How the GOP succeeded in breaking us

How the GOP succeeded in breaking us
Shan Wells - 10/15/2020

The mantra chanted by Republicans since the days of Ronald Reagan is that government is the problem. “The market will do a much better job,” they insisted. Yet, government is not a business. The two institutions fill entirely different roles. The U.S. Postal Service is a good example. It is run as a service for our citizens much like the U.S. military, and no one expects the military to make a profit. Yet profits seem to be the only thing the GOP cares about. Oddly, Trump gets good marks on his handling of the economy. This could not be further from the truth. 

Trump and the GOP have managed in four short years to destroy the booming economy they inherited from Obama. Despite the lies Trump spins about building “the best economy in history,” Obama’s economy had three quarters of much greater economic growth, including the second quarter of 2014 at 5.5 percent. The best Trump managed was 3.5 percent. Likewise, with regard to job growth, Obama’s high-water mark was an average of 250,000 jobs added per month in 2014. Trump’s best effort was 193,000 in 2018. And of course, he’s currently averaging a loss of 1.4 million jobs per month. Due to Trump’s continued assault on the Affordable Care Act (unbelievably malfeasant in the middle of a pandemic), only 30 million Americans now have health insurance, down from 48.2 million in 2010. Business investment dropped from 5.9 percent in 2017 to -27 percent now. 

The conclusion is inescapable: we are in a deep economic and social crisis created solely by the GOP. 

Yet, predictably, Trump is blaming Biden for somehow destroying the country Trump has run for four years. As with almost every other aspect of Trump’s life, his only real skill is in stealing credit for the work of others, then blaming them when he inevitably fails miserably. 

Trump’s inept response to the COVID crisis is the reason for our economic collapse. It is the ultimate dead-end we come to after 40 years of purposeful Republican governmental defunding and disorganization. This selfish disregard has cost us almost 200,000 lives and $1.3 trillion in personal income. More than 13 million jobs of the 22 million lost to the pandemic have not returned. Millions of small businesses will never reopen, including several beloved Durango watering holes. The response from Congressional Republicans? Gridlock and golf. 

And now the virus has infected the president. It’s no surprise, as Trump has flouted safety protocols since the pandemic began, despite knowing COVID was deadly and airborne months before he admitted it. His lies that the virus was a hoax caused tens of thousands of preventable deaths. Instead of admitting his humiliating failure, he’s doubled down with the insane lie that COVID is no worse than the flu. Trump’s hands, already dripping with the blood of those lost, are now actively engaged in killing even more Americans.   

This Trumpian disaster clearly illustrates how desperately we need solid federal management. Our grandparents understood that a capable central government run by nonpartisan professionals won wars against fascism, built the infrastructure that fueled expansion, and allowed all our people access to the American Dream. They knew a con-man when they saw one. They certainly never would have accepted “it’s not my fault” from their leaders. Unfortunately, we have lost that skill. 

Having badly broken our country, Republicans now have no plan to fix it. For the first time ever, there is no national GOP platform. It has been replaced by official, gushing, lockstep devotion to Trump. In the face of the greatest challenge to our country since 1929, the week-long GOP convention revealed no other solution but to let the captain of this Titanic-sized mess continue to flail. Instead of ideas, the GOP has ceded total control to a man who extolled the benefits of injecting disinfectants, praised Nazis, was impeached for cheating in his re-election bid, is impressed by demon sperm-believing quack doctors, and retweeted “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” 

This is not leadership. This is a death spiral. This is a glide path to collapse. Republicans have not only proven themselves catastrophically incapable of governing … they have shown the concept has no value in their eyes. Sadly, they are no longer even recognizable as Republicans. They are Trumplicans, dedicated solely to the increasingly dictatorial whims of their unstable, virus-spreading leader. 

Make no mistake, the wounds inflicted by Trumplicans on our republic are severe. They will be with us for decades. Healing is possible, but only with systemic change and that change must include you. Trump has destroyed or flouted every check built into the system, except one: us. Please vote early to ensure that your voice will be counted and that we will continue to enjoy a country where your voice matters. This is our last remaining chance to do so. Four more years of Trumpism will render the United States broken beyond recognition or repair. 


– Shan Wells