BREAKING THE STRANGLEHOLD


My intent here, is twofold – 1) to provide a forum for me to rage and vent, and 2) to convince as many people as I can of the urgency of the situation and to encourage people to take action to re-build America in our image.  As liberals, progressives and everyone who is simply tired of the constant right wing blunder bussing over every issue from abortion and Obama to global warming, we need to address what I see as a national crisis.  We are being suffocated in a headlock of the soul that the conservative, right wing fanatics have us in over the nature and future of American society.  This assault on America and our liberal/progressive values has been going on now for at least 30 years and has turned – I would say “turning” but it’s late - our country into an intolerant, belligerent, soulless, inhumane nation that bears no, and I mean NO, resemblance to the country in which I grew up. (Yeah, it wasn't perfect but at least it held out possibilities for everyone not just the rich and powerful.)

We die-hard liberals ("libertards," as the right wingers have named us- and I do love the term- so pithy!) ), those of us who fought in the 60’s and 70’s to actually achieve the ideals we profess to hold dear, for the proposition that all men and woman are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for the treatment of planet earth as our home to be protected and not pillaged, for all the liberal tenets that the post World War II period of unprecedented change and prosperity unleashed across this country and around the world - we have our work cut out for us.  We have lost a generation – maybe even two - to the right wing’s “you-too-can-win-the-lottery” answer to economic policy and social justice.  The Millennial generation?   Sadly, they know they will not be able to achieve the American Dream and we owe them an apology. (More about this later.)    

What happened?  I mean, seriously.  What happened to the nation that used to be the world’s moral compass?  What happened to the nation that through Civil Rights, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid demonstrated our commitment to those in our society who are poor and powerless?  Where have we gone so wrong that we are now seen around the world, not as the planet’s best hope for the future, but as it’s biggest bully and a threat to world peace?   Here at home Wall Street gets bailed out but Harry and Louise (remember them?) Homeowners loses their home, their piece of the American Dream?  Is owning a home really too much to ask of a society?  Too "idealistic" Too "socialistic?" Too "One Worldly?"  What the hell has happened to us? 

We liberals have been too complacent, have remained largely silent, as this insidious disease of “conservatism” has invaded our homes and taken hold of our country.   While we patiently wait for this scourge of conservative selfishness to pass- and yes, liberals are by definition patient, understanding and tolerant -  for the pendulum to swing back to our side - the left side -  of the arc, for the right wingers to implode of their own accord America has been hijacked.  Despite small, yet encouraging, signs lately (Obama's re-election) we are nowhere near the liberal renewal that I believe is necessary and, I predict, will not happen until we raise our voices and object – loudly and with every tool at our disposal – through the ballot box, in public discourse, in the media, and in the streets.   We must stand up and fight once more to change the direction of America from this ultimately self-destructive path we are being led down to re-institute a culture that once again celebrates our diversity, promotes truly democratic principles and actions, ensures that each and every American regardless of the definers of race, color, creed, religion, and ethnicity enjoy, once more, the possibility of realizing each individual’s full potential.  We did it in the past and we can do it again.    

In 2013 we have travelled very far from these ideals that not so long ago seemed so fully within our reach. Remember, we are still America's largest demographic and if we work together I think there's not much we can't achieve.   It's time we stand up for what we believe in and take our country back. 

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