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I think the Republicans have gone crazy with hatred. We have to wait and see whether the Democrats will fold again and support their ultra-rich donors or stand up for us citizens. The Republicans seem to hate everything American.
We already know they hate women and want them to fear sex and be under the thumb of us men. Even though we have put the onus of birth control on women the Republicans would like them to foot the bill and take all the risks for us. They also would deny them equal pay and status and yet put all the child care requirements on them. You women really need to get it together and step back in the kitchen where you belong. Oh! But you say the men in your household don’t make enough money to live on?
The Republicans hate them, too, even though productivity has tripled. Dr. Arindrajit Dube at the University of Massachusetts has said that if minimum wage had gone up with American productivity since 1960 our minimum wage would be $22 per hour. The Republicans want to eliminate minimum wage laws. They really don’t like the working folks. They want to prevent unions from pushing wages up to a living standard that equals what it was 40 years ago when there was such a thing as a middle class family with one worker. Not only do they want you to work for slave wages, they want you to be grateful for it.
They tried to stop old people, poor people, black and brown people from voting and now want to rip off their savings in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to help pay for tax breaks for the ultra-rich. Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy have sworn to keep all three insurance programs intact. Democrat Congressman Peter Welch has said he will make no such promises. We may want to rethink his seat in future primaries.
But it’s not just the citizens they hate, it’s the very planet we live on. They want fracking, which is causing minor earthquakes in the Midwest and water poisoning in the upper Midwest. They want to allow BP and Exxon to get more drilling rights in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico and they want to rip off the tops of mountains to get coal and pollute our air and water even more than they already are. This in addition to the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, which will leak and poison massive aquifers in the Midwest and south (and northern Vermont if they can get away with it). Did you know that the EPA shows that over 50 percent of our waterways are in poor condition and undrinkable? The Republican solution, get rid of the EPA.
To get serious…Republicans are so focused on their ideology of competition that we are not a nation of citizens anymore but, instead, just an area of competing entities (the takers versus the makers), one against the other, that unless you are good at making money you’re not entitled to a decent life. They forget we are a people, one people, and all of us deserve the wealth that all of us generate. That’s what Obama meant when he said, “…you didn’t build that…” – that our parents and their parents’ parents built the infrastructure that ensures our growing productivity, not a few wealthy corporations or individuals. And it’s us, the workers, who make possible this great generator of economic wealth today.
History, logic and morality all show that cooperation, not competition, is what’s needed for a more prosperous future. Yes, the national debt is something that needs to be taken care of, but that’s for the long run. If we work on rebuilding our infrastructure now (an investment of a trillion dollars over the next five years) employment and, therefore, spending will go up creating the wealth we need for our progeny to enjoy the same things our middle class has enjoyed these many years.
And perhaps we can help those of us in poverty out of that circular nightmare and into better paid jobs making our society even more productive and equitable. We are a good people and I hope our friends and fellow citizens the Republicans will come and help us make a better nation together. As the constitution says, “…promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….”
Lehman lives in Warren.