So conservatives are trying again to cut food stamps for the poorest people in America. This time, Paul Ryan wants to eliminate $23 billion in food stamps to recipients who are in school or training for a job—in other words, people who are trying to better themselves and become financially independent, so they won’t need food stamps.
Meanwhile, Trump’s lackey Chris Christie is trying to pull another food stamp outrage in New Jersey
What is it with the Republican Party and their obsession with making life even harder for people in poverty? These never-ending indignities they visit on the poor have to become a campaign issue for Democrats (and they will continually crop up between now and Election Day). Conservatives around the country need to be confronted on the campaign trail with this kind of mean-spiritedness.
The message should be:
- Proposing to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting food stamps for the poor is literally immoral.
- Their proposals are an affront to:
- basic values of fairness and decency
- our self-image of America as a compassionate country
- the Christian beliefs conservatives so often espouse. (See the essay “The Shocking Hypocrisy of Conservative Christians.”)
- This is not what great nations do.
Americans have an acute sense of fair play, and continually calling out conservatives on values issues like these will resonate with a broad constituency, including independent and even moderately conservative voters. This message incorporates at least 3 of the 7 Winning Messages: American exceptionalism, fighting for the underdog, and faith and values. Anecdotes like these will add to the growing narrative that conservatism is an angry, cold-hearted philosophy unfit for a great nation.
- Democrats have to run values-based campaigns; we can’t just talk about topics.
- We have to run against conservatism; not just specific opponents.We must universalize our arguments against the GOP and delegitimize the very foundations of conservative thought, as Republicans did so effectively against liberalism.
- We must continually send the message that Democrats are the true party of the people.