Siegel: Let's call this what it is - economic genocide

I have become convinced over the past three months that this administration's goals go far beyond tax cuts for the wealthy and more money for Trump and his family.

I believe that this administration and Republican Congress and Senate are set out to commit what I have begun to call Economic Genocide. It is not only that they don't care about the poor, they also want to get rid of them, create mass graves of people who can not even afford to die after the laws that are passed kill them. Discard their bodies as would any fascist regime trying to exterminate a certain type of human. In the United States it will be specifically the poor. The health care bill that passed the house is a great example of this, it passed only when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and President Trump made it more cruel and inhumane then it was the first time. It did not pass because it became better, it passed because it will more effectively kill those who this administration does not see as worthy of life.

Yes, the Republican members of Congress are telling us that $8 billion over a number of years is enough to cover all the sick people who will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing conditions. However, the reality is that amount is only a drop in the bucket of the cost of covering all of these people. It won't even put a Band-Aid on the problem. It is not that they don't know or understand this, it is that this bill does exactly what they want it to. It is not that they don't care about all the sick people, it goes well beyond that, it is that they seek to oppress.

What better way to oppress then to make people desperate for their lives and their children's lives. If we looked at all the fascist regimes, we see people that become dependent on the scraps that the evil rulers are offering them, people that are too worn down to fight back effectively, people that have nothing and no hope. Any sound-minded human being who does an analysis of the health care plan that just passed the house will see nothing other than an attempt to wear us down, kill us off and make us desperate.

Focusing on women alone, let us look at the type of "ailments" that could be considered pre-existing conditions. Being a woman will be a pre-existing condition in many states. Pregnancy, c-sections, abuse, injuries caused by rape or abuse, postpartum depression and I could go on. Think about this for a moment, if you are raped or abused will you report it if you know it will increase your premiums or cause you to lose your health insurance? This administration wishes to go back to a time when women were owned by their men. When they had no power, no control over their reproductive rights and when rape was just part of the deal. This bill makes the "Handmaid's Tale" look like a warning of what our future holds, rather than just a dystopic novel. A great way to begin to kill off and control the poor and middle class is to take the power away from their mothers and wives.

These pasty white congressman of Christian dissent joyously bounded down the steps of Congress as giddy as kids in a candy store. They celebrated death. Each one of them is intelligent enough to know that this bill, if it passes through the senate will kill millions of people. They will be responsible for the death of millions of innocent Americans and they happily leaped onto a bus to the White House where they had beer and celebrated like a bunch of frat boys. Make no mistake, this image will be burned into the brains of the American people forever.

These 217 congressman took and sealed their place in history as finally having succeeded in passing a bill that will kill millions of innocent people just for getting sick. They have taken their place in history as the cruel murderous regime of the United States during this terrifying time in our country. We will not forget your names when we have a chance to vote you out.

Let us not convince ourselves that the health care bill is the only bill that meets this level of cruelty. It is not. Nearly every suggested change, executive order and bill has been cruel and has taken our power and our voices away. The budget that the president proposed cut every social program that poor people depend on and every tool for dissent: Food programs, health research, arts programs, public broadcasting, humanities programs, education programs, programs for people with disabilities and the list goes on. Luckily, for now we have largely won that budget battle, but, it is only until September and remember, we won the health care battle just a couple of months ago. We need to keep our eyes up and be ready to resist.

We need to make sure our senators know exactly how wide eyed we are paying attention. We need them to know we will take away their jobs before they can kill all of us off. They need to understand we will not forget the name of any congressman or senator that voted to kill our mothers, fathers, children and friends. We need to make sure people understand that what is happening to them is not normal. It is not business as usual and we can only win if we fight now. We need to use our voices as long as we are allowed and beyond.

As stated by my uncle: "If I do become ill and can't get treatment because of this bill, I promise you, I will sit in front of the capital and litter the steps with my corpse." It is time we call the policies of this congress and this administration what they are, an attempt at Economic Genocide! Only when we call it what it is, will we be able to get a handle on how to resist it. Let this become a term that we all use freely and without hesitation when we describe the cruelty of the regime that is currently leading us and let this realization carry us through as we bravely rise up and resist.

Brenda Lynn Siegel is the founder of the Southern Vermont Dance Festival. She can be contacted at The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.


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