"Arithmetic"

One word. We can sum up the message conveniently now.  In just one word. Thanks to former President Bill Clinton. He gave us not only a roadmap on how to win this election in a 45 minute "clinic".  He gave it to us as a monumental message, wrapped in a huge bow.  "Arithmetic."

That one word, warms my heart as an engineer. When the talking gets too loud and shouty, when it seems that  all the world makes no sense, when there are "your facts" and "my facts" and false equivalency, and opinion and spin, there is still one word that slices through that Gordion knot like a hot knife through butter.  A word few can argue with. It doesn't know passion, or artifice, or how to lie. Arithmetic.
How did Bill Clinton oversee the most successful economy in generations? Arithmetic. What are we falling behind in as a nation because Republicans are cutting education funding? Arithmetic.  What is the major flaw in the Ryan budget?  It doesn't add up.  Danged arithmetic again. It is the one thing Paul Ryan cannot escape.  The stubborn equation that must balance at the end of the day.  What caused the Bush deficit?  Tax cuts, two wars and the prescription drug program not paid for.  No adding on the revenue side to make up for the spending side.  Arithmetic again.

In a nation of math-phobics, the Romney Ryan message is working on folks too stressed, exhausted, and math phobic to really look at the numbers.  

But we all know what gets cut from somewhere must be made up for elsewhere, unless you have a magical faith-based thinking that denies how numbers work.  The kind of magical thinking like - womens's bodies can magically not get pregnant from "legitimate" rape. When you assume that the world is only a few thousand years old, despite the fact that there are rocks older than that. You have to deny arithmetic. Sadly, the Republicans are getting very good at it.  They are acting like many men condescendingly did for years to women like me. "Oh don't worry your pretty little head about that young lady, us big men will figure it all out for you. You aren't supposed to be good at math." Well, guess what. Our survival depends on understanding math, because we get paid 23 percent less than men for the same work.  We have to pay more with less.  Lilly Ledbetter did the math, and it pissed her off enough to fight.  

When we let others crunch the numbers, or just SAY they did, we abdicate responsibilty. Knowledge is power and understanding the numbers is key to this election.

There is a good reason calculators appear to be as scarce on the Romney Ryan Campaign trail as fact checkers.  

With aid to the poor they are relying on the loaves and fishes story where a few loaves of bread fed the masses rather than arithmetic.  But right now, the math doesn't add up.  The food pantry my Dad runs even though it is in a church, is running low on supplies.  The Republicans think that a thousand points of light will supply the food needed. But their math doesn't add up.  When they take from the middle class and poor who supply those pantries one donated canned ham at a time, they are subtracting from what should be available to feed the hungry.  They ignore the math.

When they try to say that tax cuts for the wealthy won't add to the deficit, they are either lying or they are terrible at math. Based on their utter disdain for education and science, it is may be the latter.  Which is why we can't hand these guys the country's checkbook again.  We just can't.  We already got downgraded because investors around the globe thought we would not pay the check we already rang up last year. A simple understanding of the math would have prevented that debacle.

HOWEVER, I would give the Republicans the benefit of the doubt if not for one thing.  Voter Suppression. They understand arithmetic enough to know who they have to keep away from the polls.  They are trying to use math to deny President Obama a second term at the same time they deny arithmetic when it comes to dollars.

The thing is, the math is on OUR side. We outnumber them as voters. We have the gender gap, the Latino gap, the Native American gap, the LGBT gap, the student gap, and the ENTHUSIASM gap, which was evident tonite as Dems enthusiastically threw their support behind our President. They may have more  money,  but we have more volunteer boots on the ground.  

Arithmetic. We should not be math phobic any longer.  As Bill Clinton pointed out so elegantly tonite, Arithmetic saved our economy before, and it will re-elect President Obama and save our economy again.  Especially when we add up all those Democratic votes.  

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