“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Til it’s gone
They pave paradise and put up a parking lot”
Joni Mitchell “Big Yellow Taxi”
Who knows what people who voted Republican in the last election were thinking. One thing I doubt they were thinking about was how to repair the systems that the radical Republicans who are now in charge at all levels will destroy.
Maybe those voters sent out a protest vote to let other Americans know that they ‘weren’t going to take it anymore.” What they most likely were thinking was that Republicans were going to stand against progress made by immigrants and minorities. What they didn’t realize was that they what they got in the bargain was a party hell-bent on destroying much of the progress that had been achieved for ALL Americans in the past century.
That would include a litany of progressive programs that many Republican voters are now watching circle the drain. As they see the radical congress and state legislature take the hatchet to things like education, social security, the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, workman’s compensation not to mention many things that are integral to the commons such as environmental protection, national parks, research of all varieties, weather forecasting and data gathering just to name a few. Now it appears even “Meals on Wheels” that many seniors depend on to survive is on the chopping block.
All for tax cuts for the rich.
Once these programs are destroyed or radically altered restoring them to their former functionality will not be as simple as electing members from the opposition party and then expecting them to put things right back the way they were. No, once broken it will take decades to restore things if it is even possible.
We have the recent example of the major recession, near worldwide depression caused by fiscal mismanagement by the Republican Party. Conventional wisdom would make a person think that restoring the economy to it’s previous state and providing safeguards to keep us from being driven into such a situation again should have been the number one priority of both parties.
Yet following the Republican recession of 2008, Republicans let it be known that they were vested in keeping the economy as sluggish as they could through their opposition to any and all efforts of Democrats and the Obama Administration to enact programs to address problems that many Americans were facing.
Even during the Great Depression – also brought on by Republican policies – Republicans in congress opposed most everything that the FDR Administration attempted to pull the country out of the Depression.
If Republicans respond to the clear and present crises of severe Recessions and Depressions with obstruction tactics created out of thin air, what would make a person think that they would do anything but obstruct the restoration of anything resembling that which they worked so hard to destroy?
Republicans have worked hard for over eight decades to tear down the New Deal. They have spent the nearly four decades since Ronald Reagan not only working to chip away at anything that helped common Americans, but at the same time undermining the very foundation of our democracy – the faith in our government and ourselves.
As we watch the administration and congress in Washington and the legislature in Des Moines take proverbial sledge hammers to what has taken decades to build, remember that is it much easier to destroy a life’s work than it is to build it. Once this is gone it will most likely never be restored unless resistance is tong and unflinching before it is torn down.
“And all the king’s horses
And all the king’s men
Could not put Humpty-Dumpty
Back together again.”1