The last six years have been a large experiment all across the country and even in the Congress of the United States. Since the 2010 election when Republicans swept into office on waves of hatred and fear of a Black President, who they were convinced by radical media outlets peddling conspiracies that he was born in Kenya, they have been tinkering with the systems of government all across the country trying to create unnatural advantages for themselves.
It was all lies, but it worked wonders on a whole group of fearful and racist people, so the GOP decided the best thing for them to do was to experiment in the states with their newfound power and to continue to obstruct the President in Congress. They didn’t care how much it hurt the country or its people. In fact, the more it hurt the people the more they could blame it on the Democrats and their unlawful President.
The experiments began in earnest in Kansas where they wanted to truly give supply side economics what they thought was a fair test. They began the complete destruction of unions and worker rights and protections in Wisconsin. In Michigan, they decided to use existing law in a new way, but they were sure they could get away with it because of the massive debt and lack of jobs in the cities there. They diminished the power of elected officials and installed emergency managers who had more rights and powers over a city than any elected official ever did.
There were protests and complaints about this massive power grab and shift away from the rights the people had, to be sure. However because of all the recent Supreme Court decisions, especially Citizens United, outside money flooded into these states to fend off protests and even a recall election against Governor Scott Walker. Walker was the first governor to ever survive a recall election, but he colluded with these outside donors and has since destroyed the laws and offices that tried to hold him accountable for his malfeasance.
By 2012, Republicans were absolutely certain that they were going to win the national election and have complete control of Washington along with a majority of the states too. They expected to be singing Hosannas in the street to the Almighty, but they were again shocked to lose the White House and not take the Senate. They wouldn’t get that until 2014, but they had a plan on how to destroy the opposition without letting them use the same tactics they were using to stall federal government business at every opportunity. Until they could get full power in Washington they would continue the experiments in the states and give America a taste of what the nation would look like when they ran things.
If you live in a city or town that has pushed itself into debt, you may have an emergency manager appointed over you. Someone with supposed business experience may step in who can decide they don’t like city council members and fire those elected people. All those public workers may be cut back to save money. Union contracts can be rewritten or terminated at will. After all, the bottom dollar is all that matters. Your jobs don’t.
It may sound great to those who think that a city should run on a balanced budget, but I would ask you this. What about your choices for the people to run things? They don’t matter anymore. Your rights as a worker don’t matter here anymore either. How about your health? The people of Flint Michigan have been forced to drink water with lead in it for more than a year now, because of a cost-saving measure, and they are still being charged for this poisoned water, instead of being put back on a safer water system while it is fixed.
If you are poor or on the edge of poverty you could fall into the Kansas experiment, where they decided to give the wealthy loads of tax breaks thinking that they would pay for themselves in new jobs and tax growth. It has never worked before, so why would it work now? Well, revenue has been continually down for the state, and they have had to make cut after cut to programs, especially those in health, education, and part of the safety net.
It’s no surprise that GOP states make drastic cuts to public education most of the time and make the voucher program a priority to send funds to other schools. It is just destroying the public education system so they can claim that it isn’t working, and needs to be privatized. They are already well along that road now. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves, and states like Kansas are having a hard time filling all the vacancies. It isn’t just a problem of money or retirements, though. The whole atmosphere has become caustic that even people who would like to teach won’t even think about doing it now.
Now we come to one of the biggest hurdles that the Republicans have faced but have finally come to grips with and probably taken the teeth out of here in America. Union power across the country has diminished significantly in my lifetime, and not just in the private sector. Public employees are being attacked everywhere you turn, and the GOP hero in this fight is Governor Walker, who has nearly completely gutted all worker protections in Wisconsin.
When he took away most public workers bargaining rights because of budget concerns in 2011, he said they still had the civil service protections, but now he is turning to those same protections and says he wants to streamline and modernize the system. He wants to get rid of the civil service qualification test and replace it with a resume. The hiring process will also be handled by a new personnel division with the Department of Administration. He wants to shorten the appeals process for firing and basically go to the southern model of firing anyone for any reason that an employer thinks of, which they don’t have to disclose. So basically, the whole thing can be taken over and controlled by the buddy system, and not something based on merit, which is what was envisioned back in 1905.
Corruption, greed, and hatred for the poor run rampant through it all, but it is just hinting at the final touch that is waiting in Washington. You see, even if we have a vocal minority that wants to defend the rights of the majority of Americans who have lost the elections through gerrymandered shenanigans, they will be powerless because of rules enacted in Congress.
Budget bills cannot be filibustered. With a majority House and Senate, they can slip anything they like into those bills, and present them to the President for his signature. They did just that with their last vote to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. They have the test case through. Now they are just waiting to take back the Presidency, which they believe they have to win this election or next.
If we as a nation give the GOP all three, the House, the Senate, and the Presidency in either of the next two elections, your children may grow up in a very different country than the one in which you did. I guarantee you it will not be a democracy of any sort and you will not have the rights we enjoy now. The Democratic Party may exist, but like the unions, it may be in name only to fool people into thinking we have more power than we actually do.