Sunday, October 16, 2005


Democrats: Push Pension Fears & Win Red States

While discussing yet again why enough Red State folks vote against their own self interest that Republicans can steal elections they don't win fairly, a friend observed: "Middle Americans vote their fears..."

This isn't a new observation, or one unique to Republicans. It is always easier to unify folks in the face of a common threat if that threat is seen as "imminent." Modern examples range from Hitler's "Zionist Conspiracy" to Joe McCarthy's "Red Peril" to the "joint mutual threat" agreement between Ronald Reagan and Ayatollah Khomeini. (Reagan used the Iranian Peril to silence domestic opponents and pass his radical agenda, Ayatollah Khomeini used the Great Satan in the same way.)

The problem for Democrats in recent years has been that the policies Republicans pushed didn't pose an immediate threat to Joe & Jane Sixpack - until recently. Losing the right to an abortion isn't taken seriously by Middle America anymore - and won't be until it actually happens. (Next year?) Theft of workers' pension benefits to pay bloated executive salaries, however, is front page news today.

Let's all write our congresscritters about pension plan reform once a month or so. One easy topic: reform bankruptcy laws so that executive pension plans must be treated the same as worker pension plans. Molly Ivins has more...


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