We know what Republicans stand for:
Tax cuts (even if they’re mainly for the rich) . . . smaller government (though it’s Reagan, Bush, Bush, and Trump who exploded the deficit; Clinton and Obama who shrank it) . . . assault weapons without universal background checks . . . climate denial — all that.
(Have you seen what Trump’s Ag Secretary is trying to do to his department’s scientists? Horrifying.)
Republicans stand for corporations. They now have a coal lobbyist running the EPA, a pharma lobbyist running HHS, an oil lobbyist running Interior, and a defense lobbyist running Defense. (Yet Trump supporters believe he is draining the swamp of lobbyists. Watch. )
But what do Democrats stand for?
I would argue it can be boiled down to: FAIRNESS.
It’s not FAIR almost all the gains of the past 40 years have gone to people at the very top of the economic pyramid — even as their tax rates have been slashed.
Or that CEO pay has grown 90 times faster than worker pay.
Or that the minimum wage hasn’t been raised with inflation.
It’s not FAIR health care and prescription drugs are wildly more expensive here than in any other industrialized nation.
It’s not FAIR federal student loans can’t be refinanced the way home mortgages can be.
It’s not FAIR an NRA membership card is valid voter ID in states where a state-university-issued student ID is not.
Or that Republicans purposely try to make voting difficult for people of color.
It’s not FAIR only poor citizens have to stew for months in jail awaiting trial because they can’t make $500 bail.
Or that, though they use drugs at similar rates, the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost 6 times that of whites.
It’s not FAIR Republicans will allow only Republicans to appoint Supreme Court justices.
It’s not FAIR we’ll have to breathe dirtier air because the EPA is run by a coal lobbyist.
It’s not FAIR Democrats won the popular vote in Pennsylvania in 2012 — but just 5 of the 18 Congressional seats (to take just one example I can’t get out of my head).
It’s not FAIR gays can get legally married on Sunday but legally fired Monday. Or that toddlers are separated from their parents at our Southern border. Or that Republicans block the universal background checks 90% of Americans favor. Or that the people of Washington D.C. suffer taxation without representation.
Or that Republicans killed the comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate 68-32 . . . and killed the infrastructure bill that would have put so many to work at good jobs revitalizing our infrastructure. Or that DACA kids — who’ve never known life in another country — live in fear of deportation. Or that women seeking an abortion in Missouri are subjected to state-mandated assault — an unnecessary vaginal probe that both doctors and patients oppose.
You can add “empathy,” “opportunity,” “community,” “progress,” “diversity,” “science,” “diplomacy” — “freedom from want and fear” — lots of things.
But “fairness” may encompass them all.
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