Sunday, October 28, 2012

Robert Reich Warns Progressives - We Can't Give Up

There are plenty of us who get frustrated and discouraged and even wonder why bother?   Robert Reich says that's the certain path to a truly regressive future.   He's speaking to American voters but the message applies to us all.

This is for those of you who consider yourself to be progressive but have given up on politics because it seems rotten to the core. You may prefer Obama to Romney but don’t think there’s a huge difference between the two, so you may not even vote.

Your cynicism is understandable. But cynicism is a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you succumb to it, the regressives who want to take this nation back to the 19th century win it all.

The Koch brothers, Karl Rove, the rabid Republican right, CEOs and Wall Street titans who want to entrench their privileges and tax advantages – all of them would like nothing better than for every progressive in America to throw in the towel. 

Then America is entirely theirs.

The alternative to cynicism is to become more involved in politics. Help create a progressive force in this nation that grows into a movement that can’t be stopped.

He's right.   Canadians too need to create a progressive force that can't be stopped.   There are so many places we can begin.  One of them must be the reformation of the Liberal Party away from the conservative-lite posture they adopted under Ignatieff.   If they can't move back well to the left, perhaps the time has come to simply end the farce.

Maybe we need to toss in all the chips and start over.  Scrap the Liberal/NDP party distinctions that have divided us to only Harper's real benefit.   Perhaps we need to build a new party, from the ground up.   The NDP could argue why should they when they're now the Official Opposition.   Yet any honest dipper would admit that the party itself changed, itself went to the right, became a new liberal party, to get there.   In the process today's NDP jettisoned the NDP of the past to become a centrist party more acceptable to the Canadian public.   Clinging to an already rejected image of the past only raises unnecessary hurdles.

Let's unite the Libs and the NDP under a centre/centre-left, progressive tent.   That would also offer the true left to the formation of a new, leftwing party.

We can't give up.   There's too much at stake.   Harper must be stopped.   He has already changed Canada.   We need to act before the Harper stamp becomes permanent.


Dana said...

There are how many millions of people under 45 in North America who don't bother to vote?

Their future is their problem. I fought for my future when I was of an age to fight. Now I am no longer of an age to fight, and especially not for the future of people who give every appearance of not giving much of a shit if I do or don't.

If they care they can get busy.

And really, in the bigger picture, why bother? There's not going to be much of a future for the entire planet.

And homo sapiens sapiens isn't sapiens enough to be considered worthy of continuation.

Anonymous said...

It's not the young people who fucked up this whole place. We were brought up in a world of gas guzzling trucks, where unions are considered bad, a world of GMO's and bottled water, a world of political liars and cheats. You blame the youth, and tell them you don't care about the mess you're leaving them. Nice. No one listens to them anyways, they're just a bunch of young punks.

The good news is that many youth do care.

If they aren't voting, maybe you should look at why. And at who else isn't either.

I vote. It is an exercise in futility, there is absolutely no point to it. There may be in some ridings but in our screwed up system there are only some times when it may count. Maybe they have some more productive method of trying to make things better than wasting their time at a poll. Maybe their abstention is their way of stating the system is broken.

And if you want to blame the youth of America... How did things go in 08? The youth seemed pretty engaged to me. And what did they get for it? Another puppet. And this time around climate change isn't even in the debates.

The whole thing is a sick joke, it's an illusion that you have some say.

Anyways I'm ranting, I just don't like how people jump to blame the youth.

Who raised them anyways?

Marquis said...

Dana, how very neoliberal of you.

"I worked hard and got mine. Those entitled little shits can fight like dogs for theirs. Nyah!"

You're completely useless.

Dana said...

I'm useless is the point I'm trying to make you dumb ass illiterate shit for brains.

You gotta pick a fight with someone you'd do a whole lot better to pick it with the assholes that are your enemies but that asshole is not me.

I'm just a tired old man.

You think I oughta keep fighting for things I've already spent a lifetime fighting for? Things that your generation has let slide by them by not bothering to vote cause they're just too fucking busy watching American Idol and Honey fucking Boo-Boo.

You have any fucking idea how hard it's been for the past 10 years or so trying to tell people in this sad little colony that Harper and his cronies are going to gut their liberties? Have any fucking idea how hard it is to get them to even notice that they've already lost some of them? Have any fucking idea how few of them even know how this democracy works, or at least used to?

You fuck wit. You have no idea what fighting means. It means a fuck of a lot more than whining that about old men.

If your so fucking committed then stop whining about a tired, cranky old man and get out on the fucking street and be recognized you pussy.

The Mound of Sound said...

We "fought" Dana? What did we fight? Who did we fight?

I know this is going to sound like utter bullshit but, shortly after I wrote this I called back East to see how my old Aunt was and whether she was ready for the big storm.

That's when I learned that my uncle was in hospital, dying. He's refused treatment and just wants to get home to die in his own bed. Let me tell you a bit about Uncle Bud and what he fought for.

Bud and my Dad and a lot of young guys their age signed up to fight at the outbreak of WWII. Bud got into the RCAF, flying bombers. He was one of the first to get over and was assigned to a British squadron flying deathtraps called Whitleys.

The Whitley was a light bomber. When it was designed they thought it was so fast it could outrun fighters so they equipped it with just a single peashooter machine gun firing aft from the belly. Bud knew that, every time they took off, he and his crew were dead meat.

He lost his nerve early on. He got to the point he had to fly loaded at times and would often sneak a mickey onto the A/C for the trip. He was terrified and with every mission he saw more and more of his squadron mates vanish. Sometimes he got to see them go down in flames.

He couldn't face the disgrace of quitting, he couldn't let down his chums, so he got loaded when his nerves got too much to handle.

Bud was shot down, over France, after the Germans overran the place. Just two of them got out. The German fighter pilot knew he could chew the plane to pieces by attacking from above or the sides. The best part was they were on a "leaflet raid" dropping slips of paper on the German troops below to persuade them to surrender.

Bud got badly chewed up himself before he bailed out. He landed in the water just off the French beach and was grabbed (saved) by German troops.

It took Bud a good long while before the Germans transferred him to a StalagLuft, prisoner of war camp. And then, as his physical strength returned, he decided to risk everything and try to get away.

My uncle got out under the wire and headed into the forests. He began in central Germany, alone. Yet he managed to walk through Germany, into France and laid low for a day when he knew he was almost at the Allied lines until he was safe to come out and get home.

Bud wasn't sent back into combat. Far too messed up physically and emotionally, and he and his postwar family carried those scars and still do to this day. Now Bud's 90 and he's dying.

When I hear somebody talk about fighting, that's what I mean. It's like my own Dad who was a horribly wounded WWII infantry lieutenant. My Dad was physically mauled but, unlike Bud, he was intensely strong emotionally. Yet we all lived with his war until the day he too died. I can remember a few times when he would begin to bleed internally and a quick ambulance was all that kept him alive.

Sorry, Dana, but you're just like me. You didn't fight for shit. I served but it was all in peace time. Our parents and grandparents fought and scrimped and saved and they handed it all to us on a platter. They went through so much and did all that for us. All we extend to today's youth and the generations to come is the shit end of the stick.

I can't judge the younger generations by whether they're seemingly better or worse than us. I judge our generation for what we did, for what we are.

Anonymous said...

Mound, sorry to hear about your uncle.

Dana, maybe you should listen to your own advice, about who you pick a fight with. The younger generation are not your enemy, and treating them as such does no one any service.

Anonymous said...

I am not saying all of the younger generation are engaged, but I am not saying they aren't and that everything is their fault either. That's hogwash from a grumpy old man. Why don't you pull a chair up next to Clint Eastwood and bark at some invisible people. You say you want people to actually fight for their future, and get out in the street, and you probably sit there and belittle the Occupy group? Entitled punks, right?

Of course all this bullshit reality tv is garbage, and a lot of people (not just youth) watch that crap instead of paying attention. It's by design, the concentration of media ownership, the fact that Honey Boo Boo is played on TLC (The Learning Channel?!, started by Nasa?), The corporate news owned by fewer and fewer people. This, along with religion is another tool by the ruling class to control the masses. Keeping them distracted and telling them what to think.

People are supposed to be able to trust the news, but they can't, it is full of lies, like the WMD's in Iraq, I mean to say the nukes in Iran. They are told that climate change is a scandal. This comes from the same powerful conglomerates that buy the elections.

Of course a lot of people need to wake the fuck up and pay attention, but this is a very well oiled machine that didn't pop up overnight, people fight it, but they are powerful and practiced.

thwap said...

At the present time, we need to FIGHT for accountability.

We have to convince non-activists that when we raise some hell, it's to get the elites to conform to their own rules that they want to impose on everyone else.

This goes from publicly calling out lying ignoramuses like Rob Ford on their bullshit, to their faces, to campaigning to force the Globe & Mail to bring down some genuine consequences on Margaret wente, to dropping red paint on war criminals like Pierre Pettigrew and to embarrassing shits like Joe Oliver at every opportunity.