There is a perception by many Americans that there is very little difference between the two political parties, and that all Congressional representatives should share the blame when something goes wrong in the country. Other Americans place all the blame on the president because their ignorance of the legislative process and powers granted by the Constitution prevent them from recognizing that the executive branch of government does not mean the president is a monarch or dictator. America’s two party system gives voters a clear choice between a backward-looking, conservative group intent on taking the country back to early 20th Century, or a liberal, forward thinking party that strives to improve peoples’ lives now and in the future.
The recent spate of Republican presidential debates has given Americans an opportunity to see how much the candidates are alike and how loyal they are to the wealthiest Americans. Of course, there are varying degrees of religiosity between the Republicans, but they are all heavily invested in the so-called “family values” cult. They are also loyal to the wealthiest 1% of Americans who own banks, corporations, and Wall Street, and they have sworn allegiance to their dark master, Grover Norquist, whose stated goal is destroying the government. All things considered, the Republican candidates are relatively identical in their ideology that 99% of the population exists for the sole purpose of enriching the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans.
Democratic representatives are a bit more difficult to portray generally, because there are so-called conservative Democrats who pander to their red state constituencies, Progressive Democrats who are staunch Liberals, and a variety of caucuses; but for the most part, they work for all the people and not just the rich. The beauty of the Democratic Party’s variety is that every segment of the population is represented whether it is the poor, single mothers, labor, seniors, disabled Americans and the banking industry and Wall Street.
At an Occupy protest this past weekend, there was a sign accusing Republicans and Democrats of working solely for Wall Street, corporate banks, and the wealthiest 1% of the population. It is a common complaint that shows up in the comment sections of left-leaning Web sites, and one Republicans use to deflect attention from their party’s perpetual pandering to the wealthy and their corporations. When observers point out that Republicans follow orders from lobbyists and take Wall Street, corporate and special interest groups’ contributions, Republicans reply that Democrats are just as guilty of taking Wall Street and corporate contributions as Republicans. The intended conclusion is that both parties are responsible for the current economic malaise the country is going through. Fortunately, the facts tell a different story.
First, there is no argument that both parties accept campaign contributions from corporate interests or Wall Street. It is a fact of life and a good reason for campaign finance reform legislation, but that is another article altogether. However, to assume that Democrats, like Republicans, are guilty of giving preferential treatment to the 1% at the expense of the rest of the population because they take campaign donations from the wealthy is fallacious.
Even though Democratic representatives take money from Wall Street and corporate banks, they passed a financial reform law in 2010 to protect consumers and regulate Wall Street and the biggest banks that caused a global financial meltdown in 2007-2008. Republicans opposed the law and promise to repeal it if they control the Congress and the White House. Democrats passed the historic health care reform law that is really health insurance reforms to prevent the insurance industry from raping consumers by refusing coverage for any number of reasons. Republicans created the teabaggers in an effort to portray grassroots opposition to the ACA, voted en masse against the law, and voted to repeal it on their first day in control of the House. Each of the Republican presidential candidates promises to repeal the law on their first day in office, if elected. At the end of 2010, in order to extend unemployment benefits for Americans desperate for work, Democrats had to acquiesce to extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy before Republicans would extend unemployment benefits.
Those are the differences between a party that works for Wall Street, corporations, and the wealthy and one that works for the majority of American people in 2010. In 2011, Republicans distinguished themselves as enemies of women, the poor and elderly, middle class, and unemployed Americans who are falling into poverty because the GOP refuses to increase taxes on the wealthiest 1% to create millions of jobs. They nearly caused the country’s first credit default for not following a balanced approach to deficit reduction by making responsible budget cuts and increasing revenue by raising taxes on the rich. Republicans also failed to deliver on their highly touted campaign promise in 2010 to create jobs and in fact, have killed millions of jobs with their bible-based spending cuts targeting the poor, minorities, and women.
In the past two months, Republicans have definitively aligned themselves with the 1% of richest Americans and Democrats proved they are working to help all Americans regardless that both parties take money from Wall Street, corporations, and the wealthy. In October, 100% of Republicans twice voted against President Obama’s jobs plan to protect the extremely wealthy (top 0.5%) of Americans from paying their fair share of taxes. On October 11 Republicans voted against millions of American jobs, on October 20 they voted against retaining or hiring 400,000 teachers, firefighters, and police officers, and on November 3 they voted against creating 450,000 jobs to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure. They opposed all three bills to protect 0.5% of the wealthiest Americans from facing 0.5%-0.7% tax increase. Remember naysayers, Democrats take campaign contributions from Wall Street, corporations, and the wealthy and still voted to help 99% of Americans.
On December 1st and 8th, 98% of Senate Republicans voted to raise taxes on 160 million working Americans to protect 345,000 of the wealthiest Americans from a 3.25% tax increase. Republicans are still holding the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefit extension hostage, and their demands benefit the oil industry and corporations desperate to eliminate environmental protections.
There is a clear delineation between Republicans and Democrats, and it cannot be more obvious that Republicans’ sole interest is the wealthy and that Democrats are working for all the people. It is tiresome to hear the same conservative canard that Democrats take money from the wealthy and Wall Street so they are responsible for the current economic crises. However, it is disgusting when seemingly intelligent occupiers and professional left dolts claim Democrats, like Republicans are culpable for the state of the economy, or that Democrats are aligned with the 1%. One really expects more from those purportedly on the side of the 99% and implying that Democrats support the 1% because they take campaign donations shows a coarse intellect from people who know better. Apparently, Republican supporters are not the sole keepers of the stupidity, and it is disappointing that the professional left and some occupiers choose to parrot Republican fallacies just because they hate President Obama.