Will the coronavirus wake Americans up to the cancer that has infected our political system?

Thom plus logo The Republican hostility to helping people who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, to expanding healthcare to all the American people, and their hostility to doing anything about climate change all come from the same source: greed and the big money it produces.

For decades, the tobacco, fast food and alcohol industries funded junk science saying that their products were actually just fine and didn't harm people. Eventually, after millions of Americans died of diseases associated with them, we figured out they were lying to us.

They've been doing the same thing around climate change, Medicare for all and carbon pollution, and Republicans continue to quote phony science and assert that there is no problem with the status quo.

The same people, corporations and trade associations that sponsor this phony science also sponsor the Republican Party, from the White House all the way down to your local city council.

Now, right wing trade groups are arguing that unemployment benefits keep people from going to work (when people are actually simply afraid to go to work and get sick and die) and that therefore it's a good thing that the GOP let unemployment benefits expire.

Their real agenda is simply making more money, regardless of how many people die.

They didn't care how many people died when they were promoting tobacco, alcohol, or fast food. They don't care how many people die when they promote junk science about climate change, or from a lack of access to healthcare.

And they don't care how many people die now from coronavirus, be it in the workplace or in schools.

If these big money interests had not been funding virtually the entire Republican Party and a small but meaningful chunk of the Democratic Party, there would be millions fewer deaths, and the nation would be much healthier.

Because the coronavirus moves so fast, we are seeing the consequence of their lies played out in real time: death and disease followed by poverty and homelessness.

Their policies are causing the same outcome with regard to climate change, but it's showing up much more slowly. Nonetheless, it will be at least as devastating as coronavirus to America, and, over a 50 year horizon, far more so.

None of this will change until we get money out of politics.

When people who are willing to lie about science simply to make money no longer have the power to own politicians, our political dialogue will change back to concern for the people and the planet rather than simply the interests of toxic corporations and the billionaires they create.


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