Republican's Economic Disaster; Always Left To Liberals To Clean Up Mess

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[Election 2008: Beneath The Spin]

The one factor that has contributed most to the downward trajectory of America, was allowing the Republican Party to seize control of the political rhetoric.

For over forty years the Democratic Party has allowed conservative zealots to run rampant in spreading distortions and misrepresentations regarding liberalism with impunity. As a direct result, two generations of Americans have come of age with a distorted view of what it means to be a liberal.

By failing to address this issue in a vigorous and forthright manner, the Democratic Party is not only doing a gross disservice to the honored memory of great Americans, but they're allowing the reckless distortion of fact to both blur our history, and gradually chip away at the fabric of this great nation. And by simply sitting back, without rebuttal, and allowing themselves, their constituency, and their agenda to be redefined in the eyes of the American people, they've allowed the term "liberal" to become a bad word in the political lexicon.

When you consider how methodically the conservatives have gone about mounting their assault on the liberal agenda, you can't help but recognize that it was a stroke of genius. Ironically, the Conservatives took the Democratic Party's primary strength and made it a political liability. First they took the party's penchant for being concern with the plight of the downtrodden and coined phrases such as "bleeding heart liberals" and "tax and spend Democrats." They then played on the frustration of the middle class by tying civil rights legislation, welfare, and crime into one neat bundle as the source of middle class woes; then they attributed all of these problems to what they called the Democrat's tendency to be " bleeding heart liberals". Then once the connection was made between minorities, welfare, crime, and the liberal agenda, it was just a matter of repeatedly hammering the message home.

The conservatives have used such tactics as spitting out the word "liberal" as though they were saying rapist. In this way they not only implanted a negative attitude toward liberalism in the mind of the voter, but it was said in such a way that the implication was made that it went without saying that all the negative stereotyping of liberalism was true. Their attitude seems to suggest, "I could substantiate what I'm saying about liberals, but I don't think it's necessary, since we all know what they're like." And in the election that spawned the "Republican revolution" the voters said, yes, we do, while the Democrats said absolutely nothing.

Through these strategies conservatives accomplished three goals with one ingenious stroke--they define minorities as slovenly criminals, they define liberal Democrats as "soft on crime", and they allowed themselves the freedom to place these thoughts in the American psyche wit

Hout having to substantiate their facts. Moreover, they accomplish all this in every sound bite, and without seeming to be racist, with the use of just one word--"liberal." In fact, conservatives have been so thorough in their disparagement of liberalism that at this point the word "liberal" is treated like vulgarity, and simply referred to as "the L word." one would think that Democrats would have been up in arms in defense of their great liberal tradition. It would seem that they would be falling all over one another in an attempt to debate this issue. But instead, they fell over one another trying to put distance between themselves and their own tradition. Much of the misery this nation has gone through over the past forty years might have been avoided if just one Democrat would have said, wait a minute, people! Read your history! It was the "bleeding heart liberal" policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that brought this country back from the brink of disaster!

History is clear. In 1921--eight years before the great depression--Republicans took over the helm of this nation for 12 years. During that time there were three Republican administrations, the first of which was the administration of Warren G. Harding. History remembers Harding's administration for one thing more than anything other--scandal. It was during Harding's presidency that the Teapot Dome Scandal erupted. His administration was considered the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States--until Nixon's, then Reagan, and now Bush's administration.

Next, in 1923, came Calvin Coolidge, the president that Ronald Reagan is said to have most admired. Coolidge's policies of large tax cuts, allowing business a free-rein, and his encouragement of stock speculation contributed greatly to the impending stock market crash and The great depression that was to come.

Then in 1929 Herbert Hoover came to power. During his administration the stock market crashed, starting the great depression. In spite of the fact that by 1933 the unemployment rate was at 33.3% with 16 million people out of work, Hoover, the Republican, just sat, thinking that the economy would eventually rejuvenate itself. He felt the economy was fundamentally (Sound familiar?). Also during his administration 15,000 WWI veterans marched on Washington demanding that they be paid what they were owed by the government. Hoover responded by calling in federal troops to throw these ex-servicemen off government property.

Finally in 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a liberal Democrat, was elected overwhelmingly. After his election he immediately went about the business of developing a" New Deal" for the working class people of this country.

The New Deal had two components--one to help the economy to recover from the effects of the great depression, and a second component to give relief to the American people and to insure that they would never be placed in a position of total destitution again. To help heal the economy Roosevelt created programs that regulated business, controlled inflation, and brought about price stabilization; to bring relief to the people he signed The National Labor Relations Act , which guaranteed workers the right to collective bargaining, and he created the Social Security Administration to guarantee workers some sort of income once they became too old to work. He also signed the Fair Labor Standards Act which protected workers rights, and set a minimum wage to prevent workers from being exploited.

With his New Deal in place Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this "bleeding heart liberal", not only ledthis country out of the worst, Republican generated, crisis that this country has ever faced, but went on to lead the free world in victory over Hitler in WWII. He then ushered in the most sustained prosperity that the world has ever known.

One would think that conservatives would have seen the light at that point, but their passion to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the middle and lower classes seemed to supersede all logic. Thus, from the moment that the New Deal went into place, conservatives have been determined to dismantle it. The closest they've come to succeeding started during the Reagan Administration with Supply-Side Economics, or, "Reaganomics"--and the battle is currently raging in Washington D.C. as we speak.

It started with Supply- Side Economics. That was a scheme hatched by U.S.C. economist Arthur Laffer and the Reagan crowd which was supposed to cut the deficit and balance the budget. The theory behind this sheme, came to be known as "Reaganomics," was ostensibly, if you cut taxes for business and people in the upper tax brackets, and then deregulated business of such nuisances as safety regulations and environmental safeguards, the beneficiaries would invest their savings into creating new jobs. In that way the money would eventually "trickle down" to the rest of us. Then, the resulting broadened tax base would not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget. When the plan was first floated, even George Bush Sr, Reagan's vice president to be, called it "voodoo economics."

Reaganomics, for the most part, sought to undo many of the safeguards put into place during the Roosevelt era and create a business environment similar to that which was in place during the Coolidge Administration. What actually took place, however, was even more like the Coolidge era than planed. Instead of taking the money and investing it into creating new jobs, the money was used in wild schemes and stock market speculation. One of these schemes, the leveraged buy out, involved buying up large companies with borrowed funds secured by the company's assets, then paying off the loan by selling off the assets of the purchased company. This practice cost the citizens of this country an untold number of jobs. In addition, the bottom fell out of the stock market. On Monday, October 19, 1987 the Dow-Jones Average fell 508.32 points. It was the greatest one-day decline since 1914 - 15 years before the Great Depression.

And what about Ronald Reagan's promise to balance the budget and lower the deficit? By the time he left office he was not only the most prolific spender of any president in the history of the nation, but he also added more to the deficit than all of the other presidents from George Washington to his own administration combined. And what did the Republican Party propose to do about that? One of the Republican proposals in their "contract with America" was again, a capitol gains tax cut--for the rich.

So now, once again, a generation later, Republican, George W. Bush has come along and convinced the American people not to believe their lying eyes. And once again, he convinced America that we could create jobs by selling Gucci bags in a homeless shelter. Once again--even though we're still waiting for the "trickling windfall" from the Reagan era,–he sold us on the fact that all we had to do was give Gucci a big enough tax break and he would create jobs.

But the laws of supply and demand are immutable--in the absence of resources, demand must come first , then supply. So just as in the Reagan era, if the people in the homeless shelter don't have the money to purchase the handbags, it doesn't matter how big a tax windfall we give Gucci, he's not going to hire more workers to make handbags that he can't sell.

But in their greed, the Republican Party and its business constituency refused to accept that simple principle. They said, we'll loan them the money to by the bags. But again, due to the boundless greed of the business community, instead of hiring the homeless consumers that they'd loaned the money to as workers to make the bags, they tried to squeeze every penny of profit out of the deal by hiring cheaper labor overseas. As a result, when the bill became due, not only did the homeless default on their loans, but the elaborate house of cards built on selling the valueless loans also collapse–and guess who's now holding the "bag?" And now, all of a sudden, as McCain's position clearly demonstrates, the very same free-marketers who paid millions of dollars to keep the government out of the "free market", sees 85 billion reasons for government intervention.

Thus, history is clear. Conservative Republicans don't mind spending money, they just don't want to spend it on those who need it--us; and they certainly don't mind government intervention in the free market–as long as it's on their behalf.

When dealing with the Republican Party we must always remember, they're the party of Alexander Hamilton, one of this nation's founding fathers who believed that only those who owned property should even be allowed to vote. He was the quintessential elitist–and with regard to the theme of the current election, firmly against change. He also said:

"All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people.... The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive an advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government." Debates of the Federalist Convention (May 14-September 17, 1787).

So, let's set the record straight. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, that "bleeding heart liberal", not only brought this nation back from the Great Depression, while saving the world from Hitler and imperialist Japan during his life, but his "New Deal" for the American people gave us the greatest prosperity we've ever known. It also allowed him to reach back from the grave, through the person of Bill Clinton, to save the nation from Ronald Reagan 50 years after his death. Now he's poised to do it, yet again, through Barack Obama, if the American people will simply open their eyes.

That isn't to say that the liberal Democratic philosophy corners the market on what is in the best interest of the nation--it is clear that both parties have had illustrious moments in the past. But this is one of those defining moments in American history that will determine whether this is to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, or a government where the citizens or nothing more than disposable resources for big business.

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