By Quinlyn Manfull
Growing up as a Democrat in Alaska, I am used to feeling disillusioned by my elected officials. That’s why earlier this year it was somewhat relieving to see Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski stand up for the needs of Alaskans with her vote against the Republic health care bill.
My Facebook blew up — everyone ecstatic that Murkowski was finally sticking to her values that she was elected on. I was less hopeful.
The upcoming Republican Tax Bill is further proof that Murkowski and McCain alike are not representative of the resistance we need and are not actually doing their part to be a beneficial force in the face of Trump.
This tax bill, if passed, would have major impacts on universities, would hit families and the middle class incredibly hard while sneaking in some revisions that would bolster businesses.
Senators like McCain (R—AZ), Murkowski (R—AK) and Collins (R—ME) have been opposing Trump and his policies based on “principles,” whether that be health care, the value of democracy and good governance or representing your constituents.
But this bill is the epitome of bad governing — it is a 515 page bill that will be voted on within two weeks from its introduction to the Senate. It taxes university endowments, it strips the middle class and it threatens access to basic health care for millions of Americans.
McCain has come out in favor of the bill, even before the bill’s economic impact from the Joint Committee on Taxation was released. Which, by the way, found that the bill would do nothing to aid in economic growth but would instead directly hurt tens of millions of middle—class Americans, blow up the deficit and provide new horizons for the wealthy and those who want to seek tax avoidance.
Murkowski’s decision is a prime example of her ability to flip flop and throw Alaskans under the bus in a heartbeat — showing her commitment to her “values” only work insofar as they also help her politically. It’s honestly hard to keep up with her contortion acts sometimes.
This Senate body is a terrifying one — we haven’t seen a bill be rushed to vote so quickly in a few sessions, especially one this substantial and terrible.
But, the tough thing to get across, is this is not a new Republican party under Trump, this is just what Republicans in government look like. McCain is being considered a moderate Republican. As we continue to push further to the Right while not occupying any space pushing more to the Left, I am left with little hope for bills to come. I am left discontent at what my student loans may look like, what my health care coverage could possibly be.
After my 20 years as a disillusioned Democrat from Alaska, I am continually reminded that those in office will never stand for “values.” At the end of the day, political arenas exist for them and their own benefit — they have never and will never be for us.