If you were thinking that our nation’s downward spiral into economic chaos was going to slow due to the democrats taking over the reins of government, you’re probably starting to understand that fixing what’s gone wrong with our country is not as simple as winning the presidency and majorities in the house and senate.

Sooner or later we are going to have to understand that the republican’s corporate-backed plan for a permanent republican majority, and thus continuing private control of our government, was not designed to fail in the face of something as trivial as the intent of the American voter.

The republicans and their backers, or the right-wing elites and their political lap-dogs, however you currently understand the constellation of corporate interests, bankers, media organizations, and their bought-off elected representatives that are presently doing everything in their power to stymie the hope that we have placed in the Obama administration’s ability to stop our collective pain have no intention of easing up on what I have been calling the full-court press that has as it’s stated purpose the total dismantling, of the legacy of the progressive era.

It should be becoming clearer every day that we cannot expect the effort to shrink our government, in the words of Grover Nordquist; “…until it is small enough to be drowned in the bathtub.” to be in any way abated because of something as petty as the imminent threat of economic collapse and the mass destitution of the American middle and lower classes.

At the same time that progressive economists are worrying that we will spend too little to effectively stimulate the economy in the Keynesian sense, the power base of the right is not rethinking it’s fascination with de-regulation in light of the various disasters it has spawned, no, the right is worried that it’s representatives in Washington may loose their stomach for Friedman style economic ‘reform’ before our drowning government expires.

I think it might be instructive for a moment, to adopt Abraham Lincoln’s perspective that our Government is; “…of the people, by the people, and for the people …“and to consider that it might be in danger of failing to endure. For how can an honest person hold both images in their mind at once, on one hand Lincoln’s beloved Government of, by, and for the people, a government that must be protected even at great cost, and on the other hand, a despised government, systematically starved and now being forcibly drowned?

If there is indeed a cultural battle going on, I am trying to define the actual battle line. That battle line lies between those who nurture their own sense of empathic solidarity with their fellow citizens and by extension, their government, and those who have taken the other path and exhibit a studied and malignant indifference to their fellow man and their government.

It is a perfectly natural sense of empathy, that sense of compassion for others that leads us to help one another and to band together for mutual support in time of danger. It is that innate feeling of compassion that leads us to support those too old, or too young to help themselves and to dream of a country where fear of poverty and the despair of hunger and helplessness might be overcome for good, and that our government is the proper mechanism with which to manifest our collective vision, a vision we obviously cannot hope to achieve through individual effort.

Those who oppose us, those who teach their children to be indifferent to others suffering, are a small minority but they have used the power of their wealth to gain a level of control over our government and our access to information that is very nearly complete, and it is only in their commitment to conserving that control that they can in any way rationalize their insistence on describing themselves as conservatives.

I am arguing that since the end of the second world war, which coincided with the end of the last great depression, we have seen the startling and positive effects on our country’s economy, of the application of progressive values by our government’s programmatic support of the common welfare, coupled with the collective industry of our people, a people tired of war and hardship. I am arguing that the long period of prosperity that we experienced after the end of WW II is attributable to the implementation of the progressive agenda, not in spite of it, as the right would have us believe.

The right has a great deal invested in our accepting their revisionist version of our post war economic history, a false story of wide-spread peace and prosperity due to the inevitable effect of wealth trickling down from above, as if the magical, not to mention invisible workings of the market were responsible for our well-being, as opposed to the industry of our people, and the ongoing commitment of our government to provide us a New Deal, to inspire us with a New Frontier and to promise us a Great Society.

The right wishes us to forget that the New Deal had become necessary, then as now, because left to their own devices the captains of business and industry have a knack for loosing their way and falling victim to their own greed and avarice, and for taking the country with them when their schemes result in market failures.

The very last things that the right wants us to learn from history is that we were saved, even in part, from the last Great Depression, by our government’s renewed commitment to the progressive agenda, or that we were protected from the dangers of market failures, even in part by the thoughtful regulation imposed on our financial sector by the New Deal economic reforms championed by FDR.

The right insists that we believe it was only WWII that ended the Great Depression, and by the way, don’t ask why we seem to have been in a state of perpetual warfare ever since.

The right would have us believe in a phony history devoid of unfair and oppressive labor practices, despoliation of the environment, economic collapse rooted in fraud and malfiesence, and wide spread and even criminal indifference and opposition to natural human aspirations.

In it’s never-ending opposition to the progressive agenda, the right, at one time went so far as to plan the overthrow of the FDR administration, only to fail because they made the mistake of thinking they could manipulate Smedley Butler into leading their coup attempt. Butler it turns out was a true patriot who instead of helping the Business Plotters, blew the whistle on their plot, a plot that is now almost totally forgotten because the FDR administration wished to focus on the future rather than subject the country to a group of trials that would surely have turned into an ordeal that our country could little afford in 1935.

It is widely believed that FDR made a deal with the Business Plotters to forego prosecution if business interests would back off their opposition to his New Deal.

Does that story line seem familiar? It should, the progressive’s natural impulse toward compromise, coupled with tactical necessity is being used as leverage against us right now, to insure that the new Democratic administration will agree to trade immunity for Bush administration criminals and economic bail-out of bankrupt Wall St. pirates in exchange for legislative compromise as concerns efforts to help Main St. America.

When the right-wing calls for compromise, grab your wallet.

The current commitment of the right is such that no real compromise will be considered, let alone accepted. The right has convinced themselves that final victory is at hand, and thus, no amount of carnage will ever be too much to endure, and ironically, considering their greed, no price to high to pay. Understanding what seems on its face a preposterous attitude becomes possible when you realize that to those who would pass for thinkers on the right, compromise is for the weak, and it is part and parcel with the natural order that the pain should be felt only by those who are already the object of their focused indifference.

Of course it goes without saying that the carnage will befall somebody else, say the people of the Middle East, and that the price will likely be borne by somebody else, maybe America’s unborn taxpayers.

These people do not care; they have lost the ability to care. They have been blinded to the consequences of their actions by a craven ideology that views their collective indifference as to the plight of the masses as a righteous expression of their own obvious superiority, if not their special relationship to God. They have come to believe that they are destined to rule, and that to compromise with those who do not respect their birthright is an affront to the natural order.

To expect that the right will attenuate it’s efforts of the last sixty years to obliterate all opposition, simply because the American people have temporarily lost faith in the veracity of their propaganda machine and have foolishly elected a democratic president, a black man no less, is to believe the sun will not set this evening.

The right understands our election of Barrack Obama as proof positive that we, the masses, cannot be trusted to govern ourselves. It is only natural then that the right will continue the full-court-press, that they will pile stones in the road, and continue to drill holes in our boat. To expect otherwise is to misunderstand the opposition.

All of this is not meant to discourage and it is not meant to dissuade, it is simply meant as a warning that we must not even begin to think that we have won; we must not think that the job is even close to being finished, because it is not. Make no mistake; the right will not give up so much as one grain of sand without exacting a price. We must strive to recognize that those who oppose us are not in retreat, we must maintain and refocus our resolve, because the recent democratic victories are not the end of the fight they are only the beginning.

We’ve been this way before, and we must remember that the right does have one very real fear and that is that we will somehow come to our senses, and that we will cease to listen to their bombastic rhetoric and divisive propaganda designed to confuse and mislead and divide us. They are afraid of only one thing, and that is that we will for once refuse to be divided from one another, and that we will finally recognize the necessity to come together to defend our right to a just and sustainable economy, an economy that is not rooted in injustice, warfare and oppression.

After two decades of stagnant or declining wages, they promised us that participation in the Global Economy would result in our having more and better jobs at home, after another decade of waiting this has not happened.

At this very moment the right is trying to obscure the fact that it was their dismantling of our manufacturing base and exporting of our jobs that has left us with less, and inferior jobs, not more and better jobs.

They say we should go back to school because we lack the training necessary to compete in the Global Economy, yet the price of higher education is fast becoming out of reach for those of us that need it most.

They are trying to convince us that their ‘reform’ of bankruptcy law is not a way of entrapping us in perpetual debt to credit card companies. They’d like us to forget that up until the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 it had been possible for a family to stave off home foreclosure by absolving themselves of onerous debt through bankruptcy, and dedicating their remaining resources to making their mortgage payments so as to keep their families sheltered.

Let’s not forget that statistics show the fastest way to find one’s self bankrupt in America is to get sick and incur monumental medical bills.

Yet the right insists that we accept the myth that our country enjoys the best healthcare system in the world, when by any measure we’re paying too much and receiving too little if we have access to proper healthcare at all.

They insist we accept the dog-eared myth that the principle reason our economy is not humming along creating universal well being is that we haven’t provided enough tax relief to the wealthy.

Right now, those who oppose our collective vision for a just and equitable society do not see the current financial meltdown as evidence of their failure, rather they see it as an opportunity to extinguish once and for all that spark of faith that we hold in our hearts, that last glimmer of hope that our government remains to some significant degree responsive to the will of the people.

It’s time we acknowledge the fact that we are not engaged in a fair fight with reasonable opponents, we are opposed by unreasonable and misguided people who enjoy an asymmetrical advantage in almost every imaginable way.

It’s time we understand that they believe our current crisis might afford them a final opportunity to vanquish once and for all their historic foe, the faith and hope of the American people, that faith and hope by which we dare to be free.

We must resist any temptation to declare victory, we must come to grips with the fact that we have just begun to fight.

Watt4Bob

Watt4Bob