Republicans, greetings. I know you’re out there . . . and getting irritated by my constantly providing, you might say, “the other side of the story.”
So I’m offering you an opportunity. I’d like to hear from you. Specifically, I’d like to hear what you believe your party has recently offered by way of cool new policies or programs that advance your cause, promote American interests, and support American families.
To help you do this, I’ve established a new email address – LongLeansLeft@gmail.com – so you can send me these ideas and policies, just to help me understand conservative thinking. I can then present these ideas to readers in future columns, all in an effort to support your party as somehow still viable, rather than what it seems to be now, a fractured cult of personality beholden to one man.
I’m not looking for talking points or re-phrasings of whatever Mr. Trump recently blathered . . . but rather statements of substantial Republican initiatives that can address some of our current crises in positive ways. What ideas have Republicans in the House and Senate put forth to fight the pandemic, support struggling workers, help reduce racial inequities, advance voting rights, or any other ideas your party offers to make it better, safer and more productive to live in America?
True, this sets a pretty high bar since in the past several years Republican energy has mostly centered on obstruction, not offering much constructive, but simply planting a flag on a gradually diminishing acreage of power and blocking any initiatives offered by that “other” party, even when those initiatives may be supported by the majority of Americans.
What I see is growing white anxiety as the demographics shift: fewer babies born to white parents; a looming majority of Black, brown and racially mixed folks exercising their right to vote; and the GOP emphasizing power over principle . . . no matter the negative impact on the average American.
A few examples:
• It’s been reported that there are now more than 140 bills in various states being offered by Republicans to make it more difficult to vote. These are always presented as an effort to reduce voter fraud, a strategy so patently disingenuous that it evokes mostly snickers.
• In similar fashion, the Republican party is most often using gerrymandering – the drawing or redrawing of districts to unfairly promote the voting for one party over another. A recent study says that of the top ten states most “gerrymandered,” nine of these have been engineered by Republicans, one by Democrats.
• Republicans apparently support (or show no effort to resist) the continuing effort to weaken or totally destroy Obamacare, though it has enabled millions of Americans to gain health insurance and is supported by a majority of Americans. Meanwhile, Trump and other Republicans have long promised offering a superior plan for American healthcare, yet to appear.
• The Republican party has offered no policies or plans – at least none I’m aware of — to address climate change. Rather, the party’s stance, a la Limbaugh and Trump, has ranged from continued support of fossil fuels over renewable “green” energy to outright claims of climate change as a hoax.
All told, the recent energy of the Republican party has been focused not on advancing a conservative agenda for improving the lives of the average American but in resisting any and all Democratic initiatives.
For me, the most obvious early manifestation of this appeared following the first election of Barack Obama, with Mitch McConnell’s assertion that his primary focus would be to block anything Obama proposed to make sure he would be a one-term president – a strategy basically treasonous since any president’s failures hurt Americans.
It didn’t matter that Obama might – just maybe, just possibly – have been offering breakthrough initiatives that would benefit Americans. Whatever the new president tried to do would be obstructed and, if possible, denied.
Will this be the same strategy employed by the Republican party over the next four years? Will it again simply do whatever it can to defeat the proposals of President Joe Barden in its continuing focus on maintaining raw nativist power? Or will it offer proposals that effectively advance conservative principles and programs that improve my life, your life, the lives of all Americans?
So, if interested in educating us concerning what the Republican party has to offer in the way of constructive new ideas and policies, I invite you to send them – or whatever else you might have on your mind . . . to LongLeansLeft@gmail.com.