It isn’t often that I admit I’ve strayed down my own kind of rabbit hole and voiced opinions and thoughts based on the news, events and punditry that weaves itself through my research and reading. The fact that we are in the pickle we are as a nation basically proves my adherence to the limited aspects of progressiveness is incomplete at best and mistaken at worst.
No, I’m not denying that liberals and progressives have the right ideas and vision for our country and its people, I just think they haven’t done enough to stem the tide of the corporate state creeping into our national fabric. I’ve written many columns describing the horrors of the repeal of Glass-Steagall and about the North American Free Trade Agreement, Citizens United, supply-side economics, Wall Street bailouts, bank bailouts and all the rest. These things have been allowed to occur for the benefit of only the corporate class.
Beginning in 1981, we saw attacks by Republicans on unions and the beginning of wage stagnation that has become wage deflation. Where were the protests? Where was the groundswell of resistance like in the early 20th century when the Robber Barons were using and abusing working-class people?
The people of the United States have endured an equally egregious attack from the right-wing on private and public sector unions such that our labor union force is down to about 12 percent as opposed to the 55 percent after World War II. Teachers have been relentlessly attacked and denigrated both publicly and financially by so-called conservatives and so-called Christians.
Meanwhile, the amount of wealth that has defied the gravity of worth and purpose and headed straight for the top 1 percent and, more specifically, the top 0.1 percent, shows us why these attacks persist. Moreover, conservative attacks on the poor and the underprivileged underline the intent of this movement to take as much money as possible from as many people as possible and hand it over to the under-taxed elite.
My disillusionment is with those who talk the talk of egalitarian, fair and equal opportunity, but fail to walk the walk of voting, protest, running for office or otherwise insisting the Constitution works for all of us in equal measure. These progressives have sold out. They’ve been bought off. They now work in board rooms and top-floor offices. They have barely whimpered for 40 years while the liberal/progressive resistance to the corporate takeover of democracy has been dismantled by the corporate-owned media and right-wing propaganda.
Those who continue to paint progressives/liberals as socialists entirely miss the point and are so outmoded in their thinking as to render themselves irrelevant. There’s nothing socialistic about the current administration that hasn’t been practiced by every administration for 80 years. The point is that the brakes are off of the machinery that will continue to pervert the Constitution, funnel more wealth and power to the elite and finish the job of rendering the working class’s voice silent.
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. "The Voter’s Guide to National Salvation" is a newly published e-book from Turner. You can find it at www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.