As the Republican presidential field swells to absurd numbers much has been made of who will be allowed to participate in the primary “debates”. With twelve candidates with a chance to earn the nomination and another four set to throw their hats into the ring, one would think the debates would be an interesting exploration of policy proposals and interpretations, but the opposite is more likely, because they are all nothing but placeholders for the voracious anti-government, free market extremist political platform set by the Koch Brothers and the other wealthy donors that will be funding the right’s newest attempt to sell lies and fear to the American people.
All of the 2016 Republican candidates propose the same basic agenda, which is as follows:
– The privatization of Social Security and the dismantling of the social safety net, replacing them with for-profit models.
-The de-regulation of the economy, cutting taxes for the rich and corporations, and the same trickle-down economics that have been proven to be a failure time and time again.
– Privatization of public schools through the voucher system, destroying teacher’s unions and turning it into a for-profit system that would end up excluding the poor and minority children.
– To crush American unions, deprive workers of bargaining rights, and leaving them at the mercy of corporations with no ability to fight for fair hours or a living wage.
-The repeal of the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions without insurance. Not one candidate has proposed any coherent alternative.
– The abolishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, all environmental regulations and to halt efforts to combat climate change, no matter the risk to public.
– The repeal of Roe V. Wade, cutting off abortion access, family planning services, and depriving women of their rights.
– The passage of federal religious freedom laws that would ban same-sex marriage and legalize discrimination against LGBT Americans.
– A jingoistic and ignorantly hostile foreign policy that calls for the bombing/invasion with any nation that poses a “threat” to America. Specifically, to send American troops back to Iraq to fight the Islamic State, to expand that conflict into Syria, and eventually invade the Islamic Republic of Iran. During these conflicts, the privatization of the military will expand even more than it did in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, making billions in profits for companies like Halliburton and other defense contractors, who receive no-bid contracts from the Republicans they helped get elected.
There can be no doubt left that the legislative terrorists calling themselves the Republican Party have any regard for the welfare of the American people, the integrity of our democracy, the health of our environment, or the promotion of peaceful relations with the rest of the world. It is an agenda that is free market fascism to the core, designed to funnel what little money the rest of America still has to the one percent, to make Wall Street and the Koch brothers the oligarchical overlords of our great nation.
Donald Trump’s entrance into the race and the right-wing media’s attempts to present him as a legitimate candidate are just insult to injury. It’s proof that the Republican Party isn’t taking this seriously, that they have deluded themselves into thinking that repeating the same tired talking points and propagating false narratives about the tremendous successes of the Obama Administration is all they need to do to win the election. It shows that they don’t respect the American people, but only see their constituents as a means to an end. It may sound hyperbolic, but the future of our nation as we know it is at stake in this election. We must make the right choices, get out of this abusive relationship with the right, and elect progressives to fix the damage that the Republican Party has wrought on our nation.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.