In the Jan 3rd Common Dreams Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader commiserate with each other: “The Left Has Nowhere to Go”.
Every night on MSNBC Ed Schultz wonders aloud as he pounds the pavement on his way to the studio, what has happened to ‘common sense’.
Really? Isn’t ‘common sense’ what the Tea Party is touting? And isn’t ‘the tan man’ Ed Shultz’s personal nemesis (when it isn’t ‘the Beckster’?)
Helloo-oo...? Ever heard of social democracy? Will one of our fearless ‘liberal’ warriors please stand up and tell me why, fifty years after McCarthy, the left is still cutting off its nose to spite its face?
All that hand wringing! All those laments! The left is doomed, and the country with it!
Somebody has to come out of the closet and start using the right words: not only a vague ‘revolt’, as Nader says, lamenting the lack of union leadership, but:
1) general strike
2) tax strike
During the Vietnam War, the draftees’ “Hell no, we won’t go” was enough to finally break the war machine, but we don’t have a draft - so we give up.
How about all the progressive magazines out there competing as to who can run the best features on social democracy: the Swedish, the Norwegian, the Dutch, the French, the Italian, the German, the Finnish, etc., etc. (There’s strength in numbers, right? Let them agree to all do a special issue at the same time and distribute advance copies to the New York Times and the Washington Post - and the one fearless commentator out there, Rachel Maddow. (Will you tell it like it is, Rachel?)
Let those publications invite Bernie Sanders, Denis Kucinich, and all the members of the Progressive Caucus to come out of the closet - or in the case of Bernie Sanders, way out of the closet - and say loud and clear that the left has a great place to go. It isn’t enough to mention now and then that other countries do better at health care and education, as if the reasons were elusive. ‘Liberals’ - whatever that means - have to let the cat out of the bag, reveal the common sense solution that works everywhere else:
1) Only government can make the rich share.Without concentration camps and without nationalizing the entire economy.
2) Some goods such as air, water, electricity, roads, railroads, belong to everybody, and should not be a source of private profit.
Yesterday Denis Kucinich remarked on television that if the health care bill were actually repealed, that would provide a perfect opening for Obama to go forcefully for single payer. The recent court ruling that Obama’s bill was unconstitutional because it forced people to take out insurance from private companies invites the response: if people have to pay into a government program, it will be constitutional.
Personally, I’m beginning to wonder whether all the liberal pundits are falling into the trap they denounce: that of turning politics into a spectacle: tragedy, after all, is the highest form of art.
American fear of government goes way back to the Pilgrims. Our fear of socialism is a mixed bag that’s weighing down common sense. Let’s get out from under before it’s too late for us to catch up with the rest of the civilized world.