Reparations? Student Loan Forgiveness? Those are
‘John Offers’

I admit it. I’m not proud of it but over the years, in my household a certain concept has been employed and even named for me by my wife and son—a “John offer”.

A “John offer” is an offer or invitation that you know in advance you won’t have to make good on. When I invite my wife’s sister and her family over for an evening barbeque when I know they have tickets to the ballgame that night . . . that’s a “John offer.”

If it is successful, you get all of the benefits of the invite without any of the pain of actually having to do it. It can be a glorious thing!

I mention this because recently my wife asked, “What’s up with all this talk of reparations coming from California—a place that wasn’t even a slave state?”

I answered without hesitation, “That’s a ‘John offer’ from Gavin Newsom.” 

You see, Newsom has dreams of becoming president, but to do so he’s going to have to step over—or on—Kamala Harris. There’s no other way.

That probably is not going to go down real well with a lot of the black population—kicking the black woman to the curb and replacing her with a wealthy, privileged white guy is not the way to win these folks to your side.

Enter $223,200 in reparations—a classic “John offer.” Newsom can claim the mantle of trying to give black folks—without whom no Democrat has a chance in hell of winning the White House—almost a quarter of a million dollars each! If you are these folks, what’s not to like?

Sure, the odds of this ever happening are slim but just like a classic “John offer,” it’s a winner no matter what. He can claim credit for trying—and blame those racist Republicans for fighting it—whether it happens or not. And if by some miracle it does happen, he gets credit there. And of course, it’s other people’s money so what concern is it of his?

In more of the same vein, California is expanding its program of paying pregnant black women. Whether it sticks around long-term or not, it’s a win—win with other people’s money.

What do you think Joe Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness—for them, not us—is at its core? A classic “John offer.” He gets all of the benefits of the offer when the odds are overwhelming it will never see the light of day. Then he can blame those rascally, hateful MAGA Republicans for not allowing it to proceed.

And if lightning strikes and it does happen, he gets the credit and it doesn’t cost him a dime!

And since politics is more often about money and power than Right versus Left, both sides are active practitioners. Remember when the House Republicans voted to overturn ObamaCare—like over 50 times? Of course, they knew it would die in the Senate and if by some incredible chance it happened to pass, Obama would have vetoed it. Classic “John offer.” 

And to prove my point, once Republicans had control of the House, Senate, and presidency all you got was crickets—even though the president begged for them to send him something. Those of us who thought the Republicans were serious about this were just as naïve as those black folks waiting for their reparations checks today—as Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite might say, “Vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true.”

Looking at politics from this perspective, damn near everything that goes on in politics is a “John offer” one way or the other. And “we the people” are saps for being this stupid—over and over and over again.

About John Conlin

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change. He holds a BS in Earth Sciences and an MBA, and is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education. He has been published in American Greatness, The Federalist, The Daily Caller, American Thinker, Houston Chronicle, Denver Post, and Public Square Magazine among others.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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