Gullibility is a failure of rudimentary social intelligence in which a person is easily and often tricked and manipulated into taking ill-advised courses of action. Gullible people suffer from credulity which is a seemingly wanton desire to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence and are generally in the same class of people including very young children, very old people, and the developmentally disabled. One can confidently say that Republican voters are gullible by choice regardless of their age, intelligence level, or academic background and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is counting on their credulity to win re-election in November.
It is beyond dispute that Republicans take advantage of their supporters’ stupidity, and Brownback must believe Kansas voters are the stupidest people in the nation according to his campaign website. Brownback has the temerity to boast that his nonexistent economic achievements have elevated Kansas’ economy to nation-leading heights and promised that his “administration has accomplished this and so much more in my first term as Governor.” He ended by appealing to voters to “Help me stand up for Kansas against an over-reaching federal government. Join Lt. Governor Colyer and I (sic) today.”
It is unlikely there are many Kansans who are unaware of the “fiscal catastrophe” the state is experiencing due to Brownback’s tax cuts. They are so severe the state’s school system is in a severe crisis, ratings agencies have issued several credit downgrades, and the healthcare system is in tatters due to privatization. Interestingly, Brownback actually told Kansas residents his brilliant “red state economic model” was founded on principles that were not “the kind detectable by ratiocination.” He said in a speech in 2013 that his economic acumen is not based on “mental principles, but things that connect through the heart.”
Even gullible Republican voters cannot deny, whether their hearts like it or not, that squandering a budget surplus on tax cuts for the rich and corporations coupled with a billion-plus dollars in more cuts has wreaked havoc on the people and put the Kansas’ financial status on the fast track to bankruptcy. Still, Brownback is confident that despite the state’s nation-leading economic disaster, he can simply tell voters that everything is wonderful if they will only disregard mental principles of a thirty-year failed Republican economic agenda and connect with Brownback through their hearts. That, and just trust that Brownback’s economic policies are a raging success at “growing the Kansas economy.”
That was one of the main headings on Brownback’s campaign website and obviously he assumes people suffering under his typically Republican economic agenda are unaware that Kansas’ economy is not leading the nation. Part and parcel of Brownback’s storied “red state model” economic agenda was following trickle-down champion Arthur Laffer’s instructions to Republican legislators that if they slashed taxes for the rich and reduced the state’s revenue, the state would be awash in new revenue. Now that the state has suffered several credit downgrades due to a lack of revenue, over a hundred current and former Republican leaders have endorsed Brownback’s Democratic opponent and warned Kansas residents that Brownback’s tax cuts will bankrupt the state within two years if not sooner. It is what Brownback’s campaign calls growing the Kansas economy.
Brownback must believe Kansans are the most gullible people in the nation because he claimed that because he “decreased taxes for all Kansans, Kansans naturally have more money in their pockets in 2014.” It is doubtful his assertion will ring true with voters who know full well Brownback’s claim is a filthy lie. They may be ignorant and likely very gullible, but Kansans who are not wealthy are very aware they do not have more money to spend and it is due to the disastrous tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
It is true Brownback cut taxes to the bone for the wealthy and corporations, but for the great majority of Kansans there is less money to spend because their tax liability increased. Why? Because while the rich and corporations enjoy tax cuts, most Kansans across the state are paying much higher local and property taxes to make up for the state’s revenue shortfalls starving schools, shutting down the courts, and forcing prisons to operate with woefully insufficient guards.
Brownback claims his tax cuts were solely to boost state revenue, help corporations, and demonstrate to the rest of America how the perfect “red state economic model” can be enacted successfully at the federal level. However, as Kansas residents have experienced firsthand, the goal was starving the government of revenue. One of Brownback’s conservative cohorts in the state’s legislature admitted the only purpose of outrageous tax cuts was to enrich the wealthy and reduce revenue to chop the government down to size; likely to drown it in a bathtub. It is precisely why Republicans at the national level are desperate to control Congress and enact Brownback’s government-killing tax cuts at the federal level.
Astonishingly, national Republicans are not even concealing their intent to follow Brownback’s “red state model” anymore. It was blatantly evident in statements from Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan that winning control of Congress means Republicans can “go after the federal government, all of it;” including as Ryan says putting a “stop to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,” and anything remotely considered “an entitlement.” Even more astonishingly, there are millions of gullible Americans who will vote for Republicans despite having a clear vision of precisely what that Kansas red state model means for the American people and the economic future of the United States.
It is going to be interesting to see how the people of Kansas react to their governor’s assumption that they are so gullible, and in fact stupid, to believe that his fiscal catastrophe is really a brilliant economic achievement. Although reports reveal that Kansas voters are paying attention and are not happy with the governor, he does still have a secret campaign weapon in his arsenal; the fetus. Brownback made a name for himself as a champion of the Christian morality crowd and regardless of how bad a state’s economy or people suffer, they will rush to support even a walking economic disaster if he invokes the religion that depends on gullibility nearly as much as Republican politicians.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.