Alan Davis, Moorhead, Published January 15 2014
Letter: Despite the radical GOP, change in US can workIn Minnesota, the GOP attempted to pass anti-marriage equality legislation and to limit the vote. Both measures failed, and the GOP rightfully lost their majorities in the Legislature. Under Democrats, marriage equality has been approved and the state has a $1 billion surplus (and that’s without the fossil fuel subsidy that keeps North Dakota in the black).
It’s fairly obvious, isn’t it, that change in America can work, despite the attempts of anti-Democratic forces to have their way? Even so, radical GOP operatives and their money men across the country still attempt to disenfranchise millions of Americans and to let our children go hungry and homeless. They still do their best to compromise or destroy Social Security, Medicare, pension systems, unemployment insurance, food stamps, Head Start, and other successful government programs that benefit children, families, and hundreds of millions of Americans.
As actor Jeff Bridges pointed out in “A Place at the Table,” a prize-winning documentary about hunger in America, “If another country was doing this to our kids, we would be at war.”
The Affordable Care Act protects us all from being denied health care based on pre-existing conditions, allows our children to stay on our health plans until they’re 26, and doesn’t allow insurance companies to cut off coverage.
When the plan’s Internet rollout was plagued by technical issues, did the GOP (and its allies in the media) play well with others to help Americans work through the glitches and to improve the plan? No. They did nothing of the sort. Instead, they attacked the plan and claimed by their actions that only affluent Americans deserve health care.
Good change can happen, as it has in Minnesota, and it makes for good economic policy and a $1 billion surplus. In other less-fortunate states, the economic safety net and common-sense regulations have been sliced to shreds while corporate welfare has increased.
The radical GOP wants a culture of dependency: give welfare to corporations, let the 1 percent have a free ride, neglect those who need assistance, and tax the middle class while allowing infrastructure to crumble and pollution to poison us.
In Minnesota, voters took a stand against that radical GOP culture of corporate dependency. We said, “Look, people who work hard deserve their fully funded pensions (which should be a corporate priority) and Social Security and Medicare. Food stamps make for good long-term economic policy. Why do you want our kids to go hungry? The unemployed need unemployment insurance. Stop pretending you’re for us when you’re obviously against us.”
As Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., persuasively pointed out, it’s time to expand Social Security and to give America what every industrialized democracy already has: health care and education for all, and a social safety net that’s impervious to GOP tantrums.
Democracy isn’t just a word. It’s a promise that we make to our children, our families, our sick, our poor and our elderly. Most of all, it’s a promise that we make to each other. We’re the richest country on Earth. We can afford to do it. Let’s get it done.