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How Progressives Can Take Back the Nation

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Message Larry Sakin

Well, it's official. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has switched political party affiliation from Republican to Independent. The announcement has the mainstream media agog - is this a sign that the billionaire media owner will run for president? Of course it is. And as usual, the mainstream media has missed the point. So enamored with wealth is our fourth estate, nobody is asking "do we really need another rich guy to run for president? How much more representation do rich fucks like Bloomberg need in government? They own the lobbying law firms that decorate Washington's fashionable K Street, and through those firms, act as puppet masters for the Congressional whores taking up space in the Capital (misspelling intentional). They 'donate' millions of dollars each year to local, state and federal candidates to make sure their agendas are the priority of those elected; and they spend even more to make sure the electorate is cowed into believing that dissent is useless. Yet for some reason, those in the top one percent of financial holdings in this country still run scared, thinking their empires might fall any minute. If anything, America's wealthy have proven they can take care of themselves very well, and really don't need anymore governmental minions to do their bidding. Rather than a bunch of rich candidates mouthing platitudes about what the great unwashed needs, the great unwashed needs their own candidates. Let's face it - if anything threatened the offshore bank accounts of America's super-wealthy, they'd quickly move to Dubai or some other haven which refuses to imperil profit. The rich don't give damn about America, but we have to. We don't have the luxury of moving to a foreign nation at the drop of the stock market. So our only chance to preserve what little is left of Jeffersonian democracy is to stop arguing over realpolitik, and start diminishing real profit. I grant you, this won't be easy. America's wealthy have had their hooks in the government since before the Revolutionary War. Ironically, most of the rich during that time supported Britain's reign over America. No wonder our own King George II looks so attractive to the uber-wealthy now. However, those who pushed the revolution back then were a scrappy lot. In their effort to break away from England, they overlooked class in order to obtain their larger goal. We have the same opportunity today. Problem is, those willing to put their genitals on the line are fragmented, focusing on a thousand different separate issues rather than coalescing as a whole. This is exactly what the Bloomberg's of our nation want to see. They buy their elective offices wholesale while our attentions are distracted by the meaningless clatter of scandal. People often ask me how our country fell into such a desultory state. There are a number of reasons for this. I believe the main one is that conservatives started successfully pulling the wool over the eyes of church-going tea-totlers offended by the rebellious, free-love attitude of the sixties, promising a new moral order. These conservatives convinced the prudish bible-thumpers to take over school boards, city-councils and state legislative seats. They implanted the idea that emolument is next to godliness. It wasn't long before the zealous bumpkins gladly handed over local and state treasuries to private industry. Those bumpkins are the people running the nation today. We can learn from this. Instead of duping the religiously cuckolded to run for office, we need to drop our obsession with the conspiratorial and instead, run for those same public offices. Don't worry about winning - believe me, unless you have a million or so dollars to spare for your campaign, you won't win. However, you can use your campaign to get the message out. You can learn how to frame progressive issues, tailoring them to be palatable for the woefully unenlightened American who associates "values" with the neighborhood Wal-Mart. If you can keep progressive values simple, stupid, you might gain some adherents to the cause. By framing, I don't mean speaking the wonkish dribble that comes out of the mouths of John Kerry or Hillary Clinton. You need to make it plain - that's what the conservatives have over progressives. While we pontificate lofty ideals, conservatives appeal to the baser instincts, keep the language to a fifth grade level, and appeal emotionally rather than the intellectually. If you do win election, keep pushing your agenda while in office. Keep the name recognition up, and you'll be assured re-election. Nothing will happen overnight. It may take years before progressives can undo the stranglehold the wealthy have our nation in. Start talking with your fellow progressives, find the issues you know affect everyone in your community, and go after them. You'll discover that "thinking globally, acting locally" actually works. We don't need another Bloomberg-type to transfer public funds into private hands. Our main priority as progressives is to put the Bloomberg's on the run, instead of allowing them to run our country any longer.

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Larry Sakin is a former non-profit medical organization executive and music producer. His writing can be found on, Blogcritics, OpEd News, The People's Voice, Craig's List and The Progressive magazine. He also advocates for literacy and (more...)
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