Friday, February 22, 2008

Yes You Can

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on
John Lennon (1940-1980) singer/songwriter

You can have an American democracy depends less on the size of its armies than on the capacity of its individual citizens to rely, if only momentarily, on the strength of their own thought.

You can have an administration that will observe the minimal decencies of moderate thought abroad or nationally, either socially by helping individuals or families who are forced to eke out a living.

You can have a president who will believe that the public good is superior to the private interest.

You can have a president whose goal is NOT to privatize everything he/she possibly can, including services typically performed by the military. Privatization works in some cases, but not in all cases. Government needs an active role in society. Government needs to enforce fair play and when necessary be the friend, the helper and the agent of the people at large in the contest against entrenched power, whether it is a monopoly of oil companies, a cartel of HMOs or military contracting companies. Our society needs to help others who do not have the opportunity to help themselves.

You can help by understanding --

That a Social Security card is not a private portfolio statement, but a membership ticket in a society where we all contribute to a common treasury so that none need face the indignities of poverty in old age.

That our nation can no more survive half democracy and half oligarchy than it could survive half slave and half free, and that keeping it from becoming all oligarchy is steady work – our work.

That tax evasion is not a form of conserving investment capital but a brazen abandonment of responsibility to the country.

That income inequality is not a sign of freedom of opportunity at work, because if it persists and grows, then unless you believe that some people are naturally born to ride and some to wear saddles, it’s a sign that opportunity is less than equal.

That public services, when privatized, serve only those who can afford them and weaken the sense that we will all rise and fall together as “one nation, indivisible.”

That prosperity requires good wages and benefits for workers

The eight-hour day; the minimum wage; the conservation of natural resources and the protection of our air, water, and land; women’s rights and civil rights; free trade unions; Social Security; a civil service based on merit – all these were launched as citizens’ movements and won the endorsement of the political class only after long struggles and in the face of bitter opposition and sneering attacks. Democracy doesn’t work without citizen activism and participation. Trickle-down politics is no more effective than trickle-down economics.

The following was taken from Bill Moyers "Moyers on America, A Journalist and His Times"

Tip of the hat to Incertus for the Obama video


Jack said...

I like Obama's energy, but I am having trouble understanding how he intends to do these things. I thought that this piece was interesting

The Misanthrope said...

Hi Jack, truth be told, I HOPE he can bring about change. A good president has to a great persuader, not resemble a fascist dictator. The opposition will drag their feet because Hillary is Hillary. McCain is just a continuation of failed policies, so Obama is hope. Obama can go one of two ways: be JFK like, but without trying to show he can't be intimidated, or failure like Jimmy Carter, which would than mean after four years we'll have more macho, heartless, catering to the rich Republican policies.

The Misanthrope said...

Jack, I read the article you referred to. If you buy his argument than let's just continue with the same partisan politics and not try anything new because we know their faults. I'd rather try something new than continue down the road of our failed policies of late. If Obama fails than we at least tried, what is that saying about insanity: It's insanity if you keep doing the same thing and expecting change.

alice, uptown said...

Loved the clip. Wish that some of those people still rallied around Washington with the views they had then. Iraq is Vietnam redux, and if Obama can get us out, he's certainly got my vote.

The Misanthrope said...

Hi Alice, I too liked the Obama clip; I thought it was rather inspirational. I am not sure any of the candidates will be able to get us out completely of the middle east quagmire. Everyone makes a lot of promises to get in, but congress and special interests continually block good ideas in order for a few to get rich or stay rich.

Janet said...

I'm not even gonna lie here. I have no idea what I'd do come election time.