Forget about soccer moms. The new demographic for the Republican presidential candidates to woo: animal murderers — whoops, I mean deer hunters.
According to The Huffington Post, women in Midwestern swing states with a fondness for “hunting rifles” are among the key populations for Romney and Ryan to bag this election season. HuffPo dubs them “Mrs. Deer Hunters” and notes that Paul Ryan “proudly proclaimed” in Michigan that he is himself a deer hunter.
I don’t get hunting. It’s not even a fair fight for the deer. As Paul Rodriguez said, “Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they’re in the game.” Ideally they should also be equally matched. Hunters have guns. What do deer have? On defense, they have running away, but that isn’t quick enough to escape a bullet. On offense, they’ve got pretty much squat. How often do you read about a deer attacking a hunter — and winning?
It is no defense to protest that some hunters eat what they kill. They don’t need to kill in order to eat. Millions of vegetarians and vegans have figured that out. So they must like the killing — maybe even get a “soul-deep” thrill out of it.
It doesn’t say much for the Republicans that they identify (or pretend to identify) with people who enjoy killing. It takes callous cruelty to enjoy injuring and killing innocent, aware beings, animals who do not want to die. Enjoying harming the helpless — come to think of it, that does echo much of the Romney/Ryan platform, like taking medical care, food, and even cash (in the form of higher and regressive taxes) away from the poor, who generally lack the resources to fight back. And gosh darn it if R&R don’t seem to get a kick out of that. If they can demonstrate to Mrs. Deer Hunters that the only difference between them is their prey, they will lock up those votes.
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