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Anti-Rural Republican Policies

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Message Stephen Crockett
Anti-Rural Republican Policies

The Republican Party has been promoting a series of policies that hurt residents of rural America very badly. While voters are more likely to vote Republican in farm communities and small towns than the national average, the Republican Party has been supporting a whole series of actions and policies that go against the interests of these voters.

High fuel prices are a much more difficult burden on citizens of rural America than for suburban and urban dwellers. Distances to stores, medical care, jobs, friends and family are much greater. Walking is seldom a viable option. Mass transit options, such as public buses or subways, just do not exist. Rural residents are forced to pay the high prices.

Farmers use vast amounts of fuel in the operation of their farms. Modern mechanized farming techniques are totally dependent on fossil fuels. The consumption of fuel is one of the main keys that make American farms so productive. Modern fertilizers require petroleum and are rising in price rapidly. American farmers are being squeezed by rising costs.

The Republican ties to Big Oil campaign money seems to be more important than the interests of average Republican voters when it comes to reining in oil industry price gouging. The exploding profits of oil companies have come disproportionately from residents of rural America with the blessing of Bush Republicans.

The federal Department of Agriculture has been pushing plans to close over 700 county agricultural offices as a cost cutting measure pushed by the Bush Administration. The total is roughly a full third of the total number of county offices in the entire United States. The services of these offices are vital to the economic well-being of many small farmer and farming communities.

While large Agri-Business corporations can do without the services of these county agricultural offices, the impact on small farms may prove severe. These offices help small farmers deal with tons of paperwork required by federal programs. They offer essential services and advice from soil testing to animal disease control. Eliminating these county agricultural offices will tend to foster the concentration of American agriculture under the increasing control of large impersonal corporations.

The push by Bush Republicans to cut federal funding for medical benefits and public health care will badly hurt rural America. The concentration of population in rural America is not great enough to make these communities financially attractive enough to physicians and hospitals. Rural poverty is very real. The federal government should be increasing their commitment to providing these services to rural America instead of cutting funding. Cuts to these programs as advocated by the Republicans will actually kill people in small towns and rural communities. These communities simply cannot afford to see medical services disappear because of cuts in federal funding.
The priorities and policies of the current Republican Party are focused on serving the economic interests of Wall Street instead of small town Main Streets. The bias of Bush Republicanism is in favor of the very wealthiest of the wealthy. The vast majority of rural Americans are poor and middle class people. Republican policies are biased against these rural citizens. It is time for rural Americans to start voting for candidates who will support policies that benefit rural America instead of hurting rural America. It is time for rural Americans to turn their backs on Bush Republicanism.

Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.democratictalkradio.com ). Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21921. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: midsouthcm@aol.com .

Feel free to publish as Guest Editorial, Op Ed, Letter to the Editor or Democratic Voices column in your newspaper, newsletter, website or blog.
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Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.
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