Terry Paulson

In an effort to be less than constructive, here are eight sure-fire ways for Democrats to further alienate and enrage the citizens they’re supposed to serve. Hit-or-miss approaches in 2009 haven’t gone far enough, but with these ten helpful strategies, the sky is the limit.

Keep saying that you are concerned about the deficit and brag about your efforts to save millions while continuing to spend trillions. When anyone takes a stand for “pay-as-you-go,” chastise them for being heartless. You don’t get elected for cutting spending; you get elected for giving goodies to those who elected you.

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Even though the richest 5% already pay 60% of the income taxes, keep saying they don’t pay their “fair share.” By fueling voter envy, you’ll help Americans justify making the rich pay for everything they can’t afford themselves. By keeping them greedy and dependent, you’ll have their vote.

Bribery is illegal for everyone else, but remind voters that special deals and costly earmarks are the only way to get things done in politics. Don’t let ethics get in the way. Treating certain states and constituencies differently and providing special exceptions is what politics is about. To the winners belong the spoils.

Push crisis every day in every way. Seeing threatened polar bears running out of ice and dying patients without coverage makes for heart-wrenching video. Even though new healthcare benefits won’t be available for four years and more polar bears are dying in computer-modeled projections than in real life, fears and tears justify transformational change. With any luck, you can make the changes before anyone realizes how much they will cost.

Keep your laws complex, wordy and secret for as long as possible. Don’t worry! Most Americans have a short attention span and an inability to look at anything in depth. Feed your supportive media some reassuring sound bites and release the full text as late as possible to give the illusion of transparency.

Keep reminding Americans that it’s Republicans who want to control their lives. They want to control a woman’s body, deny gays the right to marry and impose their religious values. This distracts voters from efforts to force them to buy health insurance, pay higher taxes, control their carbon footprint and regulate everything they use.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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