In many a truck stop or convenience store across the United States, you’ll find an assortment of bumper stickers for sale with slogans on them like “Don’t spread my wealth, spread my work ethic” or “Work hard, millions on welfare depend on you.” These are just a couple of examples of what is known as “bumper sticker politics,” which is essentially the dumbing down of a complex political issue to where it fits in a 5 second soundbite, a 140 character Tweet – or in this case, a Facebook post by the Oklahoma Republican Party designed to garner as much interaction as possible.
The content of this Facebook post by the Oklahoma Republican Party isn’t anything new, it’s just another old anti-food stamp joke conservatives have been telling for years. A Republican candidate in South Dakota posted almost the exact same blurb last year on her Facebook page, a story we covered here on Forward Progressives.
Remember, by Republican Party logic, people who receive government assistance are lazy moochers who don’t want to succeed in life, but if you’re white then you’ve somehow earned it – although it totally has nothing to do with the color of your skin. The GOP also likes to blame the need for food stamps on people not working hard enough, something Jeb Bush allowed to slip out recently, and not the multi-billion dollar corporations like Walmart who pay employees as little as possible and expect taxpayers to make up the difference.
The Oklahoma Republican Party eventually deleted the post and issued this “we’re sorry, not really sorry” apology:
Last night, there was a post on our OKGOP Facebook page, and it was misinterpreted by many. I offer my apologies for those who were offended – that was not my intention.
This post was supposed to be an analogy that compared two situations illustrating the cycle of government dependency in America, not humans as animals.
However I do think that it’s important to have conversations about government welfare programs since our dependency on government is at its highest level ever.
Quoting President Reagan, “We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.”
As read in our Oklahoma Republican Statement of Principles, we believe that ‘free market principles are the best to stimulate our economic development rather than government subsidies or programs’ and I was doing my best to echo that view.
Again, I apologize for any misconceptions that were created. – Randy” (Source)
If Republican social and economic policies were indeed the ticket to success for everyone, why is it that the county with the highest number of people on welfare per capita in the United States is overwhelmingly Republican?
If the “free market principles” that the Oklahoma Republican Party is touting work so well, why is it that states like Louisiana or Mississippi, which are completely controlled by the GOP, are lagging so far behind in education and almost everything else?
When you have a political party making hateful statements (which aren’t even original) like these, and their leading presidential candidate is insulting an entire country of people whom we share a border with, is it any wonder why fewer people are choosing to identify themselves as Republicans these days? Every time I see another hateful, ignorant post like this designed to gin up the base, it reminds me why I left the party so many years ago.
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