It is clear that the Republican Party can now only win elections in moderate to progressive districts through voter disenfranchisement, cheating and wedge issues.
Wedge issues are fabricated issues solely designed to steer voters away from the real issues of our country and the best interests of the voter. There are numerous issues that can be classified as wedge issues including abortion, gay marriage / rights, immigration, gun control and the death penalty.
The modus operandi for these wedge issues is to use voter’s bigotry and fears or to take a select phrase from the Bible and use it to divide a segment of the voter base. Groups that would normally vote for the Democratic Party are now torn between what is right and their deep seeded bigotry.
Since the highly controversial decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973, the Republican Party has promised the voters that at first chance they would overturn this decision. Republicans have had full control of the executive and legislative branches from 2001 – 2007 and there wasn’t even an inking that they were going to overturn it. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito sat on the court a full two years giving conservatives the edge on the bench and of course nothing happened. Why not? If the Supreme Court overturns this case making abortion illegal, it will be one less wedge issue the Republicans have to lure voters to their side. This issue is also their strongest issue and to lose it would be detrimental to the party.
The same holds true for gay marriage. This recent wedge issue threatens homophobic people to forget the real issues of the day in favor of stopping the ‘big bad gay threat’. This wedge issue works, for example, as many African-Americans (a traditionally strong Democratic bloc) vote Republican in order to protect the ‘anti-gay movement’ using the Bible as a reference point. Interestingly, this issue does absolutely nothing but promote hatred and fear as it doesn’t prevent gays and lesbians from living together and from enjoying a complete life together. The only thing they can not do is marry so why should anyone care? It’s not like the heterosexual marriage is anything to brag about when over 50% of marriages end in divorce, which by the way is another Republican wedge issue designed to target anyone they want to smear in order to get the ignorant vote (liberal media, Hollywood / New York / San Francisco values).
The newest wedge issue began to take shape recently when still-President Bush spoke at Israel’s Knesset and invoked a Hitler reference and said anyone who spoke to terrorist leaders were appeasers. The group targeted here is the Jewish vote. Jews have traditionally been huge progressives and overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Party. The issue is designed to make Jews question whether the Democrats are truly concerned about Jews and Israel. The reason for this wedge issue is to target expected swing states Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Nevada. Initial polls indicate that this has not begun to work. Give it time, it is still early.
The Driving the Wedge series will be a multi-blog series that should carry itself through the general election in November. We will periodically address a different issue. Feel free to request a wedge issue to be featured.
The first installment will be ‘Vote for the Democrats and they’ll take your guns away from you’.