Over the past two years, the Republican Party has justifiably earned the moniker of “The Party of No”. Republicans have not only effectively blocked much of President Obama’s agenda, but have even blocked his attempts to pass initiatives that were originally introduced by their own party. And they are unashamed to point out that the defeat of the President is their number one goal – not jobs, not healthcare – but the bringing down of the President.
But the labeling of the GOP as the “Party of No” hides a more insidious aspect of their agenda – the fact that their policies cause orders of magnitudes more unnecessary deaths than terrorist attacks have done.
The most egregious example, of course, is the Republicans’ opposition to accessibility of health care for all Americans. Prior to the passage of the watered-down Affordable Care Act, the deaths of 45,000 Americans each year were attributable to lack of health insurance. John Boehner and his ilk campaigned on repealing the current act, and based on their track record, their rhetoric implying that they will start over and come up with something better rings hollow.
Another example of the GOP’s pro-death platform is in its abhorrence toward life-saving regulations. Recent disasters in the oil drilling and coal industries point out the need for strong enforcement of safety standards, yet the Republicans’ platform is to gut these regulations in the name of “free market economics.” And speaking of coal and oil, the Republicans’ plan to neuter the Environmental Protection Agency will cost thousands more lives due to the increase in respiratory and other diseases brought on by free-market pollution.
Wars of choice are another trademark of Republican policy. As our involvement in Afghanistan now surpasses the time spent by the Soviet Union in that quagmire, the number of military and civilian deaths in the Middle East continues to go up. Try telling those families that the combat mission in Iraq has ended.
In the Republicans’ mind, a convoluted interpretation of the Second Amendment trumps the safety of the American public when they kowtow to their lobbyists and benefactors by refusing to restrict the owner ship of assault weapons. More unnecessary deaths thanks to the GOP.
In addition to the well-earned name of “The Party of Death”, here in New Jersey, the GOP – or at least our GOP Governor – can be proud of the title “The Party of Pain and Suffering.” Despite the fact that the legislature passed a law to allow certain patients to alleviate debilitating symptoms by using medical marijuana for palliative care, Governor Christie has thrown roadblock after roadblock in front of the implementation of that law.
All of this is not to say that the Democrats don’t deserve some culpability in promoting policies of death. After all, many of today’s Democrats are filling the “moderate Republican” political void left by former Republicans who are moving rightward toward the extreme positions of the Tea Party in droves. But by and large, the policies of some Democrats to promote universal and preventative health care, smart environmental and safety regulations and rebuilding of the middle class are the real pro-life platforms.