Monday, January 25, 2010


Way back in the Dark Ages, I used to be a College Republican. Not only that, I was a Young Conservative. Of Texas. I spent more hours than I care to remember, actually going door-to-door to get out the vote for some of the most--well. Let's just say that my disgust with the conservative movement was an organic process, derived from direct personal experience of the hypocrisy, chauvinism, bigotry and overt, shameless greed of those who espoused it.

One of the salient characteristics of College Republicans was their knee-jerk submission to authority. I was one of the few true believers--manning the table on the West Mall, attending meetings, debating liberals and making friends with them. Most College Republicans were members of fraternities and sororities, who joined solely in order to boost their resumes. But when the order came down, they went to the polls and voted for the approved candidate, whether they knew jack about the issues or, overwhelmingly, not.

When I eventually defected to the Young Democrats and associated ilk, I found the opposite problem. They were constantly getting side-tracked by trivial issues and splitting into factions. In any group of ten, you'd find fifteen irreconcilable opinions. This may have provided infinite opportunities for personal growth and self-expression, but it was hell on getting things done.

Which brings me to the current moment.

People with financial and political power don't get their power by accident. They know how to seize it and they know how to keep it. Since power is their priority, they don't take their eye off the ball, and they don't give it up for petty concerns like a landslide popular vote, a ruined economy, forty million uninsured, skyrocketing medical bankruptcies or a destroyed city. They're only in it for themselves, and they don't care what happens to you.

Nevertheless, we and Obama have to reckon with them, because they've got 1) tons of money; 2) a huge propaganda machine; 3) the SCOTUS tilting the balance in their favor. Acting as if they'll just go away because they lost an election is naive and foolish.

Progressives, quit your bitching. Quit whining about how Obama has betrayed you, how he didn't fix the economy in 30 seconds, how 60% of the population wants a public option, how this healthcare bill sucks and we should just junk it and start over. What are you, twelve? Did you really think that the Presidency was a magic wand that Obama could wave and recreate the system? Did you think that the stupid, the greedy, the spiteful, the easily manipulated and the sociopathic power-mongers would just go away?

Look, this isn't a joke. This recession isn't going away any time soon, and by the time it does, our lives will be radically different. We have the choice to come together and rebuild our nation into something approaching a decent place to live, or we can keep crying for the moon while the forces of evil quietly suck us dry, separately and alone. There is no place for ego, grandstanding or apathy in this crisis. If the country goes down, we all go with it.

The healthcare bill in Congress isn't perfect, but it makes a start at stopping the most egregious abuses of the current system, while putting pilot programs in place to start improving it, slowly. That's huge. Get on the horn to your representatives and threaten them with disembowelment if they don't pass it.


Starbuck said...

This is rather funny. I understand the "conservative" and the "liberal" position, I disagree with both of them.

I ask conservatives, if the bill fails, what are you going to do if you are laid off and have no insurance?

I ask the liberals, why on earth do you think the government will do the right thing? Have they ever?
Socialism doesn't work. Sooner or later the people that were making the money quit and milk the system just like the original lazies. Hence, no more money. They wealthy fail along with the poor.

I dubious of government, and I dubious of people wanting the government to provide for them.

What happened to having a little pride? Why does the government have to provide?

You have to work, you can work a job, or be a contractor, or start a business, work a farm. Earn a living for crying out loud.

Now, I am not a cretin. I know there are some people that can't earn a living. Disabled, Mentally or physically, etc. There is a definite need for some socialism.

But to see people living on it when they are able bodied, and I mean living for many years, that is just disheartening.

I just came off a project at work where I had to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week since Christmas (yes, that is about 6 weeks, and yes that is 84 hours a week) knowing damned well some of my HARD earned money is going to people who sponge off the system. And yes, there is those. And it torks me. And sometimes it gets to me, and I aks.. why? Why can't my family and myself have that money I earned? Sorry, it must go to pay for wars, military, government people, lazy asses. And maybe a few that need a helping hand.

Also, I have no answer to these delimmas. So many say cut em off, so many say give them more so they can have the things they need.

Side not: I like you picture that is supposedly a "Facebook Badge" I don't get on facebook. Did I ever mention that you look very similar to my ex wife? She was a pretty woman too. (sigh)

btw, my youngest child turned 19 this month.... I am getting old.

Anonymous said...

Just a side note inspired by the comments of Pretty Lady and the add-on by Starbucks.
About 2 years and 10 months ago, totally broke (food stamps, Medicaid, and living on less than$800 month in NYC) I decided to go back to school for nursing. I have to say that being on "Welfare" has been wonderful. I learned a lot. I learned that it was not difficult as a single person ( I was 57 years old at the time) to get along very well with very little. I could do without TV, Cable, niceties, I could cook for myself, take care of my health, enroll in college again (Medgar Evers College/CUNY) and have the government fund (not a loan) my education, and in 3 months from now be able to join the nursing profession and GIVE BACK as well.
Having learned how to live very comfortably on less than $800 per month, I think I'll feel like a millionaire with a salary approaching $70K annually. Sounds silly but I can see changing my lifestyle only slightly since it has worked very well. Which leaves money to contribute to others as well. WOW. I can hardly wait. It is a shame that welfare counseling doesn't include clear tracks for progression out of desparation because I think it can well be used for what it was intended to do.....give a hand up. I feel humbled and grateful to have found myself at the bottom and lucky to have fallen into a net. Unfortunately, it may be that I was one of the few lucky ones. Not because the system doesn't work, but because the system doesn't necessarily follow through with the "how to's" and providing pathways that can be visualized.
Just my guess though.
Thanks Starbucks and everyone else who has paid taxes and contributed to helping me. I hope you never need my help, but IF YOU DO, I hope I am there to be able to help you and your families in whatever way I can.

Pretty Lady said...

Starbuck, it's good to hear from you!

Since this recession hit, I've been hearing more stories like yours--people who have jobs, being worked like dogs and doing the job of three or four people. Meanwhile, millions of others are getting laid off, and like me, are sending out hundreds of resumes without getting a single phone call in response.

Companies are overworking the people they still employ, in part because they don't want to pay benefits for extra workers. If health care was universal, portable, and not tied to employment, it would be a lot easier for companies to hire three or four part-time workers, and everybody could get along with a little less money and a little more time.

I see the government as a necessary check on corporate excess. You can't pretend the health insurance industry is working well for this country right now, and there is no incentive for those profiting from it to change it.

My vote for Obama was a vote for competence, balance, common sense and civility. So far I have not been disappointed.

And Danny, you rock.

Starbuck said...

First of all, I didn't vote for Obama or McCain. But I am not against Obama. In his speeches I can agree with a lot of what he says. Could national health care work? Perhaps, but not with the political landscape we have now. Whatever the democrats pass, the republicans tear it down (and I don't mean just politicians).
Anything the republicans did the democrats tear down. It's gotten ugly in the past 30 or 40 years, maybe longer. But as time goes by it is getting uglier.

Healthcare won't get passed. I say this not because I am against it or for it. I am what you could say "neutral".

The reason I see is because like anything that happens. If a person agrees with it, they for the most part are quiet. If they disagree or it offends(upsets) them, then they are loud about it. And right now the people that are noisy are the ones that are against it.

tarbuck, it's good to hear from you!-Pretty Lady

Yea.. It has been a long time since I posted. But I was reading this blog post quite often. Once in a while I post on VD's but not very much. A couple of years ago I ran into a brick wall (metaphorically speaking of course) in my politics, religious beliefs, how I viewed the world, why I make decision that I do make.

So I have been taking a long hard look at myself. Just to discover we are all full of it. We all have an agenda. And mine nor many others are pretty.

If this country was run the way I think it should be run, it would be a total disaster. And I am convinced that most everyone else's self plan for america would lead to disaster as well.

BTW, PL, You have started a really nice family. Congratulations.

Pretty Lady said...

Thanks, Starbuck. It's unusual for most people to change their thinking, ever. Congratulations on being willing to be uncertain.

After watching Obama talking with the Republicans yesterday, I'm optimistic. He has a way of reminding people what the word 'decency' means.

Caio Fern said...

great blog ! it was really good to have found you !

Fargham said...

yes, i agree, its the whole scenario. well depicted

angel said...

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