Once upon a time, the idea of America taking care of America was a given. Even for Democrats. Then came Donald Trump, and suddenly, America First became radical. Why? Because Democrats decided they wanted to score political points more than they wanted to serve the American citizens, that’s why.
Then came COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. And nothing has exposed the hatred of the far-left for America First principles like this virus has — or, for America At All, for that matter.
As the politics fly, it’s only becoming more and more obvious: What Democrats really need right now is a solid thump on the head to remind that they’re Americans, too.
They should really be in the business of bringing together this country, during this time of medical and economic crisis, and not just scoring political hit jobs against the president.
Let’s not just be America First for a time, or a season, or a campaign.
Let’s make America First a permanent fixture of American life.
Let’s make citizens, not political scorecards, the priority.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw on a recent “Fox & Friends” segment about the progression of coronavirus legislative relief. “We watched these [congressional] negotiations happen, we were optimistic, there was this air of bipartisanship, and this notion that we’re all in this together — for weeks now — and then [Democrats] tanked it. They tanked it in the most partisan of ways.”
By inserting things such as $35 million in funding for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; $300 million for the National Endowment of the Arts; and $300 million for the National Endowment of the Humanities.
Those most hurting from coronavirus-tied job furloughs and layoffs, meanwhile — those most fighting to stay economically alive in these business-closing times, meanwhile — they were tossed to the side like dishrags.
Democrats were only too willing to kill the bill and sacrifice the hardworking citizens and small business owners for petty partisan gains.
America First during the coronavirus crisis is simple.
This is what it looks like:
• Money for furloughed workers.
• Money for laid-off employees.
• Money for small businesses that were ordered shut by government bureaucrats.
• Halts on tax payments.
• Postponements on fees and permits and regulatory compliance costs.
• Streamlined unemployment benefit application processes — along with the necessary funds to provide for approved applicants.
What it doesn’t look like?
The new green deal.
“[It’s] utterly absurd [to] play these kinds of games,” Crenshaw said. “And for what — just so they could put greenhouse gas emission standards for unions?”
Save the special interests for another time.
It’s an America First moment. It’s an America First time. And once upon an era, even Democrats used to recognize there was a time for partisanship, and there was a time to come together as one.
“Now let me make it clear that I believe there can only be one defense policy for the United States and that is summed up in the word ‘first.’ I do not mean first — but. I do not mean first — when. I do not mean first — if. I mean first — period,” John F. Kennedy said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Detroit, Michigan, in August of 1960.
That’s the spirit America needs now. Democrats, on board with Republicans, working together in humble service to the American people. America first — always.
America first — period.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.
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