Monday, August 2, 2010

Open Letter to Vice-President Joe Biden

Dear Joe:

A few days ago you sent out an email asking for contributions so that we could have a government ‘by the people, for the people and of the people’.

I find that a bit stiff, given the situation.

Those words were written 200 years ago by white, Protestant men who could no more conceive of a government of, for and by ‘the people’ than you can. There were the only real players. The farmers and crafts-people were nothing more than a - excuse me for mixing my metaphors - Greek chorus.

(Later we had ‘chorus lines’ but now we have only unemployment lines.)

Joe, you don’t seem to understand. (If it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one: twenty years ago, when the long-patient Russian people finally got angry, the well-intentioned, intelligent Gorbachev didn’t under-stand that it was too late to reform the Soviet system, so he was swept aside. The Russians lost their free health care and got inflation.)

Now, the American people are angry, but most of them figure they can’t do anything about it because they don’t have a leader. Oh, there are a lot of organizations on the left, but we have no national leader. On the right, it’s a different story: they have the equivalent of a communist party. I say that because the Communist Party was the most famous top-down organization the world had ever seen. Fascist parties were also top-down parties, and they worked pretty well for a while. But they couldn’t hold a candle to the communists because they were mainly into war.

The Communists weren’t interested in war: they wanted.... government of the people, for the people and by the people. They started with local Soviets: people power - in the beginning. Then they got the Supreme Soviet and that was the end of people power/

Here in America we’ve been taught that communism, socialism - any kind of real people power - is bad. It’s all right to be a democract - or even a Democrat. But that doesn’t allow you to talk about people power. The Tea Party talks about taking back ‘our’ government. But when the right goes out for rifle practice, it’s getting ready to take back ‘its’ government.

It’s not gonna be people power. They’re gonna stop paying taxes because taxes benefit welfare moms. They’re gonna do away with social security because folks who’ve been clever with their money shouldn’t need a common pot.

They might actually ‘bring the boys home’ from wherever they’re fighting when the Tea Party comes to power, because they’re gonna need them on the frontier - I mean the border. They’re gonna need them to round up all the immigrants and ship them back to wherever they came from (Hitler shipped ‘inferior’ peoples to concentration camps and gas chambers, but our Tea Partiers are just gonna ship them back to wherever they came from, even if there’s nothing to eat there.)

So Joe - and Barack and Nancy, and John and Howard - quit holding your hands out. It’s unseemly. Money can’t buy spine. And if you don’t get it, hopefully ‘the people’ - who thought you had it - are gonna realize they don’t need more voices in the wilderness, but a top-down organization like a Tea Party - or a Politburo. Before the glaciers melt, the sea rises, the oil and gas wells and electric lines come tumbling down, leaving us without even a fridge to keep a people’s dinner in.

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