What Has Republican Leadership Brought? Crumbling Infrastructure and Poisoned Children
Choices. That’s what the 2016 Presidential Election is about – choices. U.S. political process pits two controlling groups(Republican Party and Democratic Party) against each other. For better, but mostly worse, this two-party system defines our operational reality. But it does not have to dictate our future.
Constituents of the United States have autonomy over which candidate(s) a ballot will be cast. Thus, citizens decide what ideological vision will lead them into the future. Regardless of whether that vision includes cost-cutting austerity or progressive, economy boosting growth models, the people decide.
November’s general election ought not represent some great awakening for voters. Primary elections are an equally, if not more important political endeavor as the general election. Citizens should take notice of what transpires after cost-cutting Republican austerity measures are adopted.
The entire country and much of the world has now born witness to the catastrophe in Flint, Michigan. Countless thousands of residents including young children, pregnant mothers, and elderly have all had their way of life destroyed, and most disturbing, their brains irrevocably harmed. Republican leadership in Michigan, most notably the governor, Rick Snyder, thought it wise to put cost ahead of health when they decided to switch water sources for the town. This water source change was dangerous, and required substantial infrastructure investment in order to soundly make the switch. Since cost cutting has marked the Republican Party’s primary concern over the past eight years, these necessary infrastructure investments were neglected. What result? The pipes carrying this new (highly toxic) lead-laden water were significantly corroded and poisoned nearly every Flint resident that continued to use the water coming from the taps in their homes.
But the most egregious of the Snyder injustices is his administration’s deceit and unwillingness to A) admit wrongdoing or B) inform Flint residents their water was poisoned, in a timely manner. The trending hashtag: Arrest Gov Snyder is poignant. At this point, his actions in an apparent cover up effort are criminal and at the very least deserve a Department of Justice investigation.
Sadly, Snyder is not the only cost cutting Republican governor that boasts budget surpluses while his state’s infrastructure falls behind a generation. Ohio, under the leadership of presidential candidate, Governor John Kasich is home to another city with failing pipes allowing dangerous levels of lead to enter the water supplied to citizens. The city is Sebring, and corporate media, because of the attention Flint garners, has largely ignored the residents of Sebring, Ohio.
Constituents in this election should vet the candidates’ position on budgeting, cost cutting, leadership, and sound judgment. In every election the phrase, “the stakes have never been higher” ring true. The 2016 election is no different in that regard. Congress is currently filled with lawmakers emboldened to put forth more cost cutting measures like those adopted in Michigan and Ohio that stifle job growth, increase unemployment, and endanger citizens due to neglected, crumbling infrastructure.
Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you fall, austerity measures that allow for city pipes to poison children and expecting mothers are bad policy.