Besides the Republican health care policies that are unpopular with voters and might sink my party, here are some possible consequences of other ill-conceived, far-right views expounded by current presidential and/or congressional leadership:
- Over 11 million immigrants are deported, causing tremendous damage to our economy, especially in agriculture. Grocery store prices rise as imports increase, exports decrease.
- The middle class suffers because there is no plan to grow the economy other than to enter into a trade war with China, Japan and others. Prices rise on our consumer goods substantially while our exports fall. Employment here goes down as a result.
- As a result of escalating minor provocations, we bomb Iran, which then sinks tankers in the Straits of Yarmouth, cutting oil supplies drastically and causing prices at the pump to hit $6 per gallon. Israel is then bombed by Tehran which bombs them right back, creating increased instability in the region.
- A Supreme Court decision banning all or almost all abortions is passed. Planned Parenthood is defunded. Title X money going to the states for family planning, including contraceptives, is halted.
Hundreds of thousands of unwanted pregnancies annually eventually cause welfare rolls to swell. Abortions are once again done in back rooms where young women die in increasing numbers.
- The federal Department of Education is defunded, causing states and counties to drastically increase state/local taxes to make up some of the difference. Schools suffer and educational scores go down.
- The deficit grows much larger due to: a.) the new recession and stock market collapse, b.) tax cuts (income, estate, others) reducing revenue and c.) increased military spending for new wars in Iran and elsewhere.
When you examine the potential results of this extremist, right-wing scenario that’s based on views expounded by prominent Republicans, it is a surety that the average American voter will not support our next national ticket. The majority of the taxpayers oppose every one of the above policies.
The leaders of the GOP need to re-examine the direction of our party. It is not enough to just criticize the other side for being minority-group moochers that have somehow managed to displace white men from the natural order of things when white men weren’t looking.
Racism and sexism, part of the reason for a Trump victory, should have no place in American society or politics.
For those Republicans who do not care about the moral side, there is a purely practical aspect to this as well. The “Southern Strategy” unveiled by Richard Nixon after the Democrats pushed through civil rights in the sixties has almost run its course. The South is becoming browner, blacker and more educated as is much of the nation. The recent Electoral College victory (despite losing the popular vote) will not be repeated in coming decades.
What should we do? Let’s start by having our GOP leaders very publically denounce the Steve Bannons of the world. Next, let’s get our heads together to moderate our positions to reach the subsets of the electorate currently alienated by the party. The alternative, playing more ideological hard ball, is a recipe for long-term failure.
Jack Bernard of Fayette County, a retired corporate executive, was a two-term county commissioner and former county Republican Party chairman in Jasper County.