In politics, hyperbole is just a part of the business. It’s a common practice with political commentators, and in fact it can be a useful tool to drive home a point you might be trying to make. I assume this goes the same for politicians.
That being said, certain comparisons should just never be used. Too often, “Nazi” comparisons are made by both conservatives and liberals against each other. While I don’t have a problem with people wanting to bring up fascism when trying to make a point, saying anyone is acting like Hitler or the Nazis is pretty far-fetched. Nazis were the only Nazis — period.
Another comparison that should never be used is anything compared to slavery. Slavery is a horrific act where one set of humans treats another like property — like animals. Human beings who are bought, sold, abused, raped, murdered, mutilated and who knows what else is like nothing else except actual slavery.
So when I saw where North Carolina Senate candidate (and tea party Republican) Greg Brannon compared food stamps (also know as SNAP) to slavery, I just shook my head.
Brannon said that food stamps are “goodies” given out by the government. Obviously Mr. Brannon has never had to live on food stamps.
He then went on to say:
“We’re taking our plunder, that’s taken from us as individuals and the government is now keeping itself in power by giving these goodies away. The answer is the Department of Agriculture should go away at the federal level. And now 80 percent of the farm bill was food stamps. That enslaves people. What you want to do, it’s crazy but it’s true, teach people to fish instead of giving them fish. When you’re at the behest of somebody else, you are actually a slave to them.. That kind of charity does not make people freer.”
Basically, he’s trying to use the analogy of give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime. Which might work, if most people on welfare weren’t actually wanting to work for themselves. See, it’s not the problem of people not knowing how to work. People want to work. The problem is greed.
The rich have most of the wealth — and they want more. Increasingly jobs are paying less, providing fewer benefits and making it harder for Americans to get by. All the while the wealthiest among us continue to flourish.
It should be noted that Brannon has listed Jesse Helms as an inspiration. Jesse Helms was an open racist who opposed the Civil Rights Act and was often very brazen about his intolerance towards minorities. If that kind of person is Greg Brannon’s inspiration, that says all we need to know about him.
Brannon also spoke at a rally a few months ago hosted by the League of the South — a secessionist group. A true “patriot” I tell ya. Because nothing says “I love the United States” like speaking at a rally for a group that wants to leave it.
These are the kind of candidates that baffle me. Not that they exist, but that a major political party supports them.
Not too long ago we would have never heard of someone like Greg Brannon because nobody would have taken him seriously. Yet as Republicans have embraced the radically crazy (otherwise known as the tea party) — these candidates aren’t just more known, they’re actually winning elections.
I would encourage all of you to head over to Greg Brannon’s Facebook page and let this individual know exactly what you think of him.
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