Donald Trump is still president, say cultists. So where is that infrastructure plan?
That “beautiful” health care plan – “insurance for everyone.” Where?
Balancing the federal budget? He said he’d do it “fairly quickly.” (Or, he’d add $7.8 trillion to the national debt in four years, one of the two. Well, he did do that.)
Oh, my. Trump wants nothing to do with any of that stuff, all that governing stuff. He hates all that public service folderol, that democracy rigmarole. He wants power. He wants to settle scores. The needs of the republic be damned. Just tell people what they want to hear and then do what you want.
Consultants advised pre-candidate Trump that the way to power, or at least a GOP nomination in 2016, was to exploit wedge issues – like “radical Islam” (i,e. anyone who is Muslim), like “illegals,” like guns and gays and foreigners, like whatever the religious right wants exploited. Right, Ted Cruz?
All right. Whatever Joe Biden’s official position, he keeps acting like the president. He’s maintained a grueling pace engaging with world leaders and negotiating at home with those who want to address highways, bridges, water, health care and assorted human needs.
Listen, people: To be a Trump Republican today one must swear off such stuff. Instead, one must devote each waking breath to the culture war.
One must join Sen. Cruz in denouncing Big Bird for exposing children to the specter of vaccination.
One must mount the war on “wokeness.” Whatever that is.
The same with “critical race theory.” Ask Tucker Carlson; he has no idea either.
Republicans are outraged about “cancel culture,” except for any book or school lesson plan featuring a clear-eyed assessment of America’s racial past.
When it comes to hypocrisy on said grounds, there’s no place like Texas.
Culture warriors and Big Bird denouncers say, “My body, my choice.” They see no contradiction when women face state-mandated gestation upon conception.
In Texas, Republicans have decided that “public service” means full devotion to wedge issues.
Thank goodness we have leaders in Washington like Biden who look at national needs and seek to do something about them.
By the way, how often have you heard Republicans refer to themselves as supporters of the family? We’ve heard Republicans say a lot about high prices of late, and a dearth of workers, and of course blame Biden.
I wonder, though: Is there a single Republican in Washington who cares about the cost and availability of child care?
Biden’s proposals to help working families include subsidies so that families pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care.
This is a massive national problem. Some parents are having to pay more for child care than rent.
The percentage of Americans who did not return to work after the pandemic is stunning. But when it costs more to find a place for one’s child than to put on that apron or join that phone bank, it's not really a choice.
A study by Child Care Aware America in 2020 found on average nationwide, child care with a licensed provider rapidly approaching $1,000 a month.
Cost is only one concern. A poll commissioned by NPR finds 36 percent of families on the verge of despair in finding child care.
Sen. Joe Manchin has said he wants to attach a work requirement to extending the child tax credit that Biden signed into law with his economic stimulus plan.
One would hope Manchin understands the link between moms working and trained providers with whom they can entrust their children.
Culture warriors no doubt will respond to this with the same 1950s world view that possesses today’s Republican Party.
They would lead us back to those days, before menaces like Big Bird preyed on our young.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.