Who’s really at fault for our nation’s predicament?

Who is more at fault for the problems that face our nation?  Republican candidates?  Or the voters who are deceived into voting for them?  During campaigns, Republican candidates take a populist tone.  They talk about the issues that are important to ordinary Americans such as opportunity and personal freedom.  But when they are elected, they tend to focus almost exclusively on issues designed to benefit the elite. 

Despite promises of fiscal responsibility, Reagan and George W. Bush dramatically increase the deficit and national debt.  Despite promises of small government, Bush created the huge bureaucracy that is Homeland Defense.  And the Republican mantra of lower taxes has really proven to be nonsense.  They may occasionally offer a token tax cut for the middle and lower class, but the real cuts are reserved for the wealthy.   Republicans talk about creating jobs then make it easier for corporations to eliminate collective bargaining and ship jobs oversees.  They talk about getting government regulations out of the way then watch corporations create new scams to abscond with more of their consumers’ money. 

Why, then, do voters fall for these false promises over and over?  Often it’s because they aren’t curious enough to really examine the party’s platform and hold the candidates accountable.  And all too often it’s because they focus on a variety of wedge issues such as abortion, terrorism and same-sex marriage.  They fall victim to a sort of 3 card monte.  They’re mesmorized by the Republican distractions of fear, anger and religion.

How many lower and middle class voters actually benefited from Reaganomics?  How many benefited from George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism?”  I submit that instead of jobs, increased salaries and tax cuts, they were rewarded for their votes with war, massive deficits and decreased prosperity.  But the real Republican constituency consisting of CEOs, bankers, investors, oil executives and defense contractors is doing just fine, thank you.