As Another Pissed Off Liberal, There Are Some Things I'm Not Interested In.
*(this was inspired by a comment I made in OPOL's diary and the reactions it got)
I’m an eight year trusted user at TOP with about a 40-something% rate of hitting the Recommended list, but I’m not interested in getting the school letter to put on my DK varsity sweater, or wearing the blue Dem uniform, if it requires a Loyalty oath. Oathkeepers and their ilk make me sick. Witch hunts, whether conducted by paranoid and delusionary RW conservative Senators or intolerant religious folks in Salem or by white supremacist racists in Nazi Germany, revolt me.
There’s a simple, stark truth often overlooked of which I am very interested in. And that is, we only exist as Americans because we stared down the Loyalists and fought our oppressors in a revolution. The greatest Democratic president in our history, F.D.R., reminded us to “remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionaries.” There is only one presidential candidate who speaks of revolution today.
What I am interested in is the following:
I’m interested in why there’s chronic dysfunction and a Revolving Door in DC.
I’m interested in why my country administers healthcare through for-profit insurance companies.
I’m interested in why my democracy requires the endless dialing-for dollars by elected officials to do the work of The People.a
I'm interested in why my friends can’t afford the ever-rising rents and cost of life because we won't challenge the malignancy of an economic system that is rigged to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few.
I’m interested in fighting against the vested interest of a status quo which has calcified a broken political system beholden to campaign donors.
I’m interested in exposing a system which has forced my friends to have to go to other countries to get prescription drugs and surgery because it’s too costly here.
I’m interested in finding out why we give massive tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations, an upward redistribution of funds, which they continue to use to further solidify their monopolistic positions in the market and leave us with the bill.
I’m interested in knowing why politicians don’t have the courage to begin to dismantle a system that saddles college students with $1 TRILLION of debt, doesn’t prosecute murderous cops, has military bases in over 100 countries around the world requiring a bloated budget, which could instead be used to defray the costs of healthcare for all and free higher education.
I’m interested in knowing why my parents could buy a home in the suburbs in the early 70’s on one income while my mom stayed at home with us, but today almost everyone I know is paying upward of half to almost all their monthly income for rent just to have a roof over their heads. Hardly anybody I know is thinking of home ownership in NYC.
I’m interested in prosecuting the Economic Terrorists of Wall St whose endless greed has destroyed the American middle class by hijacking the economy and continue to savage it with rampant ponzi schemes, institutional fraud and fine print deception.
That’s where my loyalty is. Not to any website or political party or my own ethnicity or the college I graduated from. Whoever speaks that language clearly and unequivocally will earn my fealty. We will stand together to fight.
My loyalty is to the dispossessed, the marginalized, the downtrodden, the unjustly imprisoned; the people forced into the desperate shadows of underemployment, hunger, working while sick and not able to take vacation.
I look at these folks crushed in the grinder of unbridled capitalism the way the Okie character Tom Joad in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”, looked at the world :
A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody...
I'll be all around in the dark. I'll be everywhere, wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready and where people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build. I'll be there, too.
And I sing the praises of socialism as an antidote to a world gone amok with greed and self-interest, along with the great Kurt Vonnegut, who explained in his last book “A Man Without A Country”:
One of my favorite humans is Eugene Debs, from Terre Haute in my native state of Indiana.
Get a load of this. Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was not yet four, ran five times as the Socialist party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, almost 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning:
"As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.
"As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it.
"As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?
Bernie Sanders once made a film about Eugene Debs and submitted it to a public television station in Burlington. Debs is also a favorite human being of Bernie’s.
Here’s a sobering truth at the heart of Bernie’s Political Revolution: Every single advancement we’ve come to enjoy and take for granted, every single one, is solely the result of people standing #Together in solidarity, revolting, if you will, against the injustices of their time. First step is to realize how we’re being divided and conquered by powers who wish to keep the status quo.
This about sums it up:
Today that injustice is gross economic inequality and police brutality. Occupy Wall St is a clarion call that reverberated around the world because it focused on the Economic Terrorism of global financial elites on Wall St. It’s spirit lives in the hearts millions and millions of folks all over the world being trampled by concentrated wealth (oligarchy) and financial schemes that pillage the public coffers and enslave the masses with debt. #BlackLivesMatter is an uprising of young black kids who were fed up with seeing their ilk murdered in the streets for the crime of being black. But this new civil rights movement is being led by queer black women, upon whose standing expanded this next generation’s uprising to be more inclusive as a sweeping Oppressed People’s Movement, taking on LGBT rights as well as the Fight For 15 minimum wage.
Yesterday it was the Abolitionists in the 1840’s and 50’s and the fierce single-mindedness of Calvinist John Brown’s revolution against the abomination of enslaving black human beings who brought an end to slavery. It was the Socialists and Anarchists of the 1870’s-90’s who achieved worker’s rights, collective bargaining for unions, child labor laws, work place safety regulations, the 8 hour workday, and the 5 day work week. It was the Women’s Suffragette movement. It was the Civil Rights movement of blacks using non violent civil disobedience to dramatize the brutality of Jim Crow segregation and whites answering their appeal to stand #Together with them. It was the Gay Rights movement and ACT UP protesters who stared down falsely pious “religious” people who bought the propaganda of movement conservatism’s intolerance.
Theses (were) are Political Revolutions.
In the harbor of my birthplace there lies this inscription:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
My ancestors benefited from that credo, and this country benefited from having them. We were known as an egalitarian, compassionate and forward-thinking nation.
Charlie Chaplin, a noted socialist, wrote and gave one of the most moving speeches on the purpose of humanity in the 1940 film he also produced, starred in, scored and produced called “The Great Dictator.”
I submit it will be one of the most moving things you’ll ever hear:
I submit this today because this isn’t a game to me, in which we blindly root for our team. As NY Times reporter Mark Leibovitch concluded in his book “This Town,” there’s only one color in Washington DC and it’s not Red or Blue as most think. It’s green, as in Money.
If you want to know why there’s rampant dissatisfaction and defection by liberal people all across the country (and I’m not talking about registered Democrats alone, but the many Independents and more disconcertingly the largest sector of potential Democratic voters, the 40% or more who don’t even bother to vote), here's a little dose of reality for you folks:
I’m not interested in electing more and better Democrats, if they’re not better. Voting for the lesser of two evils isn’t just a losing party platform. It is much worse. It results in compounded evil. I’ve had enough of that.
Enough is enough.
Candidates like Bernie come along maybe once in a lifetime. He is running a historic campaign bolstered primarily by record numbers of individual contributions. That alone is revolutionary. His reliance on small donors a big Fuck You to the Big Money donors who have made a mockery out of our elections by brazenly turning our government into an auction house to the highest bidder.
Bernie’s absolute domination of young voters, in many cases exceeding Obama’s historical campaign, will take this party deep into the next generation, on top of which the overwhelming numbers of Independents and sane Republicans who will vote for him means one thing very clearly: Landslide of epic proportions in November.
I’m tired of seeing so many stumble and fall, then crushed under the relentless and merciless grinder of unbridled capitalism. It has run its course. People know it too. They want something more for their taxes than healthcare administered by for-profit insurance companies, subsidies for oil companies, tax breaks for the wealthy and monopoly business ownership. All that money could be used to bulk up a healthcare for all and freed higher education plan. That’s what taxes are supposed to be for.
Like my rebellious American antecedents through the ages I realize the only way to topple injustice and corruption is through revolution.
We have a chance to elect a rare human being.
It’s time to be bold.
Agitate, agitate, agitate.