Recently, my favorite editor gently chided me for “ranting” and “raving.” To which admonition I responded-inwardly-with a resounding touché, since I do rail (silently) and in print against the plethora of rhetoric, and dearth of action-as it were.
So, I thought I’d talk about mobilizing, or rather get a discussion started regarding the subject at least. I suppose that for we progressives mobilization is sort of like talking about traffic, or the weather-you know, the old “everyone talks about it…”
Seeing as to how action-for us- requires mobilization (and it is continually being asked rhetorically), why don’t we have the dedication towards mobilization? It is repeatedly pointed out that the fascists have both the dedication, and are mobilized. Just what the hell is wrong with us (progressives?)
Why is it that we cannot mobilize? I most certainly can give no definitive answer to that question? Most assuredly I can take a stab at it by offering theories and conjecture; but I honestly do not believe that anyone can answer that question, myself included. However, having experienced my share of the streets, I will offer this point for discussion: the biggest reason we don’t/can’t mobilize is that we are afraid. That’s right, we’re afraid of the USA Patriot Act; the Justice Department; the cops or whatever. We’re afraid of losing our ‘creature comforts,’ of losing our job, our friends, or something.
From where this progressive sits, that is the biggest damn problem regarding why we can’t mobilize; we’re too fucking afraid of making a sacrifice. So we’ll talk the talk, rail against the inequities, tune in to Air America, watch LinkTV and pontificate. But we will not mobilize. There has to be enough of us out there, we need about 15 million. Just 15 million to sit on their progressive asses and not turn a dime, not trade a penny. Don’t bank, don’t pay, and just keep your hands in your pockets and boycott the capitalists for about two weeks. I mean, like, there are already some 40 million folks in this country who are living like that right now, and they are not doing it by choice! The corporate bloodsuckers continually increase the number of people in the poverty ranks, pretty soon we’ll all be joining them whether we want to or not. Then maybe, we’ll become mobilized.
Forty million plus people in this country-the supposed land of plenty-live in poverty. That’s almost 15 percent of the population people, the highest goddamn percentage in the developed world! Do you think that they are not sacrificing? We progressives need to be thinking about those 40 million people each and every day. They are all around us; from the hills of Tennessee to the streets of Miami, from Louisiana to the Great Plains. Every damn year since George W. Bush took office their number has grown.
Since Bush and Corporate Amerika began their assault on the poor in the United States 6 million people have entered the poverty ranks. And the crime of it all is that many of these people have jobs, many of them hold down two jobs; just to maintain a poverty level in George Bush’s Amerika.
According to Bread for the World 13 million children in the United States live in households that experience hunger. That’s one in ten households in Bush’s Amerika, this is an increase of 1.4 million. And these numbers are a couple of years’ old. Are they sacrificing enough yet?
So back to mobilizing, one would think that we could put together 15 million progressives in solidarity with the homeless and hungry in Amerika, is that doable or not?
We could join them in the soup lines, under the freeway overpasses, in the hallways and doorways of this affluent country. We could march arm in arm down Wall Street, and into the offices of the corporate bloodsuckers. We could steal a page from history’s notebook and camp out on the banks of the Potomac until the politicians recognize our demands; health care for all, and for all a real living wage.
We could all join in a national boycott of Wal-Mart, Big Pharma, DuPont, Coca-Cola, Exxon-Mobil and every damn greedy corporate bastard of the Fortune 500. We could sing and shout “We Shall Overcome” from the rooftops of ‘K’ Street, into the corrupt halls of Capital Hill. We could link arms and storm the White House gates in sheer numbers, and take back ‘the people’s house.’ All this we can do, and more.
But if we cannot do this; or until we can do this, I personally have drawn up Frank Pitz’ discussion topics-or talking points if you will. Since a great many of you out there still hold out a deluded hope for change through the ballot box, even though the ballot box is rigged against us, I will join your ranks-reluctantly, and with conditions.
Here’s the skinny from this revolutionary in the desert. Any progressive/liberal/democrat/radical/anarchist/green/blue/red-or other who wishes to garner my vote now and forevermore needs to pay attention to my talking points. In reality though, these points are much, much, more; they are conditions if you will.
These are the conditions under which I will give you my vote:
· There will be an immediate, unilateral, unconditional end to the wars now being fought, financed by, of and for the United States.
· All American troops in foreign lands will immediately be repatriated to the United States.
· All wounded, maimed and psychologically damaged veterans will be ensured whatever level of medical and financial care they need for the rest of their lives; no strings, no hoops, no fucking part A’s, B’s, C’s D’s, or any other stupid alphabetizing or acronymizing bullcrap.
· There will never be another preemptive war, in my lifetime, my children’s lifetime, or my grandchildren’s lifetime.
· There will be an immediate repeal/rescission of all the NAFTA, CAFTA garbage.
· All American corporations who have moved offshore will be penalized at a rate of 20 percent of their before tax profits for each and every worker they have displaced, or other wise “downsized.” These funds to go into union health and welfare programs.
· It will immediately become illegal for an American corporation to avoid paying taxes by establishing a P.O. Box offshore.
· No corporate CEO will make more than 70 percent of the salary of his/her highest paid worker, annually.
· Any worker who wishes to belong to a union can do so without fear of corporate or political reprisal.
· There will be a national minimum wage of $15 per hour.
· There will be single-payer health care for all, from cradle to grave.
· There will be public financing of all elections in this country; local, state and federal.
· There will be no lobbyists or other corporate shills writing or making legislation, on a local, state or federal level.
· Every United States citizen will have the right to vote, and that includes every American citizen who may be incarcerated.
· Pharmaceutical companies will be nationalized, and their prices and profits strictly regulated.
· Within three years, every automobile manufactured or sold in this country will either be a hybrid or have a mileage rating of at least 40 MPG.
· Within 10 years renewable energy shall comprise at least 35 percent of the United States energy portfolio.
· Within twenty years, renewable energy shall compromise 60 percent of the United States energy portfolio.
· All nuclear power will be phased out, and all current subsidies for that power will cease.
· Every woman in this country shall enjoy freedom of choice.
· Marriage as an institution in this country shall not be legislated to mean a union between one man and one woman. Marriage as an institution shall be open to any/all consenting adults regardless of sexual persuasion.
· And more….
Okay people, I suppose I could go on all night here, but you get the point. For those of you out there who want my vote, read all of the above. For all of you out there who read this, send me-not the editor-your talking points/conditions adding to this list. If I can’t have a revolution, then I damn well want some candidates with cojones; be they male or female. I’m sick and tired of Republicans and Republicans, outside of perhaps Russ Feingold there ain’t a real fucking Democrat out there. Okay gang, send me those talking points!
From the desert, take care out there.