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Zirpoli: For ordinary Americans, it’s time to vote to drain the swamp | COMMENTARY

In a couple of weeks, Republicans will hear — as they did in 2018 — what the majority of Americans think of their management of our nation’s affairs during the last four years. It may not be pretty.

I guess it took a pandemic for many Americans to realize that, unless you are rich, the current administration doesn’t care about you. Still waiting for that Republican health care plan? For four years they have been talking about replacing The Affordable Care Act (ACA) with “something better.” I hope you haven’t been holding your breath.

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Republicans are currently arguing in the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act should be terminated, leaving millions of Americans without health care coverage in the middle of a pandemic.

They have no replacement, of course. Their attitude on other people’s health was on display last week when White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was asked by reporters to wear a mask while he answered questions in close proximity to them. He refused and walked away. His behavior sums it up for this administration’s attitude about looking out for others.

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Their “I don’t care” attitude was once again demonstrated by the White House and Senate Republican’s opposition to federal assistance for 20 million unemployed Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. As Senator Lindsey Graham stated, the Senate would extend unemployment benefits for them “over our dead bodies.” This might be why Graham is in the fight of his life to keep his Senate seat.

It appears that Republicans get concerned about our nation’s deficit only when asked to help ordinary Americans. But when they gave their friends a $2 trillion tax break in 2017, not a word about our nation’s debt was heard. It would “pay for itself,” they said. Well, the current budget deficit just hit $3 trillion — a new record.

Also, there is no concern for the national debt when it comes to bailing out American farmers who are in financial trouble because of the president’s failed trade war and tariff program. According to The New York Times, “the White House is literally funneling enormous gobs of money to farmers — subsidies may amount to $46 billion — to induce them into overlooking the disastrous impact of his trade wars.” The president said that China would pay the tariffs, but the farmers, unlike the president, understand how tariffs work.

I wonder how many Americans know that our trade deficit has increased under the current administration? According to PublicCitizen.org, “Comparing the first half of Obama’s last year in office (January to June 2016), the overall trade deficit increased from $257 billion to $274 billion.” So, the trade deficit is increasing while we are killing international markets for American farmers. Tired of winning yet?

Aren’t farm subsidies socialism? It seems that for Republicans, socialism is a good thing when it helps them and their supporters. For example, when they get sick with COVID-19, they can just check themselves into a hospital, get the best care available, and not have to worry about the bill. Government paid health care — otherwise known as socialism — is good for them, but not for ordinary Americans, it seems.

To stay in power, Republicans are going to have to make voting as difficult as possible for as many Democrats as possible. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is doing his part. He ordered that there be only one ballot collection box per county in Texas, regardless of county geographic size or population. The smallest Texas county is home to about 700 people. The largest county, which includes the city of Houston, has over 4.7 million people. Abbott wants them each to have one ballot box. Why is Abbott trying to make it harder for the people in Houston to vote? Could it be that Houston is where many of Texas’ Democrats live?

The California Republican Party is doing its part, too. They are putting out fake ballot-collection boxes. I wonder what they are doing with those stolen ballots? Republicans don’t even try to hide their efforts to suppress our democracy and our vote, anymore.

I am optimistic, however. It appears that a majority of Americans have figured out that the president and his friends in Congress are frauds, that they don’t care about ordinary Americans, and that they will do whatever they can to suppress or invalidate our vote. But they will not succeed. On Nov. 3, we all have an equal voice with our one vote. Regardless of their efforts, America’s voice will be heard, loud and clear, and in record numbers.

It is time to drain the swamp, as they say.

Tom Zirpoli is the program director of the Human Services Management graduate program at McDaniel College. He writes from Westminster. His column appears on Wednesdays. Email him at tzirpoli@mcdaniel.edu.

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