As we enter the 2014 Primary Season it is important to review the facts before we are confronted with fiction. There is no doubt that the two parties will do everything possible to convince us of the truth of their words and the nobility of their actions. They will spend unprecedented money to design ads and write speeches carefully crafted to create the illusion of truth and undeniable fact. Both parties are very skilled at the utilization of the media to make their points and try to sway you, the voter, into believing that their truth, is the true truth and the other truth, promulgated by the other party, is the false truth. It is therefore necessary, as voters, that we arm ourselves with facts that we ourselves can validate as truths. We have an obligation to ourselves and each other to be informed voters.
While I will not go into great depth within the short space of this blog post, I feel it is important to point to specific areas that will fall into contention between the two parties. The first among these is the “War on Women”. The GOP has gone to great lengths to denigrate this as false, while the Democrats have validated it, embraced it and made it their own. Three areas in which the GOP and the Democrats are on opposing sides come to mind. There has been a wholesale closing of clinics that offer women specific services including cancer screening and abortions, while GOP-controlled states throughout the country continue to enact laws limiting access to these services. Additionally, the GOP-controlled House has prevented the passage of the “equal pay for equal work” legislation that has been awaiting action for years. Finally, the GOP has been ardently opposed to an increase in the minimum wage, an issue that disproportionately impacts on women. It seems that the Republicans, both on a statewide level and a national level, have taken positions that are clearly detrimental to the interests of women. Which party has the truth on their side on these issues?
While the GOP touts its support of the US Constitution when it serves their purposes, they clearly forget what is says when it does not help their position. The efforts in states throughout the country to limit voting by creating barriers through time limitation and arduous registration requirements is unconscionable. They state that it is to prevent voter fraud, but, in fact, this excuse is fraudulent. Democrats have continued to fight the GOP efforts at every turn. Happily, many of these restrictions have been cast aside recently by the courts, yet the GOP effort has not diminished. The transparency of this effort, to make it more difficult for minority, poor and elderly voters to get to the polls, is a clear indication of their disdain for the average voter, and their fear of allowing people to vote their beliefs and preference. This was a battle I thought we had won decades ago with the passage of the Voting Rights Act, but sadly I am wrong. Which party has the truth on their side on this issue?
The Affordable Care Act was implemented, and despite all of the efforts of the GOP, and a disastrous rollout, the goal of 7 million sign ups was met and exceeded. The GOP controlled House has tried to repeal or diminish it over 50 times, while GOP controlled states have done everything possible to sabotage its impact locally. Yet it is working and has already changed lives and has served in an important way to improve the health of our country. Though the Republicans will continue to denounce it and denigrate it as a failure and hurtful to our economy and damaging to business, the Democrats will continue to support it and take pride in this monumental achievement. While the GOP will continue to hold up examples of people who have lost coverage or can no longer go their doctor, the Democrats will focus on success stories. the GOP will not acknowledge the healthcare crisis before the ACA was passed, and is yet to come up with an alternative. The continued efforts of the GOP to damage and repeal the Affordable Care Act would be laughable if they weren’t so potentially hurtful. Which party has the truth on their side on this issue?
The GOP continues to complain about the deficit and the unemployment rate. Yet the facts are in conflict with their complaints. The rapid growth of the deficit, out of control under President Bush, is being reversed under President Obama, as the jobs lost as result of the disastrous Bush economic policies have all been regained. Now, Democrats acknowledge that there is still a necessity to more effectively control the deficit, and the quality and nature of the jobs regained is not the same as those that were lost. they have proposed budgets that will accomplish just that. Yet the GOP has presented and approved budgets that are incredibly unfair to the middle class and those in need, while protecting the interests of the wealthy and blocking any Democratic effort to make changes. It is time for the GOP to understand that if they want to be the party of the wealthy they must be honest about it. It is hard for me to believe that many who consider themselves part of the Republican base, are the very people being most drastically impacted by GOP policies including their refusal to approve an extention of unemployment benefits. How can the GOP continue to attempt to cut benefits to the poor, while expecting their support in elections? Or is it that they don’t really expect them to vote? Either way, the GOP economic dogma is heavily weighted towards the wealthy, and that must be clearly stated. Which party represents you on these issues?
On issues such as gun control and immigration the GOP has worked diligently to prevent action. While they speak about broadening their tent, they, in fact, are shrinking it by not advocating for the very issues that many in America care deeply about. Democrats have been trying to make progress on these issues for years, only to be blocked by GOP nay sayers. The Republican party has extraordinarily narrow interests and is heavily funded by those who expect their interests to be guarded and protected. While these supporters and their GOP representatives will be the first to call themselves patriots, they are,in fact, selfish oligarchs. Which party represents your interests?
I have touched on only a few of what I consider the more important issues in this blog post. The reality confronting America is that the upcoming election is vitally important. The results will help to determine the direction of our country now, and for future generations. I keep hearing that voter turn out at midterms is light. History supports that fact. However, the Democrats need to make a Herculean effort to get the vote out and make sure that we keep control of the Senate and reduce the GOP control of the House. That is the truth for America.