Mary Lou Davis

Mary Lou Davis

After watching the closing night of the Republican National Convention, where President Trump wielded the powers of his office and the federal government to promote his reelection campaign, it came as no surprise that U.S. Reps. John Joyce and Glenn Thompson (“Area Congressmen Say Future with Biden Bleak” – Aug. 28 Tribune-Democrat) continued this administration’s use of gaslighting and misinformation to promote their lack of any discernible agenda other than Trump.

There is no Republican ideology, only a cult of personality. And unfortunately for all Americans, that personality is Donald Trump.

Comments made by our GOP representatives:

• Rep. Joyce: “I think the president is running on what he has achieved and I support what he has achieved. I think he has shown leadership and made America the land of promise.”

Leadership? Where has the Congressman been for the past six months? Keeping in mind that the U.S. has 4% of the world’s population, under Trump’s “leadership” the U.S. has a quarter of the world’s COVID-19 cases at 6.01million and a quarter of the world’s deaths due at 183,00. (World Health Organization).

Of course, Trump did not create the virus. But his lack of response to this crisis has been horrific. As a direct outcome of this mishandling, as of July 2020, there are approximately 18 million individuals unemployed, giving the U.S. a 10.2% unemployment rate (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The congressmen’s own state of Pennsylvania had an unemployment rate of 13.7% – 47th in the country (USBLS rankings from lowest unemployment to highest). The list can certainly go on, including nationwide civil unrest, the elimination of any legitimate asylum immigration, separation of children from their families, Russian military aggression, the politicizing of the military, the DOJ, CDC, FDA, DHS, etc.

• Joyce also states: “The hardworking people of Pennsylvania are the steel curtain against the Democrats’ radical socialist agenda.” Thompson concurs by saying “The stark contrast between Trump/Pence and what they’ve been able to deliver for American families ... compared to a Biden/Harris ticket would be a difference of just day and night.”

The GOP’s wild claim of a “radical socialist agenda” has been part of the Republicans’ gaslighting for decades. It is now 2020 and the GOP still refuses to acknowledge the reality that Americans embrace a mixed economy in which government constrains, tempers and at times helps market outcomes.

Just as a reminder that “socialism” and “social programs” are not interchangeable words, here are a few examples of the social programs liberals and Democrats have championed: Women’s Right To Vote, Voting Rights Act, Social Security, Medicare, Minimum Wage Law, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, Head Start, Workers Comp, School Lunch Program, Family and Medical Leave Act, Affordable Care Act, Civil Rights Act.

Socialism? Not at all. Just good government on behalf of all Americans that our representatives should be serving. As Rep. Thompson stated, the stark contrast between Trump/Pence and a Biden/Harris ticket is the difference between night and day.

Continuing along the topic of good government on behalf of the people they represent, leads me to question Joyce and Thompson’s “no” votes on legislation passed since the start of the pandemic that would be beneficial to their constituents:

Delivery for America Act (26 Republicans voted yes); Childcare is Essential Act; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act; George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (Requires increased accountability for law enforcement misconduct, increases transparency and data collection and prohibits discriminatory policing policies; Moving Forward Act (reauthorizes funding for infrastructure) – all according to VoteSmart.org.

On whose behalf are our congressmen working?

The RNC did not adopt a platform for 2020 moving forward but they did adopt a resolution that states the party “enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policies of the Obama/Biden Administration as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee.”

Hmm. Allow me to sum-up the past four years for such “forward thinkers” and those that support them:

We are poorer. We are sicker. We are divided. We are less safe. We are globally ostracized.

Mr. Thompson was right. The difference is stark. The choice is clear.

Mary Lou Davis is co-founder of the political organization Indivisible Johnstown.

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