Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Republican Policy Has Led Us To Civic Destruction

There may have been a time when Republicans were a valued counterbalance to oppressive government.  But I've not seen it in my 82 years.  That is what they claim they offer, but the offer and delivery are not evident.  We had to dig our way out of the Republican caused Gilded Age; then again the economic collapse of the Great Depression, which was happening at the time of my birth.  And, once again, in 2009, we had to pull ourselves out of a Republican caused Economic Ditch, in the latter stages of my lifetime.

And now, Republicans and a few malinformed third party voters gave us Trumpism.  And what is happening now, besides the now obvious to all Fascism and politics of Hate?  More destruction of both our economy and rule of Constitutional law.  Let's review the current record just related to the basics of a decent life for Americans....not even an opulent life....just a decent life.  Reasonable and life improving governance.  Life sustaining environment.  Protections against life ruining disease and unhealthy bodies, including food and water.  Affordable shelter.  Life improving education.  Fair wages and employment security  This is just basic stuff we might look to our collective society to help provide.

Republicans have undermined both our taxation system that can fund needed services as a matter of their core policies and the administration of corruption free and minimally competent government services.  Trumpism is opening undermining the core services overseen by his Cabinet; he appointed people from background antithetical to providing the very services they are appointed to manage; this they call disruption and dismantlement of the state.  Add to that appointees with a record number of resignations and/or investigations for outright corruption.  Republican legislators are unified in abandoning the key to legislative governance-compromise.  Their declared method is obstruction and failure to provide  checks and balances to Executive and Judicial overreach.  And, they are overtly undermining voting rights fought for generations by those denied those rights in the past.

Trumpism and Republican legislation has overturned basic protections provided for clean air and water for our short term survival and/or health and totally ignored proven science regarding the causes and solutions to Climate Change.  They are now allowing spoiling of our water by industry and utilities and removing protections for our air and water with the diminishment of the Republican created EPA. And they are stonewalling needed reduction in carbon emissions necessary to save our planet from overheating.

 They are unabashedly dismantling the insurance protections for provision of health services Americans have fought to institute for decades for citizens to access needed health services and avoid financial ruin in doing so.  They are dismantling health and safety protections provided by government at all levels to assure citizens are not subjected to harm by commercial interests.  Our healthcare system compares now to outcomes in third world countries.

Republican tax policy together with failure to support housing policies locally and nationally deny Americans access affordable housing. Rampant minimally regulated housing development is gentrifying previously affordable urban neighborhoods and marketing to only those with higher incomes.  Thus, people are forced to seek joint housing with friends and family they otherwise might prefer to access on their own.  Lower income citizens are now in crisis mode to find affordable housing near their work and the services they need.  Home ownership, once a realizable American dream, is now a luxury for only the affluent.

Basic k through 12 education is now being defunded both at the federal and state levels.  This is particularly true of public schools serving lower income Americans; this is an unaddressed crisis longstanding, in part due to Republican tax policy but also Republican class an racial discrimination practices.  The crisis is now extended because economic changes require for most more than k through 12 education.  Those in poverty or with low incomes are unable to access post-high school training or education.  Even more concerning is the need for early childhood education, particularly for those from poverty situations, which is not advancing to fulfill the needs of these citizens.  College, as a result of malfeasance from public college/university trustees, has become unaffordable excecpt for the most affluent.

A changing world economy has diminished the ability of most Americans to secure employment with wages sufficient to provide basic care for their families.  Republican policies favorable to monopolies and minimally regulated multinational corporations define the futures of local communities and their residents and their ability to offer stability in life.  Corporations, defined as persons with power and rights far beyond those of ordinary citizens they employ, dictate lifestyles as well as retirement futures for a majority of Americans.  Republican policy has empowered these non-human entities to shape the character of American life with limited protection of both employees and customers.  Republican shaped tax and regulatory policy has resulted in harm to everyday citizens instead of help to weather changes in they way commerce is practiced and its consequences on our society.

In my opinion, America's survival, let alone its continuation as a beckon of hope for millions around the world for a better life rests in the hands of an informed electorate in 2020.  Many solutions are being voiced by the excellent Democratic candidates already competing for their Party's Presidential nomination.  One might hope that reasonable, thinking Republicans not duped into the Trump Fascist cult, might rise to this challenge to bring new, thoughtful leadership to America.  I see no signs that hope for this is warranted.