Why do Republicans talk about "opportunity" when they don't seem to know what it means?
If you’ve been on YouTube in the past few weeks, you might have noticed a series of ads by a group called, Opportunity Lives. The ads are designed to explain what Republicans are all about. “This is what Republicans believe,” the easy-going, laid-back female narrator explains.
Their website, www.opportunitylives.com is a defense of all things Republican, and is intent on trying its very best to re-brand a party that has fallen into the land of the crazy at best and the completely insane at worst.
What becomes immediately evident just by looking at the name of the site is that the Republican Party is determined to catch and reel in its floundering and increasingly diminishing base with the term opportunity as its bait. In fact, the site contends that “opportunity” is the one word uniting republicans running for president.
“If everyone just had more opportunity, then wages would all go up, maybe, and there would be no need to raise the minimum wage, or to talk about raising it.” – Scott Walker
Really, Scott Walker? Is that why you shut down collective bargaining rights in your state, for more opportunity for the Wisconsin worker?
“We need to create economic opportunity for every American, especially middle class families and those trying to rise out of poverty.” – Jeb Bush
Ok. So how do you intend to go about doing that, Jeb? Do we go right on back to the well of Trickle Down Economics and let the rich keep getting richer while the shrinking middle class and the poor stay right where they are?
“The solution to income inequality is opportunity, not entitlement.” –Ben Carson
No, Ben. The solution to income inequality is income equality. Try putting more money into the pockets of the poor instead of rigging the system so that the rich get even fatter off the backs of the working poor and shrinking middle class.
You can certainly make an argument that more jobs instead of handouts is the answer, but this current system is not set up to reward the single mother who is forced to work two jobs just to put food on the table and clothes on the backs of her children; it’s set up to have her become the first to go if the corporation she works for needs to make a first round of cuts. In other words, she’s not too big to fail, and she should be.
The system needs an overhaul; it doesn’t need the word opportunity thrown at is as though some abstract, five syllable word were going to solve the nation’s problems. A word just isn’t going to get it done. Until the cog of the Beltway begins to turn in the direction of actual plans for progress, the sounds coming out of the politician’s mouths are going to sound more and more like Charlie Brown’s teacher to those of us who are struggling to make the ends meet.
The Republican way is to assure those who have money that they will be able to keep more of it. The Republican way is not about how to develop a system of living in which everyone can contribute and can expect to receive a comfortable living wage in return.
The word opportunity is one you’re going to hear a lot this coming presidential election cycle; you’re going to hear it coming from both sides of the isle. But it’s not going to mean the same thing to the Republicans that it does to the Democrats.
Opportunity used to mean the same thing to all Americans, regardless of which side of the aisle your political leanings had you tilting toward. Opportunity was a word that was fueled with the petrol of high-octane hope. When politicians tossed that word around during a campaign, they at least had the courtesy to kiss you with a plan of how their policies would bring it your way before they screwed you with the reality that they never intended to follow through on their promises in the first place.
These days, Trump, Bush, Walker and their fellow pretenders to the Republican front-running throne can say a five syllable word like opportunity, but they can’t give you word one about how they intend to get you there.