A funny thing happened during the “60 Minutes” interview with Howard Schultz Sunday evening; he proved that he’s not qualified to run for president. He proved that when he claimed that neither major party was serving the American people. This declaration came just two days after the end of the longest shutdown in American history and the day before the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the shutdown had cost the economy (not the government, but the economy) more than $11 billion.
Funny thing about that shutdown; it was 100 percent the fault of the Republican Party. At the time it started, Republicans controlled the House and the Senate. It started when the Republican “president” made an agreement with Congress to fund the government without a border wall and a few pundits and right wing talk show hosts called him a pussy, which he professes to love to grab but hates to be one. As a result, he reneged on the deal and shut down the government. We even have him on video saying he would be “proud” to shut down the government for a wall, while both Democratic leaders said that would be a bad thing.
Most bad things that happen in this country are caused by the Republicans, even before they became the despicable political party they are today.
Hell; you can go back 90 years; it was Republican policies that caused the 1929 stock market crash and it was Republican policies that kept us in the Great Depression. It was Republican Supreme Court appointees who tried to block as much of the New Deal as possible. Voters at the time understood their role in the democracy, and they essentially banished the GOP from the government until the 1950s. That was when they elected Eisenhower, who may as well have been a Republican, and subsequently elected a Republican Congress, whose policies pushed the country into a recession, after which voters pushed them out of Congress again, to not return for more than 20 years in the Senate and almost 40 in the House.
Predictably, Republicans got tired of losing, so they decided to recruit new blood into the party in the 1960s. Picture this: in 1964, about 80 percent of the Republican Caucus voted FOR the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I know, hard to imagine, isn’t it? Well, later that year, they had their ass handed to them in the presidential election, and it changed everything. For the next election, in 1968, the Republican Party adopted the “Southern Strategy,” in which they actively recruited Dixiecrats into their party. If they had stopped there, that would have been bad enough, but they also ended up dominating the Republican leadership. Disgusting human beings like Strom Thurmond, who virtually created the Dixiecrat Party to run for president in 1948 on a segregationist ticket, who had become pariahs in the Democratic Party following the Civil Rights Act, were hailed as heroes by the “new” GOP.
Now, we have the Democratic Party, with a base consisting of Black people and other People of Color, as well as women, LGBTQ and legal immigrants, versus the Republican Party, which is almost exclusively made up of stupid white people and people with more money than brains. Therefore, when you try to portray the two parties as roughly the same, you look profoundly stupid. It’s not only not true, it’s laughable. When a rich white guy tries to equate the two, he expresses ignorance.
Consider the following, as well…
Since Ronald Reagan won the 1980 election, Democrats have only controlled the Executive and Legislative Branches twice; in 1993-1994 and 2009-2010. That’s it. Republicans, on the other hand, have had that advantage for most of the 21st Century so far. George W Bush had a GOP Congress for six of his eight years, and Donald Trump has had that for all of his first two years. For six St. Reagan years, his party controlled the Senate. For six of Clinton’s eight years, the GOP controlled all of Congress. The same for Obama. Therefore, if you are going to complain about what’s been happening in the country over the recent past, you can’t equivocate between the two parties.
Since Republicans essentially started dominating the politics, their governance has caused most of the problems we see. For example, for all their talk about “fiscal responsibility,” they sure do seem to love debt. With Democrats in charge after World War II, the debt dropped from 120 percent of GDP in 1946 (due to the cost of the war effort) t0 33 percent of GDP in 1980. The national debt in 1981 was – are you ready for this – $900 billion. That’s the debt we accumulated through TWO HUNDRED YEARS. Now, the debt is closing in on $22 TRILLION, and you can lay at least 90 percent of that at the feet of Republicans. Since 1980, only two presidents have succeeded in reducing deficits and none were Republican. Every Republican president and every Republican Congress has caused the deficit to explode.
Since 1980, the Republican era has featured four recessions, including one that almost turned into a depression. All were caused by Republican monetary policy and all but one were fixed by a Democratic Congress. Only two presidents have engineered budget surpluses in the post-war era, and both were Democrats.
I could go on and on. When Howard Schultz and any number of professional lefties claim that “both parties” do anything the same, they are speaking from their anus. There is no similarity between the two parties, in part because the GOP has chosen to purposely absorb the worst elements of our society.
Schultz gave as an example of how insane the “Democrats” are, their alleged pursuit of “free healthcare” and “free college.” These are platform planks proposed by Bernie Sanders, who is not a Democrat. Most Democrats realize there is no such thing as “free healthcare,” and while many polls show “Medicare for All” as tracking well, the reason is, people like the words and they like the idea for other people. When it comes time to actually examine the policy, many are likely to dump it.
As for “free college,” that’s a bit of Baby Boomer fake nostalgia. (As a Boomer myself, my generation sometimes embarrasses me, what can I say?) Some people “remember” a time when many state universities provided residents with “free college.” Of course, most of the courses necessary for a career these days were not even offered back then, and few actually went to college, so no universities had to accommodate upwards of 50,000 students. Yes, there’s a problem, in that too many students are graduating college with crippling debt, but that can be solved by offering more non-loan financial aid, thus creating debt-free college.
Might I remind Schultz and the members of the “both sides” caucus that Hillary Clinton wanted to reinforce and strengthen the Affordable Care Act and didn’t support single-payer healthcare and she also advocated for “debt-free college,” not “free college,” and the Democrats overwhelmingly chose her as their nominee? Most of what he seems to be listening to are not Democrats at all, but white liberal “progressive independents” who are trying to dictate to Democrats what they should care about.
Democrats are a mainstream party that governs well, from the left center. They are a big tent, which is why there is so much bickering at times. Democrats aren’t “divided,” they’re debating.
On the other hand, Republicans suck at governing, they purposely ignore anyone who doesn’t vote for them and they enjoy being in lockstep on everything, no matter how bad it is. They currently support a “president” they should hate if they had the courage of their convictions. Republicans support throwing brown kids in cages and they cultivate fear as a political strategy. But the most important thing is, they can’t govern.
There is no similarity between the two parties right now, and anyone who equivocates shows their ignorance.
Also published on Medium.