Let me be as concise as possible. You watch C-Span or tune in to those “talking heads” shows, you invariably come across politicians “posturing”, especially during election cycles. Okay, as progressive-minded (a.k.a. practical), well-read working folk, we know where the Republicans are coming from. They are candid in their harsh anti-working folk rhetoric. They tell ya right out loud that they represent the wealthy, and will do whatever they can, through legislation (or lack of) to protect the rich and “tax” the rest of us.
Now, with a handful of exceptions, like Dennis Kuchinich (Ohio), Barney Frank (Mass.) and Jim McDermott (Wash. State), most Democrats are professional “posturers”. They stand up in the Congress and rant and rave about the need for prescription drug reforms for seniors (“crumbs” from the table), while 40-plus million of us walk around with no health insurance, and another 100-plus million have lousy inadequate coverage! Where are the Democrats on this issue?
Why do we not hear Senators Daschle and Gebhardt demanding universal Medicare for every American? After all, Congress has the best medical coverage our tax dollars can buy! Instead, they force us to play the “health lottery”: when your “number” comes up and you get too ill to work, you lose–everything! “Yipee yi yo, isn’t the free market grand!?”
We have an election system so corrupt, yet all the Dems shout about is “right to vote” and procedural fiascoes like Fla. 2000. Where are they on the key core issue a.k.a. money in politics? Why are they not demanding a National Clean Election law following the Maine model? The McCain-Feingold bill is, with all due respect, a diversionary “snail step”. Only when we take all the money out of campaigns will we have true reform .On state and county levels, where are the local Democrats demanding those same clean election laws? They can’t. They are too busy running around ‘sucking up” to donors to keep pace with the Republicans.
Why are the Democrats so afraid to bring up the issue of “so few earning so much” while the rest of the nation struggles? Why aren’t they shouting in the halls of Congress that any nation where 1% of the population controls over 85% of the wealth is strictly “Third World”. Shouldn’t they be demanding either a maximum income ceiling (say up to a few million per serson), or legislating an income “surtax’ on that elite 1%? Think of all the new schools, hospitals, roads, teachers, police and firepeople those revenues would create. Yet, all we hear is silence from the Democratic Party.
Finally, we have, since WWII, been living in a “War Economy”. For decades, defense contractors have been feeding at the public trough, stuffing their wallets with our taxpayer dollars. Eisenhower himself warned us all, upon leaving office, of this “Military Industrial Complex”. That was 1961- 40 years later the “War Economy” is a hundred fold worse!! Check out how much of each tax dollar goes into this “black hole”. Where is the Democratic Party to demand less money for defense, less “smart bombs’ and no multi billion dollar”Missile Defense Shield” con job? Why aren’t they asserting that America needs to pull back our overwhelming worldwide military presence? Think of all the billions of dollars we’d save, plus what better way to soothe fractured international relationships? Where is this “jackass” party to tell the “man who would be President” to “cease and desist” Iraq baiting and threats of sending tens of thousands of working class soldiers to die in some middle eastern “power play”? Instead, they follow him like “lemmings off the cliff of reason”. Few of us admire or respect Saddam Hussein– except of course Reagan and Bush Sr. during the “me 80’s”, when he was busy doing our dirty work vs. Iran. Where do you think Iraq got all that military hardware from anyhow? It seems that Ike’s warnings fell on too many deaf ears.
Alas, if we had such a Democratic Party two years ago, American would not be in this current mess. Isn’t it time for all decent hardworking Americans to say “enough is enough–shame on you Democratic Party!”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.