When Franklin Delano Roosevelt began his first term in 1933 or nation was recovering from the Great Depression. Homeless camps were virtually everywhere outside of our nation’s major cities. Forests were occupied by bands of men who had given up on our society. Orphanages were filled and overflowing. Disease was rampant and no bed remained empty in hospitals and clinics. The population of the United States in the 1930’s was approximately 123 million. Thanks to Wall Street’s greedy bankers, over 13 million men, women, and children lived in abject poverty unable to afford adequate housing, clothing, food, or medicine.
Within his first 100 days of his first term, FDR proposed a “New Deal.” He formed a “Brain Trust” of economic advisers who designed the “alphabet agencies” such as the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration), to support farm prices by reducing agricultural production through subsidies; the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), to employ young unmarried men to work refurbishing public lands and national parks; and the NRA (National Recovery Administration), which regulated wages and prices.
Other agencies insured bank deposits, regulated the stock market, subsidized mortgages and provided relief to the unemployed.
In 1936 after his second election, the Supreme Court had struck down several of the agencies included in the “New Deal.” For the first time FDR suggested packing the Court with like-minded men who would support his policies and ambitions. Moscow Mitch and Trump are doing the same thing today, but not for the good of mankind; they continue to serve America’s plutocrats.
The point is, FDR will always be known as the “people’s president.” His administration favored labor over capitalists, and many of his protections for worker’s rights remain the basis for modern labor laws. He was so popular that when he died in 1945, after being elected four times, Republicans passed presidential term limits. No president may be elected more than two times, and serve no longer than 10 years.
Over 30 years ago the Republican Party began to move away from its principles and support of small business and personal responsibility. The right-wing began to favor special interests and with their help the power of lobbyists began to grow. Today the entire party is composed of opportunists and men and women who work for the wealthy, and groups such as the NRA gun lobby, and the unconstitutional Christian religious right.
The Democratic candidates for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination are moving further to the left; some more than others. Older politicos continue to claim that a true progressive cannot defeat Trump; I call “bullshit.”
Polls show that our nation is moving back to the left, most importantly the largest demographic, Millennials, and women, and away from fake conservatives who, in truth, are nothing more than greedy men and women who will say and do anything to keep their lives of luxury, privilege, and power.
Bernie Sanders picked up endorsements from United Teachers Los Angeles and National Nurses United.
Kamala Harris recorded a message of support for McDonald’s workers in Michigan “who are demanding a right to a union, higher pay, and an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.”
Cory Booker pledged to end exploitation and promote gender equity in college sports.
Amy Klobuchar pressed the Senate to pass the Violence Against Women Act, which Republicans are holding up in part because it would take guns from stalkers and domestic abusers.
Julián Castro released his “People First” disability policy.
Elizabeth Warren proposed a “corporate perjury” law in which “companies and executives could face criminal liability for false information they knowingly provide to U.S. agencies, leading to up to $250,000 in fines or jail time.”
Pete Buttigieg took Veterans Day as the occasion to offer his plan on veterans’ issues.
These are just some of the ideas and proposals offered by Democrats who recognize today’s downward spiral for the majority; low income and impoverished Americans. Meanwhile, the 10 percent of America’s citizens, who control 90 percent of our nation’s wealth, are recording enormous profits as income inequality widens. Our economy is failing the majority and benefitting the few.
Finally; in 2017 when Trump took office, our nation had 563 billionaires. Today there are 705 thanks to Trump’s “tax reform” and other tax breaks for the one percent. In 2017, 10.8 million millionaires were American citizens. Today that number is 18.6 million. Trump and his party work for the super-rich, not for the working woman or man. The facts prove that denying the truth is simply chosen ignorance.
If you and your family work to survive, you cannot support any member of this fake Republican Party. They do not serve you or those you love; they support the 10 percent.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Image courtesy of Paul Simpson
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