The War on Memes: Let’s focus on the economy, people

A few months ago, conservatives sought to gain politically by going after the contraceptive mandate implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services. This immediately became an issue of religious liberty for conservatives because it would have required religious institutions to cover contraceptives even if it was against their teachings.

Thanks to some rather nutty comments by Rick Santorum, who openly questioned the use of contraceptives, Democrats were able to spin the issue into a so-called “war on women.” The situation was exacerbated thanks to comments by Rush Limbaugh aimed at Sandra Fluke, who had argued that taxpayers should fund contraceptives. Even though Fluke’s reasoning was flawed, taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize her contraceptives, Limbaugh’s comments were completely unnecessary and wrong.

The strategy was successful in the short-term, as wedge issues usually are. However, it eventually backfired on them when Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative, said that Ann Romney, wife of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, had never worked a day in her life.

Romney took to Twitter to defend herself, setting off a firestorm that caused Rosen to later apologize. The argument from conservatives is that Democrats are waging a “war on stay-at-moms,” largely silencing Democrats on the issue and swinging momentum back to Republicans — at least temporarily.

On Tuesday evening, this “meme war” between liberals and conservatives was escalated thanks to the revelation that Barack Obama, as a kid, tried dog meat. This paricularly meme was apparently the result of a David Axelrod taking a subtle dig at Mitt Romney. And just like that #ObamaDogRecipes was born on born on Twitter.

With polls showing that social and cultural issues standing low on voters’ radar, you’d think that the economy would be the focus on both sides. But since Obama has no real record to run on, resorting instead to a blame game to explain away his failures and conservatives apparently still believe that wedge social issues are a winning formula; voters are almost assured that neither party is prepared to be open and honest with them in the upcoming election.

Of course, this is broadly speaking. There are certainly members of each party in Congress that are truly concerned about the economy, which polls indicate is the most pressing issue facing the country. But sadly, they are few and far between.

It’s hard to take any politician or talking head seriously over the cacophony of stupidity that comes to us on social media and in the news, and this isn’t limited to any one side. Most Americans don’t care about about the other side’s “war on [insert group here]” when unemployment and gas prices remain high.

If you’re a blogger, no matter your political or philosophical persuasion, and you’re keeping up with the “Meme of the Day,” kindly get back to what matters in this election and stop deviating to issues that otherwise don’t matter to voters.


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