Republican thinking explained via Venn Diagram

24 Oct 2011 06:27 pm
Posted by: Donna

The Greg Stanton camp and Equality Arizona have denounced Wes Gullett’s campaign, and rightly so, for sending out a flyer only mentioning two of the many groups endorsing Stanton for Mayor of Phoenix – the AFL-CIO and Equality Arizona – and suggesting that those two endorsements make him unfit for office.

Dear Donna

When my husband announced his run for Mayor, he made clear his commitment to stand for all Phoenicians should he be given the opportunity to lead this great city. To Greg, all means just that: ALL. It includes rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, old and young and yes, gay or straight. So, I want to share with you how upset I am by the appearance of an ad sent out by a group supporting Wes Gullett, my husband’s opponent in the run-off election.

I say shame on Wes Gullett for permitting a group that supports him to send out a mailer suggesting that Equality Arizona’s endorsement is a reason NOT to vote for Greg.

In the spirit of my brother who has been gone 20 years ago next month, and whose short life included bullying and discrimination because of his sexual orientation, I condemn the hatefulness that is reflected in this pro-Gullett mailer.

Rest assured, win or lose, our family will ALWAYS stand with Equality Arizona to help secure, protect and defend the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I urge you to do the same. Yes, this issue is personal for me, and it needs to be personal for you, too.

With thanks for your support and sincere best wishes,

Nicole Stanton

This represents yet another flip flop for Mr. Gullett, akin to him being for or against getting federal funding for schools and First Things First depending on the audience he’s addressing. (Mitt, is that you?) Wes participated in the Equality Arizona Mayoral Forum a few months ago and sounded halfway decent on LGBT issues, coming out for civil unions, for gender neutral public restrooms, and against anti-LGBT bullying. But now he appears to be angling for the rabid reactionary Cathi Herrod vote (like he didn’t have a lock on it anyway) and bringing his gay hate on. Shame on him.

Maybe Gullett’s people think they can get away with this kind of craven, two-faced opportunism because they believe LGBT and straight people exist in mostly separate spheres and never or rarely interact with each other at all, let alone in a positive or mutually rewarding context. (This is not to say that everything is sunshine and roses. Bullying, hate crimes, and discrimination remain huge problems but attitudes are shifting in a good direction.)

This dichotomous (there’s a 10 dollar word for you) view is definitely prevalent in the sustained attack by Arizona Republicans on unions and public sector workers. Since the new Republican talking point on unions is that private sector unions are fine (yeah, right) but it’s those dastardly government unions that are the problem I’m going to assume that when Wes Gullett attacks the AFL-CIO endorsement, he is talking about AFSCME and police and fire unions, plus all government workers, union or not. These workers have been characterized as overpaid welfare queens by the likes of Sal DiCiccio and the Goldwater Institute people for months now.

Private sector workers are told these days, constantly, that they should deeply resent those fat lazy welfare mooching government teat sucking public sector workers because private sector wages and benefits have stagnated or even decreased over the past few years. Again, elite Republicans seem to have internalized the bizarre notion that there are private sector workers here and public sector workers there and never the twain shall meet.

Okay, so a Venn Diagram is, put simply, an illustration of the relationship between sets using circles. Here is how many Arizona Republican elected leaders, pundits, and “experts” seem to see the relationship between “public sector” and “private sector” workers:

venn diagram public private

Wow! That’s a lot of space between them! It’s like they don’t even know each other at all!

In the reality based world, however, these groups interact quite a bit. We live in communities alongside each other. We rely on each other, greatly, for the goods and services we need to get through our lives. Many people in the private sector, for example, send their children to these buildings called “public schools” where their children learn from these people called “teachers” who are *gasp* public employees! Sometimes something bad happens, like a car accident or a medical emergency. We then call these people called “first responders”. We tend to be glad when they arrive and not terribly concerned about their wages and pension plan when they’re prying us out of our twisted wreck of a car or saving us from a burning building. We like our first responders. A lot. We like teachers too. So a Venn Diagram reflecting a more accurate measurement of the situation would look something like this:

venn diagram public private 2

This might come as a huge bombshell to Sal DiCiccio, et al, but sometimes private and public sector workers become romantically entangled! Yes, it’s true. They’ve been known to date each other, marry, and even *gasp* reproduce little public-private hybrid babies! Seriously, I’ve often wondered what Sal would have me do if I, a private sector person, were married to a city cop. Am I supposed to hate my husband now? Resent his pay and benefits such that I want less money to come into our household and a poorer retirement for both of us? And if my fictitious cop husband and I had a gay child am I supposed to support Wes Gullett over Greg Stanton because not only is my kid gay but also only half-private?

At some point the politics of resentment has to stop working and we might (hopefully) be getting to that point with this “99%” movement.

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