Civics 101: Mission College: Here We Come!

by Amelia Anderson

“Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf, the big bad wolf? Not we!”

Donald Trump has proven to be nothing but a big bag of wind. Yes, he huffed and he puffed to blow the house down, but the Republican-majority House of Representatives, his own party, wouldn’t bend to help pass his Obamacare-substitute Republican health care bill, supposedly eight years in the making, even when he threatened to fund their opponents in upcoming elections. So, our rookie President lost his first major bill in Congress — a resounding defeat. Obama’s Affordable Care Act still stands as the health care law of the land.

This humiliation will weaken the efficacy of Trump’s future attempts at passing legislation. Along with multiple on-going investigations, it leaves him vulnerable to possible impeachment. Am I happy? No, I’m shocked! As Obama said, “We all want our President to succeed.” I never thought I would hear in my lifetime a news host say on NBC that our President is the laziest, most ignorant and most incompetent President we have ever had in the history of the United States.

So, what’s up? Well, we have a reality-show President, and each day is a chapter in civics class, “the study of the rights and duties of citizens.” Mission College, here we come! On April 10, they’re offering two civics classes geared toward citizenship starting, providing tools of knowledge to use as ammunition to survive this administration.

To begin, the Republican health care act was not wellcrafted, based on tax credits to purchase health care on the open market rather than subsidies. The lower 30 percent of our population teeters below the poverty line. They don’t have money to pay taxes, so no use for tax credits. Nobody said Obamacare was perfect, but it was debated a full year before enactment and included coverage for an additional 20 million citizens who had previously been uninsured. Not endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, or the AARP, the Republican bill was further exposed by cost projection at the GAO to potentially leave 25 million citizens uninsured by the year 2025.

Trump trapped himself into a bind. Promising jobs to become a populist President, he now had to face a conservative right wing congress to pass the boast of his campaign promise. He de-funded Planned Parenthood to curry favor. It was not enough; he should have sought Democratic help. At the last minute, men in suits — no women in sight — slashed the vulnerable citizens: no money for maternity issues, mental health, drug addiction or drugs. Outrageous! Women comprise 51 percent of our population, and we bear all the children. So, the issue is this: is health care a right or an entitlement?

We told Trump our needs. Women went to Washington the day after the inauguration to march, and it was the largest gathering ever to assemble in our capitol. The resistance was copied throughout major cities of the United States and heard around the world. “Can Trump not hear?” asked Angela Merkel when she requested he shake her hand. Or is he too busy cutting the budget of HUD by 30 percent, which will again affect the lower 30 percent of our population who depend on Section Eight subsidies for housing and could increase our national homeless count by 100,000-plus people. He’s cutting the School Lunch Program and Meals on Wheels for Seniors while contemplating a $3 billion tax cut for the top rich two percent.

It’s been a civics lesson on wheels. And that’s why our health care still stands — for today.

As citizens of a democracy, we have to be vigilant. Watch, talk, write, march. Trump plans to de-fund PBS radio, our number one government station for information, as well as the arts. Don’t let him get away with all this. Watch tax code restructuring in which he holds a vested interest. If he wins, he’ll be into your Social Security next.

Be sure to apply online to Los Angeles Mission College, www.lamission.edu/sunland for course information.

Remember, education is the key to democracy!

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