The American people have almost no control over government decisions, economic policies, and the direction of our communities. Elected politicians live in a different world than the people, playing chess games of life and death that more and more have resulted in an increasing disparity between the haves and have nots. They’re celebrities, so above and beyond the suffering of the common American that they cannot fathom what we want. Our voices can be seen all over the Internet, heard on television and in the movies, but they’re too busy focusing on raising money for their cause. Their cause is themselves, their promise to serve the people a terrible joke at our expense.
There are exceptions. I have my liberal heroes, and hell, even certain Republicans are sensible leaders with an idea of what is best for the country. But there is a movement going forth, a desperate group that cannot understand their loss of control and are becoming more vicious as a result. As David Frum puts it, this group, the Republican Party, is in the throes of a “Tea Party tantrum.”
After reading “The GOP’s Real Agenda,” in Rolling Stone issue 1179, I was compelled to respond to the information presented. There seems to be a greater divide between Republicans and Democrats each year, and the reasoning for this is unclear. Many assume the color of President Obama’s skin is part of it, and it does seem their outcries against him are more ridiculous than normal. “The most radical president we’ve ever seen” (Sen. Ted Cruz)? On social issues this may be true, but there is nothing dangerous about gay men and women getting married. What is dangerous, what will destroy us if nothing is done, is not sensibly balancing our budget and letting the effects of global warming ravage our planet. These are real problems with real solutions that we already know. However, “the GOP’s severely conservative agenda…seeks to impose job-killing austerity, to roll back voting and reproductive rights, to deprive the working poor of health care, and to destroy agencies that protect the environment from industry and consumers from predatory banks.”
First, the deficit. “During the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations that opened 2013, President Obama laid out a fix to the sequester mess, limiting domestic and defense spending cuts to $200 billion. He sought to make up the difference by leveraging government purchasing power to reap $400 billion in health-care savings and banked another $200 billion by ending waste in farm subsidies and other ‘mandatory’ spending. Obama rounded out his proposal by…limiting tax deductions and loopholes for the rich and…trimming Social Security payouts by adjusting the way Washington measures inflation.” The article goes on to say that twenty years ago, his proposal might have been presented by Republican Sen. Bob Dole, but the Republican Congress reacted as if he was Hugo Chavez.
Honestly, I don’t even understand this. I don’t understand how adult men could have such strikingly different world views. There is always a certain truth, so somebody is lying. Rolling Stone could be lying; their notoriously liberal articles make it obvious who they root for. Or, Republicans could be intent on making President Obama seem like the worst president in history. Whatever they’re thinking, the direction of their own politics seems scarily unAmerican. Their own budget bill “would have protected defense contractors by restoring all Pentagon spending and delivered the $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction on…low-income Americans — hollowing out social programs, decimating food-stamp benefits, [and] abolishing Meals on Wheels,” as well as “given Congress the ability to zero out the budget for the hated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”
The worst of it is that “these cuts will do little to balance the budget.” Fed chairman Ben Bernanke pointed out that slowing the economy hurts revenue and that this plan will cost a lot of jobs in the short run. So why would the Republicans want it?
Its presented to us that Republicans love big business and they hate big government. They seek to provide money and support to their big business allies (defense contractors, oil companies), removing regulation or anything else that would get in the way of these allies. These allies give them money, and in this wonderful capitalist democracy we hold dear, money is king. Money means you can ignore starving children and live in luxury long after you’ve quit your job as a “public servant.”
Global warming is another giant threat that doesn’t just face our nation, but our entire planet. Whether you believe in it or not, if we do not make some change in the way we’re living, we will cease to live. Limiting our carbon emissions, increasing our use of solar and wind power, and severely decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels will improve the state of the Earth regardless of why it needs to be done. On a recent Bill Maher episode, Peter Byck said that simply redesigning the way we farm and graze cattle would turn “on” the soil, which means it would begin to sequester large amounts of carbon from the air.
However, the Republican Party remains committed to ignoring that need. “The House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over global-warming research, has been stacked with deniers, like Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who once blamed climate change on “dinosaur flatulence” and Rep. Paul Broun, a creationist who blasts science as ‘lies straight from the pits of hell.” Even Sen. Marco Rubio says, “We can pass a bunch of laws that will destroy our economy, but it isn’t going to change the weather.”
This denial that there is a problem or that anything can be done about it will be at the detriment of the American people. These people are in charge of our future, and if they continue to make these ignorant decisions, we will have nowhere to go. (Because we’ll be dead or confined to our homes or washed away to sea.)
At the beginning, I said that we have almost no control over the direction of our government. In fact, the only voice that these politicians will hear is our vote. The Tea Party is a big baby; a wrench, further slowing down the cogs. The “Occupy”ers faded away, a hippie joke to the other side. Short of terrorism, your only real power as an average American is to be aware of voting day. Be aware of what your candidates stand for. As the RS article begins, “after watching voters punish the GOP in the 2012 elections…”. Let’s show them that we’re not fucking around — that we’re paying attention to who they favor and we will vote accordingly!