By Marty Russell
Just when you thought the 2012 Republican presidential race couldn’t get any stranger, in steps Donald Trump. Again.
Is it just me or is anyone else out there scratching their head and wondering, “Who died and made The Donald the kingmaker?” His presence in the race, and the long line of GOP candidates lining up for his blessing, should make it clear to all of us whose vote really counts in this race and it ain’t our’s.
The Republican Party these days apparently has abandoned any semblance of at least appearing to care about the working class. It has made it perfectly clear that the only people who matter are the Grover Norquists, whose no-new-taxes pledge has hamstrung Congress from doing anything of consequence, the Trumps, and people like South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint who was the only senator to vote against tax breaks for businesses that hire veterans calling it a “Democratic trick.”
The GOP might as well officially adopt a new slogan – let them eat cake comes to mind – and admit that it doesn’t care about anyone who makes less than $1 million a year and isn’t in a position of power it can benefit from. The party has made it glaringly clear that it lacks the one attribute that anyone in a position of leadership must, or at least should, have – compassion for those they serve.
Case in point: Newt Gingrich’s nilhilistic and pompous statements this week that child labor laws are, in his words, “truly stupid” and that poor children should be forced to work as janitors in their schools to pay their way. Gingrich went on to say that, “You’re going to see from me extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America.”
Radical indeed. Can you say, “sweat shops?” And who’s going to own those while paying low wages and making high profits? The GOP’s base, of course. Not the one they give lip service to, conservatives and the religious right, but the real base, corporate America and people like Donald Trump. Apparently the Republican Party has found its ideal model for a new economy – China.
Which brings up the question of the biggest mystery since who shot J.R. Why is it that it’s always the poorest and most undereducated states like Mississippi that vote Republican? Can’t they see through the plan, as Dickens spelled it out in “Oliver Twist:”
“So they established the rule that all poor people should have the alternative (for they would compel nobody, not they) of being starved by a gradual process in the house or by a quick one out of it.”
Wake up, America. It’s time to get your kids dressed for work.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.