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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2017 1 year ago

Chris Jepson: Crocodile tears and other empty Republican gestures

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This is your Republican Party in action, its true colors unequivocally displayed.
by: Chris Jepson Staff Writer

Ah, the unwashed poor. The environment. The arts. And Republicans.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The American poet Emma Lazarus wrote these lines that were installed on the Statue of Liberty in 1903. Lazarus was born into a large Jewish family of Sephardic-Ashkenazi descent. Her immigrant ancestors were in New York before the America Revolution. Is it not ironic that her memorably beautiful words are so often trotted-out as testament to American exceptionalism? Ah, those were the days.

Where to begin? So many quotes come to mind when considering Republican deceit. Benjamin Disraeli thought, “A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy.”

When I consider what constitutes dishonorable conduct, I am reminded that, “[One’s] beliefs don’t make you a better person; your behavior does.” That’s it in a nutshell, “[One’s] beliefs don’t make you a better person; your behavior does?”

Let’s examine a few specific Republican initiatives reflecting Republican behavior in all its glorious hypocrisy.

Trump as reported in the Feb. 3, 2017, New York Times, “signed a memorandum that paves the way for reversing a policy, known as the fiduciary rule, that requires brokers to act in a client’s best interest, rather than seek the highest profits for themselves, when providing retirement advice.”

C’mon, folks, you absolutely gotta love it. Your clients. Serve’um first? No way! This is your Republican Party in action, its true colors unequivocally displayed. Thems that pays, plays. This crystalizes exactly who the Republicans are in bed with. Smooooochie-Smooooochie.

America’s poor? I know. I know. They’re unwashed. They smell. They don’t work nearly hard enough ... if at all. Some of them — gasp! — are even darker-skinned. And, of course, they don’t go to the right clubs. (Aside: speaking of clubs: Did you see that Trump doubled his Mar-a-Lago membership initiation fee to $200,000 since his election? Say what?)

But poor, impoverished children, the Pubs surely have their backs, right? I mean none of us ask to be born to poor parents. None of us choose our lineage. And the children of the impoverished are no different.

What do our noble Pubs have in mind for impoverished children? More porridge, Sir? Hardly. Let’s cut the Free and Reduced Lunch Program because — I kid you not — impoverished mothers themselves should be feeding their children breakfast and preparing them nutritious lunches. So says conservative Teresa Mull, research fellow at The Heartland Institute, “Feeding a child is the fundamental duty of a parent.” Golly-Gee Gomer, if only, if only I had thought of that myself. Wow! Poverty be damned. Feed “that” hungry child yourself, Mama.

Republicans want to cut art funding and support of public radio and television. Did you realize that the federal government (that’s us) spends more on military bands than we do supporting our American arts? The Pentagon fields 130 military bands worldwide at a cost of $437 million last year (2015) — nearly three times the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts. Say what, Jepson? America spends three times the money on marching music than on cultural arts?

Clean air? Clean water? Not at the expense of corporate profits. Not with Scott — in the pocket of big energy — Pruitt in charge of the EPA.

Hmmmm? Trump. Military bands. Goose stepping, saluting Congressional Republicans. A swamp cabinet. What possibly could go wrong?

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