It’s Time to Change Everything, From the Bottom Up

This past four years can be ranked among the worst four-year periods in the history of the United States of America. This doesn’t mean we went into another unprovoked war, or because we slammed straight into another Great Depression.

No, what we should have learned over the past four years is what it is like to leave our government largely on auto-pilot and to allow simpletons to run OUR government as if it was the “president’s” personal fiefdom.

What we found out a few days ago was, these people we call “Trumpers” have a warped view of everything this country has always stood for, in addition to the incredibly high level of ignorance that is a hallmark of a Trump voter and a sycophant for the current version of the Republican Party.

I spoke to a friend of mine yesterday, and it wasn’t pleasant. Largely, this person voted for Trump because they have “always been a Republican.” To their credit, they did admit he lost and the new president will be Joe Biden, but then she contended that Democrats are also “evil” because they want “what everyone else works HARD for given (to them) freely.” (Emphasis theirs) Then they added, “That’s evil to me. Get off your lazy ass.”

Seriously. I was really sleepy by then, so I barely addressed it, so I will address it here for the few other Trump voters who happen upon this blog to chew on a bit.

I am a loyal Democrat and liberal, and I keep up with what the government does for the poor, and it’s this simple; poor people get exactly shit from the current government. There hasn’t been any “welfare” – at least the kind we established for the poor – in about 25 years. The Welfare Reform enacted by the Republican Party in 1996 eliminated welfare payments to the poor ELIMINATED them.

In other words, Trumpers, the shit you claim to fear the most, which is poor people getting money “for free,” has been all but dead for 25 years. And believe me; the fact that you didn’t even notice says a lot about you. Well over 90 percent of Americans are within one paycheck of being there themselves. And I’m willing to bet that Trump’s most ardent cultists are in that demographic.

Back in 1996, Congress voted to change welfare law and scrap AFDC payments. They replaced them with state block grants that state governments could do anything with. Several Republicans, including some of the poorest states in the country, are actually using the money to provide counseling designed to discourage poor women from having abortions. Just as disgusting is that welfare reform actually set the amount of money granted to states at a number that has remained static for, which means states are getting less money now to distribute to the poor than they received in 1996, when adjusted for inflation. And while Trumpers think giving poor families “free money” is “evil,” it is far more evil to allow poor people to starve so that you can give your money to rich people instead.

Here in the real world, anyone who thinks any poor person has EVER gotten “free money” is purely ignorant. Over the course of their working lives, nearly everyone will earn money in the high six-figure range over their working life of 40-50 years, and will pay taxes on that. In the real world pay more tax on a per capita basis than the very rich, and most who used to get welfare paid a shit-ton more in taxes than they received in cash assistance.

Were there exceptions, in which some people got a lot more out of welfare than they paid in taxes? Sure there were. But then, there are also a few rich people who actually help the poor without needing a tax break to do so. But “trickle down” has been proven bullshit, yet the Republican Party leadership keeps pushing that shit on their minions and their minions buy it. The people who currently support Trump, despite his mismanagement of the presidency, will always get behind a tax cut for the rich, like the one Trump, his cultists, and the GOP pushed through in 2017, in which only the rich and large, established corporations saw a substantial tax cut and Trump put us on a path of permanent trillion-dollar deficits for the foreseeable future, despite their pointless bloviating about how bad Democrats are with the whole “tax and spend” nonsense.

Let’s get real here. Before the current Republican Party pushed Saint Reagan on us, the National Debt was a massive $900 billion. That’s the total debt since the founding of the country, including two World Wars and a dozen or so smaller ones, as well as a series of economic Depressions, culminating in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet now, after the GOP has headed too much of the government for 40 years, our national debt now tops $23 trillion, and the government is now set to add another trillion or two to the debt every year for a long time. Just to give Trump’s rich friends a huge tax cut.

One last thing; if ignorance is bliss, why are so many Trumpers s ignorant? They embrace and parrot bullshit, and they just seem wholly angry. Maybe it’s because Trump promised to make America great again and completely blew that, which has to be embarrassing. Trump has scrapped so many norms, the new President, Joe Biden, will have to become a reformer, just to restore some kind of equilibrium. Just equilibrium. Forget massive progress and reform; let’s start with deciding what American values are and getting back to those.

We used to be the most respected countries in the world, and Trump has turned us into a laughing stock. We used to be proud to be American, but now, we have no idea what that means. There is just so much work to do, I’m glad we found someone who wants to do it and isn’t completely batshit crazy. We have 12 days, and it can’t come soon enough.

About Milt Shook

A writer with more than 45 years in the political game (and let's face it, it is a game). I am a liberal because facts have a liberal bias, and I really like facts. If you like facts, you'll like this blog. If not, you'll have a hard time.

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