Monday, September 05, 2005

Want to be sexy? Be liberal!

If this is your first visit to this blog (or you have a really tight rubber band around your neck), allow me to explain my political philosphy: I believe politics (in the US) are cyclical. The pendulum swings too far to the left and then, having reached the threshold, turns back to the right. There is no "center", per se, but eventually the center is articulated in the statistical mechanics of the pendulum: it is the place where the pendulum rests twice more than any place on its path.

Being big on latin tonight (ex-Catholic schoolboy, me) I'll offer a caveat: by nature, the pendulum always - ALWAYS - tends towards the left. It cannot sustain itself on the right, the right is committed to the old order of the few having much and the many having nothing. Call me a Marxist (you won't be the first) but the algebra is too obvious; take too much and those without will hit back and take it from you.

As the world watches, appalled, not just at the results of Bush's economic policies but decades also of Democratic appeasment to corporate interests, the American public begins to ask questions. Was it beneficial to give tax cuts or should we have been funding an infrastructure and safety net? In the eyes of the world, we are an embarassment; inward-looking, we are disgusted.

Suddenly, the right-wing canard that "those people should be responsible for themselves and their actions" is equivocated. First of all, "those people" takes on a racist overtone (considering the images that came out of NOLA and the reluctance of our government to act) and makes us wonder how far we really have come since the 60's; most Americans are having problems with that. Secondly, many Americans are beginning to realize that working two minimum-wage jobs still gives most families no opportunity to save and get ahead. The images coming out of NOLA are not of the "lumpen proletariat" but of the working poor, people who have fulfilled their part of the bargain but were no further ahead welfare welch. Indeed, most of the working poor require government assistance to just get by.

As Americans drain their resources at the gas pumps and consider the obscene profits raked in by energy companies (and other corprorate CEO's), as our economy continues to go south and the housing boom is shunted, the shift will go towwards the left. It's inevitable.

History, my friends. No society has ever benefited from giving the rich a by on their duty to the rest of the world. in fact, if you consider how FDR took the US out of the Great Depression (and why hard-core conservatives hate him), it was through progressive, across-the board taxation that turned the tax income into work programs that built an infrastructure in this country that has not been repeated. EVERYONE was working, investing, saving... just ask your gramma or gampy; the country had it going on BEFORE the war (WW II, the war and time dipshit Dubya attempts to evoke for emotional effect).

The US became a world power - THE world power - because of progressive taxation. When a nation offers all workers a chance at a decent life those workers have can build on an increasingly greater legacy, kids in college, adding to the greatness of the American dream.

Conservatives have always opposed diversion from the "natural order". They tried (and failed) to defeat integration in the 60's and continue now: NAFTA, CAFTA, a slave class is in their best interest. If they have to appeal to religious extremism (check opposition to integration), they will. They have.

Now that Katrina has thrown the US economy into a tailspin (and I suspect the hurricane season is far from over), Americans have had it with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. After all, the US was founded on the notion that anyone can grow up to be president. Clinton did it, but he did it within an America that allowed anyone from the bottom to rise to the top (the fact that he sold out the vision of America that gave him opportunity is a sad statement on our national character).

The pivot has come.

The "me first" attitude in the US is on its way out. The way the administration sold the folks of New Orleans down the river (figuatively and literally) turned off too many of the "good Americans" - we've evolved beyond stupid racism and there's no going back. More than that, we're all about to be stung by the kind of poverty that we ascribed to "them" - those conservatives pigeonholed as not having any personal responsibility. Too many of us are about to find out that our current system is oblivious to circumstances or status.

The rest of the world has observed the disparity of race and economic status. Circumstnces have kept a majority of Americans oblivious to those facts but that's about to change.

For the past 20 years, it's been sexy to be un-PC, ironic, and selfish. However, the pendulum just passed the mid-point and now it's on its way to being conscious of race, gender, and social status. Get used to it. "Liberal" is the new black.


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