Voting With Our Dollars

Supermarkets and ballots have a lot in common. So do buyers and voters. When we choose between Coke and Pepsi, we’re voting between them. That’s how Coke and Pepsi see it. That’s one of the reasons both Coke and Pepsi spend a literal fortune on advertising (despite the fact that everyone on the planet already knows what Coke and Pepsi are). To them, the election is every day. They see buyers as people voting via their cola choice. Literally voting with dollars.

Candidates aren’t quite like colas. They’re not just different flavors. They really can be different everything. At present, the difference between voting for a Democrat vs voting for a Republican (buying what they’re selling) is the difference between putting a meal on the family table and burning the whole house down with the family starving to death inside it.

To the GOP’s credit, they’ve always understood advertising. They know from experience that a good message will trump the truth. Americans especially really will buy bullshit by the bucket; ya just have to pitch it as us properly. Remember “Mission Accomplished”?

Mission Accomplished?

What mission was that exactly? What had we “accomplished” at that moment? Bamboozling ourselves doesn’t count. When historical moments become painfully ironic? That’s a bad thing.

But, as the Republican Party also knows, if you’re miles away when the sucker discovers they’ve been suckered? You’ve gotten away with it. And it’s on to the next sucker!

Money and power see America as a giant sucker. Neither money nor power likes democracy because every election is a theoretical crap shoot. Someone money and power don’t like could win – and make keeping money and power harder. Money and power don’t want that. They’ll spend lots of money and use their power to interfere with democracy whenever and however possible.

That’s them voting against democracy.

America: The Company Town

The right wing dreams of turning America into a giant “company town”. In their dream world, any pretense of citizenship would be pure kabuki. In reality, the Company would own everything. They’d pay just enough to keep everyone fed, housed and clothed. Of course, everyone would have to buy their food, housing and clothes from the company at whatever price the company wanted to charge us. It wouldn’t be unlike slavery.

That wouldn’t be a coincidence.

Florida’s Fatuous Fascist

Today’s Republican Party is not the party of Lincoln. In fact, the modern GOP is the Confederacy resurrected for one last Hail Mary – but with a deeply fascistic twist. Ron DeSantis is the poster boy for Christo-fascist white supremacy.

He’s turning Florida into an authoritarian showplace and vacation retreat.

That is, if you care to buy it.

As Ron and his Republican co-conspirators are about to learn the hard way (hard for everyone but hardest on Ron eventually), democracy, too, is a marketplace. Piss off the buyers enough and not only won’t they buy from you, they’ll go and buy from your competitor.

Americans don’t vacation as much as other people – we live to work whereas civilized nations work to live. But, when we do, we get to make choices. We get to choose WHERE we vacation. Florida relies heavily on a lot of people voting for Florida with their vacation dollars. Those aren’t the only outside dollars Florida craves and needs. Their state university system – like all state university system – relies on out-of-state students paying full fare. They rely on there being out-of-state students period.

Caveat Emptor

By the same token, big companies in Florida rely on attracting talent from outside of Florida TO Florida to live and work. But, Ron DeSantis has made Florida very inhospitable to huge chunks of America. Why would any talented LGBTQ person choose to relocate to a state that hates them so?

Why would any young woman choose to relocate to Florida to work or study? If she’s unfortunate enough to get raped, Florida will impose multiple limitations on her. It will limit her choices. Not just her vote as it were but even her right to vote at all. Why would any woman – or anyone – vote for or buy such a thing?

They wouldn’t. Not unless someone was bamboozling them.

The right wing is happy to boycott when they’re unhappy but they despise it when others boycott them. Wah! The democracy of the marketplace is the only democracy the right wing cares about.

The GOP’s Going-Out-Of-Business Sale

The democracy of the marketplace – and then democracy itself – is about to put the Republican Party out of business. For real.

Donald Trump (as he always does) said the quiet part out loud: when more people vote, Republicans lose. That’s why Republicans want to shut down the whole marketplace of democracy and turn us into the company town of their wettest wet dreams. That wet dream will become their worst case nightmare.

Here’s my marketplace prediction: it’s a good time to stock up on democracy. It’s about to be more plentiful than ever.

When the indictments start dropping in Georgia, they won’t stop – not at Georgia and not for a while thereafter. Georgia was just one of the nine states where Republicans ran phony elector schemes. What Fani Willis doesn’t indict and prosecute, Jack Smith will.

These indictments will begin zeroing in on elected Republicans. While a few may tough it out (at first), it only takes one person to flip before the entire Republican defense collapses. No one wants to be the last rat. This conspiracy touches virtually the entire Republican Party. But then, they knew even before they nominated Trump in 2016 that Putin owned him.

All of this terrible story – the fact that but for Russia Trump would never have been POTUS – is going to come out. Once the rats start turning, they won’t stop.

2024 will be brutal for the GOP. 2026 will be its historical end point. By then, the Republican Party brand will be the brand of corruption and racism and rot and misogyny and cruelty and treason. Their base won’t big enough to keep them in business.

As more elected Republicans succumb to the legal system, who will take their place? The GOP doesn’t have a bench. They have what’s stuck to the underside of the bench instead. Sure, Republicans will win in places where Republicans have one party rule. But, even those places will start to vanish. The trend toward democracy is going to pick up steam.

That’s because so many more Americans now realize not only that they have skin in the game but how much skin. Women, Latinos, Black people, Asian-Americans, Jews, LGBTQ people and especially Gen Z-ers are going to vote like their lives depend on it. When they experience political power, do you think they’re going to like it?

Of course they will! And as they see their votes begin to pay off with policies they want – and that improve their lives, they’re going to see democracy as an essential part of their lives.

Given the chance to experience democracy, most Americans love it and want to keep it. They want to buy it. Most importantly, they want to know that this fantastic product of ours will continue to be not just for sale but cheap and plentiful forever and ever.

And it will all start when we vote with our dollars.

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