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Daveparts Donating Member (854 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-13-09 09:23 AM
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A New Beginning
A New Beginning
By David Glenn Cox

Political parties, like people, have a life span, but unlike people they are driven by their relevance. Political parties which are no longer relevant cease to exist.

The Republican Party is a perfect example; its central core values of low taxes, small government and less regulation have been proven false and the Republicans have been exposed for what they are, the party of the rich, the party of less taxes for the rich, and the party of less opportunity for the poor. They are the party of less and the party of nothing.

Since Richard Nixons Southern strategy the Republicans have run as the de facto party of racism disguised by polite speech and conservative approaches to moral values. It was a flashy and clever strategy, but since morals issues are dealt with by individuals and not societies it is a way to appeal to the best in a society while actually bringing out the worst. It requires the politician to do little more than to talk the talk about God, or abortion, or Gods love of little children. Then the politician is free to cut education budgets, school lunch budgets and programs for the poor; not because they dont work but because they breed immorality.

The greatest lie ever foisted on the American public is that some people dont want to work. It is a useful lie in that it divides us into hard workers and the lazy. It resounds in Christian ethic and early American Christian lore, that those who dont work dont eat. A fable, a fairy tale, of those who would leave continental Europe on board cramped, squalid, dangerous little boats for a perilous voyage to the new world only to sit on their asses in a wilderness.

So then, those who dont want to work are immoral and those who dont want to feed them are moral. The Jamestown settlers worked hard but their crops failed; the Native Americans then gave them food to help them to survive the winter. The settlers were indeed fortunate that the Native Americans were not yet Christians.

Americans want to work but they dont want to work for little or nothing. The twentieth century in America was one long twilight war between capital and labor. Time after time Capitalism failed and labor suffered. When Capitalism collapsed in America in the 1930's, FDRs solution through the New Deal was to give labor skin in the game. Socialism and Fascism were on the rise so it seemed only logical that workers would not overthrow a system in which they might benefit.

But since the end of World War Two we have seen the erosion of labor rights and a decline in the standard of living. Americans lived comfortably on one paycheck in the 1960s, two paychecks in the 1970s, three paychecks by working two jobs in the 80s and 90s, then three or more paychecks plus credit cards in the first decade of this century.

Workers who demanded more pay or more benefits were labeled as greedy while Capitalists who closed a factory because it wasnt making enough profit are called prudent. The Republicans passed the Taft Hartley Amendment in the 1950s, effectively eviscerating organized labor. The Reagan revolution of the 1980s changed the tax code allowing easy investment for quick profits at little cost while the manufacturing economies of Germany and Japan moved into high gear. Just when we should have been retooling our manufacturing base, we instead abandoned it.

A little noticed bill in the 1960s that was devised by the Democrats would allow American manufacturers to set up factories just across the border in Mexico and to bring materials in and products out without the usual tax implications. The purpose was to try and stimulate job growth on the Mexican side of the border, to stop the need for illegal immigration.

The program has had the exact opposite effect of its purpose; it pits American workers against low wage workers. It draws peasant farmers and country people, lured to the border by the factory wages. Who then, once there and unable to find employment, see no other recourse but to keep moving north. These Maquiladora plants now number near a thousand. Their owners are American, European and Asian; the pollution laws are weak and unenforced until the toxic waste washes up on California beaches.

This is a clear case of American political parties working directly against the interests of American laborers. In the 1990s Bill Clinton ran for President as a new Democrat, a new Democrat meaning a moderately conservative Republican. While American labor groups rallied against NAFTA, Clinton advocated for it. When Ross Perot warned of a giant sucking sound of jobs leaving the country, Al Gore compared him to the Smoot-Hawly tariffs of the Great Depression.

Perot was right and the Democrats were wrong; the media portrayed Perot as a paranoid nut and a xenophobic zealot. Yet Perot had made himself a billionaire when billionaires were still rare. He had warned of the climate of the manufacturing culture and the corporate culture inside American industry and all the media chose to talk about were his big ears and funny accent. The left saw him as a nut; the right saw him as a traitor to his class.

The Reagan revolution also saw the massive expansion of the military, with billion dollar plastic airplanes and dreams of a Buck Rogers missile defense systems. These systems are/were designed with no other purpose than to negate Russian missiles, giving the US a first strike nuclear capability.

Since Reagan we have seen an almost non-stop policy of military intervention: Grenada, Panama, Yugoslavia, Kuwait, Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, then Iraq again, and now Pakistan. These are only the visible manifestations of military interventions; like an iceberg more lies hidden below the surface. We spend more on our military than all other nations of the world combined, yet have little to show for it.

The current administration ran for office on promises to end these wars, but have done the opposite. They ran on promises for a new openness and transparency in government, but have done the opposite. Even on social issues where candidate Obama promised change, even on such stupid policies as dont ask dont tell where the President could change them for the cost of a ball point pen he resorts instead to presidential directives rather than executive orders.

We face an economic crisis that rivals the darkest days of the Great Depression. It is in many ways far worse because America is an urban society now when it was an agrarian society in the 1930s. While Roosevelt took an activist approach, Obama takes a wait and see approach ignoring that the millions of unemployed and underemployed that cannot wait and have already seen quite enough. Millions made homeless and thrown into the street are treated as criminals rather than economic refugees.

This government and both of its political parties throw billions of dollars around the world to buy loyalty or land or to curry favor, in the form of foreign aid forgetting that we are no longer the rich uncle. We are a debtor nation with more going out than coming in. We are borrowing money to give away while our own people suffer in the streets. There is something fundamentally wrong with that thinking.

Political parties which are no longer relevant cease to exist. Political parties which ignore or work against their own peoples' interests are in fact corrupt. It would be far easier to start again than to untangle the maze of corruption to determine who is clean and who is dirty.

What is most needed and most feared is a third party. A party dedicated to the rights of the workers. A party with an open social contract that embraces individual freedom. A prosperous economy has little need for wiretaps or undercover policemen.

A party with a tax policy that says if you provide good paying jobs you will have an easy road, but if you import or exploit you will find the going quite tough.

A party that advocates unequivocally for a government-funded, single payer health system.

A reciprocal tariffs policy with our neighbors; if the tariff is 25% on American cars, that is the tariff on your cars.

A party that calls for national defense and not military adventurism. An end to the wars, an end to needless foreign bases. If those governments want us there let them pay the cost; few will.

A party that holds as its central plank and sacred duty that the well-being of the average American citizen is the only true purpose of a government. The well-being of the many is the best social program.

A party of what the Democrats once were and Republicans most fear. A new beginning.
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Glorfindel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-13-09 09:32 AM
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1. The Social Democratic Party? Sounds good to me!
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Lost Jaguar Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-13-09 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. The Republican Party...
...can only perpetuate itself now by pandering to superstition, xenophobia, and greed. Alas, it seems to work, at least in the South. Yet, I hope the party survives if only to keep Democrats from getting complacent.

Thanks again, Mr. Cox.
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silversol Donating Member (70 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-13-09 02:01 PM
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3. recommended.
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