FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Dagger of Futility

by PHILIP FARRUGGIO

Many readers of my online columns have recently expressed feelings of both anger and resignation. The elections seemed to “push a dagger” into the heart of progressive ideals. Many hoped that the public would vote Democratic over Republican to stop this assault on our civil liberties, our treasury, and American “fair play” philosophy. Other progressives shouted before the elections that it was “too late”- the mainstream Democratic party had already AGREED with the Bushes on much of the above. What would the elections prove?

Alas, hopelessness fills the air. We tune in the radio and the boob tube to witness endless talk shows promoting the “soon to be war”. Rarely is dissenting opposition ever offered. “Showdown with Saddam” has become television’s title of choice. It is no longer “IF” we go to war, rather “WHEN and “HOW”. The only concerns seem to be “how long will we have to stay”, not “how many soldiers and civilians will die” or “how many future acts of terrorism will this invasion incite”? Few debates are aired about “anti terrorism” laws that allow for random eavesdropping of our e-mails, our phone conversations, our credit card bills, all without the decades old mandatory court order. If Big Brother thinks you are “them”, you become targeted. What the media fails to mention is that activisits and dissenters can easily get “labeled” as terrorist supporters.

Moving on, the elections did not offer voters a choice about MONEY, meaning how to take less from column E and D and C and B, while taking more, much more, from column A (the super rich). If one reads Kevin Phillips excellent study “Wealth and Democracy”, one sees how much the top 1% of this nation earns (or controls via inheritance). The “insult to injury” is that most of the Congress, continually bought and paid for by the column A’s, legislated so that the top bracket for federal income taxes be capped at around $150k per year. Someone who earns $150k or $300k per annum is treated the same as the 1% who may earn $5 or $10 or $50 million–all sharing the top rate of 39.6% (year 2000). In 1980 it was 70%, in 1970 it was 71.75%, in 1960 it was 91% (capped at $400k per year in 1960 dollars). When you examine Corporate tax rates, it becomes even more obscene! Many companies no longer even have to pay a MINIMUM corporate tax, instituted under (of all people) Reagan, because, through loopholes, they avoid paying taxes completely!

When people like my old Brooklyn pal Carmine, a usually non political person, come out strongly for a “Maximum Income”, then we know things are bad.

So, progressive thinkers are depressed. What to do? Putting our heads in the sand won’t solve anything. Taking to the streets will brand us as “crazies” by the “sleeping majority”. The only answer, in this writer’s eyes, is to do what great college coaches have done. Take a guy like a Rick Pitino. Great basketball mind–great leader, excellent teacher. Pitino has a history of going into programs in disarray and “turning them around”. Here’s the key: the very fact that the teams were losing gave Pitino the impetus to a) be hired and b) do as he pleased to turn things around.

Progressive Americans must now take the gauntlet. We must organize “Progressive Democrat clubs”, advertise and hold meetings locally, and “push” our way into that decadent and corrupted party. Weeding and pruning that once proud garden of democratic and economically fairer ideals- but first pulling out the weeds! They know who they are, those weeds: they who “slept” with the corporate honchos; they who sacrificed principles for “posture”; they who walked out on Sen. Byrd as he held the Constitution in his arm, cradling it like a precious babe. They who followed, like lemmings over the cliffs of reason, this shameful administration and its disregard for the Bill of Rights and Due Process. Finally, the weeds who turned their heads at calls for Clean Election Laws, National Health Insurance, fairer taxation and the end to this “War Economy, War Mentality”. Think how much the reduction of this “arsenal of overkill” weaponry could accomplish economically? How many new schools a B-1 bomber can build? How many millions of doctor visits one nuclear warhead could subsidize? And on and on.

So, true progressives, the choice is yours. One of my role models, the man from Galilee said: “the path to salvation is a narrow one, full of turns”. I think he said that. If he didn’t then I guess I’ll take credit for it. After all, if I must share my role model with “The Man Who Would Be President”, ya gotta cut me some slack, now dontcha?

PHILIP FARRUGGIO is a baby boomer Brooklyn NY born bred and educated (Brooklyn College ’74), Currently, he resides in Florida and is self employed as a mfg. rep for an environmental bacteria company. Philip writes for many publications as a free lance columnist. He can be reached at brooklynphilly@aol.com

 

Philip Farruggio, son of a longshoreman, is “Blue Collar Brooklyn” born, raised and educated (Brooklyn College, Class of ’74). A former progressive talk show host, Philip runs a mfg. rep. business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: brooklynphilly@aol.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 23, 2017
Chip Gibbons
Crusader-in-Chief: the Strange Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Michael J. Sainato
Cybersecurity Firm That Attributed DNC Hacks to Russia May Have Fabricated Russia Hacking in Ukraine
Chuck Collins
Underwater Nation: As the Rich Thrive, the Rest of Us Sink
CJ Hopkins
The United States of Cognitive Dissonance
Howard Lisnoff
BDS, Women’s Rights, Human Rights and the Failings of Security States
Mike Whitney
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate
John Wight
Martin McGuinnes: Man of War who Fought for Peace in Ireland
Linn Washington Jr.
Ryancare Wreckage
Eileen Appelbaum
What We Learned From Just Two Pages of Trump’s Tax Returns
Mark Weisbrot
Ecuador’s Elections: Why National Sovereignty Matters
Thomas Knapp
It’s Time to End America’s Longest War
Chris Zinda
Aggregate Journalism at Salon
David Welsh
Bay Area Rallies Against Trump’s Muslim Ban II
March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail