Dec 29, 2011

The Great Upheaval

By Lorenzo A. Cañizares

To understand what is meant by “The Great Upheaval” is important to provide some pertinent facts. We need to realize that there is a dichotomy amongst the American people in how we experience the reality around us. Regular common people that have been lucky enough not to have had to deal with losing a job or being discriminated because of race, gender, sexual preference or religion trying to understand what’s happening in America today, can become difficult especially if they have been mainly just paying attention to daily living.

As we are seeing, most states are going through an attempt to change the reality that Americans live in. Those with jobs, as teachers and state workers that might have been oblivious to the pain being suffered by those that have lost jobs and benefits in the private sector, are getting to know now how it feels. The people doing the deciding are ruthless in their disregard for the popular will or well-being. For example, Charles M. Blow mentions in his NYT column of 2/12/11 that Republicans in New Hampshire have filed bills to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage law, even though, according to a recent WMUR Granite State Poll, the state’s residents want to leave the law in place by a majority of more than 2 to 1. Who cares about being concerned about what constituents want?

The above example of disregard for the popular will is assisted by the corporate stranglehold that exists in our political life. The Supreme Court through their decision in Citizens United has opened the floodgates to corporate money overwhelming our democracy. Conservatives use a committed group of cadres that through the pretext of social issues push for economic policies that will benefit the Greedy Rich. The excuse of fiscal responsibility is widely used a justification to attain the political goals that the Greedy Rich are after. Notice, as in Wisconsin, dismantling of labor unions is the goal under the banner of fiscal responsibility while promoting tax cuts for the very wealthy, tax cuts that will deepen the deficit even further. As the headlines of the newspaper Roll Call said in its July 18 edition “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasts deficit spending, urges extension of tax cuts.” The monies behind the Citizens United decision allow this utterly ridiculous statement to acquire political legitimacy! To make it a double dosage of hypocrisy, McConnell also considers defense spending to be sacrosanct.

The Democratic Party could have not been more compliant in the last Congress. We have seen Democrats watering down legislation one after another trying to gain the cooperation of Republicans. Take the Health Care bill as an example, the Democrats through compromise watered down the bill, but even that watered down bill that if implemented could have been a windfall for health insurance corporations is being rejected because the goal is to defeat Obama. Can anybody be so witless not to understand what Republicans are trying to do? After such a barrage of verbiage regarding jobs, jobs, jobs they are forcing the nation to revive the health care wars, all with the intent of defeating Obama in 2012, as McConnell has let us know to be the goal. Isn’t it coincidental that several Republican Governors have refused government monies to deal with infrastructure reforms that would have produced hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs throughout the country?

A major part of the “Great Upheaval” is what the lap-dogs of the Greedy Rich have been able to come up with just to make sure that we understand the power that they have over us. What’s more clear than what E.J. Montini, a widely read Arizona Republic columnist, description of Arizona’s Governor and Republican legislators as a “death panel” that has originally condemned 98 Arizonans to death because it’s not cost effective to provide them organ transplants. Two has already died. Republicans do run effective death panels!

But, nothing is a more clear indication of the “Great Upheaval” than what’s going on in Wisconsin. Governor Walker intent is to destroy the unions, to destroy what brought the American working class into the middle class, and to destroy the societal cushion that was the base of America’s prosperity. Governor Walker’s plan would limit collective bargaining for most state and local government employees to wages, leaving issues like benefits and work conditions to their respective employer’s whims. It would require workers to contribute more to their pensions and health care, limit wage increases to a cap based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and limit contracts to one year. It would require unions to take annual votes to maintain certification while also permitting workers to stop paying union dues.

These are just a few examples of what the Greedy Rich have done in their attempt to maximize profits coming their way. Notice we have not talked about wars, Wall Street, the Mortgage crisis, etc. But, we can be certain now that we have arrived to the point that those who don’t see it, is because they just don’t want to see it.

The “Great Upheaval” is about to unravel.