The “Poverty Belt” And The Republican Party

America has a “Poverty Belt”, recently outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, states that have higher rates of poverty (30 percent or more), and substantially lower life expectancy.

These states are, not surprisingly, the Confederate South of the Civil War years except for Virginia and Florida; along with Kentucky and Missouri, two states of the “Border” South which had slavery, but stayed loyal to the Union during the Civil War; and West Virginia and Oklahoma–therefore, a total of 13 states!

These 13 states have not only extreme poverty and lower life expectancy rates, but also high levels of poor education, higher crime rates, poor nutrition, higher unemployment, inadequate food and housing, and less access to quality health care.

And these states with the highest poverty percentages are dominated by the Republican Party, and won all of their electoral votes in 2012, and most have Republican state legislatures and Republican Governors, and elect mostly Republicans to the House of Representatives and US Senate.

Do Republicans, by their words and actions, give a damn about these horrific conditions in their states?

The answer, clearly, is NO, and no one can claim otherwise, as the reality on the ground proves this sad fact!

The question is WHY the voters of these 13 states constantly vote to send, to the state capitals and Washington, DC, individuals who show a callousness to their plight, and set out to make certain that conditions can never improve! What is in the psyche of these voters that they do not get the message that the GOP is not concerned about them, and instead works to limit the freedom and justice of African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, women, the elderly, and the young?

And, instead of wishing to make the lives of working class or poor whites better, the intention instead is to promote ignorance and fear among them to keep power, and do nothing to improve the lot in life of the citizenry of their states!

What could be more despicable and outrageous than that reality?

Bob Dole Reaches 90: A Senator To Celebrate And To Honor As Republican Model!

Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, who served in the House of Representatives from 1961-1969, the US Senate from 1969-1996, and was the Vice Presidential running mate of Gerald Ford in 1976, and the Presidential nominee of his party in 1996, turned 90 years of age today.

Bob Dole also served as Republican National Chairman during the Watergate era, and was often criticized as too partisan for Richard Nixon, too loyal to the man as a freshman Senator. He also could give as good as he got in partisan wrangles throughout his service in the Senate, which included terms as Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader, and gave Bill Clinton plenty of headaches in his first Presidential term, before running against him for President in 1996.

There were times when Dole’s aggressiveness, outspokenness, and sharp tongue annoyed this author, but yet, there has always been a sense of respect and admiration for his willingness to defend his viewpoints and beliefs without any retreat!

Dole always came across as one, who despite his strong views, could work across the aisle when required, and is shocked at the growing influence of the Tea Party Movement, which has denounced him as a turncoat, a traditional conservative, who they have no problem in criticizing and condemning.

So his own party in the Senate has seen too many who show lack of respect and appreciation of the role he played in the Senate and his party for over 30 years.

Here is a man who could work on nutrition matters with fellow Democratic Senator George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, who was vastly different in views, but the two men worked together on a common cause which no Republican today would dare even consider or care about, because that would show concern for the poor among us!

Bob Dole gave up part of his body in World War II, having no use of one arm for the rest of his life, and was not only a war hero, but also has been a hero to all those who believe in decency, compassion, principle, and patriotism!

He and Gerald Ford become the second Presidential campaign team to have reached the age of 90, following George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who did so earlier. So the losing side in 1972 and 1976 prove that longevity of life is becoming another trend that is very much to be applauded, whether among the political class or in society!

So Happy 90th Birthday, Bob Dole, and many more alongside your wife, former Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina!

Republicans In Congress Reach A New Low With Elimination Of Food Stamp Program In House Vote!

So now the Republican Party in Congress, specifically in the US House Of Representatives, have decided that the Food Stamp Program should be eliminated. They have decided that basic needs for food and nutrition among the poor and the disadvantaged are not something government should be engaged in! They have decided that children, the elderly, veterans, the disabled should shift for themselves, if they happen to be disadvantaged! They think it is God’s will that all fetuses be born, but once here, it is not the job of government even to make sure people have adequate food and nutrition!

What could be lower than this vote, with only 12 Republicans having the decency to vote with all of the Democrats in the House of Representatives against legislation that has zero chance of being reconciled with the Senate bill in conference committee?

What kind of message do Republicans feel is being sent by their vote? Does it indicate that the party has any concern for anyone who is not wealthy and powerful? What is wrong with their heads and their hearts? How indecent can any group that calls themselves “legislators” become? The GOP should hang its head in shame, and Speaker John Boehner should denounce his own caucus and announce his resignation, as he will not be party to the total destruction of the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and Reagan!

The few moderates that remain in the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives and those reasonable, sane members of the party in the Senate, and those Republicans in the states who realize what the Tea Party lunatics have done, need to stand up now, and demonstrate their principles and renounce what has happened, and that they are ready to form a new political party based on the respectable Republican Party of the past.

This is a new civil war for the future of American democracy, against the power of the religious Right and the extremists, who hate immigrants, minorities, women, labor, and the middle class that they have helped to decimate in the name of a false patriotism!