Pity the poor politician!
So reviled by at least half the population, given today’s polarized society, and so removed from the lives of the people that they are meant to represent, many political leaders get so disconnected from the everyday reality of their constituents that they lay the groundwork for their own obsolescence as effective representatives of the needs and desires of their prospective voters.
Take, for example, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Here is a man who has done everything he can to further remove himself from the lives of the people he represents, going so far as to abandon the Hispanic-sounding first name, Raphael, that would align him with Texas’ sizeable Latinx population in favor of the “Ted” that allowed him to move more comfortably in the Anglo-controlled corridors of his State’s political elite.
The distance between Senator Cruz and the working classes of Texas seemed particularly pronounced in the sarcastic tweet he posted in response to a proposal on how to fairly treat Americans suffering from the economic devastation caused by the Trump administration’s incompetent response to the coronavirus pandemic as tweeted by his congressional colleague Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).
Markey’s sensible proposal mirrors a strategy successfully employed by several European countries that delivers money directly to their countries’ citizens rather than funneling it to big businesses and large corporate interests, suggesting payments of $2000 a month to every person regardless of their current income during the pandemic as a way to encourage people to stay at home until the virus is defeated while ensuring that they have enough cash to cover food and shelter as the necessary nationwide shut-downs work their virus-strangling magic.
Cruz’s response demonstrates not only how little he cares about the ability of ordinary Americans to survive in these desperate times, but how little he knows about how far $2000 a month will get you in parts of the country where you couldn’t even rent a one-bedroom apartment for that sum, much less have anything left over for food and medical expenses.
Why be so cheap? Give everyone $1 million a day, every day, forever. And three soy lattes a day. And a foot massage.
We have a magic money tree — we should use it! https://t.co/0ODgPBhc4O
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 10, 2020
Funny how Cruz had no objection to a “magic money tree” when he and other Senate Republicans were handing out trillions of dollars in tax reductions to their wealthy billionaire donors. There seemed to be plenty of fruit to spread around back then.
Senator Markey saw Cruz’s response of imperial disdain and tried to bring his colleague back to the reality faced by those Americans who don’t have the luxury of congressional perks and deep-pocketed donors.
It's not a goddamn joke Ted. Millions of families are facing hunger, the threat of eviction, and the loss of their health care during a pandemic that is worsening every day. Get real. https://t.co/z6ygY8lSxc
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) August 10, 2020
The sudden parsimoniousness of Cruz and his fellow members of the GOP when it comes to finding a solution to our current economic situation is unsurprising given the fact that their party has presided over all of the worst economic declines in this country during the past 100 years, with Democrats continually forced to clean up their financial messes and gigantic macroeconomic blunders.
It is so obviously apparent that Cruz and his gang of Republican self-dealers have no interest in any solution that will call on those who have suffered the least and profited the most from the pandemic — the same ultra-wealthy oligarchs who received an undeserved windfall from the 2o17 tax giveaway — to go back to paying a more reasonable share of their considerable profits into the U.S. Treasury’s coffers.
The amenities that Cruz facetiously imagines that those Americans not fortunate enough to have been born into fabulous wealth would be spending their government stimulus money on may actually be commonplace in the circles that the senator travels in, but ask yourself, why do only billionaires deserve soy lattes and foot massages?
If Cruz thinks that his Calvinistic view of rewards only going to those who work hard and diligently, then why is he joining his congressional colleagues in taking yet another vacation recess when there is still so much to do to solve the multiple crises that the pandemic — and Donald Trump have caused?
One can only surmise that when politicians have their own “magic money tree” and hoard its benefits all to themselves and those who contribute to their re-election campaigns it does something to their minds that causes their brains, their ethics, and their common sense to dissolve.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.