Thomas Howard: Political landscape continues to deteriorate


Politics is broken, and it doesn’t look like it will be fixed anytime soon.

The ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Trump paint a bleak picture of the way our political system operates. Both Republicans and Democrats are, in my opinion, grasping to make the available evidence fit their desired outcome.

Yet, while impeachment looks bad, the cohort of 2020 Democratic candidates are creating a pretty clear picture that the situation isn’t going to get better anytime soon.

Take Elizabeth Warren for example. If the election was tomorrow, I would be voting for Warren. I wouldn’t be happy or excited to do it, but that’s how my vote would be cast. Similar to Mississippi’s reading and math scores, she’d be an improvement, but still pretty bad. I’m glad the election is not tomorrow.

Warren’s plans include, among other things, universal healthcare, kind of, student loan forgiveness, in a sense, and breaking up the tech giants such as Facebook and Google.

All three of those are good ideas, popular ideas. They would help a lot of people. Medical debt and student loans are crippling millions and setting back generations of Americans. Facebook and Google are so powerful they’re about as close to omnipotent as mortals can hope to be.

Alleviating those burdens for the American people is crucial if we are to continue growing as a nation. The innovation and expansion allowed by financial security is a driving force for the future health and security of the United States.

But, forgiving debt and breaking up monopolies is only part of a lasting solution, and I’m pretty tired of hearing band-aid campaign promises. If we are to truly solve these issues, we also need to address why they were allowed to happen in the first place. But that isn’t something Warren or any of the candidates seem to want to address.

I’m 30 years old. A medical procedure that cost $1,000 when I was born now costs roughly $3,300, more than 200 percent more. College tuition in 1989 was about $1,700 per year. Now it’s about $20,000 per year.

Costs for Americans has been shooting through the roof for years, and our elected representatives have been comfortable sitting back and watching the show. Why are they suddenly so concerned? If they eliminate the debt, what’s to stop us from being in this same situation in 2050?

I don’t advocate for the downfall of capitalism, embrace socialism or anything of the sort. I think, if done properly, debt relief, even in part, could be a huge boon to our nation. Judging by the conversations surrounding the 2020 candidates, however, I don’t have much hope any relief will be a lasting fix.

I’m afraid it’s going to be just politics as usual.

Thomas Howard is the managing editor of The Newton County Appeal. He can be reached at