You may have seen this already, if you subscribe to Alternet, but in case you haven’t, there’s a very heart warming holiday story about the 10 greediest people in America.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. Why raise the blood pressure, why feel bad if I don’t have to? Can’t I just ignore this, since I’m powerless to do anything about it anyway?
Well, then I read it. I’m a glutton, right? And what surprised me about this, this list of piggish financial gluttony, is not just how it even surpassed my expectations as to what greedy corporate assholes these people are, it’s the fact that I hadn’t really heard of any of them.
I pride myself on being pretty well informed, although I don’t go into too many details, especially those of business, it’s just to mind-numbing to dive into that world. I like to sit back and look at the big picture. So many that’s why I didn’t recognize hardly any of these people.
Or maybe there’s just so damn many of them, and so many of them are flying under the radar, that most of us still have no idea how we’re being robbed, constantly, and by how many robbers.
Liberals can’t support war. They simply can’t, not if they want to call themselves liberals. They can call themselves Democrats or Progressives, but they can not think of themselves as liberals. It’s that simple. Liberalism is reserved for those humans that do not and can not accept war and killing as an option in modern geopolitics. I’ll say this now, if you support President Obama’s surge in Afghanistan, please, for the sake of all liberals, do not identify yourself with this ideology.
Now I know so called liberals have been associated with war from the gitgo. Cain thought he was a liberal and he went and killed his own brother for crying out loud. Fucking Cain, see what you did man?
Presidents Truman and Johnson proclaimed themselves liberal even though they ordered the killing of people around the world. Ya, some think they can be liberal but still proceed with the pursuit of power and wealth by extinguishing the lives of five year old kids.
Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State under Clinton, as well as Clinton himself, have been portrayed as liberal democrats. Is it possible a liberal can say something like this:
It boggles my mind, I don’t know about yours, that a person can be perceived as a liberal and say something like that.
Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals. Liberalism cannot be applied selectively. A liberal can’t be a liberal within the confines of U.S. policy while ignoring the individual liberty of people in other countries.
Within liberalism, there are various streams of thought which compete over the use of the term “liberal” and may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for constitutional liberalism, which encompasses support for: freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, an individual’s right to private property, and a transparent system of government. (Wikipedia)
“Individual rights and equality of opportunity”. I’ve always thought the greatest “right” and the most important “equality of opportunity”, was the right to live. What else matters if you don’t live? Particularly the right to live without governments, those we want to limit, dropping bombs and white phosphorus on peasant heads. Innocent civilians don’t cause wars. Arrogant, self righteous and greedy government officials cause wars. A true liberal is a the most compassionate of people, a truth and justice seeker.
Modern liberal thought originated in and influenced the politics of The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France. The first modern liberal state was the United States of America, founded on the principle that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to insure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. (Wikipedia)
The United States government has never upheld the principles of liberalism on which this country was founded. From slavery to Native American genocide to fascist regime changes in South America, and to the current imperialistic endeavors in Iraq, Afghanistan and the entire world, the U.S. government has shamed the ideals itself advocated.
There will always be liberal people. There are also those that prefer to believe they are liberal yet are actually no more so than some that prefer to think they are a Christian. They may think it’s so, but their actions speak differently. Many simply don’t get it. Perhaps true liberalism is going the way of true Christianity.
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. We all know that famous saying. Few heed it when it comes to those in foreign lands. Our fear justifies the killing of innocent women and children. Our fear justifies spraying 21,000,000 gallons of Agent Orange on South Vietnam citizens. Our fear justifies our continued use of White Phosphorus, Willy Pete, in Afghanistan. Our fear justifies spending a trillion dollars per year on “defense” while we ignore health care, infrastructure improvements, and homelessness. Our fear allows our government to torture and kill. Our fear causes too many to trust a government that has lied to its citizens from the beginning.
We need a liberal reawakening and it must come with the cessation of permanent war, and a hard line on what constitutes being a liberal. We must uphold liberal values, the same values our nation was founded on, for all people in all countries. A true liberal doesn’t distinguish between a five year old child in Seattle from one in Afghanistan. A true liberal seeks to rid themself of contradictions regarding how liberalism is applied in all aspects of their life. A true liberal has no fear except the fear of justice, liberty and equality denied. Becoming a true liberal requires effort. We must keep liberalism from dying. End U.S. Imperialism.
Eleven months after President Obama took office, many Progressives are feeling understandably shortchanged. We were led to believe that finally a candidate with authentic liberal credentials had a legitimate shot at the White House, and so we embraced pragmatism when the most liberal candidates dropped out of the race. To be sure, there were several voices screaming out that Obama, if elected, would be far more indebted to the center then he ever would be to the left. These were loudest in the blogosphere, by far, and a few of them have recently exercised the cathartic, but ultimately hollow right to say I-told-you-so. This song and dance has historical antecedents that stretch back decades, but it would be best if there were no need to repeat the process once more.
I think we may have put the cart before the horse. I think we might have assumed that reform could be accomplished purely by political means, instead of reform being reached by grassroots mobilization that forced government’s hand. Recently we have become aware, once more, that the American political system is not designed for sweeping change. The rules of the Senate were instituted to ensure that those with sober contemplation, not rash passion, ultimately won in the end. We can lament this fact and rightly decry it as anti-democratic and elitist, but the truth of the matter is that this is how the system works. I don’t think that the President failed us nearly as much as the system did. In mentioning this, I’d much rather focus on going forward than licking our wounds.
I understand why we placed our trust in Barack Obama. We recognized the destruction wrought by eight years of neoconservative rule and with it the disconcerting notion that government predicated on evil can level its opponents and eviscerate easily. That it is much more difficult to build up rather than ruin is perhaps the toughest lesson of all. But with it comes the realization that established precedent is nearly impossible to reverse when passed. We may be unhappy with the scope of the bill, but we would be wise to celebrate that if someday Republican rule returns, it will be difficult for them to dismantle that which will be signed into law shortly. We should not accept this as any final word on the matter, but neither should we refuse to note how an eighteen-round fisticuff with the American mentality ultimately turned out in the end. This country was forced to confront some of the most massive fault lines that lie deceptively harmless most of the time, until seismic tremors threaten to shake us apart.
Any worthy social movement promising transformative change begins among an oft-quoted small group of thoughtful, committed citizens. The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights, and our latest struggle for LGBT marriage equality fomented and were codified from well outside the Beltway. Though ultimately legislation was proposed and passed by means of the Legislative branch, the energy and forward momentum swept up a million unsung heroes whose names may be lost to history or relegated to obscure footnotes, but whose bravery and achievements cannot be understated.
While it is touching that during the Presidential Election we temporarily shelved our skepticism as a result of being star-struck, we should not have failed to recognize that leadership comes from everywhere and every corner, not just the occupant of the White House. We focused our entire attention and hung our hopes upon the success or failure of one person, and while it is true that one person can change the world, his or her leadership ability must be augmented by other leaders. These inspirational individuals are frequently not pulled from the ranks of public service. Their occupations vary, just as those who desire change pull from all walks of life and all vocations. It is more leaders and more passion that we need.
Dr. King may have been the towering giant of the Civil Rights Movement, but Ralph Abernathy, Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker, Fred Shuttlesworth, and many others less well-known filled out the inner circle that produced progress on a scale that is still difficult to fully comprehend. Along with the notable names are a million others who are the pride of their city or town, but little more than strangers in other places. I hardly need note that none of the public figures I have outlined were members of the House or the Senate. Reformers are rarely beholden to the political game because it requires a kind of willingness to bend to the prevailing will and howling winds of popular sentiment, else one find oneself out of power. So long as this is the case, real reform measures will be stymied or watered down during the process of deliberation.
I almost need not mention that Congress is meant to work for us, but that it only pays attention to our concerns when we articulate them with force, clarity, and with united purpose. When we are united behind a cause, not a personality, and especially not a party, then the sky is the limit. Making our dreams a reality requires more than one election cycle and we ought to really contemplate why it took a once-in-a-generation candidate to patch up the variety of competing interests and disconnected factions of the Democratic party to achieve a sweeping victory.
Instead of cursing our fate and gnashing our teeth out of betrayal, we should re-organize, but this time around the issues that our elected representatives either will not touch, or will whittle away to ineffectual mush. We have before us a fantastic opportunity to change our priorities and establish successful strategies. Legend has it that right before they put the rope around his neck, the labor leader Joe Hill stated, “Don’t Mourn! Organize!” Liberalism is alive and well and if we learn from this experiment we will not have failed. The new birth of freedom long promised is ours for the taking, provided we grasp hold of it. We will live to fight another day.
Thanks for nothing but continued torture. Continued corporate bailouts. Continued lies.
Even if us lefties are born that way and no more numerous and entirely contiguous with the 10% population of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender Americans you’ve already pissed off by endorsing Rick “Ugandan Genocide” Warren we are what we are and I’m done with you.
This health care reform fight already made Obama look like a weak leader and a defender of the corporate lobbyists. Now, it has also made him a liar-one who is discrediting the widely acknowledge need for much greater reform. For all the people in the “we will fix it later” crowd, please notice Obama is not on your side. He thinks this reform bill is just fine as it is