My Point of View: Republican Party always protects costs of the wealthy

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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My Point of View by Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Politics is not entertainment; it’s your life chances on the line.

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

When the GOP decries trans people’s rights, but calls for slashing Social Security and Medicare benefits, please evaluate that. Which of those things would have a bigger impact on your quality of life and retirement?

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The GOP’s culture wars have been really effective at convincing part of the electorate to voluntarily disarm in class warfare so that the wealthy can throttle the middle and working classes. Since the 1970s, they have crowbarred our wealth gap back to a Gilded Age crevasse. 

The thing about class warfare is, if you’re not fighting it, you’re losing it. Wealthy people can afford to pay other people to fight on their behalf, and the interests of the wealthy are not the same as those of everybody else.

Getting people to fight culture wars distracts from the fact that Republicans are not serving the will of the public. They are serving their wealthy donors.

These donors think we should trust Wall Street bankers, people who struck gold in tech, and the heirs of billionaires to look after our interests, not people like ourselves who share our worries about covering mortgage payments, car payments, medical bills and day care expenses.

Wage theft, rent-seeking behavior, price fixing and billionaire tax shelters are not in your economic interest. Which party is doing the most to fight those things and protect consumers? The Democratic Party.

Democrats want women to be able to make their own choices about family planning and their own medical decisions about serious pregnancy complications with the help of doctors who aren’t worried about going to prison for it.

Republicans are in favor of abortion bans that make it easier for rapists to choose the mothers of their children. Please read that sentence again.

These bans also force girls and women to suffer grave medical complications before they can receive necessary abortion care. Women would suffer medieval treatment at the hands of Bennett, Dornink, Finstad and Jensen. 

DFL candidates Hinnenkamp, Lawhead, Ettinger and Walz will protect women’s reproductive freedom and right to medical care. They will protect doctors’ ability to provide necessary reproductive care. 

The Republican AG candidate, Jim Schultz, also favors a strict abortion ban. Not only that, but he’s a hedge fund lawyer who has never tried a case. Once again, Republicans are not hiding that they prioritize the interests of extremely wealthy people. Please re-elect Keith Ellison as the people’s lawyer.

Democrats fight to keep health, education and everyday services for regular people functioning. Republicans are fighting culture wars, e.g. attacking LGBTQ people and public school teachers, on behalf of wealthy donors who want big cuts to their income and estate taxes, even though it would mean savage cuts to public services for the rest of us, a la the failed Kansas Experiment.

The DFL is interested in your quality of life. Republicans are interested in helping pad the fortunes of people who are already richer than Croesus.

The DFL says, “We have your back. You are not alone.” The GOP says, “You are on your own.”

The current GOP does not care that COVID shaved two years from U.S. life expectancy. Their wealthy donors have money to lead long, healthy lives.

Anti-vaccine misinformation, which Scott Jensen helped spread, cost thousands of people their lives. A Brown University study estimated that over 300,000 lives could have been saved if people had received available COVID vaccines. 

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that over 300,000 lives could have been saved during COVID if the U.S. had universal health care that addressed underlying diseases like diabetes. Republicans in the U.S. Senate then heartlessly stripped a $35 out-of-pocket price cap for monthly insulin out of a budget bill in August.

Republicans protect profits over life. Cross necklaces can’t cover up this callousness.

The GOP, quite simply, is not pro-life. It is pro-birth and pro-control of women’s bodies. It doesn’t protect consumers, doesn’t prioritize health care coverage, and doesn’t care about responding to climate change that is supercharging storms and disrupting weather patterns. The worst damage always falls on regular people. 

The current Republican Party will protect the interests of the wealthy at any social cost to the general public. If you care about life and quality of life, vote them out. 

We need elected leaders who put life over property or profits, and who put science over superstition. We need them to understand and respect the laws of particle dispersion and the laws of thermodynamics. No Republican candidate is fit for this task, and the natural consequences of ignoring these laws are absolutely dire. 

In this, the current GOP is not just a circus, it’s a death cult.

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson is a member of the Freeborn County DFL Party.