5 crises Republicans made up to distract you

Are they using fake crises to disguise what’s really going on?


Here are five totally made-up “crises” Republicans have invented to distract from the real crises facing Americans today: the growing concentration of wealth, the worsening climate crisis, and the undermining of our democracy.

Fake crisis #1:  Anything they claim is “woke.”

Although Republicans struggle to define what “woke” even means, they’re constantly using it as a weapon to combat anything that seeks to foster tolerance and acceptance.

Pride flags? Woke!

Books about Rosa Parks? Woke!

Green M&M’s? The wokest!

Fortunately, most Americans think being informed and aware of social injustice…which is what being “woke” really means… is a good thing.

Fake crisis #2: The panic over trans people.

Trans people just want the right to exist safely as their true selves, like everyone else. And despite the lies spewed by some Republicans, there’s not a shred of evidence that they are a threat to anyone. But they’ve become easy scapegoats for the GOP, who vilify them and threaten to criminalize their very existence.

Fake crisis #3: Critical race theory

In reality, critical race theory is mostly taught in universities — like quantum physics or philosophy. It’s really not taught in K-12, nor is it dangerous.

It’s merely a framework to understand the role that race and racism have played in shaping America’s laws and institutions. But Republicans have deliberately turned this obscure academic phrase into a weapon to silence any discussion of race they don’t like.

Unfortunately, this includes teaching many basic historical facts.

Fake crisis #4: “Couch potatoes.”

Republicans are whipping up anger over welfare recipients supposedly abusing the system.

The reality is most people who collect benefits already hold jobs and work exceedingly hard.

Like Ronald Reagan’s claim about so-called “welfare queens”, the “couch potato” myth is a cruel racial dog whistle. In fact, the vast majority of Americans who receive government benefits are white.

We should be asking why so many jobs pay such low wages that workers need government help to get by?

Fake crisis #5: “Out of control government spending.”

Another lie. Apart from mandatory spending like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, government spending has actually fallen more than 30% in the past 50 years as a percentage of our total economy.

[9.6% in 1973  vs. 6.6% in 2022, a decrease of  31.25%]

Yes, the national debt is a problem, but in recent years, among its biggest drivers have been the Bush and Trump tax cuts, which have added nearly $10 trillion to the debt since their enactment.

All five of these so-called crises have been manufactured by the GOP. They’re entirely made up.

Why? To deflect attention from the near record share of the nation’s income and wealth now going to the richest Americans.

As the wealthy pour money into politics — largely into the GOP — they don’t want the rest of America to notice they’re rigging the economy for their own benefit, that their greed is worsening the climate crisis, and they’re undermining our democracy.

So the game of the Republican Party and their major donors is to deflect attention — to use fake crises to disguise what’s really going on.

Don’t let them get away with it.

Read it on Robert Reich’s blog.


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Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, co-founder of the nonprofit Inequality Media and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, Inequality for All.