DISCLAIMER: I do not attempt to be polite or partisan in my articles, merely truthful. If you are a partisan and believe that the letter after the name of a politician is more important then their policies, I suggest that you stop reading and leave this site immediately--there is nothing here for you.

Modern American politics are corrupt, hyper-partisan, and gridlocked, yet the mainstream media has failed to cover this as anything but politics as usual. This blog allows me to post my views, analysis and criticisms which are too confrontational for posting in mainstream outlets.

I am your host, Josh Sager--a progressive activist, political writer and occupier--and I welcome you to SarcasticLiberal.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To vote, or not to vote?

This post is divided into two competing opinions on the topic of voting: I posit that voting is necessary in order to achieve change and voluntary demobilization of progressive groups could have terrible consequences come 2012. Doug Greene, another author for The Occupier, posits that groups, such as the occupations, can most effectively achieve change through non-electoral means. While both sides argue valid points, I will leave it up to the reader to determine which viewpoint is the more effective manner of changing the status quo; if, after reading both sides of the debate, you wish to make your opinions heard, please reply in the comments section with your conclusions.

The Case for Voting
Why Vote?
By Josh Sager

The voting booth is the vehicle with which the average American can directly affect their local, state, and federal governments. Voting allows for Americans to select politicians who represent the views and ideologies that they would like represented in their government. Unfortunately, massive increases of money in politics during recent years has decreased our faith in the voting process, thus some people see no point in voting.

Politicians receive massive campaign checks from interest groups, lobbyists, and corporations during their election campaigns, thus they become indebted to these interests during their terms in office. Many politicians take money or favors (often legally, due to our lax laws) from moneyed interests while they are in office in exchange for votes on legislation. Once election season comes around, politicians who have yet to sell their votes for cash are faced with the daunting task of fighting off candidates for their seat who may not be so ethical. At all levels of politics, we see the corrupting influence of money that threatens to overshadow our votes.

Why is it important to vote if our current political system has been so thoroughly corrupted by corporate money? The answer to this question is twofold: First, the opting out of the voting system by large numbers of people who share an ideology will inevitably shift the balance of power to the ideology opposing theirs. Second, voting gives us the best available tool by which we actually can shift policy in our country to fit our ideals.

If large numbers of voters voluntarily leave the voting system in protest, the politicians representing the opposing ideology receives a far larger percentage of the vote than if the voters remained in the system. Imagine our political system as a scale; removing votes from one side of the scale will tip it to the extreme of the other side. A perfect recent example of this phenomenon is the 2010 midterm election. The massive demobilization of Democratic voters led to a wave of right wing extremists being voted into office. Even if it is a choice between the least of evils, voting is something that everybody should do in order to represent their interests, lest they end up helping those who they oppose.

If we don’t vote, we forfeit the right to complain about the actions of our government and give up any hope of changing the system for the better. Every American can use their vote to assure that their interests are represented. If a politician conducts himself in a manner that you don’t approve of or is against your interests, organize, mobilize and go into the ballot booth to get him out of office. Because we have the right to vote, politicians can only be as corrupt or extreme as we let them be.

Even with the corrupting influence of money, we can affect change through the power of the vote. Money cannot buy votes, and if enough of us get together around an issue we can overcome the influence of money (Ex. Civil Rights). Politicians may sell out, but we can organize and punish them come voting day. If a third of the country were to decide that they would not vote for any politician who took corporate money, how long do you think it would be before many politicians would stop taking lobbyist’s calls?

Voting is slow to affect policy and likely needs additional help to be effective, but it is a necessary first step in affecting change. Vote, but then go out and organize in order to assure that your politicians don’t forget just who they are accountable to next time elections roll around. 

The Case Against Voting
Practicing the Politics of the Impossible
By Doug Enaa Greene

The U.S. electoral system is all about the politics of what the system deems possible. During each election season we are given the choice between a few politicians who promise change; we vote and then things remain the same. Elections in this society provide a democratic fa├žade for a system that remains fundamentally undemocratic. A candidate can support abortion, oppose gay marriage, or propose fewer taxes. Yet elections can’t usher in a new social order that places the needs of all before the profits of a few. The system deems that this is impossible. Now is time for us to practice the politics of the impossible.

In the U.S. electoral politics is structured in such a way that you really can’t do anything to change the basic capitalist order. You can vote for any party. One may give you some reforms that make life slightly more bearable. The whole rationale of the “politics of the possible” is to keep us hemmed in and accept the reigning social order.

Instead of accepting the parameters of possibility that the system gives us, people at Occupy are questioning them. The discussions at Occupy encampments ranged from what capitalism is, to the nature of the electoral process, and many other issues. This flowering of truly open, critical discussion challenges the politics of the possible.

This upsurge of ideas naturally has those in Occupy asking and debating what to do next. How should Occupy help to establish a society that prioritizes the needs of all before the profits of a few?

There is the argument that the goal of providing for all can be achieved, or at least promoted, through becoming involved in the U.S. electoral system. According to this argument, reforms will come if we use the possibilities that the system allows. Take the example of President Obama. Some of the reforms passed by the President, such as financial reforms on Wall Street instead of giving letting the stock market run rampant, are laudatory. Obama believes that the system can be reformed to become better, more balanced and stable, more fair (at least for some). And that may well be true. But if we end up arguing for these domestic concessions and backing Barack Obama, then what about opposing imperialist wars overseas which he has launched?  Is that the possibility we should accept?

What should we do instead?

We need to break with the politics of the possible and practice those of the impossible.

By the logic of the system, the 99% should not be able to determine their own destiny. Yet the 99% can build a new world. They can emancipate themselves from capitalism. This is what philosopher Alain Badiou might call the “Truth” of Occupy. This is the Truth that Occupy must pledge fidelity to and carry that commitment through to the end: We, the 99%, can remake the world on new foundations!

Occupy is the site of the Event, which is a rupture with reality and the creation of new possibilities. The organization of a new Truth is embedded within this Event. This Truth is that he people at Occupy are taking hold of their lives and remaking themselves and the world through struggle. This is no easy task, and it has no ultimate guarantee of success. To return to the politics as usual now, by focusing our energies on the electoral realm, and thus on supporting the corrupt order in the form of any of the  major parties, would be a betrayal of the Truth that has made Occupy worth working for.

We need to be radical and to accelerate the break with the system, rather than reforming it, and build Occupy as genuine people’s power that overthrows the rule of the 1%. We need to discover new strategies to radically changing society.

In that way, we remain faithful to our Truth and practice the politics of the impossible.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

President’s Day March in Support of Prisoners

On President’s Day (Feb 20, 2012), the prisoners incarcerated in the Suffolk County Jail received a welcome surprise: approximately a hundred protesters stopped by to express their solidarity. This was the final stop in a protest march organized by Occupy Boston’s People of Color Caucus, Ocupemos El Barrio and the Jericho Movement. In addition to showing solidarity with prisoners, those marching were protesting the prison industrial complex, the Massachusetts “3 Strikes” law, and the mass incarceration of people all over the world.
Mass incarceration in the USA is an issue currently at the forefront of civil-rights activism due to its wide-reaching consequences. The U.S. imprisons a greater proportion of its citizens than any other country (with the possible exception of North Korea). A vastly disproportionate number of those imprisoned are either ethnic minorities or of lower socio-economic status.
The grievances go well beyond the sheer number of prisoners. Complex civil rights quandaries arise from for-profit incarceration, felon voting disenfranchisement, and the failure to compensate prison labor. According to protesters, these are violations of prisoners’ human rights. Private prisons, for instance, have an incentive to lobby for harsher laws that will incarcerate more people – because more prisoners mean more profits. Those imprisoned within private prisons in the U.S. are often forced to work for far below minimum wage. And once they are released, former prisoners have great difficulty finding jobs and (depending on which state they live in) may have their voting rights taken away. Civil rights activists have likened this system to modern slavery or a “new Jim Crow” system.
At approximately 3 p.m. protesters began congregating at Boston’s North Station, in preparation for their march to the Suffolk County Jail. The organizers read a statement of the tactics they endorsed: the march was declared to be entirely peaceful, with no intention of disrupting the public or the police at the prison. In part, these tactics’ goal was to make the march safe for former inmates to join as well as others who could not afford to be arrested, such as undocumented immigrants. After this quick statement, protesters began to move down Nashua Street towards the jail.
Numerous signs and banners were on display, supporting those incarcerated or protesting the system that imprisons them – for instance, “Prisoners Have Rights” and “Caging People is Torture.” Protesters kept up a constant series of chants: “Hey hey, ho, ho! The prison system has got to go!” “Money for jobs and education, not for mass incarceration.” and “Hey, let’s face it, the prison system’s racist!”
Once the march arrived at the prison, protestors took time to show their support for the prisoners. They raised their fists in the direction of the jail in a gesture of mass power, which connected the present struggle to twentieth-century movements for civil rights and Black Power. These signs of solidarity were well received: prisoners waved, cheered, and even wrote makeshift signs on note-paper to communicate with the marchers through their barred windows.
During the show of support at the prison, the marchers had a teach-in, inviting numerous speakers to be heard on topics relevant to the march. Advocates for prison reform (or abolition), as well as family members of imprisoned people spoke movingly about the damage that the US’s prison system has done to their lives and to the lives of others. The subjects of discussion ranged from domestic prison policies to international practices of incarceration.
A representative from the Jericho Movement spoke about the effects of imprisonment on minority communities and what could be done to help those who are currently imprisoned. The brother and mother of Tarek Mehanna, an American convicted of providing material support for terrorism, spoke about their family situation and raised awareness of the campaign to support Mehanna at his sentencing hearing. While we are not able to describe all of the speeches here, we encourage readers to watch the complete video of the teach-in here.

Retaking Family Values

By Josh Sager

Family values; if you are a liberal, like myself, or even a moderate Republican (an endangered species outside of New England), the mention of this term undoubtedly made you internally flinch. One would think that an ideology so innocuously named would focus upon improving child healthcare, education, housing, or any other situation vital to the health of families across the United States. Unfortunately, the right wing in the USA has perverted the definition of “family values” to describe an ideology of hate and bigotry. In politics today, the ideology of “family values” is associated with discrimination against gays, the persistent attempts to repeal the rights of women, and the attempts to mix right wing Christianity with public policy. Ironically, not only would none of these initiatives would have a positive effect on the health of families in the USA, but they threaten to damage the health of non-traditional families across the country.

Everything one needs to know about just how far away from actual “family values” the discussion of such values has come can be found in the 2012 Values Voter Summit: At this annual summit, various groups, all of which claim to support “family values”, get together and discuss policy relating to their ideology. At the 2012 Values Voter Summit, Newt Gingrich gave a major address about the moral decay of America and the attacks on the family; yes, that Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has not only been married three times, but has married TWO of his mistresses (once his current wife became sick or simply old). Just the fact that Gingrich was invited to talk to this crowd of “family values” advocates as a moral authority invalidates the term as it currently is being used.  

Conservative “family values” groups have been central in the pushing of anti-gay rights and anti-marriage equality legislation in the USA. The major rationales of the attacks on gay rights by “family values groups” is that they believe giving homosexuals rights somehow degrades the rights of heterosexual families and that homosexuals are inferior parents; these assertions are not grounded in reality. Studies in areas where gay marriage has been legalized have shown that marriage equality has negligible effects on heterosexual marriage and divorce rates. As to the claim that homosexuals are inferior parents, studies comparing heterosexual and homosexual couples with children have shown that homosexual couples have, on average, slightly superior family situations than heterosexual couples; this result is likely due to the virtual absence of accidental pregnancies in gay relationships as well as the self-selection of adopting couples to be more involved parents. As shown by every reputable study, attacking gay rights is not a “family value” it is pure bigotry or ignorance masquerading as a concern for children..

Anti-choice “family values” groups often proclaim to be defending “family values” in their crusades to limit access to birth control and abortion services to women. The use of the term family values in this context is of dubious value because unwanted or teen pregnancies are damaging to the mother and often result in unstable households. Some anti-abortion activists believe abortion to be murder, but they support birth control and sex education so as to prevent unwanted pregnancies; these people can legitimately argue that they hold “family values” because they are trying to improve family planning services and the stability of families. On the other hand, those who oppose abortion, sex education and birth control do not hold values that actually help families. Contraception and sex education prevent unwanted pregnancies, thus giving single women families alike the ability to control whether they have children. The reduction in unwanted pregnancies allows families to remain inside of their resource limits as well as to reduce the number of unwanted or neglected children. By increasing security and parental choices, abortion, contraception and sex education actually benefit families, thus those who fight these options are not representing “family values” (perhaps religious/Christian values, but not family values).

Many Christian groups claim to promote “family values” and “traditional families” (where there is a male breadwinner, a female homemaker and several children) in order to advocate their positions. Put plainly, labeling Christian conservative values as “family values” does not make them beneficial to families. If we allow any religion to simply label their dogma as having a monopoly on the term “family values” we surrender any actual meaning of the term.

Now that we have discussed the things that are inaccurately labeled as “family values”, we come to the question, what actually constitutes family values? Family values are values that positively affect the lives of children, the stability of households, or the general welfare of family groups. Allowing people to plan if and when to have children is a family value, as it improves the wellbeing of families in general. Allowing people, regardless of sex or race, to marry and take care of children is a family value, as there is no reason to limit the definition of a family to the traditional model. Providing free childcare, youth healthcare, education, and nutritional programs, regardless of socioeconomic status is a family value. We can improve the lives of millions of families (as well as society as a whole) through funding early assistance programs across the country. Properly funding our public schools, as well as providing easy to obtain college financial assistance (Pell Grants, National Merit Scholarship, etc.) to all teens is a family value, as it would reduce pressure on families while giving those with brains but no resources a way to move up in society. Protecting the elderly, both economically and in terms of providing healthcare benefits, is a family value, as without these programs the elderly must either move back in with their children or go unattended. There are so many programs, which are true “family values” issues, that we are ignoring in favor of fake “family values” issues.

We should not allow those who simply wish to justify their bigotry, religious delusions, or controlling natures to monopolize the idea of “family values”; there are real issues that actually deserve this label and the moral high ground that it brings. True family values do not push bigotry or religious infiltration into the law, but rather, ideals that benefit families all over the country and the health of society at its most basic collective unit: the family.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pro-Life or Anti-Woman?

By Josh Sager

In the past year, the right wing of the United States, represented primarily by the Republicans and Tea Partiers, has rapidly accelerated their long term war on women’s rights. This war, beginning when women were given increased social and personal rights during the 20th century, has been waged on multiple fronts that have evolved with the times. Battles that have been won by the left in this long standing fight include the rights to vote, to be treated equally in terms of property rights, and to receive equal access to education; battles that are currently being fought include the rights to have an abortion or access to birth control and to have equal compensation for work in relation to men.

Abortion policy is a very complex and difficult issue. On the pro-choice side, there are those who believe that access to abortions is a civil right and that women should have control over decisions regarding their bodies. The “pro-life” side of the abortion debate is, in my opinion, divisible into two distinct sides: Many Americans are genuinely pro-life and believe that a zygote is a human life, thus they truly consider abortion to be murder; in addition to the true “pro-lifers”, a significant portion of the “pro-life” movement could more accurately be labeled anti-woman, as they only want to control the bodies of women due to their own misogyny or religious beliefs. While I disagree with the position of the truly pro-life activists, I don’t consider them to be immoral or anti-woman and they are not those who I am talking about in the rest of this article.

It is easy to identify an anti-woman “pro-lifer” by their stands on various issues. Those who are anti-woman, rather than simply pro-life stop caring about the fetus once it is born; childhood healthcare, education and housing are seen as irrelevant after the child leaves the womb (after all, what is the point of protecting life if it doesn’t have the side benefit of controlling women). Anti-woman “pro-lifers” are often against contraception, because come on, allowing women to avoid unwanted pregnancies couldn’t possibly lower the numbers of abortions. The third, and most direct, way to identify an anti-woman “pro-lifer” is to look for those who talk of protecting zygotes while disrespecting the lives of functioning human beings; terrorists who bomb abortion clinics, politicians who propose sadistic requirements for women to obtain abortions, and those who are willing to cut funding for vital health services in order to limit access to abortions are just a few examples of people who fall into this category.

The current war on women’s rights to control their bodies and health care can be symbolized perfectly by the recent committee run by Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA). In this committee, we find a bunch of old, predominantly white and religious, men deciding whether women should have the right to have easy access to contraception; despite requests from Democrats, committee chair Issa has refused to allow even a single woman to testify. This situation is emblematic of the entire pattern of regressive men believing that they have the right to control the bodies of women.

Since the elections of 2010, the state and federal legislatures have been flooded with anti-woman bills and amendments to bills. While it is not unusual for states and the federal legislature to field several anti-abortion bills per legislative session, the number of such bills proposed during this session has increased by over 10-fold. These bills run the gamut from intrusive and petty to morally repugnant but they all have the common goals of reducing access to safe abortions or punishing women who have abortions.

On the intrusive and petty side of the spectrum, we have bills that increase waiting times, mandate “counseling” with anti-abortion groups, or spread disinformation about the side effects of abortion. By increasing the logistical difficulty of actually getting an abortion, those who wish to stop the procedure from occurring will try to dissuade women from actually going through with the process. The petty or obstructive tactics, such as the 2011 waiting period law instituted in South Dakota, are particularly obstructive to lower income/resource women; these women are less likely to have the resources to go through a long and resource consuming procedure. Obstructive tactics are used by virtually all “pro-life” activists, regardless of whether they are anti-woman or simply pro-life.

Anti-women activists have gone above and beyond simply obstructing abortion access in many cases over the past legislative session. There are a number of truly repugnant bills that have been proposed in various legislatures: Legalizing the killing of abortion doctors (Kansas), criminalizing miscarriages if the woman cannot prove natural causes (Georgia), mandating unnecessary and penetrative ultrasound procedures for all abortion procedures (Virginia) and even redefining rape (Federal) are example of the most heinous attempts to attack women’s rights. These bills are nothing more than attempts to punish women and doctors who refuse to be intimidated into following the wishes of the small, albeit powerful, minority that wishes to reduce their rights.

Arguably the worst and most clear example of anti-woman legislation in recent years (And, as described above, there has been some serious competition) was the federal level “Protect Life” Act. Possessing a stunningly Orwellian name, this bill would allow any hospital to not only refuse to perform a LIFE SAVING abortion, but to refuse to send the woman onto another hospital; women would literally be allowed to die in the streets, along with their unborn fetuses. How would this bill “protect life” when it expressly leads to the death of both mother and unborn child?

The only recent bill that could possible contest the “Protect Life” Act in terms of its extremity is the Virginia state bill (SB484) that would mandate trans-vaginal ultrasounds as a requirement for all abortions; this procedure is highly invasive, medically unnecessary, and would be mandated in all cases, regardless of the situation. As the FBI officially defines rape as “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim”, this bill arguably mandates the rape of all women who are to get abortions in VA. There would be no age, medical necessity, or rape exceptions to this law (too bad if you are an underage rape victim with an ectopic pregnancy; you are forced to endure thus medically unnecessary procedure regardless) and it only serves to attack women who are availing themselves of a constitutionally protected procedure.

For those of you who wish to thank the VA legislature for its heartwarming concern for zygotes everywhere, even at the expense of thinking humans, you can find links to each of this bill’s sponsors at the following link: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?121+mbr+SB484

While anti-choice policy has been the preferred medium for anti-woman crusaders to push their agenda, it appears that contraception is the next battleground. The recent fight over contraception’s inclusion into insurance policies, free of charge, appears to be the start of a new battleground for anti-women activists to wage war. This situation is still evolving and hopefully will be abandoned quickly. Contraception is very popular and, as I seriously doubt that people will simply stop having sex, attacking contraception is an obviously losing argument. Hopefully this situation will resolve itself over time, but we must pay attention to it lest we get blindsided.

I only hope that women in the USA wake up and realize that there is a group of crazy, old white men, called the Republican Party, trying to roll back the 21st century. Whether they are attacking women, oppressing minorities, or keeping the poor from advancing, these right wingers are organized, well-funded and highly motivated. Women and sane men must get organized and try to push back the tide of oppression and insanity before it is too late.

Monday, February 13, 2012

No Democracy in Michigan?

By Josh Sager

One situation that has flown largely under the national radar is that of the unprecedented attacks on local democracy by the governor of Michigan. The 2011 expansion of the assigning of “Emergency Financial Managers” by Governor Snyder has led to a near complete degradation of local democracy in some locales MI.

The basic premise of an emergency financial manager is that where there is a severe budget deficit or financial emergency, an emergency manager can be put in charge of a city, town, or school district. In the past, emergency managers have been appointed over school districts and given broad discretionary powers to control spending; in 2011, the Snyder administration massively expanded the powers and reach of emergency managers, while reducing oversight, accountability, and the requirements for a locale to be put under financial martial law.

Under the new financial martial law legislation, an “emergency financial manager” can be appointed over any locale which is declared to be in a state of “financial emergency”; a very wide distinction that could be as simple as a single year where there is a substantial budget deficit. The emergency financial manager has broad powers yet virtually no accountability. They have the ability to relieve elected/appointed officials from duty, cut programs, summarily dissolve contracts between the state and other entities (unions, pensions, etc.) and sell off publicly owned goods to private entities. In compensation for their work, emergency managers are paid up to several hundred thousand dollars a year, something that is odd considering the fact that they are paid by “struggling” areas in need of emergency management.

These managers are appointed by the executive branch of the state, thus are not elected or accountable to the citizens of the state; they have no conflict of interest rules, nor are they accountable to any state or federal agency.

Perhaps the best characterization of the entire Michigan financial manager situation was stated by Lou Scimmel, emergency manager of Pontiac: When asked whether the EFM law in Michigan appointed tyrants over the population in an interview with local media, Schimmel answered “I guess I'm the 'tyrant' in Pontiac then if that's the way it is”. Regardless of whether a financial manager can improve a city’s financial status, the fact remains that the state government has taken virtually all power from local elected officials.

Apparently, with the entire furor over the White House “czars” (a media created moniker for policy advisors), the public has missed out on the fact that Snyder has begun appointing literal Czars over MI cities. A Czar was an unelected bureaucrat given virtually absolute power over a locale in pre-USSR Russia; an emergency financial manager is merely a Czar under a different name and in a different country.

The primary problem with the appointment of EFMs over cities is that they destroy the entire idea of democracy wherever they are appointed. Local elections are absolutely meaningless in the face of an emergency manager; elected officials have their decision making powers revoked and are sometimes summarily dismissed. The destruction of democracy is purely Un-American and creates massive disenfranchised areas. Democracy may be inconvenient and slow to work, but governance by dictate, as has been instituted here, is not consistent with American values.

As poorer areas are more likely to suffer budget issues, thus are more likely to be taken over, the poor are disproportionately disenfranchised. By virtue of living in a poor neighborhood large swathes of the MI population have control over their city taken away. Cities such as Pontiac, Flint, and Benton Harbor are currently under the control of emergency managers; these cities are all majority poor, but they are also majority ethnic minority, demonstrating the situation where black Americans have suddenly lost a great deal of power in MI elections. Detroit could potentially be put under financial martial law during early 2012 and if this happens, 51% of all black Americans in MI would be under emergency management. Regardless of whether this racial disenfranchisement is intended or not, it is imminent and discriminatory in an unacceptable manner.

A secondary, but vital issue is that emergency managers can be used to push an ideological agenda against the will of the people. Emergency managers can unaccountably cut pensions, nullify union contracts, defund local programs, and sell public goods into privatization; as most of these policies are unpopular with the public, officials who want to push this agenda must weigh their views against the electoral backlash. Emergency managers are appointed, not elected, thus they can do unpopular things without worrying about public opinion. After all, why would the “Tyrant of Pontiac” worry about the little people whose union contract he destroys, health benefit he cuts, or schools he closes. He gets paid regardless of public outrage, and better yet, the guy who appointed him is shielded from backlash. As the governor appoints these managers, he can use them to do unpopular thing without dirtying his hands.

Do we live in a country where our elected officials can appoint local dictators and nullify our votes in certain elections? No, we live in the USA, where democracy is supposed to decide public policy and officials. Dictatorship is un-American and cannot be tolerated no matter whether the dictator agrees with you or not; next time, when power swings, the appointed Czar may not be so agreeable and there will be nothing you can do to stop him. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Are You a Republican?

By Josh Sager

As an ongoing project of mine, I am compiling a series of Republican characteristics to be put into a blue-collar comedy style Republicanism test. Anybody who has suggestions to add to this list, please reply in the comments section with the sentence and the name that you want the idea credited to.

You may be a Republican if you ________________
  1. Find yourself to be perpetually on the wrong side of science
  2. Are constantly defending leader who are “just taken out of context” when they say something ignorant or racist.
  3. Believe that the USA is a Christian nation and all other religions are simply allowed to exist due to your munificence.
  4. Believe the right to free speech can be abridged if the person is saying something that you don’t like, but the right to bear arms is absolute.
  5. Believe that next time the money will actually trickle down to you.
  6. See little problem with a man who has had multiple affairs and/or divorces pontificating upon the sanctity of marriage; or at least the immorality of granting some people the right to marry the first time.
  7. Consider Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or Bill O’Reilly to be an authority in anything but character assassination and the use of nonsense to combat factual arguments.
  8. Believe that spending only what the entire rest of the world does combined on our military poses a dire risk to our national security.
  9. Believe corporation to be people with guaranteed rights, while believing that some people are not to be afforded their guaranteed rights.
  10. Are pro-life and believe that every human being is to be considered priceless, but only until they are born; then they can fend for themselves and you don’t want to pay for their upbringing.
  11. Idolize the constitution, but want to alter it to discriminate against homosexuals and don’t care when any amendment but the second is violated.
  12. Don’t understand why those liberals are so upset about torture.
  13. Believe that the earth is 6000 years old and that we don’t need to take care of it in the face of industrialization.
  14. Believe that the mainstream media is just biased against you and that Fox News is the only balanced news source.
  15. Are able to forget that the policies that you are now fighting were your own position less than a year ago; the only thing that has changed is that the other side is now supporting them.
  16. Want government to keep its hands off of your Medicare or Social Security.
  17. Self-identify as a Christian but can’t stand liberal, hippie ideals such as: redistribution of wealth, clothing the poor, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, or turning the other cheek.
  18. Believe colleges to be bastions of liberal indoctrination to be avoided.
  19. Think it is fair that Warren Buffett’s secretary pays more in taxes than he does.
  20. Fail to see the correlation between the widespread cutting of teachers’ salaries and the rapid decline in quality of the US educational system.
  21. Are willing to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters for the terrible crime of voting against you.
  22. Believe that Acorn (even though it no longer exists), Planned Parenthood, NPR, and Medicaid account for a significant percentage of the deficit.
  23. Fail to see the cognitive disconnect between being pro-life while at the same time being pro-death penalty.
  24. Are willing to spend massive amounts of money to invade and destroy countries but are unwilling to dedicate at least the same amount of money to rebuild ours.
  25. Would rather allow amoral corporations to control society than to find the best, although inevitably flawed, elected officials to represent you.
  26. Find yourself hating things that you only understand in the most limited of manners; you hate them because your leader tells you to rather than any objective personal knowledge.
  27. Believe that Obama and the current Democratic Party are socialist leftists.
  28. Believe that the only “real” Americans are the people who look and act like you. Everybody who isn’t a “real American” is, by default, immoral and after your tax money.
  29. Credit the current economic plight of the USA to ObamaCare and unions rather than to Republican tax cuts, wars, and deregulation.
  30. Consider all money to be speech, unless that money comes from George Soros, unions, or simply those making less than $1 million a year.

Scoring System
0-3 characteristics = nobody’s perfect
4-10 characteristics = you may be experiencing AFNC [Acute Fox News Poisoning]. Don’t
worry as this is treatable given time and a steady diet of facts; I suggest that you begin reading reporting from ThinkProgress to balance out your Fox News consumption until you are able to go cold turkey on Fox.
11-20 characteristics = I seriously doubt that anything I can say to you will change your mind on
any of the pertinent issues but I would hope that you eventually come to your senses; hopefully before you find yourself poor, jobless and guilty over the part you played in the decay of America.
21+ characteristics = I would not be at all surprised if you had portraits of Ayn Rand, Dick
Cheney, Joseph McCarthy and Roger Ailes tattooed on your posterior; I would also hazard a guess that you are terribly lost if you find yourself reading this post.