I fear that perhaps we're missing the most insidious piece of the GOP's push for power at all costs, and that's the character of the American public. Why don't we have a health care system that rivals Canada's or any number of European countries? Why are politicians allowed to cut funding for the programs that they scathingly call entitlements? Why is it that so many people only speak out in angry voices against equal rights for gay people, immigrants, and the poor?
I think that we suffer from a sickness of character (I'm using we broadly, clearly there are exceptions but I fear that the exceptions are the numerical minority), an ideological belief that is grounded in a mistrust of our fellow humans and no sense of responsibility for our neighbor. Not only do we feel no responsibility to be our brother's and sister's keeper,we don't even acknowledge that we're related.
Americans are a peculiar breed. We live in a country where the overall standard of living is much better than many parts of the world yet we have homelessness, child poverty, and hunger at rates that rival those of some of the countries that we identify as being third world. We come up with regulations that require restaurants to throw food away rather than allowing them to donate the food to local soup kitchens. We insist that we just can't house all of the homeless. Average, everyday folks should be outraged and demand more from our elected leaders but unless a policy affects us directly, most of us just don't give a damn.
There are far too many of us who are content with the actions of these leaders, who are quick to blame the poor for being too lazy to work, and see no problems with cutting funding to programs to aid those in need. I no longer believe that the majority of people want a better world for all of us. Anne Frank was wrong, a whole lot of people aren't really good at heart. Some are downright mean and selfish.
Elected officials are only as powerful as we let them be. They do what we allow them to do.
What would our elected officials do if every time they proposed some legislation that would cut funding for education or eliminate tax credits for the working class, 50,000 people showed up in protest at your state legislative building? What if the number was 100,000 or 1,000,000? They would listen, not because they love us but because they fear us. We're the ones who elect them. Without us, they don't get elected to office.
The sickness that permeates this country, that makes us adhere to petty beliefs that some people are more equal than others, will destroy us all if we don't cure ourselves.