Context is an interesting thing; it can take a beautiful smile, and transform it into a sinister smirk. Context can make one action look like white, when it is actually black; turn something seemingly good into something bad; and force people to think beyond their usual limits. Context is extremely useful in politics; it provides a framework that makes people understand issues in a particular way. When taken out of context, issues become something more than just a political position; they become real. And when something becomes real, opinions often change.
The Texas legislature just passed a bill that would require unemployment beneficiaries to get drug screenings prior to receiving benefits.
According to the Associated Press:
“Workers who lose their jobs would have to clear a drug screening to qualify for unemployment compensation under a proposal approved by the Texas Legislature. Under current law, employers take out insurance policies to help laid-off workers survive on weekly payments of $62 to $440. Those who are fired for cause, including failing an employer-sponsored drug test, do not qualify. The changes approved Saturday would require laid-off workers to fill out state questionnaires. Answers considered suspicious would lead to drug tests. Workers who fail would lose their benefits.”
As expected, the Texas Democrats aren’t too happy: “Democrats have blocked a separate measure that would have required drug testing for welfare recipients.”
I was curious about this issue, and how many of my liberal friends would respond to the question of unemployment drug tests. I suspected–because I’m extremely cynical–that they would all respond in the same way: strongly objecting to drug screenings. So, I decided to ask. If anything, it would help me prove my long standing point that Liberals are lemmings. However, the results of my survey shocked me.
Out of everyone I asked, only one responded with a definite “no” on the drug screenings. The rest of the results were mostly “yes, they should be tested,” with some minor caveats.
I was caught completely off-guard by their answers. I was confused, and wondered why I was so wrong in my estimations. Then I figured it out: context. Taken out of context, the question that I asked was a fairly simple one, with a logical conclusion. Had I asked the same question within the parameters of Democrats versus Republicans, the answers may have been different. If I had asked the same question, indicating that most Democrats would strongly disagree with drug testing unemployment beneficiaries, the answer may have been entirely different.
Of course, this is speculation, but the pieces fit together. If I were to ask the same question of Democrat politicians, I know what their answers would be. So a new question is raised: why would elected Democrats say one thing, and regular Democrat voters say another? Shouldn’t they have the same, or similar, opinions? The answer is simple: politicians know how to play the game.
In the context of elected office, Democrat politicians know what they need to say to keep their constituents happy. Though many people on welfare and unemployment truly need the help, there are many deadbeats who are scamming the system. The Democrats know that if they came out in favor of drug screenings, they would lose the votes of those scamming the system. It’s a preemptive strike.
In conclusion: it seems that even though Democrat politicians are as corrupt as ever, average Democrat voters may not be as sheep-like as I had imagined. Based only on issues–taken out of political context–it appears that Liberals can be logical. I never thought I’d say it, but maybe there’s hope for half of our electorate.