Republican legislators have been using hyper partisan, obstructionist politics to great effect since Newt Gingrich championed the memo “Language, a Key Mechanism of …
Republican legislators have been using hyper partisan, obstructionist politics to great effect since Newt Gingrich championed the memo “Language, a Key Mechanism of Control” in 1990.
When I hear Rep. Liz Cheney, Sen. John Barrasso, and even the president use words like “socialist” in their speeches, I understand the history.
Grover Norquist, founder of Americans For Tax Reform, once made the now-famous statement “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it.”
All of this is by way of fostering the American myth of “rugged individualism,” whereby we as individuals are responsible for our own success or failure.
The president, striving to drown government in a bathtub, made the decision in 2018 to eliminate the Pandemic Response Team and cut the budget for the Centers for Disease Control, thereby hamstringing our ability as a society to deal with disease outbreaks of the type we’re seeing today.
There are a lot of reasons why the concept of “rugged individualism” is a fallacy. But now, because of policies put in place to drown government in a bathtub, we find ourselves without the tools needed to deal with a potentially catastrophic health crisis.
The truly rugged individuals among us will likely survive in good health. Grandpa, who maybe was rugged 20 years ago, might not have such a positive prognosis. Our economy, particularly here in Wyoming where our No. 2 economic driver depends on visitors both rugged and not-so-much, is looking decidedly un-rugged at this point.
“Society,” “social,” “socialist,” all these words have the same root — the Latin word “socius,” meaning “friend.” If, like grizzly bears, humans were nothing but a loose group of rugged individuals, then even a government of the size that could be drowned in a bathtub would indeed be too big, and a disease like coronavirus would have little effect on the population. But humans are not grizzly bears. We are social creatures. It’s time Americans understand that and begin to realize that the so-called “socialist” policies prominent Republicans are so afraid of are designed to benefit all of us as a society.