I’m sorry, but is this piece a joke? I mean, I read the article, which is purporting to talk about the economic, political and social demise of our country, it’s antecedents, accelerants and consequences, and you know how many times the GOP was mentioned? Zero. Know how many times “Republican” was used? Zero. In fact, while literally blaming Democrats for the social erosion facing our country – e.g., income inequality, no national health care, militarized police, corporate cash in elections, useless foreign wars, the surveillance state – neither the words GOP nor Republican appears in the paragraph (second in the piece).
Indeed, the only mention of a Republican throughout the whole article (and he isn’t even identified as such) is Donald Trump, and he isn’t even included in the discussion as a problem, but rather as a symptom (agains, a product of Democratic incompetence and ineffectiveness). Indeed, the only compliments for ANY politician in this article are reserved for Trump (fourth paragraph), where Hedges notes Trump’s adept articulation of his base’s hate for the government, and the cathartic relief his cruelty and invective brings in the face of the otherwise stagnant, hostile political landscape.
And of the current Democratic leadership, the author says “They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege.” The Democrats? The Democrats. Give me a break.
While I could probably spend the day pointing out all the inanity of this piece, I’ll focus on it’s assertions regarding healthcare. Hedges actually writes that it is the Democrats who have failed because they “will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all.” He must have missed the part where the last two Democratic presidents have spent a tremendous amount of political capital to move the country towards a national health system. And he must not have noticed that these efforts where met with incredibly well funded Republican opposition promoting the basest of lies about the effort (remember the whole death-panels trope?) And maybe someone could send him a quick email to point out that the first real system ever established in this country to start providing health coverage to as many people as possible, regardless of their incomes or health, (i.e., the ACA) is steadily being dismantled by the party he doesn’t seem to know exists (i.e., the Republicans). And finally, maybe someone should point out to him that the single, largest giveaway by the government to the pharmaceutical industry was the Medicare Modernization Act, which was passed by a Republican House and a Republican Senate, and signed into law by a Republican president. Most notably, this law actually prohibits the USA government from negotiating prices on the medications it pays for through Medicaid. But it’s the Democrats who won’t stand to the pharmaceutical companies? It’s the Democrats who won’t support national health coverage? Give me a break.
Come on, am I the only one who sees this article as a total joke?
If we are going to talk about the “impending collapse” in any kind of meaningful way (i.e., so as to possibly address it), trying to adhere to even a somewhat realistic assessment of it’s causes will be important, and using the word “Republican” will definitely be required.