Good morning, my fellow Americans. I’m standing here before you to say – well, sitting here to write – that the state of our union is … bizarre. (More)
For example, as you all know, far too many Americans still can’t find work and far too many hardworking Americans earn so little that they need public assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP – to feed their families. So of course House Republicans voted to cut the SNAP program … and unanimously voted not to raise the minimum wage so hardworking Americans could feed their families without the help of SNAP.
Wages are undermined, in part, because hardworking Americans have to compete with 11 million undocumented immigrants, too many of whom are forced to work for below-minimum wages by employers who know those undocumented immigrants don’t dare file a complaint. Now Republicans say they’re willing to consider legalizing those immigrants, but not until our borders are completely secure, a bait-and-switch that hinges on an impossible standard that will leave undocumented immigrants in legal limbo. Yet conservatives oppose even that because, they say, it would force U.S.-born workers have to compete for job with undocumented workers … as if they aren’t already competing for jobs with undocumented workers whose below-minimum wages are depressing the job market.
And while wages for hardworking Americans have been stagnant for decades – as the richest Americans take home the highest-ever recorded share of our national income – one of those richest-ever Americans wrote this weekend that criticizing income inequality is like Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.
We’re a nation where a former Republican presidential candidate says private health insurance that covers contraception with no deductible or co-pay means women are relying on ‘Uncle Sugar’ instead of controlling their own libidos, as if women only need birth control pills, IUDs, or implants on the nights they have sex. The same Republican who, as Governor of Arkansas, signed a bill that required health insurance to cover contraception with no deductible or co-pay.
We’re a nation where a Republican presidential hopeful can go on national television and claim that “women are winning” over men – despite the facts that women earn only 77 cents per dollar as compared to men with equal educations in the same field, that one-third of women live in poverty, and that two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women – because two women in his family became doctors.
We’re a nation where a conservative cable news pundit can suggest at a Tea Party rally that Texans should murder Californians who try to move into their state, yet conservatives howl about tyranny when the Governor of New York observes, factually, that extreme conservatives can’t win statewide races in his state.
We’re a nation where Republicans claim that rules that pool risks among insurance companies in the new Affordable Care Act exchanges – the same kinds of rules Republicans wrote into Medicare Part D a decade ago – are now “insurance company bailouts” that must be repealed.
My fellow Americans, I could go on, but you get my point. Some of you are sitting at home watching me – okay, reading this – and nodding your heads in agreement. Others are probably hurling things at the screen. The thing is, most of the people who are hurling things at the screen will vote this November.
So to those of you who are nodding and thinking “Yes, that’s bizarre” … get out and vote. Talk to your friends and neighbors and ask them to vote. Join a phone bank or canvass for your local Democratic candidates. Don’t just get angry. Get as busy as the people who support those bizarre ideas.
Poll after poll shows there are more of you than there are of them. But if you don’t get involved, if you don’t phone bank and canvass, if you don’t vote … they’ll win.
And that’s bizarre.
Thank you, and God bless America.