Mon, July 15

Letter: Let’s give Obama another four years to help our country


What a shame for our country that the Tea Party has co-opted the Republican Party. Although they continue to deify Ronald Reagan, I doubt he’d get elected if he ran today. He was far too moderate and reasonable, though heaven knows I didn’t think so at the time. He actually believed in compromise, imagine that. Today’s Republicans bear little resemblance to the actual conservative party they once were.

Republicans accuse President Obama of class warfare and elitism, but the reality is he’s working hard for you and me, for the middle class, while the Republicans only pretend to be. The Romney/Ryan proposed tax code would raise taxes on ordinary Americans while further reducing taxes on the wealthy!  If “trickle down economics” really worked, why are the richest getting richer, the stock market strong again, the CEOs still making record salaries, while many of the rest of us are still having a tough time?  I don’t see any new jobs created by Wall St., do you?

A lot of new jobs were made possible by the stimulus bill, and many GOP governors, including Bobby Jindal of LA, complained loudly about it, but they took the money and put it to good use in their states!  Isn’t that hypocritical?  And two of the most knowledgeable economists in the country, Paul Klugman and Robert Reich, have both said the stimulus was vital to boosting the economy at a time when the private sector was faltering and thought it should’ve been bigger, which it would’ve been if the GOP hadn’t fought so hard against it.

They opposed infusing the economy with much-needed cash, but were OK with an unpaid-for war?  And, it helped to keep thousands of teachers, policeman, and firefighters across the country on the job.  Sadly, many did lose their jobs, at a huge cost to the quality of public education and safety, not to mention the impact on those families and their communities.

The Republicans just blocked the Veteran’s Jobs Bill!  How could they do that?  Go fight and risk your life and be away from your families, but when you come back, we won’t help you??  If there was something in the bill they didn’t like, they never said, and didn’t try to negotiate any changes, they just blocked it.

Did you know that Mitch McConnell, GOP leader in the Senate, said from the very first minute of Pres. Obama’s tenure that their first priority was to make sure he’d be a one-term president?  Not jobs, not working to help get our country out of a bad recession, just wanting to do everything they could to make him look like a failure. Is that patriotic? Is it patriotic, or is it partisan politics, to obstruct and refuse to work with our democratically elected president?

And just a few days ago, McConnell complained about the “do-nothing” Congress! So his behavior isn’t just unpatriotic, it’s downright hypocritical.

The Republicans are trying hard to scare people about Obamacare. Did you know we’re the only modern country that doesn’t provide that for our citizens? They have lied about its costs, and said it’s going to rob Medicare.  That is blatantly false, and the Congressional Budget Office says that it will, in fact, save the country millions of dollars in the long run.  I would love to not have to worry about going bankrupt in the event of a serious illness, or face the prospect of losing my home. 

The healthcare bill could’ve been better and could’ve been implemented more quickly, if Pres. Obama hadn’t been trying to cooperate with the GOP.  The GOP blocked many of the items he wanted in the plan - and yet they have all of it, the total package, for themselves!  But at least it’s a start and can be built upon, improved from here.  The intention is to help make healthcare affordable for everyone (is that elitist?), but the Republicans always vote in favor of Big Business, hence they’re on the side of the insurance industry, not you and me.

Republicans have tried to demonize union workers – witness what happened in Wisconsin last year.  Why?  Once again, because they always come down on the side of Big Business. Without the bargaining power of unions, many of those people would barely be making a decent wage, or have any kind of pension, or reasonable work hours.

Republicans’ pro-Big Business stance is also why they oppose any kind of legislation that protects the environment - because it may cost businesses some money. But don’t you think Big Oil can afford to be more careful? They make an astronomical amount of money every year. Why should they get away with polluting our oceans? And the proposed Tar Sands Project would jeopardize huge swaths of land and every river it crosses, which is why our president isn’t in favor of it. It’s not at all that he’s anti-business; it’s that we have a responsibility to protect our environment.

On a similar note, the GOP wants to convince people that climate change is a phony isssue, made up by liberals, in spite of all the hard science that supports it.  But if there was any doubt about it, wouldn’t you prefer to err on the side of caution and protect our planet for our grandchildren and all future generations?

The same attitude holds true with the gas companies drilling with fracking, which injects harmful chemicals into the earth: the stuff they use actually makes people’s water in those areas flammable! Yes, I have seen that with my own eyes on a segment of 60 Minutes.  But they get away with it, again with their buddies the Republicans blocking legislation that would protect the environment. 

They’ve worked tirelessly at convincing as many people as possible that government regulation is the big bad boogey man, and I agree that in many cases we have too much regulation and too many laws, but this is an area in which we desperately need government regulation to prevent greedy tycoons from devastating our planet.

And, while the GOP scream about big government, they propose legislation of their own that is a huge invasion of the rights of private citizens like forced vaginal ultrasounds on women wanting an abortion. 

Romney has shown himself to be completely incompetent in terms of foreign affairs - even many in his own party have said so.  His bravado and bluster will make enemies out of allies, and cause us to be regarded as bullies in the world, instead of working as part of the world community.  As we’ve seen with the widespread violence that resulted from the insulting video that went out on the Internet last week, costing the lives of four Americans, this is a volatile world, and it’s critical that we work together for peace. 

President Obama, who has never apologized for America (in spite of their accusations, which they don’t back up with one single example), understands that, is respected around the world, and understands the importance of communication and cooperation.

Pres. Obama said, four years ago, that it would take some time to get things turned around, and he’s done a good job, with zero help from the Republicans.  There’s so much more to do. I’ll do my part to see that he gets another four years to help our country.

Judi Lindner Avery