by Denise Clay
Now while I understand that we’re all political geeks at this time in the political year, I also know you’re not as big of a political geeks as I am.
Because of this, I also recognize that while it might be a very good idea for you to watch gavel to gavel coverage of the political conventions and all of the speeches located within, you might want to blow off the Republican and Democratic National Convention clambakes in order to watch more stimulating television like, say, “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.”
But this year especially, I think that that you might want to keep your eyes trained on the one reality television show that we don’t as citizens watch nearly enough because it’s just a good idea to know what’s going on in your government and what’s up with the people who want to run it.
(Also, while it’s given us the great new word “Redneckognize”, watching a show like “Honey Boo-Boo” is the equivalent of eating a candied apple with a razor blade in it: the first bite is tasty, but as it goes down, it causes some really bad stomach problems.)
So in order to make sure you get the information you need to make informed decisions this election cycle,
I’ve organized an activity that everyone from scions of privilege with country club memberships to people who work part-time at WalMart and are in need of some amusement can do together.
What is it?
Well, it’s a Drinking Game!
But it’s not just any drinking game…no! It’s the Political Conventions Drinking Game.
Beginning with Tuesday’s night’s round of speeches, the texts of which the folks at the Republican National Committee have been kind enough to send to me, I’ve scanned for words, phrases and other talking points that produce a coherent message, but don’t really tell you much.
I’ve compiled the ones most often used throughout the various speeches and turned them into the RNC Drinking Game..
So…here’s how it works.
Whenever you hear a phrase like “family values” “American Exceptionalism”, “small government” “health care takeover”, or my personal favorites “tax cut”, “Ronald Reagan” and “Obamacare”, you are to take a swig of your favorite beverage.
We have even created a spotlight for the extremist views that get showcased at each convention because be believe that because those views are a part of the discourse, they should also be a part of the game.
For example, the Birther movement gets the spotlight this week. If someone says something that might be considered a “birther” position, you take a drink. If it’s a more overt “birther” thing, two drinks. An in-your-face, no doubt about it “birther” position, three drinks.
And if Donald Trump makes a birther comment, we consider it a wild-card. This means that if you want to grab that bottle of Jack Daniels’ Black and go hard with it, you have our permission…
Because these phrases and others will be flying fast and furious from now until the general election, I strongly suggest non-alcoholic beverages. I’ve been drinking Arnold Palmers’ (a combination of iced tea and lemonade) personally because, if the speech Paul Ryan gave on Wednesday night was any indication, the number of times he said “Obamacare” alone would have led to a nasty hangover.
But some of my friends that have been playing the game have been doing much harder beverages, so I’ve kind of encouraged them to maybe drink a half a glass instead of a full one.
(To be honest, I’m not sure how many of my friends were awake for Ryan’s speech. A lot of them were hitting the sauce kinda hard. In fact, one friend of mine admitted to me that she was “hammered” before Condoleezza Rice took the stage. One friend had started drinking the minute he turned on the television.)
Now why did I do this? Simple. I wanted folks to actually start thinking about the political messages they’re taking in through these conventions and the campaigns as a whole.
I tend to call the buzzwords that permeate our current political discourse “dog whistles”. That’s because like dog whistles, these words emit a sound that no one else can hear except those tuned to its frequency.
When it’s your dog hearing the whistle to come home, that’s a good thing. But when it’s a group of people using those words to disparage another group, not so much.
I want us all to be able to recognize when the “dog whistles” are being sounded, so I created a game that allows us to look for them. Maybe through taking them apart, we can talk about things like the true impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid, a responsible way to reduce the deficit that doesn’t do it on the backs of the middle class and the poor, education reform that makes EVERYONE involved in the process responsible, not just teachers, and ways to get to energy dependence that don’t involve war and further disturbing the fragile balance of nature.
Or at the very least, we can engage in some good libations and have some funny drunken YouTube worthy moments to share.
Sp rermember, since you can play this game up until the elections are over on Nov. 7, non-alcoholic beverages are key.
Your liver will thank you later….