[COMMENTARY] Clinging To the Past at the Expense of Our Future
Opinion by Meidas University Contributor Emma Silverman
Meidas University is a brand new initiative by MeidasTouch to establish student-run chapters at colleges and universities across the country to represent progressive values and the movement built by MeidasTouch through content development, artistic expression, and other grassroots initiatives.
For far too long, Republicans have hidden behind the “conservative” label by advocating that we as a country must strictly adhere to the 18th-century values that their party claims to support. This has prevented America from progressing towards modern solutions for the plethora of problems that we as a country face today. Most of their disdain for these solutions stems from the fact that the primary component of their core values is centered around small government involvement and aligning themselves as the party of big business. This has somewhat evolved into republican officials promoting the idea that America would be better off if they were to manage it like a business. However, it is their exact traditionalist values that would run that “business” into the ground.
Nevermind the fact that Donald Trump has a novel worth of failed businesses, but it is his and the congressional Republicans’ failure to deviate from conservative values that have plunged us deeper into the recession we are facing. If he never perpetrated the idea that wearing masks was a “violation of our constitutional rights,” then perhaps the virus would be far less rampant than it currently is. Similarly, if the Republicans in Congress weren’t so adamant that denying COVID-19 relief was justified to avoid big government spending, maybe the economy would have been able to rebound quicker. It is no coincidence that our modern recessions happened at the hands of Republican presidents and, as a result, were inherited by the incoming Democratic administration to clean up their mess.
The fundamental reason behind their traditionalist values standing in the way of them successfully running our country like a business is their failure to understand and adapt to global innovation. As new problems are being introduced, America remains stagnant in attempting to pass a solution since, most of the time, that solution is characterized as progressive.
For example, we are the only developed nation without universal health care, leaving our citizens to incur extremely high out-of-pocket costs for a system that is not designed to work in their favor. The primary group opposed to the mere thought of discussing such a concept is generally the Republican Party who often blames their hatred for it on their disdain for big government spending and/or a potential rise in taxes. Meanwhile, those who dispute universal health care in the Democratic Party tend to blame it on their need to find common ground with the opposing party during elections and throughout their campaign platforms.
However, with the current political climate, we are facing, it is challenging to foresee the Democrats attempting to reach across the aisle much longer. It is clear that both sides recognize the issue with our healthcare system, but since most of the innovative solutions entail a more progressive agenda that deviates from Conservatism, only one party seems to have members that care about the country enough to advocate for it.
In the realm of business, ignoring these progressive solutions would likely cause your company to fall victim to disruptive innovation. As seen in the Blockbuster-Netflix debacle, Blockbuster’s failure to adapt to the rise of the digital streaming market resulted in them filing for bankruptcy in 2010. While it is clear the United States will (hopefully) not meet the same fate, the refusal of the Republican Party to accept that innovative solutions often require increased spending will only further delay our advancement as a country at the expense of its citizens.
Republicans opposing these modern solutions to our current problems cannot be excused simply because of their “traditionalist” smokescreen. If we fail to keep up with global innovation in other developed countries, we will find ourselves stuck with outdated systems that do not work nearly as well—much like managing a business without constantly changing and updating your product will keep the competition flourishing, and your company from staying afloat.
We have witnessed firsthand what a self-proclaimed business guru has done to America in his attempt to run it like one of his businesses, and we have experienced how their party’s unwillingness to deviate from century-old values has halted our progress as a nation. In order to truly live up to the status as the “leader of the free world,” we cannot allow our country to continue falling behind in it.
Emma Silverman is a Meidas University Contributor and a student at the University of Texas. She is majoring in Economics with a minor in Business and has hopes of attending law school after she graduates. Emma has gained a passionate following for her compelling videos debunking lies, conspiracies, and disinformation to hold truth to power.