Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Left Has Left

The left wing of American politics has failed the people. Touting themselves as champions of citizens' rights, the left has, since the days of Thomas Jefferson who took over from John Adams and rid the country of The Sedition Act, held itself out to voters as their only hope against the greed of the right who hold that all regulation of trade and earning power is bad and that the proper role of government is not to maintain the well-being of the nation's people and resources, but rather their exploitation for the "greater good". (i.e. trickle down economics as pushed by Ronald Reagan)

It is only on rare occasions that the old line left shows itself these days. In their inability to launch a cohesive and coherent argument against the right's assertion that they hold the high moral ground, the left has become a pitiful bunch of wimps that most of America looks on with little or no respect. And yet, in my view of history the left has rescued America several times.

People in this area still rail against FDR for his agricultural programs, but the bottom line is that he led the country to recovery from the mess the robber barons of the right had taken the world into by the turn of the 20th century. His programs might have been draconian, but the situation was dire. A world mired in the depths of depression needed strong and innovative leadership to recover. That leadership, embodied in FDR, came from the left. As a result of that leadership we still have social security and a social welfare net designed to protect even our poorest citizens from total disaster.

Both social security and the welfare system are in tatters now as a result of some very poor regulations like the one that drove unemployed fathers out of homes by declaring those families ineligible for help if dad was living with them, by the characterization of the poor as free-loaders and through the paper shuffling raid Ronald Reagan made on social security funds in order to pay for his military sleights-of-hand in South America.

After that raid on our coffers, it took another left winger, Bill Clinton, to bring America back into the black so he could turn it over to another hard-line right winger, George W. Bush, with a budget surplus to work with. Bush worked with it all right. In just three years, he took us from a record budget surplus to a huge budget deficit. Now, just four years later, our national debt has hit the all time record high of over nine trillion dollars. If we don't have another huge world wide depression, it will be because we somehow manage to elect a left wing president and congress who will introduce measures that turn us around the way Clinton did.

One of the ways he did that, by the way, (and also the one thing for which the right attacked him the most once he was out of office) was by reducing military spending. We don't need and can't afford to cut our military off at the knees, but we also don't need and can't afford to continue to fund all the high-tech super weaponry they would like to have. The future will not call for the kind of weaponry that might win a massive war against another super power unless we force it to be that way by continuing to aggravate our potential enemies and go on developing WMDs for our own use,. If we work cooperatively with the other major powers, the future will call for the ability to spot and stop small groups of terrorists from carrying out multiple small attacks like 9-11. Even smuggling in a dirty suitcase bomb can't be stopped by a stealth bomber. That's going to take smart boots on the ground.

The only person seeking the presidency who has the administrative skills and the dedication of high moral purpose to lead this country in the right direction is Dennis Kucinich, and we all know that he doesn't have a prayer of being elected. Why not? He's just a mousy looking little guy with a bad haircut who everybody knows is a weakling because he keeps talking about a department of peace and cutting military spending. In a world where the citizens only believe in people with big hair and big teeth and who brag about their big . . . whatever, he might as well go home right now.

But he doesn't. And he won't. No one seems to recognize that it takes a very strong man to stand his ground against the current the way he does. He is a man who stands up for what he believes without claiming that anyone who believes otherwise is doomed and damned. To my mind, he represents all the best and finest of the left that has saved this country so many times. He's the only elected official with the guts to look dick Cheney in the eye and call a spade a spade. He won't be pushed around by small minded, big moneyed special interests, and, of course, he won't be around next November. Chances are we'll all pay for that.

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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