I do think if people would take the time to share the context of their lives with others -we would understand we all want and need similar things. Life is a struggle (for almost all) in varying degrees -based upon privilege, economic standing, geography, gender, beliefs, culture and so much more. We are intentionally and strategically divided -as long as we distrust and hate others -it keeps us distracted from asking the real questions -about why in one of the most affluent countries -we are all fighting for table scraps -minimum wage, healthcare, housing, clean/safe water, breathable air -and equal justice and protection. The day when America (or if America) awakens and discovers how much money and power is controlled by the Koch's, Sheldon Adelson, the Walton heirs and others -there is going to be a reckoning.
And I'm not anti-capitalism or anti-wealth -provided it has been earned by risk and innovation -and not simply stolen, collected or hoarded. I am against concentration of wealth based upon tax and fiscal policy that erodes the quality of life for the impoverished, working poor and middle class -while transferring what should be their earnings (our earnings!) to the already obscenely wealthy -the essence of the trickle down fraud also known as Reaganomics. It has brought America and the aspiration of democracy to the brink of destruction.
I'm grateful to all of those that continue Bernie's Political Revolution in meaningful and sustained ways -that will continue to ask the questions -"With all of America's wealth -why are people without shelter, without access to quality healthcare, drowning in student loan debt, working multiple jobs to survive?" Why is all of the wealth WE HAVE EARNED -in the hands of so few?
Those that are pragmatic -and understand that by abandoning Clinton/Kaine (and the endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders) -they would not only be jeopardizing America's future -but also putting all of the hard fought gains over generations at risk. Gains people fought, struggled and died for. I understand idealism -and it's needed to help people understand the America that may someday be within our grasp. However -we also must understand the reality of the world we live in today. Our choice is simple -supporting the fascist, theological oligarchy represented by Trump/Pence and the GOP -or supporting Senator Sanders wishes, committing to Clinton/Kaine -and working side by side on building the progressive infrastructure.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
The closing written for Furious George, Episode 17: Violently Sick America:
This program isn't about "Making America Great Again" or "Keeping America Great". The reality is America has had great potential from our flawed beginning to become a beacon of hope for humanity. A place where diversity is respected, people are empowered and opportunity, fairness and justice are embodied in the soul of America -not just an empty promise scrawled upon our landmarks. An America where each new generation has a brighter future than past generations.
As the rich have gotten richer -insurmountable pressure has been heaped upon working men and women -until we are so busy and distracted -working around the clock to pay for necessities and a few distractions and escapes -we no longer have time for ourselves, our families or our communities. This has been the slow burning "Reagan Revolution" built on the foundation of the massive criminal fraud otherwise known as "trickle down economics". The average working person now pays higher taxes than the wealthy on a percentage basis -this all stems back to Reagan/Bush tax and economic policies.
We are too tired to question. We are too tired to fight back. Even after Bush subverted the election process, aided and abetted by a GOP majority in the "non-partisan" Supreme Court -and then Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Even after Cheney/Bush invaded the wrong country -leading to thousands of American military deaths and casualties, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and the chaos that now exists in the Middle East -threatening as I speak to draw us back in. We are too tired to question why BP still exists as a profitable company after the destruction of the Gulf Coast. We are too tired to question how do Exxon executives remain wealthy and free -knowing and obscuring the facts about Climate Change -and the global environmental threat we now face because of their actions. We are too tired to volunteer in our schools to make sure the next and future generations are well-prepared for unprecedented challenges.
Bernie speaks of the necessity of a political revolution in America. But the reality is -we need a counter to years of "Reagan-esque" economic policy that has led to CEO's making 500 times the salary of an average worker. We need strong unions again. We need manufacturing and trade jobs again. We need a living wage. We need to fix healthcare by removing the profit motive -and providing high-quality healthcare for all. We need real journalists and well-funded independent media -that questions the rise of a fascist, misogynist, racist, silver-spooned trust fund child as a presidential candidate. We need well-funded public schools and affordable higher education for all -because ultimately knowledge IS power. The foundation of a real democracy is a well-informed, well-educated and engaged society. We need people that work hard -to better themselves and families -but also have a real life work balance so we can not only be employees -we can be moms and dads again -involved in our communities.
People are angry -left and right. Trump supporters, Sanders Supporters, Stein supporters and Clinton supporters. We need to understand that the anger and frustration is about what has been stolen from all of us -and our families for the last 40 years. Our own quality of life -and that of our communities, our schools, our infrastructure -and it has gone into the hands of a few. This is the real issue. It is not about black versus white. It is not about immigrant versus American. It is purely about green and gold. People that are uninformed (because they only listen to fox spews or other hate speech) blame the wrong people. Live in the projects before you call someone lazy or "gaming the system". Live with the fear that your child will be shot on his or her way from school -or at a BBQ or front porch -or by the police. If we are to move beyond the deeply-rooted violence and blind, ignorance driven hatred -we must first listen to each other. Then we must fully explore our sins of the past, pay for them, apologize for them and teach them -so they never happen again. Let us make new mistakes in our future -not repeat those we've made in the past.
We all want one thing -a better life for ourselves, our families -we want a future. Let's start with that -and then turn our attention to where the problem really exists -with the Koch brothers, the Walton families and others that are very close to establishing an American Oligarchy for the obscenely wealthy -constructed on the backs of the working class and poor.
And then let's do something that strikes fear into the cold, dead hearts of those that have stolen from all of us. Let's unite, cooperate and and work together for the America we know we could have -based upon fairness, justice, compassion and respect for all.