Critics warn GOP midterm victory would be disaster for working class, democracy, and planet

Progressive leaders and Democratic Party supporters are raising last-minute alarms over the unparalleled catastrophe that would result if the Republican Party—an organization many see as a creeping fascist force in the United States and on the world stage—manages to win control of one or both chambers of Congress in Tuesday’s midterm election.

From their economic and ideological commitments that make Republican lawmakers the most enthusiastic supporters of continued corporate dominance of American society to their open embrace of anti-democratic policies designed to disenfranchise voters, suppress civic participation, and disembowel the power of the working class, this year’s slate of GOP candidates and the party apparatus taken as a whole, say critics, will deliver “nothing good” for the financial well-being of most working families while setting the stage for a future where roadblocks to even modest progressive change in the United States become more deeply entrenched than ever.

As polls consistently show the economy as the key issue for most voters this election season, business leaders and Democratic Party supporters David Rothkopf and Bernard Schwartz explained in a Daily Beast op-ed Friday that the GOP’s record on management of the U.S. economy has been consistently horrible over recent decades. Compared to Democrats, Rothkopf and Schwartz write, “History tells a very stark tale.” They continue: “Ten of the last 11 recessions began under Republicans. The one that started under former President Donald Trump and the current GOP leadership was the worst since the Great Depression—and while perhaps any president presiding over a pandemic might have seen the economy suffer, Trump’s gross mismanagement of Covid-19 clearly and greatly deepened the problems the U.S. economy faced. Meanwhile, historically, Democratic administrations have overseen recoveries from those Republican lows. During the seven decades before Trump, real GDP growth averaged just over 2.5 percent under Republicans and a little more than 4.3 percent under Democrats.”

Beyond such macroeconomic trends, Jacobin‘s Branko Marcetic warned in a Friday column of the “all-out assault on the working class” that Republicans are planning if they win. That plan includes attacking the ability of workers to organize, targeting key programs like Social Security and Medicare for draconian cuts, provoking war with China and others, eviscerating abortion rights at the federal level, and further deregulating both Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry even as inequality soars alongside the planet’s temperature.

“Though both parties are hostile to a working-class agenda,” acknowledges Marcetic, the GOP plot “to hobble worker organizing, stoke war, accelerate climate disaster, and tear apart what’s left of the U.S. social safety net will, without serious resistance, herald major suffering and setbacks for working Americans.”

In the state of Wisconsin, where Democrat Mandela Barnes is facing off against incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday night that the key swing state offers an example of why the midterm choice for voters nationwide is “very clear” in terms of which party is on the side of workers.

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Jon Queally, senior editor and staff writer, has been with Common Dreams, where this article originally appeared, since 2007 covering US politics, foreign policy, human and animal rights, climate change, and much in between.

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