How much confidence does a political Party exude when they only have a bumper sticker slogan for dealing with the complex issues we face as a nation?
As we approach the November elections were are faced with selecting a candidate from one of two Parties that seem more bent on propping up wealthy interests than with promoting an environment that focuses on fundamental fairness for all people. Clearly the GOP is more cast in this mold than Democrats and this seems evident in their approach in their efforts to win come November. We seem to hear less touting of their own candidate and his policies than we do of their negative campaigning against President Obama. Their hollow message is summed up in three words and plastered on bumper stickers and websites across this nation – “Anyone But Obama”.
This is a scheme that offers nothing more than a return to the status quo we bled from under George Bush and Republican majorities in the legislative branches. Restoring political power to a Republican Party that has been hijacked by extremists could easily result in a return, perhaps in spades, to policies that created our worst economic nightmare since the Great Depression nearly 85 years ago.
The extreme view they hold that all government is bad and only free markets can save us from ourselves is one that created the environment that allowed Wall Street to plunder the savings and investments of millions of people and ultimately causing the collapse of the economy. The GOP and Mitt Romney have no plans to reduce health care costs in this country or any intention of keeping risky speculative financial interests from engaging in ventures that prompted bailouts back in 2008. What they do have a plan for is to squeeze the middle class and the poor to pay more and more of the taxes that focus more on subsidizing private capital interests, leaving more for their profits to pay themselves and their stockholders. This is a condition that has steadily increased the income gap in this country over the last 30 years.
Mitt Romney has campaigned on his experience as a businessman, claiming he knows how to create jobs. Yet this country needs someone with more than mere business experience. Businesses focus on their bottom line and the interests of a few - their shareholders. Many like Romney also hold to the view that trickle down economics, that allows the rich to get richer, will pass on some of this wealth in the form of more jobs, better wages or a combination of both. Yet those Republicans who have won office lately have killed many pubic sector jobs that contributed to the economy and built up a strong middle class while showing little gains in private sector jobs.
People want to blame the President or praise him when the job reports come in each month but job creation in this country doesn’t rest solely at the feet of the federal government. How effective have GOP governors and legislatures been in creating sufficient jobs? Where some states have shown job increases they are too often of the quality that pays lower wages and has fewer benefits than in times past. Republicans reward so-called job creators by supporting policies that have seen many employers ship their industries to foreign job markets where people work for wages that barely meet subsistence levels for them.
” …one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts,evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country’s most pressing challenges.” - It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J.Ornstein
The GOP has also been more willing to allow wealthy business interests to conceal their tax revenue in off-shore accounts and both Parties continue to create loopholes in our tax system that allow some of the wealthiest people in this country to pay less income tax than wages earners who make under $100,000 annually. Tax reform may be talked about a lot but where the rubber meets the road there are no signs of tread marks anywhere to be found. It’s one of those issues that keeps getting kicked down the road.
The Democrats have done their share of inaction too and the President has not kept all of his promises but these pale in comparison to a Republican Party that is bent on establishing a wealthy oligarchy in this country who continue to privatize the public commons and whittle away at the vital programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid until only for-profit interests have complete control of all the natural and monetary wealth in this country. Instead of demurely responding to the Republicans, the Democrats need to relocate their FDR, Truman and JFK roots and proudly support those programs that built up the greatest middle class in modern times.
Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really — and also the conditions under which more jobs can be created.
Decades of anti-government rhetoric have made liberals wary of claiming their legacy as supporters of the state’s positive role. That’s why they have had so much trouble making the case for President Obama’s stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009. It ought to be perfectly obvious: When the private sector is no longer investing, the economy will spin downward unless the government takes on the task of investing. And such investments — in transportation and clean energy, refurbished schools and the education of the next generation — can prime future growth. E.J. Dionne, Washington Post
We have serious issues with people going without basic medical care, children who experience starvation, elderly having to choose between needed medications and paying the rent or utility bill each month and an environment that threatens us all as toxic pollutants continue to contaminate the air we breathe and the water we drink. In the meantime the GOP has no problem finding money to subsidize oil companies who have had record profits, protect health insurers who fail to cover anyone with a pre-existing condition or who use less of your premium dollar to pay for services, and defend financial institutions “too big to fail” who continue to devise products that risk throwing the economy back into a tailspin and losing what gains we have made to recapture jobs and the housing market.
The republican form of government that was handed us by the framers of the constitution two and half centuries ago is ours to keep as Franklin suggested, if we are willing to fight for it. lf we don’t, the special moneyed interests will. These hounds are already at your doors dressed up as patriots screeching about “taking our country back”. But are they talking about a time when we emerged from a Great Depression and a World War where there was a large and vibrant middle class? Or do they refer to the one they nostalgically pine for in pre-Civil War days when only white male property owners were allowed to vote and control the mechanisms by which we are governed?