President Obama, wishing to disabuse the American people of the absurd notion that there is even a “debate” to be had between the contrasting platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties, lashed out at Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP for their constant – and patently false – assertions that the American economy is still in the dumps.
“If what you really care about in this election is your pocketbook — if what you’re concerned about is who will look out for the interests of working people and grow the middle class … then the debate is not even close” said Obama to a crowd in Elkhart, Indiana – a symbolic stop for POTUS as he returns to a city he first visited shortly after taking to the Oval Office, during the worst days of the recession.
In a terrible slump several years ago, Elkhart manufacturing is now booming, and an unemployment rate that once skyrocketed to 19.6% is now under 4%. After “the worst economic crisis of our lifetime,” America has rebounded to prove “it’s the strongest, most durable economy in the world!” said Obama.
The president then took solid aim at the destructive “policies” espoused by Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the rest of the GOP establishment. “Republicans want to lower wages, eliminate worker protections, cut investments in things like education, weaken the safety net, kick people off health insurance, and let China write the rules for the global economy.”
He specifically railed against the Republican misinformation campaign that portrays themselves as members of a “provactive cult of small government” – when their actions fly in the face of everything they claim to stand for. He soundly denounced their horrendous and divisive lies about the “impact that immigration, welfare programs, trade policy and ‘big government’ have had on the economy and middle class families.”
Donald Trump continually travels around the country, insisting that the American economy is leaking jobs (it’s not) and vaguely placing the blame on “trade deals”, the details of which a vast majority of Americans, almost certainly including Trump himself, are utterly ignorant of. It’s a convenient excuse that continually goes unquestioned, a constant source of frustration for liberals wishing to give President Obama the accolades he deserves.
But the President has hit the nail right on the head. The Republican Party’s economic platform is an economic disaster waiting to happen – and the pain will be felt by what is left of the middle class as the rest of the wealth and opportunities flow upwards.
While constantly complaining about the overreach of the federal government, the Republican Party have begun ruling their states like fiefdoms, using their gerry-mandered supermajorities to ram through an agenda that is anything but small-government, like banning towns from being able to decide whether or not to allow fracking, to imposing horrendously restrictive anti-abortion and anti-LGBT legislation, giving huge tax breaks to multinational corporations and sending state budgets into the gutter. Just look at Kansas, or Louisiana, or Oklahoma, to get a good look at how those agendas are working out for the common people.
The Democratic Party is the only real choice Americans have this election season if we want our middle class to survive, if we want a government that cares about its citizens, if we want politicians who will stand up to not only the insufferable demands of big business and their ruling oligarchs but also the rabid bigotry of religious extremists.
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.