This message might come off as condescending, but considering the current reality of our political discourse where the President of the United States is traveling across the country calling an entire political party a “party of crime”, the risk of a little condescension seems to be a chance worth taking.
For far too long, policies that are supported by a majority of the public have been prevented from being enacted almost solely because of Republican politicians. These Republican politicians are only able to block these publicly desired policies because they keep getting voted into office by Republican voters, a majority of whom support the same policies these Republican politicians keep blocking. This reality is quite frankly keeping America from being as great as it could be. If Republican voters simply backed up their support for popular policies, of which they agree with Democratic and Independent voters, by holding their party’s politicians accountable at the ballot box, America could literally enact all of these policies practically overnight.
Expanding Social Security
A majority of Republicans support expanding Social Security benefits, as do 87 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Independents. What are Republican politicians doing? They are proposing cuts to Social Security instead, and blaming the growing budget deficit they created by giving tax cuts to corporations and increasing military spending, both of which are policies that were not supported by the public.
Protecting the Environment and Combating Climate Change
74% of the country, including 61% of Republican voters want the government to set higher emissions and pollution standards for businesses. Majorities of the country and majorities of Republican voters also want stronger enforcement of environmental regulations, want mandatory controls on carbon emissions, want higher emissions standards for automobiles, and want stricter standards for natural gas extraction and fracking. Yet, in the face of these majority public opinions of both Democratic and Republican voters, the Republican White House is doing the exact opposite and the Republican Congress is helping the White House do the exact opposite.
Expanding Renewable Energy
93 percent and 91 percent of Democrats want more solar farms and wind turbines respectively, while 84 percent and 79 percent of Republicans want to see those technologies expanded. Even with these overwhelming majorities of voters from both parties supporting the expansion of solar and wind energy, Republican politicians have consistently voted down any bills aimed at doing just that.
Increasing Infrastructure Spending
79% of Americans, including over 70% of Republicans back an increase in infrastructure spending. Though a substantial majority of Republican voters are in favor of increased infrastructure spending, Republican politicians blocked infrastructure bills put forth by President Obama, and refuse to take up a bill under President Trump because they’ve drastically increased the deficit giving tax cuts to corporations and increasing military spending, both of which are policies that were not supported by the public.
Raising the Minimum Wage
Seventy-four percent of respondents (including 58 percent of Republicans) said they backed boosting the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $9 over the course of two years. Though a majority of Republican voters think the minimum wage is too low, the reason why the minimum wage is too low is because Republican politicians have voted repeatedly against raising the minimum wage.
Medicare For All
85% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans support Medicare For All. Studies have shown that Medicare For All would cost trillions less than our current terribly inefficient private insurance system. Though 52% of Republican voters support Medicare For all, almost 0% of Republican politicians support Medicare For All.
The Dream Act
Overall, 77 percent of voters — and 66 percent of Republicans — favor a pathway to citizenship for those in the country illegally if they learn English, pay fines or back taxes and have jobs that pay taxes. Passing the Dream Act, and placing all of the potentially immediately eligible workers on a path to legal status, would add a total of $22.7 billion annually to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Because the gains from legalization grow each year, the cumulative increase in GDP over 10 years would be $281 billion. Though 66% of Republican voters support the Dream Act, it was prevented from passage because over 90% of the Republicans in the Senate blocked the bill.
Improved Gun Regulation
Earlier this year, 53 percent of Republicans indicated they supported stricter gun laws. Expanded background checks are supported by 88% of the public. Preventing sales of guns to those reported as a danger by a mental health professional (supported by 89%), to those convicted of a violent misdemeanor (84%), and to those under the age of 21 (81%) all enjoy massive popular support. Requiring a 3 day waiting period is supported by 78%. Banning bump stocks is supported by 77%. Banning high capacity magazines is supported by 70%. Banning assault weapons is supported by 68% of the public. All of these proposed laws are supported by a majority, or close to a majority of Republican voters. None of these laws have been passed despite years of efforts because they are continually blocked by Republican politicians.
Paying Teachers Better
Support for raising teachers’ salaries cuts across party lines. Nearly 90 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents, and 66 percent of Republicans think teachers don’t get paid enough. Though 66 percent of Republicans think teachers don’t get paid enough, the main reason why teachers aren’t being paid enough is because Republican politicians have been cutting funding for education.
Majorities of Republican voters, along with majorities of Democratic and Independent voters, want to expand Social Security, protect the environment, combat climate change, expand renewable energy, increase infrastructure spending, raise the minimum wage, enact Medicare For All, pass the Dream Act, improve gun regulations, and pay teachers better. What is preventing all of this from happening are the Republican politicians who are being elected by the Republican voters. How great would America be if all of these policies could be enacted? If Republican voters simply stopped voting for Republican politicians who oppose the policies the Republican voters support, we could all find out.