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‘Please Do Not Feed the Animals’: Oklahoma GOP Compares Food Stamp Recipients to Park Animals

In a since-deleted Facebook post, the Oklahoma GOP offered a "lesson" by comparing the distribution of food stamps to 46 million Americans to a policy of the National Park Service to discourage the public from feeding animals "because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

In America, we have a very crude understanding of social welfare programs. For most Americans, anything the government gives to its people (i.e., us) to keep us healthy, fed and educated, is a “handout” to lazy people who don’t deserve it.

Helping each other, using our tax money for us, as does most of the civilized world, is somehow wrong. In America, we’d prefer you starve to death, quietly if possible, as the rest of us are binge watching Netflix whilst eating Doritos.

Doritos we worked for, dammit. Albeit at our minimum wage jobs at Walmart, but whatever.

And with that, welcome to that rotting greenish boil head otherwise known as Oklahoma, where the Republican Party compared Americans receiving food stamp benefits to park animals fed by the public.

In the since-deleted Facebook post, the Oklahoma GOP offered a “lesson” by comparing the distribution of food stamps to 46 million Americans to a policy of the National Park Service to discourage the public from feeding animals “because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”

Party Chairman Randy Brogdon offered a faux-apology in another Facebook post: “I offer my apologies for those who were offended – that was not my intention.”

Which is hilarious and clear proof he was dropped on his head as a child by his alcoholic mother, because of course it is obvious that comparing needy people to animals is offensive to absolutely everyone. Even a park animal could see that.

This also isn’t the first time the GOP has compared Americans to animals. In 2014, South Dakota Senate candidate Dr. Annette Bosworth’s posted a nearly identical post to her Facebook campaign page:





FUN FACT: A very large percentage of food stamp recipients are children (“cubs”), the elderly, and disabled people. Maybe it’s time to thin the herd.

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Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren spent a year in Iraq as a State Department Foreign Service Officer serving as Team Leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). Now in Washington, he writes about Iraq and the Middle East at his blog, We Meant Well. His new book is We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books).

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