Saturday, September 8, 2018

Consider What You Support

                                                                                                written 1 September 2018
                                                                                                published 8 September 2018

            Economist Paul Krugman, in an August 28th, New York Times interview, stated that illiberalism has risen in Poland and Hungry.  The process of popular election was used to kill democracy as we know it, creating a one-party rule by destroying an independent judiciary, suppressing freedom of the press, institutionalizing large scale corruption, and delegitimizing dissent.  Trump, with Republican support, is taking America in the same direction.  There is a critical election coming up.  Consider what you support.
            Regulations protecting clean air, water and food are being repealed, supposedly to stimulate the economy and create more jobs.  Are you willing to allow corporations to poison the food your children eat, and the air and water needed to live, to increase stockholder profits? Do you believe this is the only way to create jobs? 
            America is a representative democracy, with equal rights under the law. We fought a major war against the fascist use of state powers for corporate gains.  Do you believe that democracy is an outmoded failure?  Do you want a strong leader who demands complete loyalty?
            Partisan gerrymandering and voter roll purges thwart majority rule.  Large majorities in both parties support legal abortion.  Do you accept the majority will should be denied by a powerful minority? 
            Trump's misogyny and racism allows these dormant views to come out of the shadows and flourish.  Do you believe that Christ's instruction to love our neighbor as ourselves meant only people that look like us?  Does the Golden Rule apply only to those who agree with us?  Are men really better than women?  
            Despite promising to "drain the swamp", officials at every level in the current administration have massive conflicts of financial interest.  Do politicians have a right to enrich themselves by using the power of their office? Should public service simply be an opportunity to fleece taxpayers?
            The Republican tax cut disproportionately benefited the very wealthy. Do you believe that the rich are better and deserve a different set of rules?  Should the wealthy pay a smaller tax rate than a secretary?  Do you believe the elite create all the jobs?  
            Republican law made it difficult to forgive student loans, and the Secretary of Education sides with the predatory loan companies and fraudulent for-profit schools.  Should a good education be limited only to the children of the rich?  Must victims of school loan fraud be saddled with debt for life?
            Trump campaigned on killing ObamaCare, but Republicans have never suggested a viable alternative.  Do only the wealthy deserve good health care?  Is our country strong when the poor must die, or go bankrupt getting care?
            Trump has declared the press "enemies of the people", because they have the audacity to criticize him.  Reporters have been banned from press conferences for asking questions he didn't like.  Protestors have been arrested.  Is free speech, as defined by the Constitution, really a crime?  Is a free press really a threat to the nation?  
            Fact checkers have found that Trump lies an average of 7 times a day.  Is truth really not truth?  If the president believes something, does that make it true for you?  If Trump disagrees with something, does that make it "fake news" for you? If he changes his story about an event, are you willing to believe each new version as the "real truth"? 
            Consider how many times you have answered "yes" to the 23 questions posed above.  The more you answer "yes", the more likely you are pleased with the direction of our country, and should vote for the Republicans who are working to further those goals.  However, if you mostly answered "no", and feel our country is drifting toward disaster, then make sure you are registered (, and commit to voting.  Speak to your family and friends, especially those in other states.  Because of fraudulent Republican voter purges, urge them to check their registration and then commit to vote.  This election, all our voices must be heard to show that we really are a nation that believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone.  We still have the opportunity to vote, use it or lose it.  Vote as if the future of the country is at stake!