Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace: business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering, they had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred."
-President Franklin Roosevelt, Madison Square Garden 1936.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The Democratic Party flourished starting in the 1930's all the way through the 1970's advocating consumer protections, expanding and protecting civil rights and created a vibrant, educated middle class not by taking the middle road but by setting the tone of the argument. Kennedy one of the most liberal members of the Democratic Party advocated universal healthcare for years and the people of Massachusetts knew that and yet they continued to vote for him.
The moderate garbage we saw that was produced by the U.S. Senate (and voted against in the U.S. House by KY's Democratic congressman Ben Chandler) is indicative that even Democrats are caving into corporate special interests. It's clear, even with a report from the Congressional Budget Office that indicates that this compromised healthcare bill would reduce the deficits the pro-business, Wallstreet people were able to spend enough money to set the tone and to scare the America people into worrying more about the shortterm deficits versus the longterm deficits reduction.
I watched the hideous corporate influenced townhall meetings over the summer, shook my head over talks of Obama death panels and at the same time couldn't believe to how much Obama was attempting to govern as a moderate president.
History favors the audacious, a public option was and audacious and we should remember that. 77% of the American public favored a public option and yet the Senate bill didn't have one? There's something very wrong with this picture, this isn't the Democratic Party that I believed in going into the fall of 2008. If you're a believer in the free market the anti-trust exemption that wasn't repealed in the Senate bill was a step in the wrong direction as well.
We also need to remind the American people that our government is a government for the people and by the people and this hatred of our government is in fact a hatred of the American people.
When Americans are convinced through virtue, class, ability, or sheer luck that a select few should benefit over the vast majority of citizens they're in fact swallowing an anti-American system in which many will strive but few will succeed. They're inadvertently corrupting the foundations of our Republic. "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both" -Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis once said.
When someone tells me that the government can do nothing right, I look to the Enron fiasco, the Madoff ponzi scheme, and the collapse of the big banks in 2008 to see that there's not only bad governments but bad business' too. Not only are there bad business' but bad business' can collapse entire economies (see Enron and the power outages in the state of California).
And let us remember, after the second greatest financial crisis in American history that FDR wasn't liked by the establishment in fact quite the opposite. In 1934, business elites and Wallstreet men got together and were planning a coup, Wallstreet and big business isn't going to voluntarily cede power, it has to be taken from them.
Remember this America, many of us remained silent or winked at the cost of Bush tax cuts, the invasion of Iraq, and the bank bailouts. But when it's time to conduct deficit reducing healthcare reform we can't do that? Something is amiss here.