Shortly after Barack Obama was inaugurated, Republicans launched attacks accusing him of not touting American exceptionalism, and their goal was to demean the President as not being proud of America. There is little argument that America could be, and maybe once was, exceptional, but it is becoming more difficult to find anything about this country that makes it exceptional in positive terms, especially with Republicans in government. Throughout the President’s first term, the GOP made it their primary goal to inflict harm on the least fortunate among us under cover of being fiscally responsible, but their fiscal concerns are a canard to cover their inhumanity.
There is a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi that is prescient to Republican inhumanity; “The measure of a society is how it treats its weakest members,” and because heartless people continue electing Republicans to impose harsh treatment on society’s weakest members, America has become exceptionally inhumane. Republicans proposed harsh cuts to social and domestic programs in previous budgets to critical acclaim and rejoicing from their supporters, and as they herald more “common sense” and “smart” cuts to replace sequester defense cuts, their inherent inhumanity explains their contempt for Americans. Devastating the nation’s economy by enacting sequester cuts is bad enough, but it is damage to the poor and working class that defines Republicans as cruel and without compassion for suffering.
Republicans claim to be pro-life, and yet they are responsible for brutal reductions in the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program that denies 970,000 pregnant women, and women with young children access to food assistance, and the first round of sequester cuts will reduce funding by $353 million more kicking another 600,000 women and their young children off the program. There are also drastic cuts for early childhood education, and in the first round of sequester cuts, 70,000 children will be cut from Head Start and Early Head Start, and 30,000 parents lose access to child care service. It is inhumane, and shocking, that Republicans think starving nearly a million-and-a-half women and children is common sense and smart, and if it represents their storied “reverence for human life,” they are hypocrites and heartless indeed. No human being with an ounce of humanity would deliberately negate food, healthcare, and pre-natal assistance from women and children under any circumstances; especially if they claim to be pro-life and Christian.
There are other cuts that are particularly inhumane such as cutting FEMA’s budget by $1 billion, and Hurricane Sandy relief will be cut by $1.89 billion more. America’s food supply will be degraded as the sequester cuts 600 food inspectors, and there will be 1,200 less air traffic controllers over the next year alone affecting Americans with the means to fly. Law enforcement and first responders face devastating cuts that include a 25% reduction in border patrol agents and it makes the GOP’s frenzy for securing the border a sham. Education spending is already at record lows, and yet Republicans are happy to slash more teacher jobs in their drive to privatize schools, destroy unions, and create another generation of stupid GOP voters.
It is a travesty, and portends a pitiful country when the President of the United States has to plead with Republicans to stop the impending damage their cuts are certain to cause to the economy, but worse, to low-income women, their children, Veterans, and senior citizens who barely subsist off Social Security, Medicare, and food assistance. It is important to remember the sequester was necessary to save America from the GOP’s credit default when they demanded Draconian domestic cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling for the first time in history. The Budget Control Act 2011 included sequester automatic cuts as an incentive to force a special bipartisan committee to reach an agreement on deficit reduction, and it was Republicans who rejected using a balanced approach. Now they are going ahead with austerity knowing full well their cuts will decimate the least fortunate, and it reflects badly on America as a nation that will not care for its poorest citizens.
President Obama said using the sequester is not the responsible way to achieve deficit reduction, but deficit reduction is not remotely why Republicans are going forward with their cuts, and the President knows it. They have, for some years, attempted to eliminate social safety nets and domestic programs, and they have finally found a means to drive more Americans into poverty using “smart” and “common sense” cuts that will have deleterious effects on the poorest among us. At one time, America was better than that, and one wonders how Republicans can look at Americans knowing in their black hearts their sequester cuts will eviscerate poor women, children, Veterans, and seniors, but because they have no humanity, no compassion, and no regard for the people, they are unmoved.
Two colleagues in Europe and one in Australia phoned and asked “what kind of person denies food, healthcare, and housing for the underprivileged,” and they agreed it is the kind of person who sends human beings to concentration camps, or gas chambers; because they hate them. It is the kind of person devoid of compassion, humanity, or reverence for life, and it is a Republican. Because when they see hungry children and seniors, they see “takers,” “moochers,” and “47-percenters,” and justify taking sustenance away as a common sense and smart approach to reduce the deficit. All the while, they reject ending big oil subsidies, tax loopholes for the rich, and push for more Draconian cuts to education, first responders, and a favorite target; Veterans.
They are not concerned with reducing the deficit or the nation’s budget; they want to reduce the population by inflicting hardship on their own people that defines them as mean-spirited, heartless, and lacking humanity. Republicans and their supporters have made America exceptional; exceptionally despicable, and it is beginning to make one ashamed to live in a country Republicans have made heartless, cruel, and pathetically inhumane.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.