East Hampton, August 13, 2017
Republicans owe America an apology.
Sadly, we have arrived at a point at which the White House, the political crown jewel that the G.O.P. so ardently sought, is in disarray, which has taken down the G.O.P.-led Congress as well.
After making President Obama’s failure its number-one priority (so much so that it became an obsession), the G.O.P. worked hard to get a rich white guy — any rich white guy — to take the mantle of leadership after Mr. Obama. In pursuing its obsession, it abandoned its stated principles and abandoned those it promises to serve.
Republicans refused to negotiate honestly when Democrats spent months seeking Republican support for the Affordable Care Act. Then they tried repeatedly over seven-plus years to take away that health care — not, as it turns out because they had a better idea, but because it was Mr. Obama’s idea. Even worse, for 70-plus years Congress has worked to create, and then perfect (or try to) a safety net that would protect working-class America and the disadvantaged among us from financial and social ruin. The current Republican credo, adhered to from the top of the ticket to its most local echelons, holds dear the destruction of those protections.
Yet, in the last election cycle, all one heard from G.O.P. candidates was the mantra that working-class America had been “forgotten” and only they were the ones capable of repairing this so-called injustice. Decrying the political opposition by fomenting race-based paranoia allowed these candidates to camouflage their real agenda. It is not the furtherance of the “forgotten,” it is the furtherance of unscrupulous greed.
Help the forgotten? Not President Trump. The policies that have actually been implemented by the Trump administration, with the help of a Republican Congress, reflect a disdain for ordinary working-class Americans. Shortly after Mr. Trump took office, he and the G.O.P.-led Congress rejected numerous Obama-era regulations that were actually designed to support workers, including rules barring worker discrimination, rules designed to enhance workers’ wages, and rules enhancing workplace protection, such as barring companies with a history of wage, labor, or workplace safety violations laws from receiving federal contracts. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
So, the G.O.P. agenda has no intention of protecting the forgotten. Its true colors are shown in its efforts to rip away health care, savage the social safety net, and, in so doing, leaving the forgotten to fend for themselves. Under the G.O.P. agenda, the forgotten will soon be the trampled.
The sad truth behind the G.O.P. camouflage is that millions of hard-working Americans drank the G.O.P. Kool-Aid, believing that the party truly cared for them and would make good on promises to deliver wealth, improve health care, and preserve the all-important safety net protecting these folks. For some, it was hard not to be seduced by Mr. Trump and his G.O.P. cohorts.
However, like everyone else who has succumbed to Mr. Trump’s wiles, these voters too have been had.
And for this, the G.O.P. owes America an apology. And the lesson for voters from all this is that old adage: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Let’s not be fooled again, either in our local elections this year, or next year, when the G.O.P. Congress has to face the music. Trust not the G.O.P. Kool-Aid another time.
Sincerely, BRUCE COLBATH