What are the Leaders of the Progressive Resistance really Resisting?

I'm tired of progressives tied to the democratic party ignoring the killing and destruction, including of our own country, of U.S. imperialism.

What are you tired of?

The Campaign for America's Future (CAF) is "an American nonprofit progressive political advocacy organization. Founded in 1996, the organization bills itself as "the strategy center for the progressive movement."

"Within the Democratic Party, it often serves as a counterweight to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). CAF argues that the Democratic Party should draw sharp contrasts with the Republicans and advance a progressive agenda."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_for_America%27s_Future

The CAF recently released a "Pledge to Fight for America's Future" which includes an eleven plank "agenda". This agenda of theirs is evidently a product of 70 progressive "leaders of the resistance" who had supported democratic party presidential candidates Hillary the Warmonger Clinton and Bernie the Savior Sanders. Talk about resisting eh.

http://campaignforamericasfuture.org/

"Democrats can’t build an enduring majority for real change without clarity on an agenda far different and bolder than the neoliberalism of the past years. But now, 70 leaders of the resistance—supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie, Sanders—have released a Pledge to Fight for America’s Future that outlines an economic agenda and vows to build the movement needed to make it a reality. (For list of signers, go here; to join the pledge go here. Full disclosure: This was spearheaded by Roger Hickey and released by the Campaign for America’s Future, which I co-founded.)

The agenda is not a grab-bag of glittering new ideas. Rather, it reflects an emerging consensus among the activist base of the Democratic party that began to take form in the DNC platform born from negotiations between Clinton and Sanders in 2016. Parts of the pledge are also in the “Better Deal” agenda that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are rolling out, but can be found too in the stirring platform put out by the Movement for Black Lives and 60 other organizations in 2016."

https://ourfuture.org/20180227/how-democrats-can-offer-real-solutions-to...

Those 70 "prominent progressive leaders" evidently include author Naomi Klein and Our Revolution president Nina Turner. Here's the "11 planks of the agenda".

(1) Jobs for All—Created by Rebuilding America
(2) Invest in a Green Economy
(3) Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality
(4) Opportunity and Justice for All—With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism
(5) Guarantee Women's Economic Equality
(6)High-Quality Public Education—Pre-K to University
(7) Medicare for All—and Shared Economic Security
(8) Make Corporations and Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
(9) A Global Economic Strategy for Working People
(10) Close Wall Street's Casino
(11) Rescue Democracy from the Special Interests

Robert Borosage, president of the CFA says "the pledge is a document in progress. It hopes to spark a debate, and to encourage others to join. It doesn’t claim to be comprehensive, and doesn’t address national-security policies nor social policies."

What's up with this nonsense from the progressives, like Bernie Sanders himself, of ignoring "national security" as Borosage puts it? Why put out a progressive agenda supposedly to "draw a sharp contrast with the republicans" that doesn't include war and imperialism?

When I originally saw their 11 planks I was outraged by the omission of anything related to foreign policy and this country's global military empire. I found it hard to believe they could stoop that low. Then I found the article by Robert Borosage which did admit to leaving it out along with the explanation that the agenda was a work in progress. He didn't however say that the foreign or national security issue was going to be addressed.

I did find this statement at the end of the "A Global Economic Strategy for Working People" plank.

"Our current national security policies commit us to policing the world. The result costs lives and drains public resources. We need a real security policy that makes military intervention a last resort, and focuses on global threats like climate change, poverty and inequality. We should reduce military budgets and properly support humanitarian programs."

Oops, they gave it away right there in the first line - "policing the world". That's the standard propaganda line for why we have 1000 military bases, 14 aircraft carriers, and special forces in 150 countries, to act as the world's policeman, like we're some kind of benevolent country acting to keep the order, help people in danger and spread democracy. Nope, wrong answer 70 progressive leaders of the resistance. That's not what our government (and those that control it) is doing with the global military machine. That's the propaganda we're fed like in the Navy and Army commercials that proclaim their mission as a "global force for good".
Obviously the CAF, as an appendage of the democratic party, will support U.S. imperialism including as a lead in the "let's go to war with Russia" mania sweeping the country because the Democratic party is now the lead war party of the duopoly, or at least co-lead.

The United States is a (dying) global imperialist military empire controlled by an oligarchy which includes a military/intelligence/security industrial complex (MIC), trying to enforce and maintain hegemony over the entire planet, and the space above it. A U.S. president, Eisenhower, warned about the MIC back in his 1961 farewell address.

To do this, the United States marauds the earth waging war, enforcing sanctions, destroying countries, and killing people, including innocent men, women, children, and BABIES. It threatens, bribes, punishes and lies like a criminal mafia. It spies on it's own people. It's estimated that the U.S. has killed, or is responsible for the deaths of from 20-30 million people since the end of World War II. The immorality of U.S. imperialism is off the charts and to ignore this aspect of U.S. government is beyond the pale.

Then there's the impact to the federal budget and domestic and social programs.

The total combined imperialism budget is approximately $1.2 trillion per year, including the $700 billion for "defense". The rest is made up of intelligence, homeland security, Dept of Energy (nukes), Veterans Administration, etc. There are two broad aspects to the federal budget, the discretionary budget and the non-discretionary budget. The non-discretionary budget include programs that are backed by law, such as Social Security and Medicare. Congress cannot touch those unless they change or add to the law. The discretionary budget includes programs that Congress has the discretion to authorize annually. The Department of Defense is a discretionary program as are most intelligence and homeland security programs. Currently the total budget for defense, intelligence and security, and related such as the V.A and Dept of Energy (nukes), take up about 65% of the discretionary national budget.

Like with Bernie Sanders, the inability to address U.S. global militarism and imperialism while proclaiming support for Medicare for All or a higher minimum wage is not only a glaring hole, it's a hypocritical omission that discredits their other claims of populist policies. There is nothing more racist and destructive to the humans on this planet at this time than U.S. imperialism.

There is no way we're going to get any of the things on the CAF list unless we end the ruling class agenda for global hegemony. Look at what's happening now with the republicans in charge. They've implemented a ten year plan to greatly increase the imperialism and police state budget (no doubt preparing for war with Russia and China, not to mention North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Africa, the next great oil battlefield), while cutting and gutting social programs including Medicare and Social Security, privatizing infrastructure, and furthering increasing of the stupendous wealth inequality that has enveloped not just this country but the entire planet. All being done with the help of the democratic party.

So Robert Borosage, Robert Hickey and Campaign for America's Future, how about a debate? Let's start with why you and those 70 progressive leaders of the resistance don't want to confront U.S. imperialism?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

In my humble opinion, here's the money phrase right here.

So long as Perpetual Goldwater Girl Hillary Clinton's supporters are in any way involved, we won't get progress here and the project is highly unlikely to succeed in even its weak-beer goals.

Unless the American Left first resists and disconnects from everything Clinton, it's hosed and will remain hosed. Sometimes you don't need just to stand for something; sometimes you need to stand against some other thing as well.

And whether one looks at it as being the world's unpaid policeman or as an oligarchic bully, our hyper-bloated military-industrial complex is a perfect example of the latter, as you pointed out in the Essay!

edit: corrected typo

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides Is this another symptom of the abused partner excusing the abuser. The attacks on democratic party progressives has going on since Clinton (some might argue since McCarthy or Jimmah Carter), and reached its zenith with the absolute cheating of Sanders and I would include the violent put down of OWS as the movement was not kowtowing to be part of the democratic party establishment. Not to mention that the Hillary wing as deliberate policy smeared progressives.

And now the systematic purging of progressives in the DNC and cheating and slander of progressive candidates in the current primaries.

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Bollox Ref's picture

but the teachers in West Virginia and Oklahoma are up to something.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

The Aspie Corner's picture

whining about how they've 'lost' the non-existent culture war because of capitalist-appropriated feminism, 'Cultural Marxism' and 'Muslim refugees' while ignoring the very causes of the refugee crisis in the first place, namely US/NATO hegemony. Oh, and their incessant whining about the non-existent left also annoys me.

I'm also tired of First World IDPOL utterly ignoring real economic issues that are a direct cause of the reactionary social conservatism in the first place. But hey, what do I know? I'm just an angry disabled white guy who will never get a fair shake no thanks to being born with disabilities.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

Pricknick's picture

for Bad Attitude or Big Al?

(1) Jobs for All—Created by Rebuilding America
(2) Invest in a Green Economy

Powerful and needed. It will never happen without

(11) Rescue Democracy from the Special moneyed Interests.

Many of the others are just fairy dust.
Well done you dirty hippy.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Big Al's picture

@Pricknick late for dinner.
Ya, I'll be here all week.

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snoopydawg's picture

then the anti war movement would be stifled, but if Trump won and he continued the wars, then it would come out of its coma. So far I haven't seen anything about this. People spend their time on writing about what he says, tweets or the other stupid things he does. Not many are even covering the wars unless something big happens. And of course the media will not talk about them because their owners are the defense companies. As you and others have stated, what people want economically to happen will never happen as long as we are spending so much on the defense budget. I try to remind people of this whenever they are excited about things like this movement. I appreciate what they are trying to do, but they have to realize reality. This new deal is still less filling.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg and Clinton to oppose what Trump is doing since they supported the same wars and imperialism when Obama and Clinton were doing it. And in the time since during the election season, the dem party has taken the lead in demonizing Russia to the point of criticizing Trump for not being more aggressive, even though as an essay here earlier pointed out he and his administration have done plenty against Russia.

There are opportunities this year to rev up an antiwar movement. There are plans to protest Trump's possible military parade (as a Vet I might even fly out for that to represent) and I think there's a global day of action on Apr 15th as I recall. Would have to check that.

I can't say enough that there should be a boycott of this duopoly combined with an antiwar/anti-imperialism movement started ASAP.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

Especially Hillary. I'd tell them that she was as big a warmonger as Bush was and they told me I was wrong about that. I'd put links in to support what I said, but that did no good. Willfully blind people can't be reasoned with. And anyone who is critical of any democrat is told that "now is not the time for this because we have an election coming up and we need every democrat so they can oppose the republicans and Trump"

Doh! Isn't that familiar?

I do wonder what they will say if Trump does decide to take military action against Russia? This is what I think some of them want. They are so blinded because Her didn't win they can't think straight.

You're so right about the democrats being pro war and I'm waiting for them to start talking about how we need to upgrade our nukes. Ya know, just in case Putin does nuke Florida. I thought that the military parade was a no go? If it's still on and you go to the protest, maybe you will have a chance to talk to people about getting the anti war movement back in action. Some how we have to get it going again.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg how maybe they would focus on foreign policy next year but now wasn't the appropriate time. Couldn't find it. I remember seeing it though.
There's either ignorance of the truth (perhaps willful as you say) which prevents a focus on the immorality of imperialism or a sociopathic attitude toward imperialist crimes or both. There's a whole lot of hypocrisy going on when it comes to the democrats and progressives.

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@Big Al thanks, isn't it next year already? Oh I get it. OIC!

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/nina-turner-wall-st-democrats-vs-working-class-democrats.html

PAUL JAY: One of the critiques I’ve heard of The People’s Summit, and it’s been mostly positive, there hasn’t been a lot of critique. There’s a lot of this enthusiasm, but one critique I’ve heard is on the question of why isn’t foreign policy being talked about here? There wasn’t a workshop. There wasn’t a central speaker. It’s a very dangerous time in terms of foreign-policy. Trump is planning something … not planning, we know what he’s doing; he’s creating an alliance with the Saudi Arabia to isolate Iran. It looks pretty likely even Trump has said about building up troop levels into Iraq. He jokes about going back and seizing Iraqi oil but there’s no foreign-policy discussion here.

NINA TURNER: But you know, Paul Jay, this is the second year of The People’s Summit. It was really born from Senator Sanders’run so maybe next year that will be added on. But there’s so much … Since the presidency of George W. Bush President Bush we have been constantly focusing every single effort on what is happening outside of our shores and domestically people have been falling behind. So it’s not necessarily that the people here at The People’s Summit don’t care about those issues, but not many people are talking about what is happening with the needs of the people right here in this country.

But you bring up a really good point. So, can that be added to next year? Next year will be the third year. Absolutely. Is that something that some of the people who have come in from 49 states, as you know I’m sure some of them are talking about these issues but we do have many opportunities to make that within the framework, is what you’re talking about, within the conversation piece; the workshops within The People’s Summit.

Moar workshops, okie dokie! At least the death merchants might get mentioned in a workshop framework this summer. Maybe you should go there and give it to 'em in person. lol

"Trust me once they've work-shopped from this speaking matrix, there's no
telling what she'll be incredibly prepared to have regret saying."

peace

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Big Al's picture

@eyo Thanks eyo. Nina Turner proving she's not very smart.

She's says we're falling behind on domestic issues. Well no shit, that's because our government is spending all the money trying to rule the world.

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@Big Al she's a D loyalist, expect nothing less.

After Clinton won the nomination, Turner was invited by Jill Stein to become the Green Party's nominee for Vice President, but Turner declined, stating, "I believe that the Democratic Party is worth fighting for."

D-Worthy. Peace? Maybe next year. meh

grouchy

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@eyo with Saudi Arabia to attack Iran? Love that projection, don't you? Sure, Obummer and all the rest before him NEVER worked "with" Saudi Arabia to isolate Iran, did they? My God, what a head slapper that is. And these people want to be taken seriously? Like, seriously?

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

I've become cynical to the point of speculating that progressive leaders are afraid they can't win on $27 a pop from their donors (broke progressives), so they think they have to cut deals with the MIC to get adequate campaign fundraising, to do stuff that is opposed by other corporate interests from whom they'll never get contributions.
Someone once said 'you can't be too cynical, because it's worse than anyone can imagine'.
Progressives shilling for the MIC would fit that anecdote.

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Mike Taylor

Pricknick's picture

@Mike Taylor

progressive leaders are afraid they can't win

When the majority get their news from less than six news broadcasters, it's understandable that the majority vote with the minority.
MSM absolutely blows.
I want my MTV.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

@Mike Taylor

she became president? That's what her supporters told me. "She has to take money to get elected and then she'll get it reversed." I'd come back with "that's what people said about Obama when he voted for the FISA bill." He had to vote for it and then once he's president he will get it reversed." He went on to strengthen it much more than it was when he voted for it.

Big sigh

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

You can't reason with the willfully blind.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg

Democrats are arguing that half the country is too dumb to vote - because they could be easily confused by a Russian raindrop in an American lake of election ads. Doh!

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

@Mike Taylor

I'll use it for this

Obama's surveillance vote spurs blogging backlash

In October, Obama had vowed to help filibuster an update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that gave telecommunication companies that had cooperated with President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program immunity from lawsuits.

When pressed to explain his change in position by an angry questioner Thursday, Obama defended his vote, saying he opposed the immunity for the companies but ultimately voted for the bill because he felt that the revisions to the intelligence law were necessary to protect the nation's security. Watch analysts debate whether Obama is a flip-flopper »

"The surveillance program is actually one that I believe is necessary for our national security," Obama told the questioner. "So I had to balance or weigh voting against a program that I think that we need -- and that had been created so that your privacies were protected -- or create a situation in which we didn't have the program in place."

Wouldn't he had known about this before he promised to filibuster the bill?

When pressed to explain his change in position by an angry questioner Thursday, Obama defended his vote, saying he opposed the immunity for the companies but ultimately voted for the bill because he felt that the revisions to the intelligence law were necessary to protect the nation's security. Video Watch analysts debate whether Obama is a flip-flopper »

"The surveillance program is actually one that I believe is necessary for our national security," Obama told the questioner. "So I had to balance or weigh voting against a program that I think that we need -- and that had been created so that your privacies were protected -- or create a situation in which we didn't have the program in place."

I had forgotten about this

The bill does not grant the telecommunication companies direct immunity, but it does contain a provision that allows a federal judge to dismiss the suits if the companies can present a letter from the government stating that the program was legal.

I'm betting that they got that letter

Heavy sigh still

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, testified before Congress that all the companies received such letters.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg
Dupes.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Mike Taylor It's not fun at all anymore, but it is surely better than being a willfully blind asshat with ones head firmly and willfully implanted IMO. I really think most of these "Democrats" just want to get their cut out of this before the whole shitting mess comes crashing down. I'll not give them even the once of credit it takes to say they're afraid of not getting re-elected. Sure, that is part of it, but at the end of the day it's about what is in it for them. Don't get elected but get a cushy think tank job or Corporate pay off? Fine and dandy as long as they're getting paid.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

mimi's picture

What are the Leaders of the Progressive Resistance really Resisting?

...the realization that they haven't achieved anything. They can't admit it and don't have solutions to the unintended consequences, that swim on top of all of it now.

Borosage? I was at the Populism Conference in 2014 in the Sheraton in DC and watched Borosage, him being in the audience and as a speaker on the podium, as well as many other speakers (especially from the LBQT community) sitting like four yards apart of him. I was asking myself why he was smiling so much and where the organizers got all the money for pulling off that conference. I could feel the "class" differences of people in the audience and probably I was alone in thinking that those differences were used to win "some hearts and minds" of the not that fortunate progressives.

All the words seemed to be right, yet I came out of the conference with a fogged mind and lots of questions that I couldn't formulate. Something wasn't right. The whole conference seemed to be a theater performance, self-promoting the resistance intentions of the new populist (and I guess progressive) movement. The discrepancy between groups in that conference was imo conveniently not mentioned or overlooked and ignored. Which felt uncomfortable to me. It didn't convince me and I can't even say exactly why it didn't. It felt to me like kabuki theater. I felt ashamed because I didn't understand what it was that made me feel so dumb to not be enthusiastic about what was said.

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Centaurea's picture

@mimi @mimi

All the words seemed to be right, yet I came out of the conference with a fogged mind and lots of questions that I couldn't formulate. Something wasn't right. The whole conference seemed to be a theater performance, self-promoting the resistance intentions of the new populist (and I guess progressive) movement.

This was exactly what I was feeling while reading the "11 Planks of the Agenda". Something seemed off.

The titles for the 11 planks are vague and foggy. "Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality". What the heck does that mean? If you're going to espouse an agenda, shouldn't the items be set forth clearly, in a straightforward manner, and with strength? As in, "Here is what we believe, no BS, and we are serious about it. We're going to get this done."

I went to the CAF website to read the descriptions of the 11 Planks, hoping for enlightenment. They used a lot more words than in the titles, but the general feeling I came away with was still fogginess, and puzzlement as to what their agenda really is.

By that I mean both their overt agenda, as well as whatever is underneath it. It really did feel like a "theatre performance", as you said, Mimi. And not a Tony award-winning performance, either. It almost seemed like the purpose was to confuse and obfuscate, rather than energize and inspire.

They use buzzwords and catchphrases that are likely to catch the eye of actual progressives ("Corporate CEOs' salaries are too high!"), but it's not presented in a way that enunciates a coherent agenda, at least not that I could see. I found the entire presentation fuzzy.

On every page there's at least one button for you to click so you can "Sign the Pledge!" Of course, you have to give them your name and contact information.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea Where's Hillary signature if she is invoked so strongly?

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Centaurea's picture

"Progressive Resistance" is an oxymoron. A contradiction in terms.

Progressive = looking to the future. Using your energy to create something new and more evolved; to progress, to advance.

Resistant = focused on what you don't want. Using your energy to fight against something that's old and/or unwanted.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Raggedy Ann's picture

All of us. We are in their way - trying to make them accountable - trying to make the US a better place to actually live in peace - trying to make them get out of war - trying to get them to ditch their corporate donors - trying to make them actually represent WE, THE PEOPLE. They are resisting us.

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

to use the "defense" budget as a perfect example of why we "can't afford" universal healthcare. With some I get the blank look but with one in particular, this time I didn't get the blank look but an actual look of comprehension - it really is not that damned difficult. I'm going to hammer on that with every person I encounter who says "we can't afford" any social safety nets. Naïve, probably, but I really feel that if people can be made to see the math, and it is ONLY math after all, maybe some inroads can be made. Hell, when even a Repugnant Tea Bagger looks at me and says I need to come educate her on what's really going on, I feel like more people are beginning to see it. As mimi described perfectly above - many know something isn't right but can't put their finger on just what it is, but they are starting to doubt. And that doubt can maybe help. Maybe.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur