Ross Perot might have gotten it wrong back in the early nineties when he said, “That giant sucking sound that you hear [is or will be] job leaving the United States for Mexico because of NAFTA” I believe that giant sucking sound that you hear is the Republican Party going down the drain as it descends into a lost party of lies, anger, chaos, and catastrophe. This is the party that wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office says that if the House Republican plan were to become law, more than 23 million people would lose their health care. Moreover, this is the party that wants to cut prenatal care from insurance. How can the party that touts itself as the party of family values seek to end insurance coverage for many needs of expecting mothers? This is the party that wants to cut Medicaid to the poor. The Trump Administration’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget even seems to boast about such cuts.
There are other cuts that the Republican Party is anxious to pursue as well. These cuts involve massive tax cuts to the wealthiest individuals and companies in the United States. Such cuts are proposed even as massive increases in military spending are on the table. Recently, in a speech to NATO, the current President mentioned how much more America spends on the military than other NATO countries. Given that America already outspends any other country on its military, why is it necessary to increase defense spending? The Republican Party is not concerned with equality and inequality. The Republican Party is not concerned with justice. Attorney General Jeff Session could well hold the dubious distinction of being one of the most unjust Attorney Generals to ever hold the position. This includes holders of that office all the way back to all the way back before the ending of African enslavement. The current Republican lead Justice Department will not pursue irregularities in voting rights. This Justice Department will not pursue attempts to hold local law enforcement accountable for police shootings of unarmed individuals.
What does today’s Republican Party actually stand for aside from cutting America’s safety net for the poor, providing the wealthy with tax cuts and tax breaks, and bolstering the Second Amendment? In Montana, Republican Greg Gianforte was elected to fill a vacant House seat made vacant when the former Representative was chosen to be part of Trump’s Cabinet. On election night eve, Gianforte was involved in physical altercation with a reporter. Based on the encounter, Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault. Even after being charged with attacking the reporter and even after lying about the accounts of the incident, Republican voters still sent Gianforte to Washington. So much for “draining the swamp.”
Gianforte’s assault on the press mirrors those of candidate Trump and Trump in the White House. During the campaign, there were assaults on the press as well as assaults on protestors. The candidate himself encouraged these assaults. He even offered to pay the legal fees for one individual. As President, Trump barred the U.S. media from a meeting with Russian officials. Russian photographers released photos of the meeting. On his first trip abroad as President, Trump has basically kept the American press at a distance. The ground rules included no on camera interviews and no press conferences. It is clear that Republicans lean more to authoritarian rule that democratic rule. Trump once stated that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still not lose Republican support. Since the Republican majority sat to control the government in 2017 racial tensions have increased. Latinos and Muslims have been scapegoated. The police killings of unarmed Blacks and Latinos continue unabated. The Republican President is seemingly involved in a major cove up. The President’s family seems to be running the country and enjoying the perks of the presidency. There are no apologies. There is no compassion. Empathy for the downtrodden has been trodden underfoot. As Dylan and Hendrix stated, “There is too much confusion. I can’t get no relief.” This, my dear friend, is Republican thug life.
Anthony Neal earned his Ph.D. in political science from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Dr. Neal is an associate professor at State University College, Buffalo. The author of numerous book reviews and journal articles, he has had his work published in the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Issues in Higher Education. In 2014 Dr. Neal received the university’s Faculty Appreciation Award, was named Instructor of the Year by the university’s United Student Government, and Professor of the Year by the Student Political Society in the Department of Political Science. In 2015, he published The American Political Narrative which is a succinct yet poignant narrative about the development of the American political system and what is needed to maintain it. In 2016, he will publish a book of poetry entitled “Love Agnostic | from 9/11 to Charleston”