Every morning the same question: What’s on your mind?
What is on my mind and has been for some time, is the fate of the American Republic and perhaps Democracy itself. Warning: this is a political rant.
The system of governance is broken and that is largely the fault of the Republican Party that has systematically denied voting rights in conjunction with gerrymandering the districts so the incumbent is automatically advanced to another term of office. This is compounded by presidential two tier voting. We cast our ballot for an elector who then casts votes for the candidates. Some states winner takes all, in some the vote is apportioned. It is not without meaning that Clinton got 3 million more popular votes and yet lost.
In Congress, their own rules are consistently flouted. Budgets are not advanced in a timely manner, so must be kicked down the road for another six months. Hearings are not held, hearings with people who actually know their subject, in order to create a bill for the good of the nation. Special interests, lobbyists, political action groups, so-called think tanks are allowed to write bills for Congress to vote on. The Constitution is routinely flouted while routinely praised. Supreme Court seats are held open. Hearings on nominees are partisan in the extreme.
Ideology is adhered to as the key to Heaven. Yesterday the House finally was able to vote down the Affordable Care Act. McConnell did his little jig; Ryan smirked happily. Never mind that it eviscerates health care for the poor (when did they ever count?) and the elderly (clearly they are just a drag on the economy.). No hearings were held on the bill; no experts were called. This was naked politics because the Republicans could not stand a bill pushed by Obama to succeed. For eight years, God only knows how many votes and at what cost they have tried to vote it down.
Ryan lies when he says no hearings were held. The leadership boycotted the hearings. Then eight years to craft a bill, building the accessibility to healthcare for ALL. (a foreign concept in Republican circles.) None. Magically, out of the hat appears an abomination that all but guarantees death to many, reminiscent of the non-existent so-called “death panels” Republicans paraded before us for years for regulating health care.
Why their intransigence? Hatred of Obama; virulent racism; and the monied classes had to help pay for the expansion of health care.
Why the visceral refusal nationally to help those in need? Why do we countenance childhood poverty? Why do we begrudge decent housing for all? Why is dental care not part of healthcare? Why do we restrict women’s healthcare? Why do old white men get to make these decisions? I laugh every time someone tells me this is a Christian nation. Individually, perhaps. Locally, maybe. As a nation, seldom to never.
The writer, a blacksmith by trade, lives in Huntly