We all know the Republican priorities by heart: small government, stop molly-coddling deadbeats, send foreigners home, end abortions and perhaps contraception, restore Christian morality in America, drastically expand the military, suppress Democrat votes through actual voter suppression and extensive gerrymandering and union busting, restore jobs by cutting corporate taxes, build a wall, electronically control visas, drill baby drill, no new environmental restrictions, and much more. One thing Republicans have done a great job of is making Americans aware of their agenda. They have also been great scandal-mongers keeping citizens riled up and screaming for the heads of the President and his staff. They have been so good at these things that even Democrats can barely remember their own priorities.
Bernie Sanders reminds us that regulating Wall Street and banks in order to protect citizens from another economic downturn should be a top priority. His list of priorities also includes passing changes to current tax laws so that we are not sending all our money to the wealthy while leaving out the middle class. He would like to see more support for workers with families, especially for women in the workplace, but not only for women. He advocates things like paid sick leave, paid family leave and equal pay for equal work to close the male/female pay divide. He sets a high priority on doing whatever we can to combat climate change. And he would like to make higher education economically feasible for all.
Hillary agrees with all these things and adds in decriminalizing drug addiction to focus on treatment, getting petty offenders out of jail, and she is still rolling out policy statements, each time addressing a new area that requires action. In terms of foreign affairs Democrats are not so hawkish right now, preferring diplomacy, but Hillary makes it clear that she can do “hawk” if necessary.
There is not a lot of overlap in what Republicans consider important and what Democrats see as important and even where there is overlap, solutions offered are not at all the same. This has put governance into stalemate territory making it almost miraculous that the President was able to accomplish as much as he did. Of course, the GOP chorus repeats the refrain that Obama is a “weak” President. They also like to use the word “feckless”. The one I love (not) most in their repertoire is the insistence that Obama “has blown up the world”. They blame all change in the Middle East and Syria and Russia and China on Obama, but their recall of historical facts and their chain of causations lack a foothold in reality and the blaming is therefore unsupportable. They keep getting away with this shoddy, politically expedient reasoning by skillful propagandizing because they do not want the blame for George W. Bush’s actions laid at the feet of the GOP. However, 43 is definitely the one who took the lid off the boiling pot and let old animosities loose in the modern world. What is done is done, but at least accept that your party lied and had a great big hand in creating the current chaos.
Given all this, why, oh why, do we spend our days talking about women’s issues? Why do we spend hours trying to undo Planned Parenthood, with its long history of helping poor women especially, even threatening to close down the government over it? Why do we have an American political party arguing about contraception? These guys have discussed this among themselves and have decided that if the “sexual revolution” never happened then American families would still be intact. Well suppressing women’s rights has “Remember Prohibition” written all over it.
With all the important territory we need to cover to help America and Americans thrive, abortion and contraception never would have been on my list of priorities, and I would bet many other Americans feel this way. Perhaps the GOP is only pretending to be this interested in these issues to bide their time until they regain the Presidency. Of all the laws, such as tax loopholes that we might need to overturn, these laws seem really low on the list. This might be just about men holding dominion over women.
Well change the subject please! America, we must insist that these GOP men rearrange their priorities. I wish we the people had enough money to sue Ted Cruz et al for wasting the people’s money threatening to shut down the government and, indeed, shutting down the government. In that way we could speak to them in a language they understand, the language of the law.
By Nancy Brisson