Every once in a while I see a quote from a politician that is just so awful I cannot even fathom for a second that it is true (i.e. “grab ’em by the pussy”). That was my exact reaction when I saw a meme with this quote pop up in my news feed over and over again:
“This is an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative. I do not support a livable wage.” -Karen Handel, GOP Candidate GA6
So, I Googled and there it was. On video. I nodded in agreement as I listened to Jon Ossoff’s answer, a carefully crafted and perfectly sensible answer (he supports a living wage, but with increases paced to allow small business time to adapt and change without hurting their business) that fits the progressive narrative that I believe in as a marketer working for one of those businesses that would be gutted with an overnight increase to $15 per hour.
Then Karen Handel opened her mouth and uttered those now infamous words. At least she was honest? At least she nailed the very different between the right and the left on the head. The difference they adamantly deny when they insist that they are the party of the working class (laughable at best). But, there it was plain as day. The GOP does not support a living/livable wage. Why? Because they place the needs of businesses and corporations above the needs of the people that vote them into office. They place money before people and party before country.
The answer Ossoff gave provides a perfect balance of being pro business and pro people – yes, a living wage is needed and yes a plan that doesn’t hurt small business is needed as well. There is a way to balance both of these needs and he nailed it.
For far too long, we on the left have allowed the loud mouths on the right to dictate the narrative on who we as Democrats are and what we stand for. The GOP has taking our platform and twisted it to fit the fear mongering narrative that works so very well for them. They’ve found a way to capitalize on the fears and gullibility of voters and they use it each and every election cycle and it works just as beautifully as they had hoped.
We support a woman’s right to choose and we are baby killers. We support access to affordable healthcare and we are communists and socialists (which, they really should look up the definitions of both those words before they use them). We support sensible gun laws and suddenly we want to raid your homes and rip away your guns. We support a living wage and are anti-business.
None of these are true. Not one. And, we have to take back this narrative. Karen Handel has given us the perfect opportunity to do this. Her very words are the epitome of everything wrong with the GOP trying to take on the status of a party for American workers. Every single policy the GOP supports for businesses does not benefit small business, they are designed to continue lining the pockets of the largest corporations – diminishing Dodd-Frank helps big banks, but does nothing for small banks and credit unions. Rolling back anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws hurts small business trying to compete against the giants. And, not a single one of these help support American workers.
We saw how little these policies helped the American working and middle class in the 1980s under trickle down and Reaganomics. Not. One. Bit. The rich got richer. The poor got poorer. The middle class declined and is facing outright extinction.
Supporting a living wage is pro-business and it is pro-worker. Period.