It’s incredibly hard to wake the working class, not because they are heavy sleepers or because they are lazy. But because they go to sleep tired and worried, about their kids and their jobs and their future. They are too preoccupied with the day to day struggle for life to hold intellectual arguments on class warfare. Much like our Iraqi brethren trying to live through Bush's shock and awe, Saddam’s politics don’t mean a damn thing when you’re just trying to keep your family alive.
I had to go in to work one Saturday morning and as I drove, I came up behind a brand new Cadillac. Being the first new one I had seen for the model year I was admiring it from a far. It was a beautiful car, all shiny and white and on the back on the bumper was a brand new sticker, "I work for a living, that’s why I vote Republican!" The car then made a right turn into the country club and as I drove on I wondered to myself, I wonder what job he does at that country club to be able to afford a new Cadillac?
The irony of a man in a brand new luxury car telling a man on his way to work on the weekend how hard he has it while he goes to his exclusive club. But it wasn’t his car or his club membership or even his holier then thou attitude that I envied but his time. His wealth buys him time, he is released from the small worries of life. This isn’t to say the rich have no worries, they do, we all do and most people when in short supply of worries will generate their own.
As he plays his round of golf he has time for the intellectual arguments of how unfair it is to tax the rich. How much more appreciative his overseas workers are and he admires their authoritarian government. He thinks boy, that’s what we need here a few more busted skulls and America could be a paradise.
You and I, maybe we have to work on Saturday or at least cut the grass or take little Rutiger to soccer practice. Your wife wants you to figure out what that noise is coming from underneath the car and change the oil. All of us have our honey do lists and while we check off the items at the top more are added to the bottom. Maybe we make time to watch the game or the race but ever present is the knowledge that we have something else that we need to be doing.
We live our lives stealing small moments of time and have none extra for grandiose strategies. By the tens of millions, Americans worry about the future. George Bush has indeed become the uniter; Americans are united in their disgust with George W. Bush. Mother always used to say you can always find something nice to say about someone if you look hard enough. Ok mom, here goes, George W. Bush has done us a service, the service of exposing to us all how detached uncaring and unfeeling a government can become.
But knowing and doing something about it are two separate issues, those who have the time are aware of this, and they are well prepared, for they have the time to think these things out and to make preparations. They know that once the people realize that the rugs been pulled out from under them, that the economy is in a shambles, the currency is debased and the long race to the bottom is completed. That the Patriot act, the NSA wiretapping and the contracts for detention camps all the well thought out plans will come in handy. This isn’t the first time around the block for them.
In 1931 five hundred farmers came to England Arkansas most hadn’t eaten in days, a women explained that her children hadn’t eaten in three days. The farmers demanded the Red Cross release food aid or the farmers said they would take it by force. The Red Cross and government were stunned by their actions. Not rabble-rousers or agitators but simple farmers politicized by their own hunger determined to make government listen to their demands and respond, today! Right damn now!
Although there was no violence the newspapers of the time called it a riot much like Fox news would call them terrorists today. Today we have swat teams with military uniforms and weapons to fight such dangerous terrorists. The line between police work and soldiering is blurred and not by accident. Those with the time know, that people question when the police shoot suspects but that soldiers shoot only enemies. Waco, Ruby Ridge the presumption of guilt is replaced by certainty.
As long as they have time and you do not the situation is well in hand. But if the time arrives when the tens of millions have the time to figure out who has done this to America then its lock and load. This situation is not new or even unique, recent suggestions of government aid to assist sub prime mortgage lenders echo the policies of Herbert Hoover that enough aid at the top will trickle to the bottom.Never worked before but they just can’t stomach the idea helping the working class.
Out of the suffering and degradation of the great depression out forefathers built a new America. A new America built with new ideas foremost of which is there is no limit on how high you may rise but there is a limit on how far you will be allowed to fall. Instead of spouting Bible verses they codified into law that we are our brothers keepers. That "the people" in the Constitution meant we not me or mine but we. We must reestablish those old new ideas!
We have been undone, the lessons they learned have been mainly forgotten. The goals they once achieved are now rolled back like the hands on a clock. The 40-hour week, overtime pay, labor unions, the GI Bill, quality public schools even good roads and bridges are no longer certainties The beatings they took we must take again but unlike our forefathers we already know what the answers are.
The stock market quakes on the Fed's pronouncement of all is well, wobbling a hundred points in either direction. Even some experts are beginning to mention the hole in the credit bucket and that the bucket can’t be filled. Consumer spending is stalled Wal-Mart wages only go so far even at Wal-Mart! We no longer mention new car sales but instead government statistics tell of grocery sales and how many of us can pay our mortgage this month. Yet still they insist, all is well! We have full employment! Aircraft engineers working at Home Depot and software engineers at Garden Ridge.
We the people must take the time or time will take us. We must reestablish the principles of the American working class realizing that this is being done for our children not for ourselves. To make our politicians of both parties and of all parties aware that the sole purpose of government is the maintenance of we the people. Not some people or most of the people or the few at the top but we the people.
We will no longer accept the excuses of it can’t be helped, it’s world wide. Those are pitiful excuses at best. If you have no better ideas than that get out of the way! Step one, the impeachment and removal of the Bush Chenny junta if for no other reason than as a signal to the world that the true American people have awakened and have all the time in the world.