Liberal — the word itself makes most Louisianians cringe.
Congressmen Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry are using this negative connotation to their own advantages.
The former Republican allies are now vying for the same congressional seat as a result of redistricting, and the campaign, now a runoff, is getting dirtier by the day.
One Landry television ad in particular ended with the words “Boustany. Liberal.” in white, bold print on a solid black background, forever instilling this message into the spongey minds of viewers.
Boustany, as anyone with a mediocre sense of awareness knows, is not a liberal. He is a conservative and member of the Republican Party.
Landry is also a staunch conservative and a member of the Tea Party caucus.
So I guess if you zoomed in absurdly far on the Republican end of the political spectrum, Boustany would be slightly left of Landry.
Just a tee bit.
These two former allies have showed south Louisiana how to be a politician — being the best shit talker.
Their shared playbook is simple: make the other guy look more liberal by incessantly calling him one.
This phenomenon is by no means solely Republican. We’ve seen it from more Republicans recently simply due to the fact we have a Democratic incumbent as president.
We saw it during the Republican primaries, the perpetual game of who can appear the least liberal.
Why do these individuals, who share almost identical beliefs, partake in such dirty politics? Wouldn’t they be satisfied as long as a Republican occupied the seat?
The simple answer is no, because politics is first and foremost for the politicians, and if there’s time, the people.
Nothing matters for either Boustany or Landry besides getting elected. You must win to make change, and in order to win (in Louisiana), you have to call the other guy an Obamacare-loving, welfare-supporting socialist to the Leninth power.
The political attitudes of Americans are more polarized now than at any time in recent memory.
This is the problem that I have with both Boustany and Landry: by calling each other liberals, they become liars. They have a shared past, and they are both well aware of the other’s conservative views.
Then the question becomes, do we really want blatant liars representing us in Washington? Do we really want politicians who run down and dirty, mud-slinging, name-calling campaigns to represent more than 600,000 Louisianians?
If the worst they can do is call the other guy a liberal, how much do you think either candidate will be willing to work with actual liberals?
What does that say about us?
This is the reason Congress is in a state of perpetual stagnation. We elect representatives who believe being liberal is some sort of contagious disease.
It’s important that we elect representatives who are willing to work with other representatives from liberal or even socialist backgrounds, as well as other conservatives.
Congress is about compromise, not blocking the other guys from getting anything done.
As for Boustany and Landry, it doesn’t really matter which one gets elected. When it comes to voting, R means Republican.