Archived: A Radical Agenda In Troubled Times

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It hasn’t been an easy two years. In 2008, Americans flatly rejected a party that had created a devastating recession, sent our troops off to two seemingly unending wars, and refused to find solutions to crises in our immigration and health care systems. Two years later, we’ve seen some progress. Our troops are out of Iraq, Wall Street has been forced to end some of its most dangerous practices, and millions more Americans have health insurance. Other important reforms have been stalled by obstructionists in the U.S. Senate. The economic hard times, and the frustration, still linger.

In this atmosphere of frustration and anger, a new breed of congressional candidate has emerged. Far-right candidates from Alaska to New Hampshire are promising change—but don’t mistake the change they have in mind for real solutions. These far-right candidates aren’t interested in solving problems. They’re interested in taking advantage of troubled times to push a radical agenda that takes rights away from ordinary Americans and puts even more power in the hands of wealthy CEOs.

First on the chopping block for most of these far-right candidates are government programs that many Americans rely on. Candidates like Joe Miller in Alaska, Ken Buck in Colorado, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Mike Lee in Utah say they want to eliminate the Department of Education, which ensures the quality of public schools but leaves most major curriculum decisions up to state and local school boards. Others want to get rid of the Department of Energy, which, among other important tasks, ensures the safe handling of nuclear material in the United States.

Even our safety net for the elderly isn’t safe from these candidates’ radical agenda. Miller, Buck, Angle, and Lee want to eliminate Social Security, a program that many elderly Americans rely on for their basic needs. Some of these candidates even want to eliminate Medicare, leaving millions of ailing seniors to fend for themselves.

And forget finding workable solutions to unemployment, the broken immigration system, or the climate crisis. Right-wing candidates across the country, like Carly Fiorina in California and Marco Rubio in Florida, have come out in favor of the anti-immigrant law in Arizona that even local law enforcement officials said did more harm good. And nearly all of these candidates refuse to consider job-creation bills that would loosen our dependence on foreign oil and ease our impact on the environment—all because they deny the science of climate change.

Most of these far-right candidates take an extreme view on reproductive choice, even opposing abortion rights for victims of rape or incest. Sharron Angle in Nevada infamously told a teenage rape victim to make “lemonade” out of her “lemon situation”—her callous attitude toward victims of rape is shared by fellow candidates including Miller, Buck, Paul, and Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell, all of whom want to deny these victims the right to make the most fundamental decisions concerning their own bodies.

So, who would be the winners in a Congress controlled by the emerging far-right wing of the Republican Party? Well, they would be the people who are already winning. The far right wants to spend the money they save by eliminating jobs-creation programs and medical coverage for seniors by cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans. And they want to make sure that Wall Street and the oil industry can keep lining their pockets with risky practices that hurt everyday Americans, without having to face up to any government regulation.

The populist rhetoric of the new far right sounds good, but it hides their real agenda. These candidates don’t have plans for creating jobs or solving the nation’s problems—they have plans for helping the rich get richer while leaving average Americans out to dry.

Marge Baker is executive vice president of People For the American Way. www.pfaw.org

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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  1. The devastating recession was caused by Democrats insistence on banks, Fannie & Freddie providing government guaranteed mortgages to people who could not afford them. These “subprime” loans were turned into stock assets whose value was determined not by the belief that the loans would be repaid by the borrowers, but by the value of the federal government guarantee of these mortgages. Predictably, when borrowers began to default on these mortgages in large numbers, the house of cards created by the Democrats collapsed creating the current recession.

    The radical Obama/Democrat agenda led to bailing-out Wall Street and the insurance industry, taking over auto manufacturing, spending billions of dollars in “stimulus” money on pork-barrel and political payback projects which have failed to prevent the ongoing loss of millions of jobs. Instead of helping small businesses create jobs and get the economy going again, Obamacrats have created large, expensive bureaucracies in a takeover of healthcare and financial regulations and taxes that hamstring businesses and prevent job creation and growth. Obamacare, the new financial law, higher taxes and Washington’s anti-business positions have paralyzed American business and prevented any real economic recovery. Those who want to reduce taxes for all and facilitate the business expansion and job creation that are necessary for real economic recovery are condemned and ignored.

    The new Democrat financial law not only raises serious obstacles to economic prosperity, but fails to cure the conditions that produced the mortgage banking and Wall Street collapse. Rather than preventing any further collapses, this puts Obama’s policies of bailouts into law. Now Wall Street is assured that if it takes excessive risk in its ventures and is successful, it will pocket the profits. At the same time, if taking excessive risk results in failure, Wall Street can rely on a federal government bailout. Given this situation, there is little incentive for Wall Street to limit risk-taking that can lead to financial collapse and recession. The new financial law also does nothing to halt Fannie and Freddie from continuing to back up new subprime mortgages with taxpayer money, the original root of the problem that led to the current recession.

    Passage of Obamacare was paid for with more than $500 billion dollars stolen from and weakening Medicare. While Medicare is facing insolvency in the near future, the Obamacrats have done nothing to help sustain this program. Everyone in today’s workforce knows that they cannot depend on Social Security being there for them when they need support in retirement. The main reason for Social Security going bankrupt is that Congress steals all the Social Security funds collected each year and spends them on general projects, leaving the Social Security Trust Fund empty. Obamacrats fight desperately against any change that would prevent them from robbing this trust fund each year, and anyone that offers a plan that would restrict Congress’ ability to gut this fund is accused of wanting to eliminate Social Security. All attempts to fix Social Security and Medicare so that they will be there for retirees in the future are condemned by the Obamacrats.

    Billions of dollars are collected from the states by the federal government and a small portion of this money is returned to the states by the Department of Education in funding that is given, provided that the states adopt federal government criteria, methods, curricula and teacher and student indoctrination. Programs to deal with the unproven theory of a “Climate Crisis” (or global warming, global cooling, or just plain climate change), many through the Department of Energy, are designed to make insider politicians and favored corporations rich from taxing the American public for energy usage. Obamacrat initiatives have shut down American fossil fuel industry precipitating the loss of thousands of jobs, while financially supporting foreign oil production (even that of Mexico in the Gulf), and denying Americans energy independence.

    Obamacrats claim that they support a woman’s right to the privacy of reproductive choice, or the “Right to Choose”. For those who understand that abortion is the killing of a human being growing inside the mother, this is no less than the “Right to Choose Death”. There never was such a “right” to kill one human being just because it inconveniences another. However, there is the well-established, God-given and Constitution-assured right to life.

    Problems in this country due to illegal immigration are largely due to the imbalance between U.S. demand for illegal workers and foreigner’s lack of viable employment in their home countries. The U.S. government should use policy and diplomacy to strengthen neighboring economies so that home countries can provide the needed employment for these displaced workers. In addition, immigration law should be enforced such that businesses no longer hire illegal immigrants as workers. If U.S. business ceases to employ illegal immigrants, especially if there are good jobs in their home countries, they will pack up and go home.

    The Obamacrats claim to be the defenders of American rights; however, there are consistent actions by these people to restrict inalienable and constitutional rights. Free speech that opposes the Obamacrat agenda is to be suppressed. Obamacrats want to register and limit the right to keep and bear arms in preparation for eventual arms confiscation planned by the federal government. The freedom to practice one’s religion is to be suppressed if religion in any way differs from the political thought of those currently in power. The Obamacrat socialist agenda also calls for government controlling what kind of insurance you’ll buy, what kind of car you’ll drive, what kind of food you’ll eat, whether you can add salt to your food, whether you can drink sweet drinks, and how much you are permitted to weigh.

    The Obamacrats have moved the Democrat Party so far to the Left, that regular Americans are now labeled “far-right extremists” and dismissed as favoring a “radical” agenda harmful to America. Regular Americans who care deeply about individual rights and responsibilities, who want to restrain big government and put America back to work, and who care about the Constitution and the survival of our country and our culture of freedom are cast by the Obamacrats as deluded, manipulated and ignorant “Astroturf”.

    Candidates for office who have a similar vision of America are supported by regular Americans and condemned by the ruling class who see this wave of American will as disrupting their carefully crafted world of privilege and power. The truly radical agenda is that of the Obamacrats and the ruling class, and with any luck, the American people will replace the Washington elite with these new American candidates and the radical Obamacrat agenda will be discarded onto the trash heap of history.

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