As an angry Republican base rejects establishment candidates in favor of you-know-who, a significant part of the party’s elite blames not itself, but the moral and character failings of the voters. The argument that the social safety net causes social decay by coddling slackers runs up against the hard truth that every other advanced country has a more generous social safety net than we do, yet the rise in mortality among middle-aged whites in America is unique: Everywhere else, it is continuing its historic decline. But the Republican elite can’t handle the truth. It’s too committed to an Ayn Rand storyline about heroic job creators versus moochers to admit either that trickle-down economics can fail to deliver good jobs, or that sometimes government aid is a crucial lifeline. So it ends up lashing out at its own voters when they refuse to buy into that story line.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.