In the past few years, Republicans and their various media mouthpieces have heaped constant derision on our government. The source of all our troubles, they say, is the government. Ronald Reagan famously said “…government is not the solution to our problem, it is the problem.” Following this thought, the notion arose that “elite political insiders” were part of this government problem, so the solution must be a political candidate from outside the political elite, who will shake up the status quo and disrupt the way Washington works. And this sentiment led us to Trump. But after only one year of Trump’s presidency, we have learned much about this cynical Republican attitude. It is dead wrong.
Republicans like to blame our nation’s problems on the opposition party because they need the blame to fall on anyone but the people who actually cause the problems. Who are the people who actually cause the problems? The very same people who fund and control the Republicans. The plutocrats.
Those who profess to hate government actually hate themselves. They hate their friends and their family and their neighbors, because that’s who our government is, especially at the state and local level. That’s what a democracy is: government of the people, by the people, for the people. The trouble comes when politicians are increasingly shackled to a system that revolves around money, and that money begins to warp and corrupt and co-opt the priorities of our elected officials. This doesn’t happen because government is fundamentally bad. It happens because people are less than perfect.
When government stops working for people, it’s almost always because it has been corrupted by money in the service of greed.
- Our environment is being destroyed because Big Oil owns our politicians.
- The social safety net is being dismantled because plutocrats own our politicians.
- Gun regulations continue to languish because the gun makers own our politicians.
- Hedge funds get tax breaks because they own our politicians.
- Wall Street regulation is being abolished because they own our politicians.
- Drug prices remain high because big pharma owns our politicians.
- Our health system is too costly because wealthy insurance execs own our politicians.
Not only is government NOT the problem, but outsiders with no political experience make horrible presidents. The Trump era has exposed the fact that the office of the president is much like the job of a surgeon. It takes tremendous determination, study, skill, and experience to do the job well. Having a political novice like Trump as president is like bringing in the manager of a Burger King to perform your brain surgery because he brings a fresh perspective. It’s lunacy.
All we have to do to confirm this point is to look at the people Trump brought into his campaign and cabinet. It’s the worst collection of incompetent cronies and profiteers in generations. Industry hacks running agencies they’ve spent a lifetime trying to destroy. People with absolutely no experience running huge agencies, like Ben Carson running HUD. And buffoons like Carter Page and Kelly Anne Conway running anything. And of course, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who want off the rails yesterday.
Government is worth defending, because WE are worth defending. Government can work well when it’s not for sale. So our most immediate and important task is to remove the politicians beholden to the plutocrats. And in NY-19, that would be Rep John Faso, who never met a Republican billionaire he didn’t take money from. Only when we take back control of the House can we mitigate the damage caused by Trump. When once we get Trump out of office, perhaps we can eventually get rid of the disastrous Citizens United decision and wrest our democracy back from the billionaires.