Guest Opinions

Why Democrats are relevant

Barbara Thiele
Barbara Thiele

The president and the Republicans have made the Democrats more relevant than ever and there are unfortunate reasons. In his article published Nov. 6, Andrew Malcolm seems to filter out inconvenient facts. Republicans have been so divided they are unable to govern at the national level. Despite Mr. Trump’s promise, he hasn’t tried to unify our country. Mr. Trump plays the blame game while consistently fueling the fires of divisiveness with reckless tough talk that only underscores his own incompetence.

The more important reason Democrats are relevant lies in the dishonesty of Trumpism and the hypocrisy of many Republican legislators. There are exceptions and many Republicans have integrity, such as Evan Mullin in Utah and Gov. John Kasich in Ohio, but far too many are playing to Trump’s tune, including most of our Idaho representatives, who should be putting forth ideas to help Idahoans rather than the elites of which they are a part. Trump continues to lie to distract from truth. Trump’s only skill is using propaganda to keep some Americans believing him. Here are just a few.

They said they would replace the ACA with a health care bill that would give more people access to less expensive insurance. On the campaign trail, Trump said he had a great plan to improve health care — a now obvious lie. Trump said he would eliminate the deficit in eight years. Their current tax plan adds over $1 trillion to the deficit and gives most benefits to the very wealthy, two problems for America’s long-term economic health that makes victims of America’s younger citizens. In the 1990s, under Democratic leadership, we grew our economy and reduced the deficit using wiser economic policies.

Democrats are relevant because they know how to build the economy to benefit the middle and aspiring middle classes without increasing the deficit. Democrats are relevant because they insist on protecting and improving health care for all. Democrats are relevant because they support infrastructure-building to improve our country and create jobs for many out of work. They supported this during the recession as Republicans blocked infrastructure legislation.

Democrats are relevant because they can build our economy while still protecting our natural resources for future generations. They did it during the Great Recession despite obstruction from Republicans. Yes, many jobs moved to urban areas, leaving rural Americans frustrated. These jobs mostly required more education than many Americans have, but Democrats are relevant because they will help these Americans get that education, while Republicans will let us sink under the weight of school debt. Evidence of this is in their draft tax cut plan. They will take away benefits for the struggling and give more benefits to those who don’t need them. Why not give the benefits directly to those who need the relief?

Andrew Malcolm may want to preach to a Republican choir about Democrats’ relevancy, but when Americans look beyond the lies and hypocrisy, they will turn back to the Democrats for honesty and economic security.

Barbara Thiele is a retired English and journalism teacher with a degree in business.