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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/5/19

Republicans Have Put Our Country on a Path of Warp-Speed Decline -- And They Want You to Think It's Worth Cheering For

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Listening to Republicans, it's apparent they don't have much respect for the intelligence of the American people.

Over 70 percent of Americans want a national health care system like every other developed country in the world has, but the GOP tells us that we just aren't smart enough to make it work. It'll be too confusing and complex for average Americans, they say, and, besides that, if the government "takes over" our health care system, we're on our way to tyranny.

About two-thirds of Americans think that we should have free college education for anybody intellectually capable of attending, and free trade schools as well -- like pretty much every other developed country in the world (and quite a few of the developing countries). Republicans tell us that we can't use government funds to pay off our nation's $1.5 trillion in student debt because we just borrowed that exact amount last year to give tax rebates to billionaires, so there's nothing left. We're just not smart enough to fix the problem.

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And we could never, they tell us, go back to the free college like Thomas Jefferson created (he founded the University of Virginia as a free college), Abraham Lincoln instituted (he pushed for and got legislation to create 54 "land grant" colleges like Michigan State University with enough formerly public land that they could provide free or very cheap tuition), and Ronald Reagan ended in California when he was governor. Grandpa might have been able to pay for college with a part-time job in a gas station or restaurant (as I and most in my generation did), and no other country in the world may have the kind of student debt we have, but it's just the way it is, they tell us. American's just can't figure it out.

Nearly eight out of 10 Americans think taxes should be raised on the wealthy, but, the Republicans tell us, that would create economic chaos and destroy the economy. We'd end up like all those other countries where there's a strong and vibrant middle class, but the billionaires can't hoard their wealth without limit, and that would be a disaster... because... freedom. Americans who think rich people should pay their fair share of taxes to help the country are just, well, not that bright, says the GOP.

Just under two-thirds of Americans think our minimum wage should be $15 and look at Denmark, where MacDonald's pays $20 an hour and a Big Mac costs only 80 cents more than in the United States (and Danish workers can easily afford that!). "Can't we do that or even three-quarters of that?" they ask. "No," Republicans say, "it'll be too much of a burden on the poor executives and stockholders who might have to take slightly lower pay and dividends. It's not possible." We're just not clever enough to figure out how to do such things, they tell us.

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The Green New Deal is supported by 81 percent of registered voters, but, Republicans tell us, Americans just aren't as smart as Norwegians (who have 60 percent of all car sales electric now and will totally phase out gas and diesel cars in eight years) or Germans (who produced more than 100 percent of the electricity their country needed a few days last year from renewable sources). We have to keep digging coal and drilling for oil and gas, polluting the planet, causing tens of thousands of cancers, and destroying the biosphere, because, after all, we wouldn't want to cut the revenue to a vital industry, would we? Republicans even think that Americans will believe them when they say that the Green New Deal will mean we all have to stop eating hamburgers and flying, and must turn our cars over to "jackbooted thugs from the big government."

A solid majority of Americans think women should make their own decisions on birth control and abortion, and that America should do more to provide prenatal care, and nine out of 10 Americans think we should offer government-funded free pre-K daycare. But Republicans point to the states they run, like Mississippi where a woman is more likely to die in childbirth than in Bosnia or Botswana, and tell us that this is just how things have to be. Only by outlawing all abortion, Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant tells us, can Mississippi become "the safest place in America for an unborn child." Nothing else will work; we've lost that "take a man to the moon and bring him home safely" intellect we used to have.

Whether it's strengthening environmental regulations, breaking up monopolies, restraining CEO pay, fully funding our public schools, or getting money out of politics -- all things that have been done by most if not all of the fully developed countries in the world -- Republicans tell us we just can't do those things here in America. We're just not that intelligent.

The story goes that Lincoln, during his debates with Stephen Douglas, said, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Clearly the modern Republican Party, its billionaire funders and its media oligarchs have decided to stick with Lincoln's logic. As long as they can fool some of the people all of the time, they don't give a rat's ass about the rest of us; that's enough to win elections, particularly if they can continue to strategically suppress millions of votes.

They have their plan, and they're sticking to it. They're really, really smart.

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And, in the process, Republicans have turned the USA into the world's village idiot.

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

 

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Thom Hartmann Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)
 
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8 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments


Josh Mitteldorf

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It's not just Republicans.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 5, 2019 at 10:13:30 PM

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BFalcon

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Most prominently.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 6, 2019 at 12:09:53 AM

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Starbuck

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No Mr. Hartmann, 70 percent of Americans have NOT indicated support for a nationalized healthcare system. 70 percent of the 2989 people that were asked support it. You are referencing a clearly left (a.k.a. "Progressive") article. The reference makes no mention of independents, Libertarians, Green's, P&F or the various other parties that no longer identify with the two parties that dominate our elections by their mutually agreed upon corruption of the election process.


Anyone that was not sleeping through a large number of the elections in the current century knows that these kinds polls have become uselessly unreliable.


As for the "Green New Deal", I doubt that even AOC is stupid enough to think it has 81% support across the country. That just defies common sense in such a harshly divided nation as we have right now. Your reference asked 966 people. That comes out to 2.940633969999056e-6 of the US population. Once again, your reference is a biased, therefore non-credible, source. I personally doubt that most Americans even know what the Green New Deal actually proposes since neither CNN nor Fox (or any of the rest of the corporate media) seem capable of giving reliable information.


Totally fictional claims.


Submitted on Saturday, Apr 6, 2019 at 7:56:20 AM

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Christopher Zell

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Let's just stir up more war instead. That's always the alternative.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 6, 2019 at 1:10:45 PM

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kappie

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America has become so stupid and brainwashed they no longer support what is good for the country and what is dueable.And unfortunately so called moderate Democrats back these no consicience republicans.Long ago we sold off the newsmedia to rich billionaires who support mainly the republican party.Most slow Americans believe what their news media tells them so yes republican politicians may be right we are to dumb to do whats good for us

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 6, 2019 at 2:04:57 PM

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Jim Thomas

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Hey Thom, where the hell have you been for the last 38 years? The steep decline started when Reagan took office and has progressed steadily downward since that time. Both political parties have dutifully served the 1% since that time. And remember: The Democratic Party has never supported Medicare For All. The sleazy Speaker of the House just reaffirmed that position. Trump is uniquely repulsive and dangerous but the core problems have not been caused by him. The reason he is in the White House is that enough people have finally figured out that the establishment elites of both political parties are not on their side. So Trump was successful in running his "anti-establishment" campaign. A fraud, of course, but a very successful one.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 6, 2019 at 2:16:30 PM

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JenniferWNY

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Jim Thomas, I agree with what you said, but IMHO, the decline started when the major forces in government and corporate America along with the CIA got away with the assassination of JFK. That gave them the confidence and the power that they needed to begin the destruction of the middle class in America.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 6, 2019 at 4:43:40 PM

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John Zwiebel

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I used to listen to Thom all the time. Even read his book, "The Crash of 2016" and sadly acted on it. I've come to realize that Thom is just as good at making stuff up as any other TV/Radio/Newspaper pundit. We all know what the problem is, the Sociopathic/Psychopathic Oligarchy, but we have no clue how to combat it. America has transformed itself into Hitler's Third Reich, substituting the poor of the world for Hitler's "Jewish Problem"; torturing, assassinating, starving any and all who get into America's way. All supported by Americans who refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions; who want to believe that it was illegal immigration that caused the 2008 financial crisis or that guns don't kill people. Americans who have become so self-centered that they are convinced that they deserve something more than their neighbor just because they are better. This feeling is constantly reenforced by Christian Theology, especially Evangelicals, but also Zionists. We should not be surprised that the Muslim world rises against the horror of America.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 6, 2019 at 5:25:21 PM

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