Hang with me here – the problems in the government are not binary – they are the Republican Party. I’ve also known that Trump is Republican propaganda brought to life but the parallels are… I can’t put words to it but it is even more profound if you start thinking about it.
I haven’t read the Art of the Deal but I’ve seen excerpts and seen interviews about it and the thing that struck me the most was that Donald Trump got early loan/investments by renting equipment to move dirt around on a project and then did his con job making them think things were happening that actually were not. He had little success with his business endeavors. His father bailed him out multiple times. He went bankrupt. He was put on an allowance by banks. That was his life in the 80’s into the 2000’s.
In the same time in our country we had the Reagan years, a lot of spending, tax cuts and the implementation of the Republican idea of trickle down economics (a proven failure), and the beginning of a routine of saying things are happening that simply weren’t and things that weren’t were. It was a time when they doubted the words of doctors about the danger of smoking cigarettes. Climate change denial was just beginning and opponents used the same methods that the tobacco industry used. They began using denial of the science, attacks on the scientists as the way to deal with the science that humanity is changing our own climate because there is too much money in oil. We were righting checks that we cannot pay. Republican spending and expansion of the debt are very reliable over the past 50+ years and yet the Democrats are seen as the big spenders. That deserves its own blog post but for this one just think about Trumps moves. He spent big, bailed out by his father or by bankruptcy, was put on an allowance and then begin spending again. Looking at where money came from through Trump’s career is also worth it’s own blog post – or watch Rachel Maddow. He somehow made a name as a success even though it wasn’t the case. He got all the publicity while others did all of the work. Democrats are in their own messy progressive way the people that work to make the government work for the country.
Just as an example, there is no earthly reason that we are no longer investing into infrastructure except that the Democrats favor it and the Republicans have blown up the debt again and so now want to spend no more money. Austerity rules. Only austerity is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We need to invest in infrastructure. Those dollars multiply themselves. We need to increase taxes to do so – we used to increase the gas tax as costs increases but the Republicans refuse to allow new taxes even when we need them.
Just think, while Donald Trump was going on spending sprees, doing big projects, not paying the people who did the work for him or not paying the full bill, the Republicans were going to war. They put two wars onto secret credit cards, deregulated the financial sector which led to the economic collapse in 2008 and continued to deny that science was real. When President Obama took office the Republicans abandoned any pretense of governing and begin selling their game of no and with the help of Fox news and right wing media began to create an alternate reality that at least 40% of the country believes. It is very similar to the Trump businesses selling the name of Trump. There is little beneath the surface – it’s all in the name. There are people who no longer believe that facts are facts.
The Russians took advantage of the Republican’s alternate reality playing along with a media that can’t quite remember how to do journalism – thought that is beginning to change – who knows if it will be in time. Paraphrasing terrorism expert Malcolm Nance they were able to turn a minor email story for Secretary Clinton into a major scandal that would not go away. They played off of all of the Republican conspiracy theories about Secretary Clinton and built off of them and reinforced them and invented new ones. They attacked the integrity and competence of a woman who was one of the most qualified candidates for President in our history and elected an admitted sexual assaulter. The Republicans sat back and allowed Donald Trump to be elected because he is they and they are he. The question is – is he working for the Russians and if so why are the Republicans so reticent to admit it and act on it or even investigate it. Trump, the right wing media, the Republicans and Russia have managed to bring doubt to every aspect of the United States. It’s been 50 days. How much longer can we tolerate this and how do we make a change if the Republicans don’t make a move. Can our Democracy survive intact?
I kind of lost along the way that the Republicans have take any kind of tax increase off of the table. They talk about freedom and responsibility and belt tightening but they never talk about getting that second job. Tax increases are anathema because one unelected man got them all to sign a pledge. We went to war – a major new expense and we didn’t pay for it – in fact, the Republicans tried to hide the expense entirely. Our taxes aren’t high enough for the rich and corporations but the Republican priority is continuing to cut taxes for those same groups for trickle down to begin. It doesn’t, it hasn’t, it wont, and in the meantime all they want to do is take. They want to take health care, take food subsidies, environmental protection, weather forecasting, education – and make it all free market.
When will the fever break?