By Tanya Abad, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Reuters
As many of us know, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is a resident of our community and she is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, a member of the Democratic Party and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Debbie, who is a cancer survivor, says she is always interested in the need of women, their children and the community. Reasons why we wanted to know her opinion about those topics on which our community is looking for answers.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DWS): I agree with you that we presume this will be a very close election and because of that and how messy and vitriolic the rhetoric has been especially on the Republican side, the minority communities will make a significant difference in the outcome of this election because when you have a candidate like Donald Trump saying that Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers, and also doubling down and suggesting that we should deport 11 million undocumented workers, who are mostly people that came to this country to better themselves, and to patrol neighborhoods of predominantly Muslims families. This shows you how deeply held those feelings really are in our country and that the Republicans have absolutely no interest in helping minorities.
CWN: If Donald Trump wins the nomination, He may plan to dump a lot of dirt on Mrs. Clinton when the race is on. What will the strategy be for the Democrats given the fact that Mr. Trump has a lot of skeletons in his closet?
DWS: I have to speak more generally because we still don’t know who the candidate will be for the Republicans. So we don’t know what direction we will take at this point. We will certainly be focused on making sure that the prosperity we have been able to accomplish in the past 8 years under the leadership of Mr. Obama, continues. When we took over the economy, we were losing 800 thousand jobs a month under the Bush administration. Now, thanks to President Obama and the policies of Democrats when we have been able to achieve 73 straight months of sustained growth in the private sector. The longest it has been in American history. We have taken the deficit that we inherited from Mr. Bush and reduced it by nearly ¾. We passed the affordable care act which prior to it be becoming law, you had close to 37 million people without health insurance and now you have an additional 20 million that do. So we will talk about the contrast between both parties’ nominees and our desire to continue to build on our success in helping people reach the middle class. Also how the Republican want to roll back the clock to when we were going through a horrific economic crisis and their policies focusing on helping only wealthy Americans.
CWN: Trump has based his campaign on criticizing and creating fear among voters. Do you think that is an ethical thing to do?
DWS: No. I think it is an outrageous abhorrent thing to do. I think that he has capitalized and prayed on people’s fears. I think he is a bigot and a misogynist. I think he has done everything he can to take us back to policies like we had during the McCarthy years. Due to the major demographic changes we have gone through in the last few years in this country, we will be a majority/minority nation and there are a large number of people who do not like that. Donald Trump has tapped into those people’s fears because he comes from the extreme right wing part of the Republican Party, as does Ted Cruz. They believe that we should cut taxes to wealthy Americans and enforce anti immigrant laws. They don’t believe in Education or Social Security, they would end it and change it and privatize it. So you would have to fend for yourself. This will make things for voters making a choice because there is not a lot of overlap on what both parties are proposing.
CWN: I have not heard any candidates discussing baby-boomers reaching retirement, do you know if any program is being set up to protect this group?
DWS: We don’t need to do anything new. We simply need to protect Social Security so that when people reach a certain age and are no longer earning an income, they have a safety net through which they are not going to fall. Republicans are suggesting that you take your retirement money and invest it in the stock market to take care of yourself but that leaves you with choices that you may not know anything about. The purpose of social Security is that you don’t fall through the crack and find yourself destitute.
CWN: Trump has helped widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots. What will Democrats do to narrow down that gap?
DWS: That is a very good question. Trump and all the Republicans believe in the theory of trickle down economics which is a theory discredited even by the author himself David Stockton. The theory suggests that if we take care of the people at the top, if we cut taxes for the wealthy, if we make sure they are doing really well, then the investments that they make in the economy and the jobs that will create, will make everything grow and it will have a trickle down effect on the rest of us. When you look at the Republican presidencies you see this happening but not working but when you look at the Democratic presidencies you see resurgence in the economy. Look at the Clinton Administration and now the Obama administration more recently. What we believe is that we implement policies that help people reach the middle class which is the cornerstone of our economy.