Paul Ryan has made little secret of the fact that he is gunning for the three big Democratic achievements that keep many people alive in this country.
The biggest and perhaps easiest target is the Affordable Care Act. Since it has been around only a short time – about 5 years since implementation – and Republicans have used their dominance of the media to attack the ACA 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with an extra day of attack this year. They have greased the skids to make people believe that the ACA is a product of satan’s mind and dying is preferable to getting anything that reeks of “gummint help.”
Remember that in Kentucky last year voters elected a governor who said he would abolish the Kynect Medicaid program immediately and leave hundreds of thousands without healthcare. As we recently learned telling people that they will be without healthcare if you elect So-andSo does little to stop them from voting against their own interests.
But now that Republicans control all branches of the federal government for the first time since 1929 (what was so special about 1929?) they are in the driver’s seat to reverse any advancements that society has made since then. Specifically they have the programs that have helped save countless senior lives in the past 8 decades – Social Security and Medicare.
However, both programs have huge pots of money associated with them. Huge pots. Trillions of dollars. So Republicans and more specifically the wealthy owners of the party want that money. They just have to come up with a scheme they can sell the voters that seems legitimate while they (Republican Party owners) take huge chunks of our hard worked for tax dollars and transfer it to themselves. They won’t end the programs, they will be redesigned so that they get the money and we get the shaft.
Republicans often use a kind of sick morality to sell their products. In a situation like Medicare they somehow seem to think it immoral that we band together in an organization called “government” to make rules that will benefit most of the members of our society. Thus banded together as government we have worked out ways that the most vulnerable in our society such as the disabled and elderly through a highly efficient form of insurance run by said government.
Republican beliefs dictates that anytime people band together for mutual aid that someone can’t make a dollar on shows moral weakness and lack of courage on those people’s part. Better that on should face illness or death rather than turn to a program that is run by an organization that represents the whole and that no individual or company is making money on. The only way that such a concept can be acceptable is if it is transformed into an organization where a few individuals make huge profits. Then it will be acceptable.
Thus Republicans will turn the ACA back into private insurance where the insurance companies will once more control an individual’s access to health care. They will dress it up with health savings accounts that will turn an individual’s savings into a bet at the Wall Street casino. And there will be someone there to collect fees on your money.
They will turn Medicare into a similar insurance program. Good luck to anyone trying to get real coverage. By bringing back clauses on pre-existing conditions you can bet few elderly or disabled will have real coverage. Even if they do, there will be high deductibles (how does $10,000 sound to start?) to pick your pocket with and pass it on to their owners.
And Social Security? Hey, Wall Street – the Republicans are coming to town and they have $2.5 trillion to bet. There will be some huge fees for a few lucky Wall Streeters. Maybe a few that are among the vultures that make up Trump’s cabinet
Somehow this arrangement of having a few wealthy profit immensely from the suffering of the many is moral in Republican world. Ryan has defended his plans to gut food aid even more that has already been done with some old fashioned “you don’t work, you don’t eat” rhetoric and blessed it with some cuts from his Catholic Church.
For those who take morality seriously whether they be religious or not, the thought of seeing someone suffer because they do not have enough money is a moral outrage. The thought of taking someone’s lifetime of savings and force them to give it to the gamblers of Wall Street is a moral outrage. Yet Republicans preparing to do these deeds have no pangs of conscience as they look to reach their lifetime goals of putting the oligarchs in control of all our lives.
By the way, once the right seizes the power in this country, they will work first to make sure it is impossible for them to ever lose it. A very interesting read here which takes a very sobering look at what the consequences of November 8th may really be.
But Donald Trump — and the Republican Party generally, with its tactics of voter suppression, gerrymandering, and political litigation — threatens liberal democracy on both fronts. Trump is a paradox within democracy, a leader elected in a constitutionally legitimate process who seeks to undermine the Constitution itself.
To declare him illegitimate is to shake the foundations of the American system, but to fail to do so is to risk leveling those foundations to the ground.
And so Democrats, including the two most high profile Democrats of all — Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — defaulted to their ordinary posture of declaring the winner of the Electoral College a legitimate president with whom they are eager to work where they can find common ground.
It’s the right posture, nearly all of the time. Liberal democracy depends on the peaceful transfer of power from losers to winners. But what happens when the winner threatens democracy itself?