decipher what a communist is. The first is an easy saying; a communist thinks that nobody should be rich while a socialist believes that nobody should be poor. So as a member of a country that pools its resources, yes, I believe that nobody should go to bed hungry tonight, but that doesn't mean that I want to see the government to seize the means of production.
For another reference, a communist country is likely to not have free and fair elections but rather lean towards fascism. You know fascism, right? It's like having legislative officials trying to overturn an election because their party lost and their feelings were hurt. Or storming the head of the legislative government to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
Critical Race Theory: a post graduate curriculum focused on the idea that racism isn't just individuals with bias running a system, but that the system itself has racism embedded in it.
If you are concerned that your student may be exposed to Critical Race Theory, let me be the first to congratulate you on having a law student attending Harvard University. If, however, you have a sixth grader in Parkwood Middle, then Critical Race Theory doesn't exist in your universe. And, as a former middle schooler, please take that energy and focus it on buying your child cooler clothes.
One thing that your post graduate law student in Harvard would learn, as they're going through the CRT curriculum, is that banning books that feature authors of color is a perfect example of systemic racism and would emphasize the need for classes about systemic racism.
Cognitive Dissonance: the reason that not a single person who is going to misuse the word socialism has made it to the end of this blog. From Dictionary.com: anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.
If someone has been listening to Fox News Entertainment and believes that the Democrats, are enemies of the state and the folks who tried to break into the Capitol on January 6th are not terrorists, well…that's cognitive dissonance for you.
Here's to hoping for an election involving adults and the ridiculously childish behavior exhibited by the primary candidate's minions on social media is behind us.