Again… the actions being taken by Congress are not to help raise revenue, attract jobs, fix our crumbling infrastructure, curb our health care (although we are in talks to reform Medicare which I talked about in my last post) and discretionary spending, promote innovation or anything that would really revitalize the American economy and spirit. Instead what we have are the Democrats (i.e., the enablers) and the Republicans (i.e., the enforcers) promising us dreams of despair and rhetoric that praises the prison industrial complex and capital punishment without remorse.
What we are seeing unfolding is something sinister. In 2008, Obama was sworn in with an overwhelming amounts of Latino, African-American and young voters rushing the polls for the first time in well, ever. This caught the eyes of “conventional wisdom” in Washington. Though this threat may be small because these groups that showed up to the polls are groups that historically have had little political capital, it caught a lot of attention.
Democrats will be looking for ways to keep these populations voting as the majority of them vote liberally while Republicans have already made the steps the make it difficult for these populations to vote through numerous Voter ID bills (here is a good piece on the pros and cons of Voter ID bills). The main concern is that without sufficient evidence that supports that the country has a real voter fraud concern, would it be worth the unintended effect of hurting voter turnout, especially in the economic state we are in?
We have seen the efforts to curb the voting rights of minorities from the defunding of ACORN to the current talks of Voter ID legislation. If you’re a large corporation who makes a living out of misinformation through think tanks and you are able to throw away nuclear and toxic pollutants without serious restrictions, then it is not in your interest if minorities and young voters are hitting the polls in record numbers. Unfortunately, it is the minority population that lives in the areas that are most hazardous, so with the right education, they would probably vote against these corporations.
To support the statement made earlier about pollutants, as we speak, Congress is working on making cuts to the EPA. The biggest issues Congress have been working on are voter restrictions (or voter protection as others would say) and non-discretionary and mandatory programs. Of course, discretionary spending is rarely in any talks. And one area that is of enormous concern to Congress (which they have been focused on since the 2010 Mid-term Elections) has been the EPA and it hasn’t been to help them deal with climate issues.
Congress feels as though the EPA is overstepping their boundary by pushing to reduce to pollution. Opponents to the cuts believe that corporations are looking to limit their losses and any restrictions on pollution means fewer profits. Maybe restrictions would be job-killing, but with the number of persons with asthma and respiratory-related illnesses increasing especially in areas with high smog levels, I don’t know if the economy takes precedent over American lives.
There are ways to get around the loss of profits as green and renewable technologies may cost more in the short-term, but are money-savers in the end. However, the issue of green energy and climate-change is still a very sticky and divisive one.
No crisis should go to waste and the election of 2008 was a crisis to Republicans and is now becoming a crisis for Democrats. It’s politics, but we have to make sure our rights and health are not being jeopardized by the government whether it’s the left pushing for “boundary-stepping” climate legislation or the right pushing for “restrictive” voting laws.
There is a battle between corporate America and the rest of America. People often debate over who created this case of class warfare, but I’ll just say the war is already here. Now, how are we going to deal with this together?