By Nancy Churchill
A Progressive Visionary
Republicans define “Big Government,” which they aim to eliminate, as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, low-interest student loans, school lunch programs, food stamps, unemployment, bailouts for individuals with underwater mortgages or facing foreclosure, family farm programs, and a whole host of other strategies that protect “the people” from abject poverty. You know, “the huddled masses,” the ones from whose consent the just powers of government are supposed to be derived.
They will replace it with “Smaller Government,” which by their actions, they must define as endless subsidies and deregulation for Big Oil, Big Ag, Big Pharma, global corporations, overseas bank account holders and infinite tax cuts for the wealthy.
They also aim to stop the “Takers” — anyone they see as benefiting from the above Big Government — and reward the “Makers,” or those benefiting from “Smaller Government.” You know, Big Oil, Big Ag, Big Pharma, anyone creating low-paying jobs here or overseas, or are wealthy enough to hide their profits in bank accounts overseas.
This distortion of the truth has paid off for them before. Thanks to a parroting media spouting Swift Boat lies about John Kerry, plus a healthy dose of election tampering, they re-took the White House in 2004. Is there an echo in 2012?
Who are the real “Takers”?
According to Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist (Sept. 15, 2012), Koch Brothers’ paper mills are “siphoning-off billions of dollars from a clean-fuels program by making a dirty fuel even dirtier.”
Big Ag is getting away with spraying food crops with a derivative of Agent Orange, the defoliant that’s still killing Vietnam veterans, and Food and Drug Administration regulators refuse to require labeling. So, how will we know we’re eating it? By the sudden spike in gruesome deaths?
Big Ag also profits from cuts to farm bill nutrition programs and gutting of government oversight of biotech crop, poultry, hog and meat industries.
I can’t shop at Walmart or buy from Apple without helping them profit obscenely from horrible working conditions in Third World countries, and refuse collective bargaining to workers here. Collective bargaining rights of public workers have become such an embarrassment compared to the private sector that Republican governors must strip these rights and benefits to bring them down, more in line with those of the private sector.
But Republicans consider the workers to be the takers!
CEOs of giant industry are called “makers,” though they only make profit by taking from taxpayers, the people, the “huddled masses” who make the things they profit from. The more they get, the more they take, and somehow Congress is all too happy to slather them with even more. Then, real makers are blamed, squeezed with even more austerity, then denounced again for their plight.
Meanwhile, the “mainstream media,” feeding from the same trough as the politicians, are silent. No one wants to bite the hand that feeds it.
This seems like an alternate universe, but tragically, it’s the only reality we’ve got.
If we agitate, could we restore sanity?
Highlights of Nancy Churchill’s life are growing up in Congo, Africa, until she was 15, racing stock cars as an adult from 1976 until 2001, and writing as a liberal political junkie since the early ’90s. She lives in Oregon, Ill.
From the Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2012, issue