Jeanette Strong: A Marshall Plan for America
“We have a health crisis, an economic crisis, a racial justice crisis, a climate crisis. We need to come together to solve these crises, to solve them as Americans. This is our moment to imagine, and to build a new American economy for our families and for our communities, an economy where every American… has a chance to get a fair return for the work they put in, an equal chance to get ahead.” Former Vice-president Joe Biden, July 9, 2020
When World War II ended in 1945, the Allies were victorious but Europe was in shambles. Factories had been destroyed, people were hungry and homeless, and life was extremely difficult. The United States, having escaped this destruction, was in a position to help Europe recover.
In 1948, America passed the European Recovery Program, known as the Marshall Plan, to rebuild Europe. The Marshall Plan not only helped Europe rebuild, it promoted American prosperity too. By helping Europe, America became the economic powerhouse of the world.
Since Jan. 20, 2017, America has been badly damaged economically, environmentally, and as a society. Many of our founding principles seem to have been forgotten. This election will determine if we can recover or if we continue this downward spiral.
This column was submitted before the election. We won’t know the final results for a few days. If President Donald Trump has won, we will continue to have no plan to fight the coronavirus, no plan to achieve racial justice, and no plan to rebuild our collapsing economy except for tax cuts, the Republican cure for everything.
Under Trump’s management, we had the largest GDP drop in our country’s history, the largest budget deficit ever, the most job losses in the shortest time, and tens of millions of people plunged unto poverty, homelessness, illness and even death.
Trump has tried to destroy the foundations of our democracy by spreading doubts about our election systems, our top health agencies, our top law enforcement agencies, and other agencies which protect the American people.
He has attempted to cripple the Postal Service. He has attempted to corrupt the Department of Justice, including the FBI, with Attorney General William Barr aiding and abetting. He has damaged the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seeking to terrorize those who seek asylum here.
He has politicized the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, two formerly well-respected institutions. He has degraded the State Department and our intelligence agencies, which exist to keep us informed about threats against us, claiming their intelligence is fake. These are just a few of the many governmental agencies he’s tried to destroy.
Trump has mocked the military. He refused to confront President Putin of Russia when Putin put bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. As we celebrate Veterans’ Day, let’s remember that.
Restoring trust in these agencies and their competence will require someone who isn’t afraid of expertise and facts. That will be President Biden.
Trump’s followers excuse these outrages because they’ve been told that Biden will do terrible things to America if elected. These include the threat that Biden will take away our guns, a claim also made about Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama which never materialized.
They claim Biden, a devout Catholic, will impose restrictions on worship. They claim he will restrict our free speech, even though it’s Trump who wants to strengthen libel laws and restrict speech.
They claim Biden will force us into “socialized” medicine, even though the Affordable Care Act, the basis of Biden’s plan, is widely popular, and after 4½ years, Trump hasn’t produced any replacement. They claim Biden will tell us how we must live our lives in every way.
If Biden has won this election, I hope Trump followers remember these idiotic claims and eventually realize that none of them happened. If Trump has won, it’s four more years of chaos and incompetence.
Republicans obstructed Obama relentlessly. They’re now planning to obstruct Biden the same way, even though Obama/Biden pulled us out of the Bush Great Recession, creating the longest economic recovery in U.S. history, 128 months. Biden/Harris will do the same, pulling us out of Trump’s Second Great Recession, if they win.
If we are fortunate, Democrats have won the presidency, the Senate and the House, and Biden will be able to start his program to “Build Back Better.” If Republicans care about America, they’ll work with Democrats to rebuild our country instead of blocking everything. Our future depends on it.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.