Monday, October 8, 2007

The Populist

As I have long called myself a populist, I was not particularly surprised when a copy of a newspaper called “The Progressive Populist” showed up in my mailbox this week-end. When you subscribe to the kind of stuff I do – “The Nation”, “Utne Reader” and “Mother Jones” – you are likely to received something from the left once in a while. I was surprised, though, to see that this little paper is published in Storm Lake, Iowa. I grew up not far from Storm Lake, and I guarantee you it was no hot-bed of pink prose then.

The more I looked through the paper, the more impressed I became. It’s letter to the editor revealed that its readership comes from all across the country, and the articles within were written by well-known and highly respected people from Ralph Nader to John Dean.

Dean’s article, Broken Government, echoed my thoughts about how the Republican party has gone from the conservative guardian of state’s rights to the repressive proponent of Executive Power. Like many of you, I have gone from being a Republican voter to being an Independent. Dean has gone from being a high-level lawyer within the Republican party to a Washington warrior fighting against the transformation (read perversion) of the American system from a Constitutional government designed to protect the rights of the citizenry to a power brokered system designed to enhance the power of the Republican party.

To put it in a nutshell, Dean closed his article by telling about a friend who happened to call him as he was finishing the article. He describes his friend as a lifelong Republican from the Nixon Whitehouse who voted for Bush and Cheney twice because he knows them personally. Asked for an off the record comment about the current situation, this was the man’s response:

“Just tell your readers that you have a source who knows a lot about the Republican party from long experience, that he knows all the key movers and shakers, and he has a bit of advice: People should not vote for any Republican because they are dangerous, dishonest and self-serving. While I once believed that Governor George Wallace had it right, that there was not a dime’s worth of difference in the parties, that is no longer true. I have come to realize the Democrats really do care about people who most need help from the government; Republicans care most about those who will only get richer because of government help. The government is truly broken, particularly in dealing with national security, and another four years, and heaven forbid not eight years, under the Republicans, and our grandchildren will have to build a new government, because the one we have will be unrecognizable and unworkable.”

Dean and his friend definitely have the picture. The Republican party has definitely sold out the citizenry in general in favor of the top earning 5% who pull them around by the nose. I wish I felt as strongly about the Democrats as his friend does, but I do agree that in spite of their willingness to push initiatives like NAFTA and the lack of spine they have been showing in the Congress every day since last November, they are more a party of the people than the Republicans can even pretend to be.

That’s not the only reason that, no matter who their candidates are, they will get all my votes next November, but that’s certainly reason enough.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

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