Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Thursday, February 17, 2005

BUSH - A MAN OF THE PEOPLE?

On the way home from taping my cable TV show last night I was listening to the radio in the car. Right-wing shock-talk host Michael Savage was railing on about how the Yale intellectual, liberal elite crowd are running and ruining the nation. Of course my first thought was George W. Bush. Yes the same G.W.B. that graduated from Yale and who, while there, was a member of the super elite Skull & Bones Club, just like his father and his grandfather. (John Kerry is a member too by the way.)

But G.W. has recast himself, with the ample advice and support of Karl Rove I'm sure, as a pick-up truck driving, blue jeans wearin, wood chopin, dog by his side, man of the working people. A cowboy hat wearin RED stater for sure.

I interviewed a young woman activist named Jesse Leah Vear on my cable show, This Issue, last night. She is a leader in a poor people's advocacy group based in nearby Portland. She is very articulate, expecially when it comes to talking about housing, education, health care, and jobs as a human right. She also powerfully explained how the Prison Industrial Complex has become a growth industry in the U.S. As social spending is dumped on the already over burdened states, more cutbacks in the "social safety net" force more people into crime in order to survive. What do you tell your kids when you can't afford bread and milk? Some folks go steal it rather than see their kids go hungry. So the jails are filling up more than ever and the corporations are moving their industries into the prisons and paying the indentured servants 10-20 cents an hour. Is this not 21st century feudalism? I asked Jesse if this Prison Industrial Complex was the U.S. industrial response to China?

Jesse went on to explain how their local Portland based group, called P.O.W.E.R., is allied to poor peoples groups all over the nation and they are now moving to bring back the national poor peoples campaign from 1968 that Martin Luther King was initiating at the time he was killed. Folks representing these groups have been holding national planning meetings in recent weeks. We should all find a way to support these efforts.

Maybe G.W. Bush will want to join. I mean, after all, he is just a working class guy who loves to hang out with people with holes in their socks...right? At least Michael Savage would say so..........

2 Comments:

Anonymous Christie Toth said...

For a nation founded on, among other principles, a great mistrust of government, Americans have become incredibly complacent about the actions and motivations of the people in power. It kills me when people dismiss the claims of progressives as misleading or deliberate distortions of the truth, while placing blind faith in the ethical integrity of politicians and big business. I mean, who has a real motivation to lie? Activists, who work do hard, frustrating work for little or no financial compensation, or individuals and organizations that stand to make huge amounts of money and/or gains in power by misleading the public?

I wish the average naive conservative would apply his or her own faith in the hallowed market-forces to this one.

2/18/05, 11:05 AM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

"Activists, who work do hard, frustrating work for little or no financial compensation, or individuals and organizations that stand to make huge amounts of money and/or gains in power by misleading the public?"

I don't think a minority of progressives lie, but if you have your entire _life_ wrapped up in a cause, then it's very hard when reality smacks you upside the head to admit that, hey, you might be wrong. If your belief system has no wiggle room then it's hard to change your mind without admitting that the entire ball-o-wax is just wrong.

That said, there are a noisy minority of progressives who have incentives lie and mislead the public. These guys DO make money, and more than the money they are the Alpha males in their peer group, and that's a powerful drug to stop taking.

So, would a rich captialist lie? Sure. Would a progressive who is making coin lie about what HE believes in? Sure he would.

3/3/05, 1:07 PM  

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