Thursday, November 17, 2016

The difference between a corporate tool and a New Deal fighter


Above: In this two-minute video, we see American Indians working in WPA programs. At 1:00, note the letters "WPA" in the bead work. In addition to work programs like the WPA and CCC, which employed many thousands of American Indians, New Deal policymakers created the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA), which extended credit; encouraged a return to native self-government; protected their land (and, in some cases, added to it); and enhanced educational opportunities. Some people (usually, free market fanatics) will tell you that the IRA wasn't good for Indians. Don't believe any of it. In 2011, before a congressional committee, the president of the National Congress of American Indians said, in support of the IRA: "Kill the Indian and save the man was the slogan of that [earlier, pre-New Deal] era. The Federal Government did everything it could to disband our tribes, break up our families and suppress our culture. Over 90 million acres of tribal land held under treaties were taken, more than two-thirds of the tribal land base... In 1934, Congress rejected allotment and assimilation and passed the IRA." ("Allotments" were cleverly-disguised land grabs, intended to transfer land from Indian ownership to white ownership - the New Deal put an end to it.). The above film clip is part a longer film created by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and is provided courtesy of the National Archives.

The Corporate Tool

President Obama recently said of Donald Trump, who ran the most hateful campaign in modern American history, and who will seek to undo most or all of Obama's legacy, "we are now all rooting for his success."

But when it comes to the American Indians in North Dakota, who are being pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullets, and attacked by security dogs, by a rapacious fossil fuel & banking industry--an industry that doesn't give a crap about clean air, clean water, or the heritage of our American Indian brothers and sisters--he has shown no leadership, no compassion, no moral guidance.

The New Deal Fighter

Now, let's look at New Dealer Bernie Sanders.

In response to Trump's victory, and the racist, xenophobic, and hyper-plutocratic administration he's constructing, Sanders said: "Our job is to mobilize and educate and to fight back at every instance" ("Bernie Sanders urges millions to ‘mobilize and fight back’ against Trump’s presidency," CNBC, November 15, 2016).

With respect to the Dakota Access Pipeline, Sanders recently showed up at the White House, to do President Obama's job. Sanders said: "For hundreds of years, the Native American people in our country, the first Americans, have been lied to, have been cheated, and their sovereign rights have been denied them... we are demanding that sovereign rights of the Native American people be honored and respected."

And so this is the difference between a corporate-bought tool, Obama, and a candidate who truly loves the people, Sanders. We could have the latter, of course, if we stopped hiding under our beds and whining, "We can't pick the more popular candidate... we can't elect the candidate who's polling better against all Republicans... because they might call him a 'socialist'... boo hoo hoo, we must go with the candidate Wall Street tells us to."

Let's get rid of corporate tools, and let's install New Deal fighters

Cenk Uygar of The Young Turks, who has provided far better, and more accurate political analysis during this election season than our corporate-controlled mainstream media, recently wrote: "There is a common stereotype that Democrats are by their nature weak and feckless. There was nothing weak about FDR. There was nothing weak about the New Deal... There was a time when liberals roared like lions.... As long as we have private financing of our elections, the system will always pick strong Republicans and cowering Democrats so that the financial interests of the donors are served. The only answer is to break that system entirely, completely revamp the Democratic Party and for God’s sake, get the money out of politics!" ("Tear It Down: Why Every Person at the DNC Should Be Fired," Common Dreams, November 16, 2016)

Amen.

2 comments:

  1. Bernie's sense of rejecting any second look at and chance for Trump, which you, others and I share—comes via our sense that Trump is a failed President—prior to his inauguration. In fact, Trump is failed because he is elected. Trump fails because he failed to pass all the fundamental tests that prove a candidate is Presidential, worthy and office ready. Yet, more to the point, Trump failed the test of ethical and moral integrity—consistently: at each step of the way and every time that he spoke or tweeted.
    Trump's failure is mirrored by his bases' failure to discern fact from fiction. Trump’s failure is mirrored by the failure of our electoral system (i.e. the Electoral College) and, thus, the failure of the United States to be united and be a leader in the world by upholding the democratic ideals of justice, rights, inclusion and equal protection, rule of law, due process, reason, integrity and so forth. All of our failures are accentuated by this all-at-once failure and breakdown. We cannot have this sort of systemic and ethical breakdown without serious compromises to our shared security and status among other nations. More severe crippling disparity, divisiveness, violence and other immorality will now occur—not less.
    A prelude to this systemic breakdown seems to have occurred in election 2000. Crises seem to be the only means to rouse ourselves as a collective nation. The Great Depression roused us into our righteous solution to misery via the New Deal economics, which really had elements of the colonial and post-colonial spirit and methodology. However, WWII was a game-changer in that it wrenched the USA out of the GD and into the opposite of hyper-growth based too heavily on the military industrial complex (MIC) and global domination via our force. The reason we are now denied a New Deal is that far too much of the Federal revenue goes to the machine of death, destruction, destabilization, imperial conquest and the manufacture of enemies to justify the MIC. Tax fairness starts with scaling back the MIC. Republicans must respect and study Eisenhower instead of Reagan, Thatcher and Milton Friedman.

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    1. I agree with your point about crises. It often takes catastrophes before people finally, and fully, wake up. I suspect this may be the case with global warming.

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