Who's Left To Support The Republicans?
As The GOP Wages Wars, Who Remains On Their Side?
May 9, 2012
By Deborah Montesano
Heaven help the world if the GOP is ever again able to initiate wars against other countries! It’s all we Americans can do to fend off their assaults on us:
Students. Tuition at colleges and universities is skyrocketing. Nevertheless, Congressional Republicans want to slash funding for Pell grants. They’re also blocking legislation that would keep the student loan interest rate from doubling on June 1st. All their attempts to de-fund public education and use vouchers to enrich private schools are direct attacks on both students and teachers.
Women. The fireballs they are hurtling at women are too numerous for one list. Consider these: laws limiting abortion rights and contraceptives; mandating invasive procedures for pregnant women; redefining rape in favor of the rapist; blocking funding for women’s healthcare; objecting to raising the minimum wage (for jobs that are held primarily by women).
Seniors. The GOP must think it can solve the problem of an aging population by frightening seniors to death—especially about healthcare reform. For instance, they lie about reform creating government ‘death panels’ that will decide who is worthy of health care. Republicans are trying to privatize Social Security with dire and false reports about how quickly the program is going broke. Efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher system and to lower future Social Security benefits are meant to eviscerate the system. The proposed Ryan budget in the House of Representatives would create drastic losses in benefits for seniors in order to generate investments—and profits—for Wall Street.
Gays. The ‘family values’ party only has one version of what a family looks like. The Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, just vetoed a bill that would allow gay marriage in his state. A gay adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign was recently forced out of his position by the prejudice of the party faithful. North Carolina amended their constitution to prohibit gay marriage. Even though 50% of Americans support gay marriage, only 22% of Republicans do so.
Latinos. At a time when Latinos have become a substantial proportion of the population throughout the Southwest and California, Republican legislators are passing legislation that is virulently anti-immigrant. As a result, American citizens of Latino descent are racially profiled and inappropriately detained. Latino families are being torn apart by ill-considered deportations that are instigated at the local level.
The poor. Republicans are ripping holes into society’s safety nets as fast as they can, attempting to cut food stamp eligibility, unemployment benefits, public healthcare programs, child tax credits, free school lunch programs for kids. Much of this slashing of human services is in the name of preventing cuts to the military. The irony is that many military families ARE the poor.
The middle class. Much of the above directly affects the middle class, for instance, reductions in Pell grants and the raising of interest rates on student loans. More obviously, at a time when the country still hasn’t recovered from recession, Republicans want to end the payroll tax cuts for the middle class while refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy; and, even though gas prices have risen dramatically, they also refuse to end the subsidies for the oil industry—subsidies paid for by the taxpayers—thus protecting the massive profits of corporations and siphoning off funds that could be used for the benefit of the people.
How can the GOP possibly alienate all of these voters and still hope to garner a majority at the polls? Their attempts to suppress the vote can’t do the job for them. For Republicans to win, people still need to mark ballots in their favor. So, who will these supporters be? Well, the GOP targets don’t include a heading for ‘rich’. Or one for ‘white’. Or one for ‘male’.
Apparently, the GOP didn’t get the same memo as the rest of us: the majority doesn’t look like it used to. We run the gamut from poor to middle class; we’re ethnically mixed; female; we range in age from young, struggling students to older retirees who’ve lost pensions; we have families who are often headed by women, and sometimes by gay partners.
Got that? Not rich, white, male. Rather, poor to middle-class, ethnically mixed, of all ages, women, gays. Welcome to 21st Century America.
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