The U.S. keeps see-sawing between two political philosophies – democracy and plutocracy – so different that we no longer communicate. This takes a toll on our nation.
Republicans are the plutocrats. They believe that the wealthy are smarter and more deserving that the rest of us, that they have earned the right to govern, and that government should be run for their benefit. Their golden age was the 1880s and 1890s, when robber barons did not have to concern themselves with trustbusters, environmental laws, worker safety, or contributing to a social safety net.
Democrats prefer a representative democracy, where all citizens have an equal voice, opportunities and responsibilities are shared among all citizens, and we jointly provide for the least of our brethren.
The Democrat’s golden age was the 1950s and 1960s. Returning soldiers took advantage of the G.I. Bill to go to college, start new businesses, and buy homes. People too old or sick to work were protected by Social Security; unions bargained for salaries, benefits, and workplace protections; and more people could afford to send their children to college. We also began cleaning up our dirty air and water.
Our nation prospered during both periods — more PEOPLE prospered during the latter.
Now, after undercutting our nation’s revenues and saddling us with debt from unfunded tax cuts, two wars, and a drug benefit without cost controls, the Republicans tell us we no longer can afford democracy. That is why it’s wonderful to hear President Obama defend our democratic values – finally.