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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/4/21

Millennials and Gen Z

Follow Me on Twitter     Message Marcelo Brazzi
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Changes in Government
Changes in Government
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Anyone born after 1995 would have no memory of the Iraq war or of the events of the recent past. Many Baby Boomers are not very clear about much of our recent history. We are forced to focus our attention on the current news cycle. The big picture tends to get ignored and forgotten. It is informative to review the history that is rarely ever discussed.

The Big Change

Generation Z, and others, are unaware that the Republican party today is much different from the party of the 20th century. For the entirety of American history, the parties had great differences but always compromised in the best interest of the American people. Nobody could have imagined the extreme polarization of politics today. For example, many of those who worked in the Trump administration were surprised at how little Trump really understood or cared about the issues. His only concerns were his popularity and politics. What happened to cause this major change?

After World War II, the world discovered what had really been going on inside Germany before and during the war. The world was horrified at the discovery of all the mass graves and gas chambers. The millions of bodies were not just combatants but everyone, including women and children. Details were learned of how Hitler came to power without ever having the support of the majority of the German people. Hitler never won an election. With a combination of events and constant propaganda fueling the fears, hatred, and frustrations of the working class, Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1930 and then arranged to become Fuhrer in 1934. One of the keys to Hitler's rise was his use of radios and newspapers to flood the land with unchallenged disinformation and political hate speech. The German people were told that the Jews were responsible for all problems. Many German people believed all the lies.

The world was shocked to learn that large numbers of people can be led to believe the most absurd nonsense if it is constantly repeated by all the media. To insure this never happened in the United States, the Fairness Doctrine was passed in 1949. This did not restrict free speech but required both sides to have equal airtime on controversial issues. Republican Senator Joe McCarthy in 1954 went on a campaign of lies about communists in America. He made up false accusations about communists in government and in Hollywood. But thanks to the Fairness Doctrine his lies were exposed, and the U.S. Senate officially condemned McCarthy as a fraud. Without the Fairness Doctrine, McCarthy would have continued his campaign of lies. The damage to our institutions and government would have been enormous.

Republicans opposed the fairness regulation from the first day it was adopted. They tried to repeal this regulation many times. Republicans prefer to be able to say anything they want without being held accountable. Eventually, with Republican Ronald Reagan elected President, Republicans were able to get Fairness repealed in 1987. Soon after this policy was repealed, Rush Limbaugh plugged in his microphone and America has never been the same since. Limbaugh and his clones have only one objective, which is to create a false image of Democrats as evil demons determined to destroy America. After years of building this false image, many people actually came to believe this message and the country became sharply divided into Republicans who believed all the lies and the rest of America that did not.

Conservatives and Liberals

The Internet generation has little understanding of what the words "conservative" or "liberal" actually mean. This is not something that is discussed on the 6 o'clock news and it needs to be corrected. The conservative media have been on a constant campaign to change the meaning of the word "liberal". But the meaning of words cannot be changed just to fit a political agenda.

DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS

.dictionary.com

Conservative

[k uh n-sur-v uh-tiv] adjective

1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
2. cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.
3. traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: a conservative suit.
4. of or relating to the Conservative party.
5. having the power or tendency to conserve or preserve.

Liberal [lib-er-uh l, lib-r uh l] adjective

1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
2. noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
3. pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism, especially the freedom of the individual and government guarantees of individual rights and liberties.
4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression - a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
6. relating to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant; liberal attitude toward foreigners

Liberals welcome new ideas. They accept and embrace changes that benefit the country's growing needs. Liberals are open minded to new policies, different religions, cultures, races, and to new scientific findings. Conservatives are skeptical and resistant to changes, new ideas, and to people who are different. Conservatives want to keep things the way they are. A person can be a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. This is the position of most people.

History

We have not always had Republicans and Democrats. However, the world has always had conservatives and liberals. The old conservative monarchies ruled all countries for centuries. After the invention of printing, literacy quickly spread. This created a more informed population that demanded a voice in government. For the past 300 years, the whole world has been on a steady migration from the old conservative governments of kings and slaves to liberal governments of freedom and democracy. Although modern democracy started in the USA, other countries soon followed and then exceeded the US in establishing liberal institutions such as universal health care and the peaceful abolition of slavery before the US did.

The smartphone generation is not generally aware of how vastly liberals have changed the world. Everything both conservatives and liberals take for granted today has been the work of liberals. This is never discussed. The only thing we hear are the latest headlines and sound bites. And even that is highly filtered and edited by the conservative media. A fully informed public is essential to effective government. Conservatives have always opposed liberal accomplishments and have always been on the wrong side of history.

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF LIBERALS

Women's right to vote
Freedom to sell alcohol (after it was outlawed)
Public education for everyone
Fairness in Broadcasting (1949 - 1987)
Declaration of Independence from Britain
Separation of church and state
Child labor outlawed
Emancipation Proclamation--end of slavery
Medicare
Freedom of same-sex marriages
Social Security
Monopolies outlawed
Freedom to use marijuana
1957 Civil Rights Act
Affordable Care Act

Worker - Management agreements

  1. 40-hour work week
  2. Living wages
  3. Employer health insurance
  4. Work breaks
  5. Extra pay for overtime hours
  6. Equal opportunity for all races, genders, ethnicities
  7. Protection from sexual harassment and inequality
  8. Pension plans
  9. Termination and discipline justification procedures
  10. Paid vacations
  11. Workers' rights
Consumer Protections from dangerous products
  1. Safe food and drugs - FDA
  2. Seat belts, catalytic converters, air bags
  3. Potable water & breathable air - EPA
  4. Consumer Financial Protections - CFPB

Health Care

In 1948 Great Britain became the first country to introduce universal health care to its citizens . Soon after, all other developed countries introduced universal health-care systems. The only exception has been the United States. To this day, the USA remains the only country in the developed world without a system of universal health care. US health care was first proposed by President Truman in 1949 but it was strongly opposed by Republicans.

Over the years, universal health care was proposed several times. But every time the issue came up, Republicans fought to suppress it. They incorrectly claimed that universal health care provided unacceptable service to the citizens. However, surveys have always shown that people with universal health care are much more satisfied with their health care than people in the USA are.

The biggest cause of bankruptcies in the US is the exorbitant cost of our profit-driven health-care system. Every phase of our health care is burdened with enormous multimillion-dollar CEO compensation and with an extremely complex cost-coding system. Hospitals must deal with 30 different insurance companies and with cost codes that require a year of training for the clerical staff. The Government Accountability Office concluded "If we could get administrative costs of our medical system down to the Canadian level, the money saved would be enough to pay for health care for all Americans who are uninsured."

After Obamacare was passed, Republicans were finally forced into proposing an alternative. But their proposal did very little to actually provide health care to Americans and was voted down. In 2003 the Medicare Prescription Drug bill was being prepared by Republicans. Although Republicans always touted free markets, their drug bill actually prohibited the free market in Medicare drugs. To this day we still do not have free-market pricing of Medicare drugs. The free market will be restored when Democrats have enough votes to repeal the Republican law.

The Economy

The history of the economy is another major issue that has been displaced by the overwhelming flood of current events. It is not only Generation Z that is unfamiliar with the overall economy of the past 60 years. Very few Americans of any age realize that the economy does better under Democrats. Every metric of the economy has consistently done better under Democrats. The economy is always a major concern and yet very few people are aware of the fact that Democrats have done a much better job of managing every aspect of the economy.

Democrat & Republican Econometrics
Democrat & Republican Econometrics
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Some theories for the economic failures of Republicans are the following: Republican policies are always aimed at benefiting the wealthy and not the working class. They justify this with the "trickle-down" theory but that has never worked in reality. They have always promoted deregulation of everything. Although certain deregulation is appropriate, some regulation is necessary for things like controlling the irrational speculation that has crashed the economy on several occasions. Republicans lowering the taxes on the wealthy has led to a greatly increased national debt. Republicans have always opposed adjusting the minimum wage for inflation. They claim this would cause layoffs and hurt the economy but this has never happened in the history of minimum-wage increases.

The Republican Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, implemented the Republican economic ideas in 2012. Soon the entire State of Kansas was in a disastrous economic depression. All the Republican economic policies had to be repealed in 2017 to save the State of Kansas. For more information on these issues, see the book "The Liberal Record - How Liberals Changed the World" by Marcelo Brazzi.

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The author was a Spacecraft Engineer on NASA's Apollo program and a Computer Science instructor at California State University. He holds a Master's degree in Systems Engineering from the University of California and has traveled extensively (more...)
 

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