The title of this article poses a single question which requires multiple answers. It is a fact that one entire party has moved very far to the right, and focuses its attention on special interests thanks to the efforts of lobbyists they employ for that single purpose. But why and when did this happen? Why do Republicans completely ignore the vast majority of the American people?
On the surface it would seem that all politicians would serve all of the American people. That was the intent when our founding fathers created our system of government known as a ‘democratic republic.’ Only if the people were satisfied with the efforts of those they elected did those individuals win reelection. This is no longer a fact.
When issues became less important than emotions, our government became more dysfunctional. Add to that the intrusion of billionaires who attempt to buy elections for one party or the other, and voters lost their way. The inclusion of issues important to special interest groups increased the ignorance of the average voter. Fear has been used by one party and many of its candidates to influence the outcome of elections with the use of lies and misdirection. Bigotry and racism have become other tools used by unscrupulous politicians to capture votes.
Republican politicians first began to ignore their constituents during the Reagan Administration. In his second term he obviously favored wealthy Americans over the working class; he had become an elitist. His ‘supply side,’ or ‘trickle-down economic’ program failed miserably, and began today’s primary issue of income inequality. Reagan opposed Medicaid, without which many low-income and impoverished Americans would die each year.
In 1995 Republicans gained control of both houses of congress under the Clinton Administration. A new era began when battles between the president and the legislature became personal and less about the issues. Everything from lies to name-calling became fair game and civility in Washington began to diminish.
Led by House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, the 104th Congress attempted to move America farther to the right. Issues such as ‘family values,’ religious belief, and what was labeled as the ‘elitist intellectual’ vs the ‘average man’ began the creation of ‘red and blue states;’ and politicians loved the new division between America’s people.
Campaigns were allowed to spend less time and money when campaigning in states they knew would be supportive of their party in the general election. The focus became the ‘swing states;’ states which could vote either way. Presidential candidates focused on winning the Electoral College rather than the popular vote.
When George W. Bush was elected in 2000, he lost the popular vote to Al Gore, but won the electoral college. In September of 2001, his first year in office, Bush ignored warnings that an ‘attack by Osama bin Laden was imminent.’ Security agencies did not know what was about to occur, but their intel was considered accurate. After 9/11, Bush invaded Afghanistan for the sole purpose of capturing or killing the architect of those attacks; we remain there today. In 2003, he invaded Iraq under false pretenses, and much of America blindly supported his war crime.
Although Bush had become the most divisive president in the modern era, with the use of fear tactics and lies about John Kerry, he won reelection in 2004.
Those who lived in ‘red states’ were indoctrinated with lies and misdirection that all liberals were bad; they all denounced god, would spend all of their tax money on blacks and other minorities, and wanted to take their guns away. And they believed Republicans supported them. Fools.
A disruption in their plans for complete domination occurred in 2008. Barrack Obama, an African American Democrat won his party’s nomination for the presidency. His charisma and oratory excellence quickly gained him popularity, and a lead in the polls. His opponent was John McCain, a respected Senator from Arizona. The contest would have been much closer had he not chosen a woman whose political views were on the extreme right, and her vile attacks against Mr. Obama not encouraged a large turnout in the November 2000 election, as his running mate. For liberals, Sarah Palin quickly became the enemy, and continues to be a target of ridicule today.
In January of 2009, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, stood before the media and promised that the Republican Party would ‘do nothing’ while Mr. Obama remained in the White House; he kept that promise, with the exception of actions taken to support the one-percent of wealthiest Americans.
In 2010, the TEA Party invaded Washington. These men and women moved the GOP even further to the right. They refused to deliberate or compromise with all Democrats. The division within our nation’s people widened, as attacks on Mr. Obama and his administration were endless. Although Mr. Obama inherited the ‘great recession of 2008,’ and two unwinnable wars, he managed to accomplish more than his predecessor did in all eight years of his tenure. That didn’t stop the baseless attacks from McConnell and his stooges.
In 2014, Republicans regained control of both houses of congress and promised to ‘get back to work.’ They lied; ‘no’ remained the response to legislate any and all laws which would be beneficial for all Americans. Our government was not only broken; it had become an oligarchy. The needs and wishes of the majority were never a consideration.
Beginning in 2015, Republicans began to focus on the Democrat they believed would be the nominee in 2016. Lies flew. Investigations into Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State under President Obama cost taxpayers time and money. Multiple efforts to discredit Hillary failed. Then came the issue of her use of a private e-mail server and allegations of violations of national security. Nothing was discovered, but the issue was kept alive by the Republican Party and the television media.
Meanwhile, her immoral and unqualified opponent, Donald Trump, incessantly lied about her and attacked her personally while avoiding the issues completely. The television media ignored his obvious racism, Islamophobia, and the fact that he was a sexual predator.
Trump’s gift from the Electoral College remains under investigation today. Hillary won the popular vote by nearly three million ballots. The truth is that Democrats won the popular vote in the 1992, 2000, 2008, and 2016 elections. If the will of the people had been served, the United States would have had a Democrat living in the White House for the last 25 years.
Here we are in 2017, and with an unqualified and inexperienced man in the White House who is attempting to accomplish his personal ambitions, America is not only an oligarchy, rule by a few,’ it is moving towards a plutocracy, rule by the rich. A plutocracy cannot exist in a democracy; fascism must be established to control the majority. Lies continue to control the weak-minded, and our nation remains divided and its people in virtual subjugation. In five months Trump has destroyed much of the goals liberals fought for over the last 60 years, and replaced them with gifts to himself and the other 584 billionaires residing in our nation.
So, that is the ‘story of us.’ It’s not an uplifting story; it’s a horrific tale of how one man and his hypocritical party have begun an assault on the Constitution, and therefore the equal rights and protection of the great majority.
The working man and woman have only a single party supporting them in Washington, and they are nearly powerless to defeat the party of the rich.
Never in our nation’s history has a midterm election become so important; so critical. We can turn this around, but first we must reject partisan politics. Become Independent and vote for yourself and your family by voting for candidates who will represent you and yours. Just say ‘no’ to all who call themselves Republicans.
Please re-post; thank you.
Op-ed by James Turnage
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