I’m feeling beyond frustrated today as I listen to the acrimony between Hillary and Bernie supporters, each blaming the other for the demise of the Democratic Party.
I support Bernie because I want someone who will fight for universal access to health care now.
Yes, I know it will be blocked by Republicans, but if we start negotiations in the middle, we wind up with an agreement right of center and with millions of people still without care.
When President Obama and Nancy Pelosi took single-payer off the table, we lost all hope of getting that public option that would have given me a choice to buy into Medicaid. It would have offered competition with the insurance companies, which now have a legal monopoly. What we got was a half-assed solution that, although it offered millions of people the chance to buy health insurance, it shut out millions more and left the for-profit insurance companies in charge of the system.
We’re seeing employers stop hiring full-time employees rather than give money to the insurance companies. We’re seeing people having to buy high-deductible plans that they can’t afford to use, so they’re getting nothing for their money.
About once every 18 to 20 minutes, an American dies from lack of access to care.
But sure, let’s do it incrementally. Let’s tell the bereaved families of these people who are dying that they have to be patient. After all, we don’t want to offend those who support the system as it is.
There are very real and very high stakes in this election. Each election cycle, the corporations gain more ground and we the people lose. We can’t get a living wage, we can’t get universal health care, we can’t get affordable housing, we can’t get reasonably low rate college loans for middle-income kids, we can’t get big money out of politics.
But rather than focus on all that, we follow every move of Donald Trump, who’s only doing as well as he is because the media have decided he’s the story.
You see, in case you haven’t noticed, the media write the scenarios and we blithely follow along.
Four years ago, the media started saying the Republicans would take the Senate in 2014. It was an unlikely scenario, but the media kept repeating it until it became reality.
Now the media are saying Trump will beat Hillary if she is the nominee, and you can bet it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy unless we the people wake up and start thinking for ourselves.
Four years ago, the Democrats ran a lame candidate here in North Carolina, and he was beaten by Pat McCrory (#OneTermPat). As the election neared and Walter Dalton trailed, several Democratic friends told me they thought it was OK.
“Let them have it all and people will be so pissed they’ll send them packing,” people said.
Well, here’s what really happened. We cant expand Medicaid — in fact, we’re about to privatize it, and we’re cutting funding for the care of medically fragile children. That’s right, we’re going to let sick children suffer and die rather than ask the wealthiest to pay their share of taxes.
Our schools are suffering and being choked to death as we give more money to for-profit charter schools. Our teachers are among the lowest paid in the country, and our per-pupil spending is the lowest in the nation. Our once-proud university system is being cut down, bit by bit. In fact, some of our state universities are about to be starved to death, including some traditionally African-American schools.
We can’t raise the minimum wage, so people are in desperate need for social programs, like food stamps, which are being cut. Child care costs as much as college tuition, and we’re cutting programs that help parents afford it while refusing to pay a living wage.
If you lose your job because of discrimination, you can’t sue in state courts, and you have the shortest duration and the least compensation in the country on unemployment. The GOP did that almost as soon as McCrory took office.
Cities and counties can’t set their own wage levels or discrimination policies because of HB2, which most people think is just about bathrooms.
We are well along the road to becoming a third-world country in terms of the life of average citizens. Income inequality is at record levels, global warming is at the tipping point, we keep fighting pointless wars, and no one seems to notice.
We’re so complacent that half of the right-wing nuts who want to establish a state religion and allow people to die in the streets rather than give them access to health care are running unopposed.
So the predictions of people finally waking up if Trump wins the election are wrong. If North Carolina is a predictor, and I believe it is, people will allow him to set up a fascist state because we’re too distracted by the media’s shiny issues to do anything about it.
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