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Rodger Cook for Congress

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Message John Pagoda

Once a week I check my Facebook just in case someone made that rare comment which would prompt political interest or provoke thought instead of the usual comments from adults living vicariously through their children's lives or the narcissists who comment about what they're doing at the moment or what they did or what they plan to do as if.


As luck would have it I came across a link to a YouTube video with comments like: "this is the man we need in Washington", "I agree Rodger is a good man for the job" and "I have a lot of faith in him". Even though I didn't have a dog in this fight such platitudes peaked my curiosity sufficiently to spend the next 28 minutes listening to Rodger Cook, Republican candidate for the 12th district of Southern Illinois, explain why he was running for office if for nothing more than to have a better understanding of why my friends on Facebook "need" this man in Washington.


By the time the interview with Mr. Cook had finished I concluded that I do have a dog in this fight indeed all citizens from coast to coast have a dog in the 12th district in Southern Illinois because Rodger Cook's perception of political reality which he expressed during that interview created the inescapable conclusion that the Rodger Cooks of this country are trying to perpetuate the same failed economic policies that led to our economic meltdown in 2008 when George W. Bush was president and not Barak Obama and the people who think he belongs in Washington do so on faith rather than facts blaming the later for the results of the failed policies of the former which are now being repeated by Rodger Cook.


Mr. Cook began by saying that he would make a difference because armed with "facts from our history" as his guide he would change the direction of the country by doing what Presidents Kennedy and Reagan did i.e. cut taxes which also raised government revenue and do away with government regulation. My understanding of historical facts indicates that Kennedy did cut taxes on the wealthy from 90% to 70% and he also cut taxes on the middle-class as well. As for "raising government revenue" in the process I can't speak on that but I can strongly suspect such a result to be highly improbable in and of itself but I do know based on historical fact that prior to Reagan we were a creditor nation and we've been in debt ever since.


Really the wealthy paid a 90% tax rate in 1960 during which time we had a strong middle-class. I knew because I was there when John Kennedy's motorcade passed through my hometown during his campaign for president. It was a time when both parents didn't "have" to work and yet still be able to put their children through college. Workers earned a livable wage and were able to save which in the 60s was a value that was possible to attain. Teachers were respected and so was officer friendly.


I even listened to Kennedy's inauguration speech in which he said: "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" and most Americans did ask with the exception of the lunatic fringe of the opposition party from the John Birch Society founded by Fred Koch, father of today's Koch brothers, to the sanctimonious Billy Graham that feared a Catholic president but for the most part the country was united in those early to mid-60s.


Fast forward to Reagan who said in 1980 that "government is the problem" then proceeded to prove it by instituting trickle-down economics which included less taxes on the "job creators" and less government regulation. In addition Reagan cut taxes for the wealthy to circa 28% by the time he left office but from 1980 to 1988 he also raised taxes in 6 of his 8 years in office including and thus began the great divide of the income gap between rich and poor that threatens the very existence of the middle class today requiring both parents to at least have one job each to make ends meet thereby altering family dynamics while Reagan's party claims the mantel of "family values".


Meanwhile since 1980 teachers have been subjected ridicule, derision and disrespect, officer friendly became organized into paramilitary units more suited to suppress the inevitable social unrest that followed as a result of the widening of the income gap between rich and poor and the lunatic fringe of fear mongers is now in charge of Rodger Cook's party financed by Fred Koch's two sons.


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"tomorrow is guaranteed to no one" compells this fellow traveler to describe the way of life that requires a new way of living where something is left behind which decreases the suffering of all forms of life that follow.
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