Republican efforts to suppress voting, led by the statements of our current President threaten free and fair elections and will prevent many vulnerable populations from exercising their right to vote. Beyond elections, this administration has dismantled the checks and balances across the Executive, Congress, and Courts and has shown an utter lack of transparency in government. He has co-opted the independence of agencies such as the Justice Department, the intelligence agencies, the Internal Revenue Service and even the Census Bureau. The bedrock on which our democracy stands is being crushed by these failures to follow the most basic norms that have protected us since the founding of our Republic.
Republicans have continued to push for “right to work” laws across the country with the effect that destroying unions, the only tool many working Americans have in the battle for decent pay, benefits, and working conditions. Republicans at both the national and state levels have resisted all attempts to increase the minimum wage and to require a living wage for millions of working Americans. Not too surprisingly, Trump has said he’s both for and against increasing the minimum wage (and that’s just since he’s been president). Regardless, Trump and his Republican supporters in Congress have blocked all attempts to obtain fair wages for the American worker.
Medicare & Medicaid
Republicans continue to threaten to increase the age eligibility for Medicare, limit Medicaid, and reverse the Medicaid expansion that came from the Affordable Care Act.
Republicans have been threatening to increase the age eligibility for Social Security and to reduce benefit amounts for many years. President Trump has gone further and threatened to get rid of the payroll tax (defer it and then get rid of it). That would effectively do away with Social Security’s funding altogether. No money, no program.
Ever since its passage, Republicans have made repealing or undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a central objective. In 2017, they came within one vote (John McCain’s) of moving toward that end and with absolutely nothing to replace it. Even as we approach the next election, the Trump administration and several Republican states are actively trying to have the courts eliminate the ACA protections for pre-existing conditions. And all this is being done without one hint of a plan to provide healthcare to Americans.
The Trump administration is on a whirlwind pace to eliminate some of our most important environmental laws and rules. They have reversed, or are working on reversing, at least 100 rules and laws that protect our air, water, and land. These changes will be felt for generations to come. The Trump administration is opening wildlife and conservation areas to mining and oil exploration when we need to do just the opposite. The Republican denial of climate change has essentially stymied any effort to address global warming and the terrible consequences we are already seeing across the world and in extreme weather in many parts of the United States. Trump couldn’t wait to leave the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement that simply asked countries to set goals on carbon emissions for themselves. As more and more areas of the Earth become uninhabitable, the social impacts will be dire. Republicans are choosing to leave these dire consequences to be dealt with by our grandchildren.