Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Brief Pep Talk About Change

Jim Hightower in Nation of Change:

"We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

What a paragraph! Whatever happened to that BIG idea of America — the creation of a society that embraces and fosters such egalitarian values as justice, tranquility, common effort, the welfare of all and liberty?

Mr. Hightower makes an excellent point. We used to have BIG ideals. Those ideals have eroded, and our politics have become hopelessly entangled with big money and ideology.

Some days we all need a pep talk, and Jim Hightower is the go-to guy for pep talks. He's not too impressed with our leaders, but he has a lot of faith in all of us; what we have done, and what we will continue to do:

However, there is hope in the people themselves. We see it in the ongoing Wisconsin rebellion that is rejecting the Koch-fueled autocracy of the imperious Gov. Scott Walker; in the 61 percent grass-roots victory in Ohio on Nov. 8 to throw out the repressive anti-labor law that the right-wing Gov. John Kasich arrogantly tried to hang around the people's neck; in the Occupy protest that is so big and so deeply felt by so many angry/hopeful people that even police sweeps cannot make it go away; and in still more uprisings that are coming — coming from such corners as frustrated jobseekers; tens of thousands of misused war veterans returning from the Mideast to mistreatment at home; hundreds of thousands of homeowners being mercilessly foreclosed on by bailed-out bankers; and others who're simply fed up with the corporados and political flim-flammers who're knocking ordinary Americans down and holding America back.

And finally, he gives us our assignment:

As we head into the New Year, our task is to confront their pusillanimity — demand from every candidate for every office to explain why their vision is so myopic and why their idea of what Americans can do is so small.

We used to dream big dreams for what we might accomplish in the future. When I was a kid, we all dreamed that someday a man might walk on the moon. Now our leaders dream of cuts to entitlement programs.

As Jim points out, it's our job to ask any and every candidate why their vision is so myopic. What about the future? What about progress?

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