Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kick the Dog

Are we, the working class, nonunion, union, and retirees, ready to start pushing back on the assault on us? Understand that the corporations lead the GOP and will not stop until union and worker rights, unemployment insurance, minimum wage, Social Security and Medicare are gone. The GOP have bankrupt our economy and now think they can force us into cutting our programs. This is not new.

The GOP and corporations have never given up on this since Frances Perkins and President Roosevelt, during the Great Depression, passed and signed into law Social Security, unemployment, minimum wage, and the right to organize. At this point in history, union membership had fallen to 5 percent. Today, union membership is roughly at 3 percent private and 30 percent public. In order to increase the union numbers we would need to have card check or Employee Free Choice Act needs to be brought up for a vote, but we need a party strong enough to bring card check for a vote, and to fight for and represent us, their constituents. We are in another depression, but this time we not only have to fight for all the other issues, we’re also having to defend Medicare.

What we need is a another Frances Perkins and a Senator Wagner; someone who is ready to kick a dog, and not more Bluedog Democrats. As Redding columnist Bob Williams asked, “Where is our Jonathan Swift?” Swift wrote about 18th century England’s hatred of the Irish poor. The Irish could not vote, hold office, and as the inequities increase and people were starving, Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, published a satirical piece called the “Modest Proposal.”

In this piece, Swift’s objective was to awaken the English to the monstrosity of their attitudes toward the impoverished Irish. His modest proposal to solve the Irish problem: the Irish should eat their children when the children reach one year old. He also suggested the children could be sold to gentlemen of fortune, who were running out of venison. Swift’s objective was to shock and he succeeded.

With the mentality of the corporate-run GOP today, I don’t think even Swift’s satire would resonate with the GOP. What we need are candidates tough or mean enough to kick the dogs for us? If we don’t get started we will continue to lose. This is definitely an economic war, a class war, a philosophic war, a culture war, a human rights war, a war on workers -- whatever term you want to use, the corporate-sponsored GOP will stop at nothing to destroy and deny our rights as American citizens. The ones who will suffer the most as a result will be the poor, uneducated and elderly.