Republican talking points are replete with the phrase “job creators.” These two words are meant to describe Republican oligarchs that supposedly allow their wealth to “trickle down” to the starving masses, like a mother hen feeding worms to her chicks – which are totally dependent on the mother’s instincts and are unable to fend for themselves.
Such is the picture Rove, Luntz and other key party operatives would like to implant on America’s brains. Wealth “trickles” from the top, and to conceive of any other method is economic heresy comparable to communism or dire socialistic doctrine.
From top bosses to the base, the GOP heaps praises on the wealthy while disparaging the poor and working class. (What would Jesus say?) How cannot ordinary working stiffs recognize this? (Or perhaps they do but only vote against their best interest due to religious traditions mistaken for “values.”)
September 11, 2014 will mark the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – a day that will live in infamy. How have we done in 13 years? Does our post-9/11 behavior honor the victims? May 1, 2014 marks the 3rd anniversary of Osama’s capture and execution. I can’t help but visualize Osama bin Laden looking up from Hell celebrating the decline of the U.S.
But there should be no self-satisfaction. The weakening of America is not the fruit of Osama’s labor; it’s the result of rightwing politics coupled with Democratic leadership’s cowardice. And such has been the condition throughout the post-period. The two parties are the evil twins “Meany” and “Weiny” – as Congressman Alan Grayson correctly typifies them. One places party over country while the other fearfully surrenders to many demands that violate key progressive principles. Result? We’re all screwed.
Meanwhile, wealth continues to concentrate at a faster pace. The world’s top ten are worth more financially than half the world’s population, now over 7 billion. The Republican Party’s vision of oligarchy is being fulfilled.
Those that would even like to contend for presidential primaries must fly to Vegas to kiss Sheldon Adelson’s ring at his plush resort. To ignore billionaires Adelson and Koch brothers is the kiss of death.
“Trickle down” means that ordinary Americans in the future can only make their livelihoods by serving the rich. How many yachts can be polished? How many butlers can be employed? The Republican Party dreams of an American Downton Abbey where the servant class on the lower level caters to every whim of the ruling class on the upper. The castle is both a vision of reality and fantasy. The gods above must be worshiped and respected while the workers that serve must be trashed.
Bush’s justices on the Supreme Court only contribute to this future by ruling on behalf of the moneyed class. There are no scruples with the Roberts’ Court. Soon there will be no election finance laws left that haven’t been overturned.
ONCE UPON A TIME… working folk had power in America and used it to better themselves and their country. The story actually begins before unions became influential. So, let’s back up a bit further.
ONCE UPON A TIME… there was a Great Depression caused by over-speculation stemming from corruption on Wall Street. The Stock Market crashed in 1929. So, voters got together and threw the bums out in Washington that were in collusion with the bankers and greedy speculators that caused the mess in the first place. And they put a man in the White House by the name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (elected 1932, inaugurated 1933).
FDR was a wise and kind man who saw clearly what the root causes of Depression were: (1) Lack of government oversight; (2) Extreme disparity of income; and (3) unfair, unbalanced tax and labor policies favoring the rich. To jump-start the economy, he soon started work programs such as WPA and CCC. He launched Social Security and the National Relations Labor Act (which helped workers). The whole package was called THE NEW DEAL, because it drastically changed the course of American history for the better.
Naturally, the opposition fought back hard. They hated FDR and all he stood for because Roosevelt gave the working people a chance. So, they took over Congress in 1937, focused on the national debt, forcing the country deeper into Depression by mandating the U.S. pay back its obligations at an accelerated pace that had accrued due to the economic collapse they’d caused.
As predicted, their austerity measures (cutting the budget, jobs programs, social safety-nets, etc.) caused another small depression right in the middle of the big one. So, it wasn’t until after America entered World War II in 1941 the country finally climbed out of Depression, because the government again spent lots of money to pay for necessities… like the biggest conflict in world history.
After the war, unions were powerful, working people could raise a family and send their kids to college on just one parent's income. Anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. Many jobs were union jobs, and this meant they had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for them if they were treated unfairly.
People now refer to this period as the “Good Ol’ Days,” and rightly so. But what many forget is this: Unions and unwavering Democratic leaders were what put the “Good” into the “Ol’.”
Once upon a time, working people understood their history. They remembered the 1930s what condition the country was in and who put them there and why. They recalled the New Deal and National Labor Relations Act – how these programs initiated in the 30s helped them escape living on streets and dining at soup lines.
Now we live in a different century where a lot of younger workers forget or never knew. Side issues are now more important than labor – like “Obamacare” and the three “G-s”: “guns-God-gays.” Little do they realize – the “side issues” are designed by unscrupulous political operatives to derail their jobs, livelihoods, and futures. If workers can be distracted by tangents, then corporatists and the greedy elite will have succeeded in destroying labor, and by destroying labor, they will have succeeded in destroying America.
America has been also negatively impacted by the 44th President who sees himself as an Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela instead of a Franklin Roosevelt. Times demand an FDR, but we’re saddled with Mr. Nice who bargained away bedrock benefits and rights for the unlikely chance of enemy acceptance. He now claims to have learned his lesson, but only after squandering five years of progressive capital. During the “learning-curve,” opponents are respected more than supporters. Conversely, Republicans respect Putin the dictator and land-grabber more than Obama the peacemaker. Listen to Billy Graham’s son and daughter:
The heirs of the Graham evangelical dynasty are representative of the viewpoints of around 100 million Americans, about one-third – of which the vast majority are Republican.
The problem isn’t the existence of this religious right base; it’s the repetitive concessions to that base by a President who wouldn’t have gotten the job had it not been for progressives and labor. Perhaps the final years of Obama’s administration will be different in this regard, but isn’t it too late to accomplish anything of significance – especially after the opposition has locked up Congress and thrown away the key? Obama faces nothing but obstruction and impeachment should the Senate be lost in the fall. Whose fault is that – the disillusioned base unmotivated to vote or the President that disillusioned them?
Understandably, the progressive base is discouraged to the point the 2014 midterms may be surrendered to the Tea Party and far right like 2010. If Obama continues to push TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and green-lights Keystone XL, there’s no doubt the base will sit home in November, conceding the election.
I believe the state of health of domestic labor is the canary in the coal mine for all America. As our jobs evaporate and relocate elsewhere, everyone can clearly recognize decline in this country. Have you driven America’s streets lately and noticed the creeping blight despite the economic good news from Wall Street? The nation’s appearance is disfigured when compared to yesteryears, and that’s only the surface symptom of a serious chronic infection: encroaching fascism. Oligarchy marches forward as labor retreats.
Once upon a time unions were strong and jobs plentiful. Those days may come again but only if a true progressive finally is elected. We’ve been tricked by false gold and false gods; it’s past-time for the real. America can’t wait.