Republicans abandon the people

The facts are self-evident: State and Federal Republicans don’t care much about the welfare of most of the people in Southeast Ohio. The recent coverage in The Marietta Times on the lack of funding by FEMA to help 22 Ohio counties recover from landslips which occurred in February 2018 is a prime example. The same edition contained a well-written Letter to the Editor about the lack of funding by the state for local food banks to feed the poor.

While it is true that life is always a challenge for those who are just a medical emergency, a costly car repair or a temporary layoff away from disaster; the failure to fix our roads affects each and every citizen of Washington County. Local government will need to pay more for repairs that are delayed by bureaucratic red tape. Our elected officials Johnson, Portman and Hoagland all say they will “look into it,” let’s hope so! They have had over a year, while the slips get worse.

The lack of action on the part of FEMA at the State/Federal levels is a symptom of a larger issue. Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has framed the problem best: “We need to decide who government is going to work for moving forward.” The rich, big corporations and special interests like oil and Big Pharma are all represented. Who represents us?

Taking care of the people’s needs should not be a partisan issue but right now it appears that the Republican Party, led by Mr. Trump, has abandoned any responsibility to take care of basic needs, such as infrastructure and food insecurity. By systematically placing cabinet heads in charge who care little for the departments they lead, Mr. Trump has ensured that the needs of the country are subservient to his vanity projects, such as “the wall” or “going to the moon.”

Disaster relief and basic needs like food banks are not issues that can be ignored as we enter yet another hurricane season while floods continue to ravage vast swaths of the Midwest. The western panhandle of Florida and Puerto Rico, a US territory are still waiting for relief from earlier hurricanes. We need leadership that gets things done. Most of all we need a government that cares about the needs of people. A leader needs to have empathy for others. Unfortunately, the present administration under Mr. Trump does not.

Teresa Porter



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