On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Terri Sewell joined Jewel Bronaugh, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other state and local leaders to announce a $1 billion investment in rural healthcare expansion by the Biden administration.
Included in that plan is a $360 million loan that will bring a new 200-bed hospital to west Jefferson County and rural Tuscaloosa County. That new hospital is vitally important to an area that lost another rural hospital a couple of years ago and is one of the most underserved and critical needs areas in the entire country.
This is about the 500th press conference/groundbreaking ceremony that Sewell has attended over the past few months, as she’s bounced from county to county around Alabama drawing attention to the dramatic and much needed improvements that are headed to Alabama’s poorest communities thanks to a variety of Democratic initiatives.
And all of the initiatives address well-known, often-discussed problems that plague all working class and poor Alabamians.
Not Black. Not Hispanic. Not white.
As I watched the press conference on Wednesday and listened to the officials, including Sewell, discuss the very real problems that will be solved by the new hospital, there was one thought that kept running through my mind. It was the same thought that was running through my mind when she discussed the massive broadband expansion heading the state’s way thanks to the Biden infrastructure package. And the new roads and roads improvements coming out of that plan, too.
It was this: What the hell have Republicans actually done for anyone?
Seriously. Answer that question.
Republicans hold every major office in this state and have a super-majority in the legislature. They can pass anything they want, tackle any problem of their choosing, devote resources to literally any project they’d like.
At the national level, Republicans not so long ago held the White House, Senate and House, and not by particularly thin margins. They could have passed virtually anything, tackled any problem, thrown money and resources at any issue.
So, what did they do?
And specifically, if you’re a working class person in Alabama, what have they done for you?
We know all about what they’ve done for businesses. How devoted they’ve been to rolling back regulations that protect workers’ health and safety and protect the communities and environments near those companies. We know well how hard they’ve worked to ensure that unions don’t get in the way of CEOs raking in 700 times what average employees make. We are all painfully aware of how the same jobs that used to support a family of four, a nice house, a couple of cars and a yearly vacation now won’t keep the lights on at a crappy apartment.
But I’m genuinely curious to know just what they’ve done to help you. You keep giving them your vote and devoting your lives to their idiotic news sources that are, quite literally, killing you with their disinformation about everything from vaccines to pollution. You joined them in excusing away the attempt to overturn a free and fair election, and smearing human feces on the walls of our Capitol.
So, what are you getting in return?
And don’t sell me that nonsense about not needing anything from the government. That’s a sucker’s response. Because let me tell you, Mr. Noble, you ain’t getting taxes back for your perceived self-sufficiency. Your break is going to the guy living in the nice house across town – the guy who’s had enough breaks for two lifetimes.
And let’s not forget that government is supposed to work for all of us. It’s supposed to promote the general welfare. It’s supposed to work towards fairness and equality, towards giving all Americans equal opportunity.
That’s why we pay these lawmakers, collectively, millions upon millions of dollars annually.
Contrary to conservative belief, we don’t send these people to D.C. and Montgomery to simply oppose things and whine about government. They’re not there to pander and hold press conferences about inconsequential social issues. They’re not there to carve out exceptions and unfair advantages for their corporate donors and deep-pocket donors.
Government is meant to help the people. All of us.
So, what are you, GOP voter, getting? Where’s the break for you? Where’s your lower bill? Where’s your better health care or prescription drug prices? Where’s your better internet service? Where’s the break for your small business?
Tell me, please, what has voting for GOP candidates gotten you?