For Republican politicians, every day is October 31, and Halloween never ends.
All year long, Republican politicians try to scare people with a bogeyman they call "socialism." They insist that only unfettered capitalism can solve our problems; that socialism will wreck the economy. But the reality is that without a strong regulatory framework, a robust tax structure, and generous investment in public institutions, capitalism quickly devolves into monopolism and extreme income stratification. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the Devil takes the hindmost. Ghostlike, the middle class evaporates into the ether.
In spite of Republican fear mongering, the American people overwhelmingly support social programs like Medicare, Social Security, the Affordable Care Act, the interstate highway system, National Parks, lifeguards, public schools, public libraries, PBS, mass transit, fire departments, police departments, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the National Weather Service, the Coast Guard, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Archives, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration etc., etc.
Americans like and want these government institutions because they work for the people. They help Americans every day. Nobody wants to go back to the bad old days of "cure-all" patent medicines containing nothing but alcohol, brown sugar, and kerosene; or to meats tainted with heavy metals; or to deadly dangerous workplace environments. Most people alive today have never seen a goiter, or someone stricken with polio. It was government programs that made this happy innocence possible. The Republican Governor of Florida decried giving assistance to victims of a monster hurricane in Puerto Rico, but he was eager to get federal aid when his own state got slammed by another Frankenstorm.
Unfortunately, Republicans have been very good at selling fear of their bogeyman. They have a genius for dressing up the most innocuous things in fright wigs and false fangs. So a perfectly reasonable proposal to set up a framework for making decisions about healthcare expenditures becomes "death panels." And any effort to tackle climate change (and in so doing achieve energy independence not only for the nation but also for individual citizens) is smeared with ketchup and painted as a bloody liberal plot to wreck our international competitiveness. And they scream that any effort to regulate the sale of assault rifles will inevitably lead to a communist takeover. And these Republican shibboleths are repeated ad nauseam until people don't know what to think. So they end up voting from a position of irrational fear rather than confident intelligence. And with every Republican success, the middle class shrinks, the ranks of the homeless swell, and the 1% on their super yachts, in their Italian villas, atop their skyscrapers, look down upon the little people and laugh all the way to the bank.
It doesn't have to be this way. The bogeyman's mask is only hanging by a thread. Time to rip it off, expose the clown, stare down the impostor, and send him packing. Vote Democratic. Happy Halloween!
Identifying the problem is easy. Coming up with a solution that will wean nearly 50% of the population away from the adrenaline rush of Republican fear mongering is a much harder, if not impossible task. Even more so the 40% of Trumpilcan demented supporters,. Much the way little has been accomplished in getting the South and mid West away from their racist pasts over the 150 years since the Civil War.
I would love to hear a viable solution. The only way Nazi fear was removed from Germany, or racist fear was removed from Japan was their complete annihilation. And still, the little embers of those fears remain in segments of the populations.
Obviously books are better than bullets. Even in a country where half the population doesn't read, education is still our best bet. Republicans are masters at communicating their falsehoods. Democrats need to counter them more aggressively. And get a little discipline.