Not Just “Me First” but “Me Only!”

The Republican Party has become the Party of Me. No, I don’t mean that it’s my party (Heaven forbid!); I mean that it serves the interests of those who have it made and vigorously fights against those who would try to share in America’s benefits. It used to be a joke to say, “God bless America – and nobody else!”. But that’s the way today’s Republicans obviously feel.

And it goes even farther. The new Republican leadership is dedicated to protecting the “haves” in America from the “have-nots” – wherever they might be.

With about 10 percent of the U.S. work force unable to find a job, Republicans figure 90 percent must be working, so if they block extended benefits for the jobless, they will be taking the side of the majority against the minority. The same goes for African-Americans, who make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population. For Hispanics, too. And gays, the handicapped, the sick, the poor – or any other underdog minority.

They are counting on the white, employed – or comfortably retired – majority for support. And it’s working.

By using fear as their big weapon, the Republicans have herded the white, fairly well-off voting block into a defensive phalanx. As long as they keep their benefits, the old folks who are now drawing Social Security checks are quite ready to slash the benefits for Americans who are still working to contribute the money for those checks. The people who still have a job are willing to cut taxes for the rich, hoping I suppose that they might get rich someday or that some rich person will give them a better job.

And the immigrants and descendants of immigrants who made it to shore and now have their “papers” are encouraged to bar the door against those coming behind them. As the old saying goes, “I’m  aboard Jack, we can shove off now.”

Consider the crusade against undocumented workers and the propaganda being circulated to stir up resentment against Hispanics, Muslims, and anyone who doesn’t fit the profile of  the white, “Christian” American majority.

This crusade is so vicious that it is even being directed against the unborn babies and children of “aliens.”

The first priority of incoming Congressional Republicans is a bill that would deny citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is expected to present the legislation to the House with support from future Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona).

Never mind that this is in violation of the U.S. Constitution, which specifies that anyone born on American soil is entitled to U.S. citizenship.

These Republicans also oppose the DREAM Act, a bill that would let immigrant students obtain permanent U.S. residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four-year college.

It would seem to me that kids who are willing to put their lives on the line to keep America safe should be able to live in America. But I don’t think like a Republican – obviously. The current Republican leadership believes in punishing innocent children for their parents’ actions. So what if the kids work hard to get an education and are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to serve their adopted country?

What amazes me most is that I am sure I see at least some of the bigots who voted for these policies at our Church. Do they worship the same God that I do?

Impossible.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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