Who did more damage to America and humanity? Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush?
For decades conservatives have been badmouthing government. They’ve been intentionally mismanaging and corrupting it, to turn people against government.
It’s time to stand up and shout:
I was reminded of this on my back from work the other day. Coming down the stairs to the bus tunnel at Westlake Station in Seattle, there was a middle-aged woman in distress. She was throwing her self against the railing, and she seemed to be crying. Her clothes were partially undone, exposing her rear end.
Knowing that there’s always a security guard down at the track level, I descended the steps and made a bee line to the guard, a big man, who listened with concern as I told him what I’d seen. He was gentle, not surly like some guards. I followed him to the steps, since I was curious, and another woman stopped him to tell him the same story.
There are millions of Americans who need help like that lady did.
Another example of why we need government is evident from the story Alabama’s GOP Delegation Voted Against Funding for Tornado Forecasting. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes remind us of why we need government.
During the 2008-2009 sub-prime crisis, it was government that came to the rescue.
There’s always been conflict in America between those who want a small federal government (Jeffersonians) and those who want a strong central government (Federalists). But modern day conservatives have gone too far. They want to weaken not only the federal government but also state governments, so that they can transfer more money and power to the super-rich.
Conservatives see only the bad things about government and overlook all the good that it does.
The Preamble to the US Constitution lists “promote the general Welfare” as one of the purposes of forming a more perfect union. And the Taxing and Spending clause states “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.”
US Flag by Don Smith
Besides, under conservative rule, government is most wasteful and corrupt. Witness what happened when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House during the first six years of the second Bush presidency: reckless deregulation, no bid contracts, socialism for the rich, privatization to politically connected corporations, hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in unnecessary foreign wars, widespread corruption, etc, etc.
Something the Left sorely needs: better marketing of government as a force of good.
Accordingly, I suggest that the Left should begin an advertizing campaign with slogans like:
How about a competition to come up with the best slogans and ads and music videos and songs celebrating government.
What are some examples you can think of?
Washington State is pushing college tuition up as part of the budget cutting stage of the Great Recession. This is exactly the wrong way to go, but it is driven generally by free market forces, forces for deregulation, bubble economy speculators who understand that the current flattened tax table provides the opportunity of a lifetime to take huge risks, may big profits fast, and hope that they are able to find a chair when the music stops playing in each round of the economic game.
Trying to imagine a culture built around something other than capitalism is very difficult for folks who live in the industrialized world. Free market capitalism, globalism is like water to fish for us. We swim in every waking minute and we sleep and dream free market dreams. There is another way. The regulated capitalism that was in vogue post WWII was less unstable, more conducive to healthy community (healthy communities provide or flirt with the idea of education, health care as a right), but Mr. Reagan really led the revolution that created the current world capitalist economy and we are deeply mired in the muck of speculative economics today.
Here is a community that took another path. The Barefoot College was established back in 1972 by Bunker Roy. Thanks to my friend, Pat Rasmussen, for passing along a link about this group.
Here is a link to a CNN video that has higher production values if that is important and if you want to sit through 15 seconds of advertising to get to the video.
The home page of the Seattle P-I today is a sad reminder of the decline of a once great newspaper.
The main headline today has a photo of a baby tiger, Cute alert! New baby at the zoo (photos). The headlines immediately to the right are:
Few of these rise above the level of yellow or pink journalism.
A few months ago I phoned the editor of the Seattle P-I asking why they don’t give more prominence to editorials and citizen content. Their editorial page used to be a valuable counterweight to the Seattle Times’ fiscal conservatism. The editor said that they wanted to rely on columnist Jim Connelly and cartoonist/writer David Horsey for opinion.
The decline of the P-I leaves a gap which websites such as this need to fill.