Reality Check: Does Your Political Affiliation Match Your Best Interests?

Here’s a question for Mesa County workers:

When was the last time your political party helped make your life better?

If you can’t think of anything, there’s a reason.

The dominant political party in our area has long been the Republican Party, but if you work for a salary or hourly wage, or have a small business, are registered as a Republican and think the Republican party has your best interests at heart, think again.

Republicans don’t advocate for employees or small business owners. They advocate for large business owners, and that’s about it.

Mesa County has been under solid Republican rule for decades, and it has brought us some of the lowest wages in the state, the highest poverty levels in the state and a suicide rate twice the national average. Thirty percent of Mesa County’s population is on Medicaid, or federally-funded medical insurance, and 51% of District 51 students qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, indicating the out-sized number of Mesa County families who live at or near poverty levels of income. Mesa County has an unemployment rate higher than the rest of Colorado, and the nation (pdf at page 4). Women in Mesa County earn just 64% of the income men earn (pdf at page 5) for the same work performed.

Is this good?

Of course not. It’s terrible.

Mesa County is in such bad shape in large part because the Republicans and conservatives who have long dominated this area’s politics are averse to change and innovation, and fight against benefits for workers.

Republicans Do Not Support What Most Citizens Need

Republicans oppose paid sick leave and maternity leave for workers. They oppose workers compensation for on-the-job injuries. Republicans oppose rules that protect worker safety, and work to undermine existing worker-safety protections even if it costs workers’ their lives.  Why? Because worker protections may add costs for big business owners, so Republicans see them as bad across the board. Republicans fight tooth and nail against organized labor, because bargaining collectively through unions is the one sure-fire way workers have been able to achieve higher wages, get better benefits and solid workplace protections. Republicans also fight against equal pay for women and many Republicans even fight against family planning and contraception.

Universal, free public education in the U.S. is a liberal-progressive accomplishment

While some people think there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats, nothing could be farther from the truth. This is especially the case on the local level. What the Republican Party fights for contrasts starkly with the goals of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party…

— fights for the rights, safety and protection of workers and their families;
— fights for a livable wage and good benefits for all workers;
— supports diversifying the economy to get Mesa County out of boom-and-bust cycles caused by over-dependence on carbon-based energy sources;
— Democrats fight to keep federal lands open to everyone. (Republicans want to make it easier to sell off public lands.)

—The Democratic Party believes no one who works a full time job should ever be living below federal poverty standards;

—  Democrats believe all businesses should provide employees with sick time, family and pregnancy leave, healthcare benefits, vacation time and retirement options. This applies to all employees, regardless of the status of their employment.

— Democrats support publicly-funded elections, so the wealthiest citizens don’t also keep a lock on power all of the time;

— Democrats believe reproductive information, services, and family planning should be readily accessible, regardless of gender;

— Democrats support two years of free post-secondary and/or vocational education for all students.

Democrats Work to Make Average People’s Lives Better, Not to Keep People Oppressed or in Poverty

Below is a partial list of Democrat and Liberal/Progressive achievements in the

Like Medicare? Thanks Liberals.

United States over the last century. You may recognize a few:

  • The GI Bill
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Social Security
  • Food Safety Laws
  • Workplace Safety Laws
  • Product Labeling Laws
  • Environmental Laws
  • Rural Electrification
  • Universal Public Education
  • Public Universities
  • Weekends
  • Vacation time
  • Bank Deposit Insurance (FDIC)
  • The Space Program
  • The Peace Corps
  • AmeriCorps
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Family & Medical Leave Act
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (gives people protection and recourse against defective products)
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (assures the disabled have access to all public places)
  • Freedom of Information Act (“Sunshine Laws” that mandate that people can get access to government documents)
  • Women’s right to control their reproductive future
  • Allowing citizens to view their own credit records
  • The Internet
  • Balancing the federal budget
  • The Brady Bill (5-day wait on handgun purchases for background checks)
  • Lobbying Disclosure Act
  • “Motor-Voter” Act (allows you to register to vote at the same time you register a vehicle)
  • The Voting Rights Act
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Food Stamps/WIC
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (protects investments from unscrupulous financial institutions)
  • Women’s Right to Vote
  • National Weather Service
  • Tsunami, hurricane, tornado, and earthquake warning systems
  • Truth in Advertising Laws
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Meat Inspection
  • The United States Postal Service
  • Title IX (a federal law that says “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”)

If you have made use of, or like any of these achievements, then thank liberals, progressives and Democrats for their existence in the United States.

If you want life to be better in Mesa County, and in America, then start voting for liberals, progressives and Democrats for local, state and national public offices.

Like sick pay, overtime pay and safety standards in your workplace? Thank labor unions, who fought for and achieved these things for workers.

 

4 comments for “Reality Check: Does Your Political Affiliation Match Your Best Interests?

  1. American Patriot
    April 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

    But the fly in the Democrat/Liberal ointment is; before you can benefit from all of those Democrat/liberal worker’s entitlements, you’ll need to find a job. And of course, if you have one, well, let’s just say that’s where the Republicans come into play.

    Personally, I believe that workers and business would be far better off without either party’s existence. And just as an aside, why pander to the people for their votes when the people know their votes don’t count? As in; the candidate who wins the vote of the people, doesn’t necessarily win the election. Is there a priority there somewhere? Or is that just the people’s priority and not the political parties priority?

    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and you empower him to eat for a lifetime and to feed others. You do not empower the people by giving them entitlements. The people are empowered by the value placed on their vote. But of course, then we wouldn’t need the political parties. But maybe you can already see that, can’t you?? Well, of course you can.

    • Anne Landman
      April 21, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Direct votes count in every election other than the presidential election, AP. So yes, votes count. And bigly.

      And do you consider free public education an “entitlement”? Do you consider child labor laws an entitlement? Do you consider a clean environment an entitlement? Social Security and Medicare aren’t entitlements. We pay into those funds over our whole lives before we start drawing on them for our own well-being. Arguing against entitlements only go so far. Some policies just exist to help elevate American society above being cave people, and that’s not just good. It’s necessary.

      • American Patriot
        April 21, 2017 at 3:21 pm

        If votes counted “bigly”, then how come they don’t count in the big one? It just sort of blows the whole theory, doesn’t it?

        My argument against entitlements is they only last as long as OPM, and right now, we’re twenty trillion dollars in debt. That’s like one hundred and sixty seven thousand dollars or there abouts for every man, woman and child. I think your argument may be with the people that live beyond our means.

        Social security is called social security insurance for a reason. It’s supposed to be there if you need it. And when we get around to the point where it isn’t, then it will occur to someone that “need” would include means testing.

        Is school an entitlement? I think with a lot of people, it’s more a waste of time. But there’s also no entitlement to be a lifelong student. You live on this earth by the sweat of your brow. And if you don’t, well then you’ll need to ask what your country can do for you?

        Do you think military service should be an entitlement? How about mandatory? It may come to pass were we have something to argue about. The mistake in that would be assumptions, like assuming civility on four hundred and eighty nine dollars a month. I enter my home justified. And I live there with a live and let live attitude. And with zero tolerance for a government of the people, by the people and for the people in which your vote doesn’t count…..in the big one. And as I am sure you already know, zero tolerance for a government that has to be repurchased by the people at every election. Political parties are a lot like the priests in some religions. You have to go through them to talk to God. Think just powers derived from the consent of the governed.

        And try not to make up my mind for me. That’s what the Republicans did, and that’s why Donald Trump is your new President….. and theirs. If you’re going to speak on behalf of the little people, it helps to know who they are. And it helps more to know what they’re capable of. And you’ll find them much more receptive when you talk to them instead of at them. Here’s a clue. The last thing on earth you want is to get crosswise of those people. They’re heavily armed with a will; and easily pissed off. Keep your friends close…and your enemies closer. And make damned sure that you have more of the first than you do the second.

        If you want to fight oppression, it’s a target rich environment out there. But be careful where you aim, because real people do live out there. People with common sense. And to them it’s not a game. If you want to go after the one percenters, by all means continue yourself. Just make sure you don’t step on the Constitutional rights of any little people in the process. Hopefully now that you’ve seen the elephant, you’ll be able to figure out who kicked the elephant’s ass. And if you work at it, you may even be able to figure out how that was done. Or more importantly, why it was done, and that it was a self inflicted wound.

        Below included is an excerpt from George Washington’s farewell speech to Congress. And it is completely applicable to your destination.

        “However combinations or associations (political parties) of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.“ George Washington, 1796

        The Deplorable’s; No better friend, and no worse enemy And you get to choose. And that’s where your vote really counts.

  2. David Congour
    April 21, 2017 at 7:57 am

    … chqange begins on the day that the average worker screws up the courage to turn off “Fox and Friends”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *