Tim McMullen's Missives and Tomes

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's Time to Take It Back (Rush Did...)

Did you happen to notice that Rush Limbaugh has apologized to the Georgetown student that he slandered? It is a typical type of political media apology—I'm sorry that you were offended by what I said...I make jokes...I might have used an ill-chosen word or two, but what I was saying is still true—but the truth is that Limbaugh almost never apologizes for any of the crap he spews, so those of you who pushed those advertisers' buttons really got through. If even a few of them have dropped him permanently, it will be a positive move, but if we call him out every time he makes a racist or sexist remark and let his sponsors know that we will not support them as long as they are supporting him, he just may eventually go the way of Glenn Beck and lose his national audience. 

There is all this talk about "entitlements" and how they are destroying this country and must be cut back or eliminated. I worked for forty years as a teacher, so I don't even get social security, yet many of these obscenely highly-paid pundits and pension-for-life politicians characterize the pension that I did earn as nothing less than stealing from honest, hard-working taxpayers (I, of course, have been an honest, hard-working taxpayer since I was sixteen), but now I am merely a leech. There you have it, from "teach" to "leech" as a sign of these bizarre times. 

I say we start with Scott Walker in Wisconsin, where this latest war on the 99% began and get him out, and then start recalling the hell out of those Governors and legislators across the country who are waging an immoral and unscrupulous war against workers, women, immigrants, homeowners, children, the elderly, the poor, veterans, ad infinitum.

The thing that the far right wing figured out (I am going to stop calling them Republicans—I have had many friends who considered themselves to be Republicans who were far left of many "centrist" Democrats in this looking-glass world of present day politics, but this current crop of psychotic sycophants and cynical, polemical demagogues do not deserve to be graced with the name Republican)...Anyway, the thing that the far right wing figured out was that in this day of instant and world-wide media, NO politics are LOCAL. That's why they have been infiltrating and running campaigns for school boards, sheriffs, judges, state legislators, governors, and local referendums and initiatives, as well as pumping millions into national campaigns while simultaneously pushing for deregulation of the media, of the environment, of finance. Deregulation really just means, "Now you can't stop us at all because we just conned you into wiping out the law that criminalized our acts of pillage and mayhem." 

My senators and rep from California or Maine or Hawaii may agree with me 100%, but their votes can be neutralized by a 40% minority in the Senate. Judges decisions don't just affect the defendant, they can have ramifications across the country. When a Scott Walker introduces a bill to destroy the rights of workers, that same bill shows up in fifteen different state legislatures the same week. When Virginia attempts to pass a law requiring women to be physically or sexually assaulted by a doctor or technician for no other purpose than to abuse and terrify her (their law did not require her to actually look at the ultrasound) before she can have an abortion, variations of that law are simultaneously being introduced in other state houses around the country.

These assaults on workers' rights or women's rights don't originate in Wisconsin or Ohio or Virginia. They are devised by far-right think tanks—the same ones that thought up and published the Patriot Act ten years before 9/11—then disseminated through ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and the National Chamber of Commerce, then hammered into the unsuspecting and undiscerning ears and minds of the populace 24/7 over the airwaves of Fox and Clear Channel, then "picked up" by the rest of the media, and finally perpetuated through endless bloggers and trolls on the internet.

We have to get smart. We need to be aware of and support campaigns across the country when a rational candidate has a chance to eliminate an irrational one. We need to have civilized, reasoned, informed conversations at work, at the store, in our schools, in our homes. We can't let racism or sexism or distortions or lies go unchallenged, not in jokes, not in public forums, not on the internet, not in idle chat among friends. People can be persuaded, but they have to hear it reiterated again and again from people they respect in order to drown out the conniving cacophony calculated to create complacency and hopelessness which, in turn, can convince people to either not vote because "voting is useless" or to vote against their own best interests through deceptive and manipulative propaganda. 

So let's reframe the discussion. End the entitlements (right there, we can get rid of corporate welfare and tons of business tax loopholes), all we want are OUR OWN EARNED BENEFITS, which include general health, welfare, safety, and security for all. I will offer more on the necessity of taking back the language at a later date. But for now, as Woody Guthrie and Studs Terkel used to say, "Take it easy...but take it!"

And as I always say, "The Greatest Threat to Democracy is Hypocrisy! Seek Truth! Speak Truth!" 
Tim McMullen

My song, "The Governed's Mental Getcha'," written in 1980, which addresses a number of the issues that have reared their ugly heads in recent months (okay, they never went away).

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