1. THE ECONOMY
Republican administrations deregulate which causes financial institutions to disregard fundamentals and gamble with others’ money racking up huge profits until they lose a lot or everything. Then some Republicans want to bail them out at more expense to others (including us taxpayers) while other Republicans want “the market” to work it out, which means those without means will have to suffer through very hard times, losing jobs and homes and health care and money for food and necessities as the economy bottoms out.
Democrats believe in regulations and oversight, and if anyone is going to get bailed out, they believe it should be, or at least must include, those who suffer the most from corporate and/or financial institutions mistakes, or actual criminality, working people and the poor.
It’s not the Great Depression again—yet. Even though that collapse of the world economy that began with our stock market crash in 1929 has some similarities to recent events, like occurring under Republican administrations that don’t believe in regulating and overseeing the banking industry or insurance companies or mortgage or brokerage firms until it’s too late and continue to spout “the fundamentals are fine”, “the economy is strong” bromides in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, until it’s too late and then they want a handout from the rest of us.
But even if it were to become that bad, which is doubtful given the effort of some of the world’s strongest economies to avoid it by any means at this point—which is more apt to cause inflation or even hyper inflation with the printing of so much money and the accumulation of even more debt, which means the declining wages of the past eight years under the Republicans would continue even more so—
the good news is some of our parents and grandparents got through The Great Depression okay. They may have lost their houses and their jobs, but they didn’t starve to death or die—unless they jumped off a building out of fear and shame at having caused or contributed to the financial wipe out of so many working people’s homes and savings and livelihoods etc. Nowadays those guys just take their golden parachute and jump out of the pilot-less plane. (Here’s a link to a pretty good take on some of this.)
2. THE WARS
It’s not World War II, the bloodiest conflict of the 20th century, much more violent and destructive than anything we’ve seen since. And some of our parents and grandparents survived that too, though not many without knowing personally someone who didn’t. It was a sad and difficult time, but everyone, or almost everyone pitched in to help defeat some of the most evil movements the world has ever known. And while they did it, others wrote songs and movies and made other kinds of art to inspire them and make them laugh and give them a break.
Bin Laden is not Hitler and the Iranians are not the Japanese. But our military is overextended and McPalin’s statements (they both do it) about wars they might want to fight if elected do give one pause, if one is thinking clearly. A larger conflict sure is possible if you have leaders who believe in military action as a solution to the world’s problems. (And here’s a link to show why that isn’t just a possibility but a probability, made before Palin was chosen, but one could be made showing her being even more militaristic than McCain.)
3. THE ELECTION
It took a Democratic administration, FDR’s, to create the programs that provided the oversight and safety nets to insure that we didn’t have to go through a financial collapse like 1929 and the Great Depression ever again, and that could mobilize a nation to enter a war that our enemies were winning, hands down, at the time and to defeat them and eliminate the evil they were purveying.
But Republican administrations ever since have done everything they can to undo FDR’s programs that created the regulatory agencies and safety nets that kept financial institutions and corporations in line while protecting working people and the poor (the corporations and financial institutions still made plenty of profits, but they paid a fair share to the government to fund the agencies that oversaw their practices making sure they didn’t risk so much that working people could lose their savings and pensions etc.).
Reagan was particularly successful at it, until Junior got in almost eight years ago and outdid him. Under Reagan’s deregulations, we not only had weaker unions—meaning corporations and businesses can get away with hiring part time help with no health insurance at lower pay and so ons—but we also had the last giant collapse of financial institutions that had to be bailed out by us taxpayers, the deregulated Savings and Loan debacle (that McCain was a part of but was let off the hook by his fellow congress folks).
Once again Republicans have gotten us into a financial and military mess that they created and want the rest of us to not only bail them out and pay the price for their losing gambles and destructive mistakes, but they want us to vote them back in for four more years! It’s a no-brainer, for most of us.
But I have members of my extended clan who, like a lot of our fellow citizens, live in areas of the country (and again, no accident they’ve become Republican strongholds) where they don’t have access to NPR or even MSNBC. They get a steady diet of Rush and O’Reilly and Fox News (has any show on Fox News run footage of Palin lying about her response to “the bridge to nowhere” by showing her standard stump speech where she claims she said “no thanks” to it against earlier footage of her speaking in favor of it when she wanted the money or pointed out that she still took the money for the project and has been spending some of it on plans for a, you guessed it, bridge to the same “nowhere”) (oh, the answer is no of course) and the only alternative is mainstream media, the big three networks, which pay more attention to personalities and the horse race aspects of the campaign than to the issues, and when they address the issues they bend over backwards to try and be balanced but often end up just avoiding the objective facts of McPalin lying about Obama raising taxes on most of us (they say raising “your taxes” to crowds full of folks whose taxes would actually be lowered under Obama’s plan) etc.
So those folks aren’t stupid, any more than I was before I went to college on the G.I. Bill where I learned facts that I’d never seen before about Viet Nam and how we got into that war and who was profiting from it and how our government deceived us. We need more “teach-ins” like in those days, not only on college campuses but in high schools and communities the way so many college students and professors went out and did during the Viet Nam War that led to a turn around among those “middle Americans” from being blindly supportive of a failed policy to being against it.
Unfortunately the divisions among Democrats and on the left led to Nixon’s election, helped by voters who believed him when he said he had a plan to end the war, even though the details were sketchy at best and mostly non-existent, and in fact turned out to be a lie, much the way McCain now says he has a plan to straighten out the economy and win the war(s) but the details are sketchy at best and mostly non-existent and he has already been proven to lie about those things over and over again. (See this link for confirmation.)