Trump released his proposed 2019 budget today, and to nobody’s surprise it included large increases for the military and deep cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, and other programs that our families, friends and/or neighbors rely on. These cuts are the culmination of decades of work by wealthy conservatives and giant corporations (Exxon, Koch, News Corp, etc.) to further increase their wealth by destroying the federal safety net that has served our nation well since the Great Depression.
The GOP has gone all-in with a philandering, sleazy, adulterous, foul-mouthed, incompetent, vain, graceless con-man because they have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take a wrecking ball to the programs that are funded, in part, by the tax dollars of their ultra-wealthy donors. That their morally bankrupt shell-of-a-president has forced the Republican party to abandon, for decades to come, any claim to principles or values does not concern them because their honor has always been for sale to the highest bidder.
The Republican party has long been for sale in the backrooms of power, but in the era of Trump they don’t care if they prostitute themselves openly to the Mercers and Kochs and Adelsons and so many other greedy, unAmerican plutocrats who pay for their campaigns (and give them lucrative jobs in think-tanks when their elected offices end). As long as they can ruin Medicare, Social Security, SNAP, the US Postal Service, Public Television, Amtrak and a long list of other anti-capitalist projects, it appears that the GOP will gladly sell their souls.
Activists and our candidates have to hold them responsible for this historic debasement. In the future, political conversations should go something like this:
Conservative: “As a member of the party of family values–”
Liberal: “Your standard bearer was Donald Trump. You have no values.”
Conservative: “Deficits will ruin our country–”
Liberal: “Your 2018 tax reform blew a giant hole in the deficit, you hypocrite.”
Conservative: “Obama destroyed our institutions–”
Liberal: “The Trump White House set the standard for dysfunction and debased the office of the presidency more than any in history. So stop with the BS.”
More members of the White House staff and cabinet have departed or been fired in the first thirteen months of Trump’s tenure than any in our lifetimes. It’s surreal. And it bears no resemblance to anything normal. We have to keep reminding the public that the Trump Administration is an appalling circus, historically chaotic and inept, full of second- and third-rater losers none of whom care about the people who elected them.
Trump is nothing if not a con-man, and his voters were massively conned. His policies prove he doesn’t care about the average citizen. He doesn’t care about governing or protecting the country or focusing on the things that a normal president would fret about. Trump only cares about money, and his office can help him get more of it, not to mention his policies. And the GOP is playing the same game. They all serve plutocrats like the Koch Brothers who keep the spigots of cash flowing.
We have to resist this unprecedented hijacking of our political system by greedy billionaires. At least for now, our votes still matter. So we have to fight back at the voting booth. Signing up new voters and getting out the vote are paramount in the next few months. If we fail in 2018, the next battle in 2020 might be a lot more difficult.