- Man pleads guilty but mentally ill in 2013 murder
- Telephone, computer network outages at 22 Rockford schools
- Byron native selected as Sailor of the Year for Navy Band Southwest
- Illinois Tollway awards $337 million in contracts, sets budget
- 44 earn bachelor’s degrees at Saint Anthony College of Nursing
- Goodwill opens Donation Express site on Perryville
- Rock Valley College to manage TechWorks program
- University of Illinois at Chicago names chancellor
- Salvation Army to distribute food, toys to nearly 2,000 families
- American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act signed into law
Agitate, America!: Money, lies and voter suppression
By Nancy Churchill
Local resident, former stockcar racer
What a drag democracy is for the 1 percent and their Republican accomplices. Their guy Mitt Romney couldn’t campaign his way out of a wet paper bag without zillions of dollars to perpetuate his lies, and his running mate Paul Ryan’s. Congress couldn’t produce one jobs bill, yet his budget plan calls for closing down the people’s Medicare and turning it into a voucher program to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
They talk about reducing big government. I take that as code for removing government for the people. You know, government designed to “promote the general Welfare,” that derives its “just powers from the consent of the governed.”
They do not mean to reduce government that exempts giant corporations from environmental protection laws, nor government that doles out huge subsidies to Big Oil while it’s enjoying monster profits, nor government that refuses to hold Wall Street and Big Banks accountable for gambling away customer securities, nor the government that bailed these banks out but left their customers high and dry when the whole thing came crashing down.
No, that government is just the right size to fit in their pockets.
For good measure, Republican legislators across the land hasten to pass voter suppression … er, “voter ID” laws … to reduce the number of voters who might be inclined to vote Democratic this year. Because, let’s face it, they’d never get “consent from the governed” for their reverse Robin Hood scheme that substitutes for “promoting the general Welfare,” without money, lies and voter suppression.
George W. Bush said it outright: “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”
So, to realize GW’s dream, Democrats are being outspent 8, 10, 20 to 1. Their daily e-mails plead with me to stop the Koch brothers and Karl Rove’s SuperPACs with at least another $3. Seriously, $3. To stop totalitarianism.
People who feel insignificant are naturally drawn to the underdog, something I learned racing short dirt stock car tracks for 25 years, the first woman in a formerly all-male sport.
From early on, my opponents couldn’t help but telegraph their intention to use my car to break their slide in the turn, a maneuver that would send me into the marbles, out of play. But even with earplugs, I could hear they weren’t lifting, so I’d lightly tap my brakes to corner early to surprise them; and instead of banking off me, they’d miss and end up hopelessly mired in the marbles themselves, while I ducked inside to proceed merrily on my way.
What’s the political equivalent? For opponents trying to take Democratic underdogs out with money and lies, of tapping your brakes lightly to corner early to surprise them, so that instead of banking off you, they miss entirely and end up hopelessly mired in their own marbles? Will public opinion favoring the underdog be enough to stop an advancing autocratic state?
From the Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2012, issue