It is time that we face a significant fact. There are a lot of people in this country who, while they believe that they are patriotic Americans, are in fact obstructive, bitter, unhappy people. These people who apparently have no where to go, nothing important to do. When we see the signs and the comments and the shouts of obscenities and hate-filled words, we know that these people have one of three problems. Either they 1) have never seen or heard how conciliatory the President has been, considering that he really did have a substantial mandate, or 2) they have been conned or bought by the truly sinister, Anti-American forces of the Right Wing, or 3) they really are very unhappy with the current state of the union.
If it is the former, people should watch and listen to the President and listen less to the people who put us in this mess…the bad economy, the health care costs, the wars that are eating at our individual incomes, the tax cuts for the rich. If it is that they are unhappy, they need to understand what is going on. Why did we have a financial meltdown? Because the Republicans…Neoconservatives, which they all are now, allowed the lax regulations on financial companies to go completely out of control, which they said would not happen.
Here’s what happened. In a bill passed by the Republican House and Senate in 1999, they loosened the reins on risky ventures by financial institutions. They sold it to then President Clinton by saying that it would expand the economy and that market forces combined with remaining regulations would not allow over-speculation. Of course when President Bush came in, all bets were off and the financial community ran wild with YOUR money. The result was an economic meltdown. Many of the people who created the problem did lose money…at the end. But those same people made billions…billions…in the years before the crash. So they are fine. And how has all this Republican management of the economy worked for you? Not very well…to say the least!
There is no question that some of the shouting and the Nazi rhetoric comes from racists. We know now that one of the reasons that Bill Clinton was so severely attacked early on in his administration, was the fact that, in Arkansas, he and Hillary Clinton had worked diligently to improve the educational system, particularly for African-Americans, and had raised living standards, business and home ownership in the African-American community. If you remember, Bill Clinton took great pride in the frequent news hour commentary that he was, figuratively speaking, the “first Black President?”
If you understand the Right Wing’s reaction to that, then you know and understand the motives of people calling President Obama a “Nazi” because he is black. You understand someone making the equally ridiculous claim that he is trying to become a “dictator.” A dictator seldom sublimates his own wishes and his political agenda to continually attempt to include the wishes of the opposite party. A dictator, when he is totally rebuffed by the opposition and ridiculed, particulaly by an opposition with no political power whatsoever, does not seek bipartisan support. He throws the opposition into prison. He will then destroy their political base by offering a simple opportunity to one segment that they cannot refuse–you can stay out of prison if you agree with me and not them. This is the opposite of President Barack Obama.
Now, what about the guns at these town hall meetings. It seems that the NRA, the National Rifle Association, has finally gone completely mad. They were an an organization protecting the rights of owners of handguns and long guns for hunters and sporting enthusiasts. They are now supporters of militia and criminals whose only object is to shoot innocent children and blow up buildings. They have become an aggressive, arrogant, society whose leader arbitrarlily recently said about American law and the Constitution that “the guys with the guns make the rules.”
They encourage the public to carry hand guns, handguns at schools, universities and churches. Death and destruction follow them wherever they go. They are, in fact, the merchants of death. And now they encourage loonies to bring guns to highly charged political rallies. One has to ask…are they cowards? If not, why do they need guns? Are they potentially assassins? Why is the NRA encouraging potential assassins, gun toting morons to come to Presidential town hall meetings?
We need new laws to put these guns where they belong, on a gun rack at home or locked up on a range. We don’t need to take them away from people. Just keep them in a safe place until the are removed to be used for legitimate purposes. Now…the radical left, and particularly those with some experience in law enforcement, feel that there should be some “shoot-to-kill” flexibility among police officers, to protect them when they see someone with a hand gun or automatic weapons. Our police must be protected and if someone wants to carry a gun and will not put it down immediately, there is no reason that a police officer should be asked to risk his or her life. They should be allowed at some point…not much longer than the count of three…to fire..shoot to kill…anyone who will not surrender a weapon for any reason. Any civilized gun owner will respond to police instructions. Too many innocent persons have died, including children, police and average citizens caught innocently in the crossfire of madmen.
We have Right-Wing Conservative talk show hosts, who incite people to murder. Bill O’Reilly and Michael Savage clearly incited a man recently to kill an abortion doctor. This should be punishable as manslaughter. Once people begin to run out and shoot other people as a result of some lunatic’s comments on television, we have lost our society. Since it has recently happened twice, it seems clear that if we are not already there, we are close unless we legislate against hate speech on the radio and television. Some of these talk show hosts are ex cons, like G.Gordon Liddy, a crazy former CIA nut. Another is Rush Limbaugh, a former drug addict, accused of pedophilia because of rumors that he likes to take trips to the Caribbean to have sex with under-age girls. The list goes on and on.
We are not talking about experts, here. Bill O’Reilly was a gossip columnist before Fox hired him to vilify everything good in our society for the benefit of Rupert Murdoch’s CEO arch-conservative friends. Glenn Beck is a sick man who is falling apart right in front of our eyes and Fox television allows it to happen as some kind of morbid real-life drama. Sick people, creating a sick segment of society.
The fundamentalist Christian evangelists are paid by foundations to preach hate and anti-American views, to mostly ignorant followers. They are particularly vile at election time when they wait until just before election, when it is too late for their parishoners to check the facts and then reel off lie after lie. People like James Dobson and the late Jerry Falwell are perfect examples of preachers in the pocket of the Right Wing causes of the rich–tax breaks, big contracts for pharmaceutical companies with the government and elective wars to get the Halliburtons of the world into billions of your tax dollars.
Then there are the so called “think tanks,” lobbying groups who have very specific agendas. For pharmaceutical companies, they push the idea that drugs are actually cheaper than they used to be. (untrue) For coal companies, they push the idea that clean coal can now be used to power the nation’s energy supply. Not true, because it costs a lot and the coal companies will not spend what it takes. The military industrial complex…so corrupt, so intertwined with Congress that it was a major battle to cancel a contract for a squadron of F-22 fighters, tens of billions of dollars, that the Air Force did not want and would not use. Only when President Obama said he would veto it did Congress–Democrats and Republicans alike–relent.
So here we have the Republican Party, using all of the thousands, literally thousands, of Right Wing, totalitarian advocates spending literally billions of dollars against the People, inciting some of the people to act against others and against their own best interests.
We can stop all this if we only act in our own best interests and stop putting our fath exclusively in one Party or the other. We can counter Right Wing Republicanism with a Populist plan for the People. What is the Populist program? What is the plan for the People?
1. First of all to create a stable economy where we can develop at least six million solid jobs. In order to do this, we need to re-create a manufacturing economy. In order to do that, we need to do two things. One–work out a plan of small tariffs on every single product that is sent to any other country to be manufactured. Do it when that product returns to this country. Why? To create a fund to develop U.S. industry and to come closer to equalizing the rates of pay here in the U.S. with foreign manufacturers. That money is now going directly into the pockets of the owners of those major manufacturers. So won’t we be hurting the stockholders? Maybe, but not necessarily. In any case, the overwhelming number of stockholders are very wealthy individuals and family trusts, university endowments, etc. Will union pensions be hurt? Maybe, and guess what…they don’t care. Unions are all about jobs.
Remember this: In October 2008, under President Bush, the Treasury Department, under former Goldman, Sachs, CEO, Hank Paulson told congress that if they did not bail out the financial industry, there would be a complete collapse of the financial system that would dwarf that of 1929. The market had already dropped from 14,000 to about 7,000 and a huge financial institution had collapsed and several others were within hours of collapse. Even with the bailout, Paulson said, things would be grim. Without a bailout, we would have tens of millions unemployed and chaos as far as the eye could see.
As a result, when he came into office, President Obama had an economy that had lost 700,000 jobs in December 2008 alone, and had been shedding jobs at over half a million a month for nearly a year. His job was to find a way to stabilize the economy from President Bush’s disastrous, $1.8 trillion deficit. There was no guarantee in January of 2009 that a catastrophe would still not occur. This was a colllapse deliberately createed by the Republican Party and wealthy corporate interests.
2. Create a system so that people can be assured that they can buy health insurance that they can afford, insurance that will be there when they need it, and some kind of insurance for which they are qualified, regardless of their physical condition. The lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans, and others have spent something like $60 million thus far in campaign contributions to Republicans and vulnerable Democrats to get them to vote against the interests of the People. Health care costs are ruining the economy. Only an ongoing reduction in health care spending and an organized system will give us the ability to compete world wide and to create jobs here at home.
3. Wind down the wars overseas and strengthen our borders here in the U.S. This would be easier if there were any kind of support from the Republicans who started both wars and want them to continue for their military contractors. Meanwhile, of course, the investigations of military contractor profiteering at the cost of many American lives continues. The Neocon-Republicans have such total control of the media that the brain-dead citizens shouting down health care reform, against their own best interests, do not know that while they are shouting, billions are still going into the pockets of corrupt military contractors who have killed our soldiers through shoddy work practices. It is bad enough that soldiers die in a wasteful foolish war…but electrocuted in their own showers? What kind of sick companies do we have working for the Defense Department?
4. Create a sensible system of integrating those illegal citizens who have some kind of status, rejecting those who do not and insuring both illegal criminals and gang members are deported, but also those who have recently come over, have no families and no visible means of support. Yes, conditions are bad in Mexico, but they are also bad here right now and we must support our citizens first. That is not a judgement. That is a legal obligation.
5. Use health care cost reductions, increased employment, U.S. manufacturing and energy related industrial growth, as well as targeted cuts in the size of government to cut the budget in half and begin to reduce the size of deficits and the national debt. We need to focus on cost containment and bring costs down to meet the revenues that we currentl have.
Anyone who has other objectives, creating chaos, disrupting government, spreading guns and havoc, creating militaristic organizations within the country should not only think twice; they should think of another country because the civilized people in this society will not take it any more.