Opinion

Republicans Live in an Alternate Reality

Americans are dying. The economy is in free fall. Deficits are skyrocketing. Blame Democrats!

Donald Trump
Voters wait outside a convention center in Rochester, Minnesota, where American president Donald Trump is giving a speech, October 5, 2018 (Lorie Shaul)

Donald Trump and the Republicans have been in power for nearly four years, yet everything that’s wrong in America is somehow Joe Biden’s fault.

180,000 Americans have died of coronavirus, because Trump couldn’t be bothered to deal with the crisis. 10 percent of Americans are out of work, more than during the Great Recession.

Nobody mentioned either during the four days of the Republican National Convention.

Trump insisted Biden would be the “destroyer of America’s jobs.”

Deficits

Republicans spent eight years under Barack Obama arguing against deficit spending, yet they didn’t manage to balance the federal budget for a single year of Trump’s term. The United States is on track to borrow a record $3.7 trillion, or 20 percent of GDP, this year.

“We have a choice,” Housing Secretary Ben Carson told the convention: “Do we want big government that controls our lives from cradle to grave? Or do we believe in the power and wisdom of the people and their ability to self-govern with help from a limited federal government?”

Health care

Republicans spent seven years campaigning against Obamacare, but once they were in power it turned out they didn’t have a better plan.

28 million Americans still don’t have health insurance. Health-care costs are rising twice as fast as wages. Americans pay twice as much for insurance and medical services as Europeans, but they are just as healthy (or unhealthy).

“The choice before you could not be clearer,” said the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy: “Forward in prosperity or backward in poverty.”

Middle class

Child care, higher education and housing are becoming unaffordable for the middle class. Two in five Americans would struggle to come up with $400 in an emergency. One in three households are classified as “financially fragile“. Biden has a litany of plans, from tax credits for child care to free college for low-income students to expanding housing vouchers.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell: “Today’s Democratic Party doesn’t want to improve life for Middle America.”

Crime

America has more guns than people. 15,000 Americans were shot and killed last year (not counting suicides). 1,700 Americans are shot and killed every year by police. Black men are two-and-a-half times more likely to be killed by police than white men.

“The choice in this election,” said Vice President Mike Pence, “is whether America remains America.”

Rule of law

The president makes a mockery of the rule of law. He has given government jobs to his family, government contracts to his businesses and presidential pardons to his allies and friends. He has fired civil servants who refused to do his bidding, overruled career prosecutors, invited a foreign power to interfere in the election and campaigned on White House grounds in violation of the law.

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem: “It took 244 years to build this great nation, flaws and all, but we stand to lose it in a tiny fraction of that time if we continue down the path taken by the Democrats and their radical supporters.”

Foreign policy

America is pitied and mistrusted by the rest of the world. It reneges on its commitments, punishes its allies and rewards its enemies.

Donald Trump, said conservative activist Charlie Kirk, is “the bodyguard of Western civilization.”

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