No better place to start this effort at communication with impact than a recent dialogue with ol' buddy Ken in Michigan. Talking politics, the world and whaddaheck is gong on and whadwecando to help move the world forward. ( where is that fulcrum, anyway?)
Not little influenced by the goings on back there--Been thinking about the old stomping grounds, you, et al. How are things from the MI point of view? What's the haps in WI?
From here (SF Bay Area) I certainly see an occasional burst into the general mediaof some limited conception of thousands of people protesting against the loss of collective bargaining.As minimal as that is it is more than overwhelmed by theunexamined "neutral" langauge of the talking heads of the threat pensions are to the taxpayer, or, that deficit reduction not only is immediately necessary but can only be accomplished by cutting and "shared" sacrifice(ing of the middle class on the altar of the rich) (I added that last part)
Of course I listen to and look for better, more enlightened, perspectives on the
political/personal processes of the times. Yet, even though I remain hopeful--in the long run-- I disdain my own hopefulness.
Perhaps it is always at least some Rage Against the Machine but redirecting the machine is often tantamount to destroying it. Insurance based healthcare is healthcare for the insurance companies. Single payer is healthcare for the people.
Anyway, my heart and hope is with the Solidarity reaction to Republican overreach. And though this phase, as all do, will wane, perhaps a new perch will be regained from which to operate.
Democrats at the national level had a chance to make major change--including single-payer insurance--when Obama won but they dickered around and Obama spent too much time trying to make nice to people who hated his guts and were committed to saying no to anything he said yes to. They still are and he still is. Democrats could have crushed Republicans into the next century; instead, they let Republicans define the terms of debate. I would say Republicans are great at that but in truth Democrats are just incompetent. Republicans say the economy is still no good under Obama. Where are Obama and the Democrats saying the economy is bad because the Republicans voted down the ideas that would have made it good? And now Afghanistan is Obama's war, with no end in sight and my bet that Obama will invade Libya because the Republicans are taunting him to. What's happening in Wisconsin is 1) a travesty; 2) happening all over the country. The Wisconsin Democrats came to life. This is refreshing--maybe, as George Jackson wrote, you have to feel the worst of how bad things can be before you begin to make them better (which is just a rework of the therapy idea that you have to feel the pain before you can begin to get rid of it). If this is so, then "overreach" will be an understatement when the unions rally the rest of the disappearing middle class and do what the majority in a democracy is supposed to do. It can be frustrating. Sometimes you have to withdraw to regain your energy but then you have to come out fighting.--KW
(to be continued)