Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is It The American Spring Yet?

From left: Ellen Schultz, Mad Dog, Gail Collins

"Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men...Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers."

--Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address

"Corporations are people, my friend."
--Mitt Romney

"I'll believe corporations are people when they execute one in Texas."
--Sign in the Occupy Wall Street crowd

For change to come in a republic like ours, enamored of the illusion of the independent man, living off the land, dependent on no man, we need a strong dose of truth and reality to slap the dreamers in the face and get them to open their eyes.

For years now, Joe Sixpack and countless of his fellow citizens have been working two jobs, telling themselves and their buddies they are going to make it, because in America all you have to do is work hard, play by the rules and if the government doesn't give it all away to undeserving welfare queens, why then, you will get rich; you will ascend to that promised land where the 1% live.

Gently, for some time, Gail Collins has been shaking them by the shoulders, trying to get them to see the full package of dreams the Republicans sell is simply the opiate of the masses. She has been telling them about Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann and each of the Republican snake oil salesmen, and most especially about Mitt Romney and his unfortunate wind whipped dog.

Here I must take the time to digress--you will allow me a personal note. As you can see from my updated picture, I have a personal stake in the discussion of crates strapped to the tops of cars, and, by extension, water boarding and other forms of abuse, and I can only thank Gail Collins for keeping this important issue front and center.

But back to the illuminators. Ms. Collins has given us some unsettling details about who these Republicans really are, but we needed details on how their patrons have amassed the wealth to pay for these Republican office holders.

Now, Ellen Schultz has detailed the ways in which companies like General Electric built up huge funds of cash which was held in accounts which the companies initially said were for the pensions of their employees, but which executives depleted and diverted into their own personal accounts. This allowed these executives, who walked away from their companies with tens of millions of dollars to divert half a million here and there to buy elected represenatives to pass the legislation they needed to stay out of jail.

Of course, all this robbery was perfectly legal--the one percenters made sure the congressmen and senators they owned took care of that with legislation--but that does not make it right.

So now we have pie charts which show 80% of the American population as such a thin slice you can hardly see it. And in that 80% are the policemen, the soldiers, the teachers, the pediatricians and primary care doctors, the air traffic controllers, the Coast Guard guys who jump into perfect storms to rescue fishermen, the guys who weld steel girders thirty stories above the ground, the steel workers, the people who build cars and bridges.

In the upper 1% are the people who move money, the "money changers" as Roosevelt called them.
Roosevelt chose that language deliberately. These are the money changers in the temple against whom Jesus raged. And what is the modern version of the temple? I would submit, the hospital, the factory, the roadways and bridges, the steel mills, all the work places where fruitful, necessary work which benefits the community is done. We are told none of these places could exist without that top 1% arranging for the financing. I have no way of knowing whether or not this is true, but I suspect those money changers could do their work for 1/10 of what they pay themselves and still live very well.
And standing steadfastly for this 1% are Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly.

If the best disinfectant is sunlight, then someone has to shine that disinfectant on these guys, individually, systematically, until people even in New Hampshire know their names and why they should resent what each of these guys is doing.

Right now, from my own informal survey, which, if I called it a poll David Brooks would no doubt accept instantly as received truth, New Hampshire folks by and large do not know the Republicans in Washington; we do know Rush/Glenn/Sean and Bill because they are on the radio up here.

But it's time we shined the light on those guys and Washington who are hurting us. And while we are at it, let's include Kelly Ayotte and Frank Guinta, two soul mates of the Republican choir.

Let's take one small step for New Hampshire, and, hopefully, a giant leap for mankind.

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