A USA Today article that I just finished reading, “Hunger is a ‘silent crisis’ in the USA”, points out the seriousness of hunger in America. The article specifically talks about two different couples trying to feed their children in two different cities 2800 miles apart. They are only two examples of an ever-growing problem of hunger in America, a place where billionaires continue to prosper hand over fist.
It is astonishing to me of the very sharp contrast of how the stock market has hit record highs in the last several years since President Barack Obama took office, and yet the number of people who face hunger has grown along with the growth of all that wealth. Yet we still have a Republican Party set on cutting taxes for wealthy millionaires and billionaires while at the same time, working to cut social programs for the needy. They already have managed to cut food stamps for many families, which only adds to the pain those families already feel, and the difficulty that they have of putting food on the table for their children.
I know the president and the Democratic Party has tried their best to raise the minimum wage and protect social programs but obviously, it is not enough. Both the president and Democrats have had to be on the defensive, defending the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its faulty website, all the while Republicans sought to repeal it. Republican state governors and their legislators, such as in Oklahoma where I live, refusing to open up their own exchanges or expand Medicaid, have made things even tougher.
The good news is that ObamaCare is working, in spite of Republican efforts to destroy it, with 8 million already signed up, which is more than the original goal. Just imagine how many more would have been signed up and how much more successful the program would have been if Republican efforts to repeal it and to block it in the states had been just the opposite and Republicans had joined Democrats and the president in making the new law work. Instead, Republicans have done nothing but do what they could to defeat anything Obama and his party has tried to accomplish to help ordinary Americans, without regard to the harm they have caused.
Which begs the question, why do we have a political party in this country of ours that controls a big portion of our federal and state governments, working so hard to hurt the majority of Americans? Why may I ask, does that same party have such a good chance to take over the U.S. Senate this November, while also increasing their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives? Surely a good portion of Americans are blindsided or else the Democratic Party does a lousy job of communicating its message.
Children in America or anywhere should not be going hungry. So many families in America should not be struggling so much just to feed their kids while men who are already so wealthy that they could buy countries, continue to grow even wealthier. The sad part is, if for any reason our nation goes into another recession as we did back in 2008, those same wealthy individuals will be crying foul and expecting the rest of America to bail their companies out of bankruptcy, or else face ruin all around. Even then, millions of ordinary Americans will lose their jobs and those who remain in the workforce will be expected to work harder for less, and hunger will grow, with more children doing without basic nutrition.
Of course, the Republican Party, at least in the states, will still be working hard to stop abortions because those families struggling to feed what children they already have is never enough, even more children should be born into a world of hunger and poverty. We can also count on all levels of government for the GOP to continue fighting for more tax cuts for those wealthy millionaires and billionaires so they can keep even more of their wealth, all the while refusing to raise the minimum wage for the employees who work for those wealthy millionaires and billionaires.
We also cannot expect any help from a conservative leaning Supreme Court, which the conservative justices on that court uses every opportunity they can to open the floodgates for the wealthiest to buy our elected leaders and control our government even more, by bringing down campaign contribution laws meant to protect our political system from corruption.
What is happening to America? The land of opportunity is turning into the land of opportunity for the few, and hunger and poverty for the rest.
Perhaps the Democratic Party needs to get tougher and more conniving in its politics, as the GOP already does. One thing is for sure, the party needs to figure out how to win mid-term elections. One way would be to find ways to get more young voters out to the polls, such as putting marijuana legalization laws on state ballots in those elections, or other issues that motivate young voters. The Republican Party knows how to use wedge issues in midterm elections to turn out their base and that is what the Democratic Party needs to do.
It is high time America wakes up to the fact that our political system is being manipulated by a few wealthy men who do not care about the struggles of ordinary families across a wide spectrum of America, and the Republican Party is their vehicle of delivery. We can all stand by and become second-class citizens and slaves to a handful of oligarchs or we can stand up and fight for equality for all and an end to hunger and poverty in America.