Rick Santorum, discussing the GOP presidential loss last year, made a good point while missing a much larger one.
The former Pennsylvania senator recalled all the business owners who spoke at the Republican National Convention.
“One after another, they talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single —factory worker went out there,” Santorum told a few hundred conservative activists at an “after-hours session” of the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”
Well, that would have proved at least as entertaining as Dirty Harry talking to an empty chair: “Hi, I’m a factory worker. As soon as they figure out how a machine can do my job or hire people in another country to do it for slave wages, I’m out of here… with no severance.” Or: “I’m a janitor, who apparently makes so much Newt Gingrich suggests that they give my job to my kid… who’s still in school.” And, of course: “I’m a waitress. I stand on my feet 10 hours a day just to keep my head above water. I have no health insurance, and I make so little, my retirement plan involves falling over into a customer’s steak and eggs.”
And I think their respective companies all had them sign strongly worded documents insisting that whatever they built or might someday build belongs to the company alone.
“When all you do is talk to people who are owners, talk to folks who are Type A’s who want to succeed economically, we’re talking to a very small group of people,” he said. “No wonder they don’t think we care about them. No wonder they don’t think we understand them. Folks, if we’re going to win, you just need to think about who you talk to in your life.”
That’s nice, Rick, but none of your party’s policies makes any attempt to help them. Considering the GOP platform, here’s what would actually make sense:
“Hi, I’m a janitor. I barely make ends meet, but what are ya gonna do? What will really ruin things for my family is if gays could marry. Can you guys handle that?” Or: “I’m a factory worker whose plant is being shut down and its operations sent to China. However, that’s not the worst thing happening in America. Some women are getting abortions when their rapes weren’t legitimate!” And, of course: “I’m a waitress with this persistent cough that I should probably see a doctor about, but if I take time off, I won’t make rent. Anyway, I hear that illegal immigrants are going to take my cushy job!”
Maybe if they do enough of this in 2016, they’ll win.
June 15, 2013 at 9:02 am
Yes, very true. But unfortunately it’s not only Santorum’s party that doesn’t care about good manufacturing jobs or waittresses with no benefits or minimum wage, of just plain jobs period. The Democrats wring their hands about the unfortunate, but have they taken a single action that would improve the jobs picture, protect us from high-paid foreigners who come in here and take the better jobs, passed a minimum wage law to protect service workers like waittresses? I mean, since the 1960’s?
It’s up to us. We the people need to revolt, and hold Congress’ feet to the fire. We need tax reforms to stimulate jobs, prevent U.S. companies from taking their profits oversees, outsourcing good jobs and companies. We need immigration reform that bars hiring foreigners on H1-B petitions.
In short, we need a Congress that understands it works for us — on both sides of the aisle. Sure, Democrats are more progressive on gay marriage and abortion rights, but has any of that created a single job? The people at large are hurting, and these social issues just provide attractive distractions.
June 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm
True. The Democrats are only slightly less pro-big business. However, unlike Romney’s idea that the Democrats only get votes through identity politics, I would argue that the GOP would not exist in its current form if *not* for identity politics — religion and race ultimately (I toss in its misogyny as part of its religious extremism).
June 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm
They have really lost their conservative ideology, and their moral center too. It’s not good for either party, and it’s especially not good for the voters. We are left most often voting against, instead of for someone.