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Controlled Amnesia

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

January 4, 2010

By Perry Redd

Now that the Republicans own one chamber of Congress and weakened the majority of the Democrats in the Senate, they are cocky as hell.  They want to reverse all of the gains that the Democrats have made in the past four years.  They’re talking about returning to the 2008 tax rates and repealing healthcare reform. I even heard that the Republicans are wanting to read the Constitution—in its entirety—on the House floor, something that hasn’t been done in the entire history of the country.  And why? What’s up?  I’ll tell you what’s up: These measures are designed to make you and I forget “from whence we came.”

I refuse to be fooled into thinking that “trickle down economics”—give to the rich and they’ll provide for the rest—is a viable option to repair a raped economy.  Don’t get amnesia; the economy was thriving prior to Bush’s 2000 takeover.  The perception that the Republican methodology will solve America’s problems is erroneous. 

Americans had a problem with obtaining healthcare before the Obama administration came into power—whether they had a job or not.  When I worked for a Fortune 500 corporation, I had excellent healthcare, but it wasn’t cheap.  Some of my co-workers had access to it, but couldn’t afford it.  Just because you work, doesn’t guarantee you can get health insurance.  When Obama ran in ’08, he committed to fix that.  Now, Republicans in Congress plan to try to repeal the health care law almost immediately after taking control of the House, setting the stage for an early confrontation with President Obama.  They want to repeal the legislation then the Republicans want to hold a critical procedural vote – the first step towards passing the repeal.  How is that representing the working class?  That works well for the health insurance corporations.  Do you get it?

The Republicans are not only controlling the message, but also your memory.  They calculatingly dismiss their policy failings:  the de-regulation of the banks that led to the Wall Street collapse, which led to the bailout debacle…the fact that despite RNC chair Michael Steele’s attempts to expand the tent of the GOP, they still are resistant to including minorities in their ranks.  Racist emails and political campaign messages still come out of the GOP camp.

How soon we forget that the Republicans stood firmly in the way of relief for 9/11 First Responders; they tried to block the school lunch nutrition bill, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, unemployment benefit extension for American workers, paying the black farmers their reparations and they were successful in blocking commission investigative subpoena powers on the BP oil spill and the DREAM Act.  Each of these legislations works for the low-income American and the working class—which by the way, is the majority of this country.

The Republicans are coming in with the objective of “controlling the message”: forget the way we treated you in the past and let me treat you that way again.  Remember, there are no blacks in the Senate.  The term “minority” has been re-defined.  The party of “No” is a bit larger with a Tea Party wing that smashes into walls with no helmet.  Remember, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wanted to repeal the 14th Amendment.  Republicans goals are simple: strip away as much social services and entitlement programs for the poor and middle class as possible while putting that savings, through tax cuts, into the pockets of the rich and corporate America.  The record is out there, so don’t get controlled amnesia…


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