Don't Republicans Understand?
By Joe Hardaway
Democrats, liberals and progressives argue that George W.
Bush is a terrible President. Republicans and conservatives
disagree. Why don't republicans get it? I’m not talking about
Republicans with a capital R. They are the party-line voters
who don't care what anyone else says. If the party says W
is good, then he's good, by golly. No, I'm talking about republicans
with a small r. They're the rank and file. The common, working
man and woman. Why don’t they get it?
If you look at the polls President Bush is still very popular
with around a 60% approval rating. While well down from his
wartime high, that's still impressive. But I just don't understand
why. What has this President done for those of us who
must work for a living?
For most Americans, times are difficult financially. Even
if they have not lost their jobs, many are worried that might
still happen. And those who aren't worried have fewer options
because of the glut of available workers. President Bush's
economic policies have helped the country lose almost 3 million
jobs since he took office. That's not 3 million people who
are out of work – that number is more than 6 million – but
the number of fewer jobs to be had. Unemployment is at a level
not seen since the '80s under another "trickle-down economy"
"But what about the tax cuts?" they say. "Aren't
you happy to get those tax cuts?" Sure, who wouldn't
be happy to keep more of their own money? But I'd rather pay
a bit more in taxes than see the budget gutted and the Federal
Deficit skyrocket at the same time. Bush has called for many
initiatives in his two and a half years in office, but those
most popular – No Child Left Behind, Homeland Security, etc.
– remain woefully underfinanced. In fact, despite blaming
congressional Republicans for under-funding Homeland Security,
Bush submitted a 2003-4 budget that actually cut spending
in that area.
Which brings us to the security of our country. This was
the primary reason for our invasion of Iraq. And yet, while
funding for Bush's own invention - the Department of Homeland
Security - gets cut, we show the world that we're great at
kicking butt, but lousy at the taking of names that follows.
Just like Afghanistan, Iraq is in shambles. Most of Baghdad
is without power and clean water, over ten thousand Iraqis
are dead, and our soldiers keep getting killed because we
have not been able to restore any semblance of security. The
Iraqi people are already starting to revolt against their
new oppressors, and some are even calling for the return of
It has been said that our invasion of Iraq will not only
do nothing to reduce the abilities of al Qaeda to attack America,
but hundreds of new bin Ladens will be created. And while
Bush plays the role of a pilot from which he went AWOL during
the Viet Nam war, al Qaeda continues its attacks and we do
nothing to the country that both births and harbors them,
I could continue this with diatribes about how Bush is ruining
our environment by allowing energy and chemical giants to
set their own pollution controls and timber companies to prevent
forest fires by cutting down the forest. I could continue
with how Bush has kept his policymaking secret so as to avoid
having to answer for allowing his campaign contributors to
dictate terms. I could also continue with how Bush's Attorney
General, John Ashcroft, continues to push for more and more
restrictions on our civil liberties, despite the clear unconstitutionality
of his proposed regulations.
But I won't do that. There should be no need. It should
be clear to anyone who's paying even a modicum of attention,
left or right, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative,
that this President is a disaster.
Joe Hardaway is a citizen of the United States of America.
As such, he feels it is his duty to point out to an unseeing
public how they are being used and deceived by a government
of corporations, by corporations and for corporations.