The former actor campaigning for President said,
“The government is the problem.”
Who needs government? We need it, that’s who. In 1980, any damned fool could look around and see that nations with strong governments succeeded while those with weak governments failed. Yet most of the people believed the damned fool when he told them that government was the problem. There’s little reason to doubt that he believed it. Question is, who paid him enough?
When a nation turns one way when it should have turned the other, each day spent going the wrong direction doubles the error, doubles the cost, of the choice. In the 1960s and 70s, the understanding of what was happening escaped most everyone. Now, at anytime, is an elusive, hard to grasp, thing. Then, muddling on would have been better than trying to turn back, but it was backward we chose. Since 1980, we have not been able to bring the nation-ship about, to head her into the winds of change. Oh, a few attempts have been made, but, every time, some right winger gets the wheel and sets the ship’s course, again, on going back to those good old days.
In 1980, our CDC was the gold standard, the very best in the world. Our OSHA, EPA, FDA, Supreme Court, role in the United Nations, …, were the envy of the world. Grover said if they couldn’t wean it, then they should drown it; it being the government. These were all a part of the government, things that the people wanted, things that had been enacted into law. The people may have, but the General Electrics, Kochs, Armand Hammers, coal industry, …, didn’t. The Lockheeds, Boeings, and Douglases said the only good spending was defense spending. And so began the cutting of all budgets except defense, and the appointment of those opposed to the very ideas to head OSHA, EPA, FDA, … Yes, the court, too, began to get ideologues. Competency was only a requirement for business hirelings, ideologues were for government. One hundred banana republics can’t be wrong.
Who better to head Labor than a businessman, Interior than someone who doesn’t like the idea of the National Parks or Federal Lands? Someone who dislikes American Indians? Who better the head the EPA than Anne Gorsuch? What better than right-winger William Rehnquist for Chief Justice of The Supreme Court?
Most of the damage would come later, long after the damned fool had done his best. The Sacklers did it because they could; because the FDA had been weakened enough. Who needs government? The more than one-million Americans who might not have died from Opioid overdose had the FDA been there for them when it should have been.
What if the CDC had not been gutted and neutered before COVID 19 struck?
What if the IRS had not been gutted and neutered?
What if John Roberts, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas had never been appointed to the US Supreme Court?
Since 1980, how many workers have been injured or killed, on the job because of an understaffed, underfunded OSHA? How many kids have developed asthma because of inadequate enforcement of EPA standards? How many aquifers have been contaminated? How many of us have paid the price for this weakened government?
What if the Bush II and Trump tax cuts had never been enacted?
These people don’t work for us, for America. They work for them.