One of the most difficult things for me to accept from the Republican Party has been their nearly single-minded attempt to protect the wealth of their richest constituents (can’t ignore their attacks on women’s health concerns either), as if they have no members who are not wealthy. When they fight for small government they mean they want the government to get its hands off their dollars. When they throw our benefits and our safety net under the bus it is because they recognize that honoring these promises will probably cost them more money. When they stuff the Supreme Court so they can get a decision like Citizen’s United they are protecting their profits and standing with corporations over the rest of us for financial reasons. When they sign a pledge written by a stand-up comedian that they know will be binding (have they been threatened, have they been hypnotized, are they being blackmailed), a pledge which says they will not raise taxes in any way, they are still protecting their bank accounts, both on and off shore.
It’s not wrong to look after your earnings and to not want them squandered. It’s not wrong unless you have arranged to corner the market on money and have basically stolen it through skewed tax codes, tax loopholes, budgets, laws, and rules. It is wrong to kick other Americans when they are down, to act as if American workers are lazy and unproductive and greedy and have brought the calumny on themselves. American workers did join unions. We all can learn the lessons on unrestricted Capitalism from the history of our own nation. Unions always tried to negotiate raises in pay. That is the way the American economy works, everything is always supposed to keep rising, rising, rising on clouds of optimism and prosperity. Things did not keep rising. Unions did not accept what was happening and kept trying for business as usual. This was not wrong, just short-sighted. This does not take away from the productivity of the American worker or the quality products they made.
We can certainly understand that American workers are probably a bit “gob-smacked”.. Before this when they lost a job they could get another job. Now they are told they don’t have the necessary skills. They are told there are no jobs. They are told that their investments have lost value, their homes have lost value, their cars are polluters, their pensions are bankrupt and they are bad people for expecting the government to back them up. Our governments (federal, state, and local) are also suffering from the downturn in our economy and are worried that they will be putting themselves on a financial ledge if they honor the America people by continuing to provide the safety net. In some places where overly generous promises were made, safety net costs are driving governments to bankruptcy. Rich people have a fearful vision of their hard-earned (really?)(how many CEO’s require back surgery when they retire) incomes disappearing into a money pit of impoverished and shiftless humanity and they look to the GOP to protect their partly well-deserved and partly bloated gains.
We cannot afford to elect people who have such a selfish, one-sided agenda. In order for America to thrive we need opportunities across the board, not just for the 1%. As I always say, most of us cannot afford to be Republicans right now.
Just after I posted my blog for today I found this is the opinion section of the local newspaper. This guy feels the same way I do. Take a moment to listen if you have the time.