Let’s talk about sacrifice

March 6, 2011

So the buzzword of the year so far is “shared sacrifice.”  Scott Walker says he can only balance the Wisconsin budget if those greedy public employees would just be willing to sacrifice a little.  John Kasich of Ohio says the same–at the same time he and his legislature define university professors as managers so they can’t belong to unions, but anyway…  Democrats and Republicans in Washington spew the same line of crap, that in hard times we all have to sacrifice together.

I see people on the left resist this, not stridently enough, by reminding audiences that “sacrifice” is happening largely on the backs of the poor, working and middle classes.  And it is.  But maybe we can make a little better version of the point by asking a slightly different question.

What are the rich sacrificing in any of the current budget proposals?

Nothing.  They get: more tax cuts, tax incentives, tax breaks.  They get: reduced labor costs via union busting, decreased safety and environmental regulations by defunding regulatory agencies.  They get: bailouts when they mismanage their businesses into the ground.  They get: nearly exclusive access to the mechanisms of power because they have all the money they’ve stolen and the leisure time to use it since they don’t do anything useful with their time.

Name one thing that any of this budget voodoo costs the rich.  One.  And then ask yourself who’s making the policies.  And then ask yourself who’s paying the price.  And then ask yourself why we aren’t burning these people out of their houses (Because we’re more ethical than they are?  Apparently).  And then, finally, ask yourself how long you’re willing to continue putting up with a situation in which every single decision coming from a conservative-dominated system hurts YOU and EVERYBODY YOU KNOW, unless you’re one of the wealthy.

The talking heads like to talk about having to make “hard decisions” in difficult times.  Well, for those of us who are actual human beings, who are sick of seeing our humanity and dignity spat on every day by rich people who don’t care whether anybody else lives or dies, we have to ask ourselves a hard question too–how long do we wait?


Extremism on both sides? Let’s make this perfectly clear

January 9, 2011

I wrote a post about a month ago in which I disputed the “liberals and conservatives are equally vitriolic” claim, but feel like it’s worth saying something else about that.  A friend posted this link on Facebook this morning, and I (not to put too fine a point on it) DEFY any of you to develop evidence that liberals have planned, attempted, and executed this many acts of horrific violence–just in the last TWO YEARS.

Or put it this way: sure, there are plenty of angry lefties.  I’m one of them.  But the “Both sides are just as bad” argument is total bullshit.


The stakes in this election keep getting clearer

October 1, 2008

In a nutshell, here’s what a vote for Obama/Biden accomplishes–

1.  It expunges the Rove gang from the White House, I hope once and for all.  It’s time for those sleazebags to crawl back under whatever rock they came from underneath.

2.  It at least opens up the possibility of a White House that cares about citizens who don’t run energy companies or military contractors.

3.  It gives the Democratic majority in Congress at least the hope that they can get signatures on meaningful legislation.

4.  It will keep the Supreme Court from getting even more conservative.

5.  It sends a message to moderate Republicans that there’s a place for them in the tent, while it tells the ultra-conservative neocons to screw off.

6.  It results in lower taxes for most people, even though the Republican attack machine insists on lying about this.  And it’s no wonder they lie about it, because they’re certainly not winning the White House on the merits of their own platform.

I’m generally a pretty forgiving person, but the havoc and destruction wrought on this country and the world courtesy of neoconservative policy over the last 8 years is simply unforgiveable.  As much as I’d like to see Bush/Cheney/Rove/Abrams/Wolfie/Rummy-and-the-gang do the prison time they deserve, I’ve pretty much lost hope that they’ll ever be punished for their atrocities.

However, those of us who find them contemptible can send a clear message that we’re taking our country back, that we’ve had ENOUGH of them.  We can punish them and their whole machine.  We can do this by voting against candidates who have swallowed their lines, who have sold their souls to the power-mongers, and by voting for candidates who understand one simple concept–

The government that governs best is the one that actually does the will of the people.  It’s called democracy.

By the way, in the hour since I posted this, several people have read it already.  Nobody’s leaving comments.  Please do; I’m interested in hearing other people’s thinking about this.