To the Editor:
I memorized the Gettysburg Address and the preamble to the Constitution in seventh grade. The words “and government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the Earth” had a profound effect on me. So did reasons “We the people” did ordain and establish the Constitution; to “form a more perfect union, establish justice” and “promote the general welfare.”
We’ve become a government by the wealthy, for the wealthy. Franklin Delano Roosevelt called them “economic royalists.” They often profit by putting carbon and toxins into the air, water, land and food. Government is all that can protect us from them, with consumer and environmental protections and conservation, so they constantly try to undermine or control it. They despise being taxed to support social safety net programs. Rush Limbaugh once said, “Roosevelt is dead, but his policies live on, and we’re trying to do something about that.” In doing their bidding, Republicans violate the intent of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court helped them by equating money to speech. Eliminating the Fairness Doctrine and deregulating telecommunications helped, too. They own the media that people get their information from. They’ve cleverly created wedge issues and the narrative that government is the problem, not the solution – that it takes your hard-earned money in taxes and gives it to freeloaders, and Democrats do it for votes. They put huge sums into winning state elections to control redistricting and voting processes, have gerrymandered and enacted voter ID laws and cross-checked to disenfranchise would-be Democratic voters.
President Donald Trump got into the White House by promising to be the middle class’ champion and drain the swamp. Instead, he filled his Cabinet with “economic royalists,” and we’ve seen environmental regulations eliminated, our public lands opened to petro billionaires, and a tax bill that make the rich like him and his Cabinet even richer. We’ll be inhaling and consuming more toxins, but they placate us with $1,000 or $2,000 in tax cuts, which we’ll give to them anyway, instead of to government social safety net programs. They’ll be trying to dismantle those this year.