Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Republicans Need a Reality Check

If ever there was a time for the silent majority to rise up and let itself be heard, it is now. 

The loudest group in the United States over the past two years has been the Tea Party.  Through its concerted activism it has managed to change the complexion of contemporary American politics.  It enlarged and aroused the Republican base, providing the Republican Party with its big 2010 House victory, and now it’s calling the tune, forcing the Republican House leadership to propose draconian cuts which would be harmful to state and local economies.

Yet look at who the Tea Party is.  According to a New York Times poll, only 18% of Americans identify themselves as Tea Party supporters and they are wealthier and better educated than the general public.

They are angry, the poll found, about what they see as the undue support that the Federal government provides those less fortunate, especially African Americans.  Thus it’s not surprising that most of the cuts that Republicans propose are in social programs that help the poor and working class, as opposed to Social Security and Medicare, from which their base directly benefit.

Republicans say they have a mandate.  But recent polls consistently show that the majority of Americans, while wanting the deficit cut, don’t what programs cut, whether it’s the big ones like Medicare and Social Security or domestic programs like education, anti-poverty programs, and farm aid.  But since the Republicans have put entitlements and defense off the table, and tax increases have been ruled out, the only places to cut the deficit are those very domestic programs … and the proposed cuts are massive.

The silent majority must make themselves heard … they must call or email their Congressmen to let them know that they do not want these programs cut because it will further depress the economy and increase unemployment.  If they do not, the consequences for the nation will be dire.

We were all thrilled watching the Egyptians protest.  Surely Americans can pick up a phone or send an email to express their protest to these out-of-touch moves by the Republicans.