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originally posted to Ethical Fact-Based Politics

GOP Political Myths

Hopefully everyone is already aware of these, but they seemed worth reiterating given that voting day is this Tuesday.

MYTH 1: crime is rising because Democrats are “soft” on crime

REALITY: States that have weakened gun laws have seen gun crime surge. In 2020, per capita murder rates were 40 percent higher in states won by Trump than in those won by Joe Biden. Republican policies have only made it easier for people to get and carry guns, whether they're responsible gun-owners or not. (Note: this punishes responsible gun owners by making them share the political and economic burden of the irresponsible ones.)

It seems clear to me, too, that crime is motivated by several problems that Democrats keep trying to solve while Republicans keep trying to make them worse:

  • *economic disparity* (it's only worth stealing something if you can't afford to buy it)
  • *mental health issues*, which are exacerbated by the unavailability of healthcare and (again) economic disparity, which is an especially huge stress-factor for those at the bottom

Cautionary note: Too many Dems still support "tough on crime" policies, even though they don't work. This is one reason why some people say the Dems are no better than the GOP (which is untrue).

MYTH 2: inflation is due to Biden’s spending, and wage increases.

REALITY: Inflation (including gasoline) is:

(1) a global problem: control of this is beyond the powers of any single country (hence the "Dark Brandon" parody-meme). The US is actually doing considerably better than some countries -- you can blame *that* on Biden, if you like.
(2) due largely to supply issues: we had a pandemic (still running rampant in some areas due to denialism) *and* a war, both of which have hampered production and transportation in many areas of the economy (US and global).
(3) at least partly due to megacorps using inflation as an excuse to raise prices *beyond* actual cost-increases.

Wage increases and public assistance (such as the stimulus checks) are to help folks deal with the inflation; they're not the cause of it. The "build back better" spending will also help increase production *and* reduce the impacts of similar negative events (plagues and wars) in the future.

MYTH 3: Democrats voted to hire an army of IRS agents who will audit and harass the middle class.

REALITY: Um, no. The additional funding is to go after *wealthy* people who are *cheating* on their taxes. There are no plans to change auditing procedures for anyone making less than $400k.

My understanding is also that the funds will also be used to upgrade the IRS's computer-systems, which are currently using Windows 98 and some very specialized hardware that nobody makes anymore. If you've been irritated by how poorly the IRS handles customer service, and how long it takes them to process your forms, this will help fix that too.

The IRS also needs to update all of their forms to be fileable online; the GOP has consistently fought against that, so as to preserve the interests of (profit-driven) tax-filing software and services.

MYTH 4: The Democrats are no better than the Republicans, so there's really no point in voting. They're both capitalist toadies.


(1) Dem economic policies are much, much better for everyone who's not filthy rich; they're the only party that will even *contemplate* reining in big business and the uber-rich.
(2) there are other equally important political lenses that come into play -- such as:

Imagine you went to a bar -- some place you'd never been before -- with a friend who was decked out with LGBTQ regalia, and you realized right after sitting down that you needed to get to an ATM first. How comfortable would you feel leaving that friend alone for a few minutes in each of these establishments?:

(a) a place full of people wearing "Blue Is Better" t-shirts
(b) a place full of people wearing red hats

(Thanks to Beau of the Fifth Column for this thought-experiment.)

Feel free to re-imagine this encounter with a Latinx or Muslim or Sikh friend or neighbor.

Consider also: which party is willing to blatantly lie about the science in order to score points? ...or just lie in general. (And no, don't tell me "both sides do it". That's only true in the same sense that both a swimming pool and an ocean contain water.)