It's really difficult to be hyperbolic about this. But our Freedom is on the ballot today.
Our Freedom to Choose. Our Freedom to Vote. Our Freedom to LIVE a healthy productive life with access to affordable health care, with fair access to equal pay, with the ability to serve or nation equally, with the chance for the ability to love and marry equally, with a chance to get into a good college even if we need a loan, with a chance to get a job that isn't in a death trap or a poison pit.
I came to truly realize this when I picked up the latest copy of Rolling Stone as I noticed the President on the cover and glanced through the intro to his interview.
Now, that interview has gained a lot of ink because the President dared to say "even a child know Mitt Romney is a Bullshitter", but that's completely burying the lede. I just read the intro and it nearly brought me to tears and brought in full bright relief just what's at stake in this election.
Ever since Theodore Roosevelt used executive orders to save the Grand Canyon from the zinc-copper lobbies and declared that unsanitary factories were grotesque perversions propagated by Big Money interests, the federal government has aimed to improve the daily lives of average Americans. Woodrow Wilson followed up T.R.'s acts by creating the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission and re-establishing a federal income tax. Then, before the stock market crash in 1929, the GOP Big Three of Harding-Coolidge-Hoover made "business" the business of America, once more allowing profiteers to flourish at the expense of the vulnerable.
Enter Franklin Roosevelt, a polio victim confined to a wheelchair and leg braces. His alphabet soup of New Deal programs – the CCC and TVA and WPA – brought hope to the financially distraught, making them believe that the government was on their side. Determined to end the Great Depression, Roosevelt was a magnificent experimenter. Credit him with Social Security, legislation to protect workers, labor's right to collective bargaining, Wall Street regulation, rural electrification projects, farm-price supports, unemployment compensation and federally guaranteed bank deposits.The America we know and love today sprung directly from the New Deal.
For the next three decades, the vast majority of voters benefited from Roosevelt's revolution. And every president from FDR to Jimmy Carter, regardless of political affiliation, grabbed America by the scruff of the neck and did huge, imaginative things with tax revenues. Think Truman (the Marshall Plan), Eisenhower (the Interstate Highway System), Kennedy (the space program), Johnson (Medicaid and Medicare), Nixon (the EPA) and Carter (the departments of Energy and Education). Whether it was Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy going after the Mob or LBJ laying the groundwork for PBS, citizens took comfort in the knowledge that the executive branch was a caring iron fist with watchdog instincts that got things done.
This is the platform, the undercarriage of the Progressive movement that some Republicans, yet mostly Democrats have built into the scaffolding of the American Dream. Rolling Stone paints President Obama as the guardian of this legacy. The mantle-holder.
But he's not the guardian - We Are.
This is what we're fighting and arguing over. Our Rights, Our Freedom, Our Opportunity, Our Hope.
It doesn't matter if it's Romney or Ryan. Because It's also Todd Akin. It's Michele Bachmann, it's Tommy Thompson, it's George Allen, it's the entire GOP. The entire Republi-Cult.
The don't believe in That America.
They don't believe that Government has a duty - a role - in protecting people from the mendacious abuse of corporate power. They don't believe that Workers have any rights other than to Quit a Shitty Job. They don't believe consumers have any right to expect quality services other than their right not to buy a shitty, dangerous product. They don't want regulators or courts to be able to hold these companies accountable. They don't believe the Government Has Role in protecting the Public from these kinds of Companies.
Mines Collapes. Pipelines Break. Fracking Poisons the Water Table and Causes Earthquakes. Wall Street Fleeces the Nation's Treasury and Housing Market with Credit Default Scams.
They don't care. Tough Shit. Accidents Happen. Oops!
They don't think these things should be prevent, particularly when the people doing this stuff like the Koch Brothers are Funding Them Yeah, Don't Scare or Threaten the "Job Creators", they frighten and bolt so easily. They just keep repeating their mantra - "Privatize Everything, Let the Market - Be the Market". To them having a Speed-Limit and Lines painted on the highways of industry to keep everyone from crashing into each other is "creating uncertainty" and suppressing the "Magic of the Market".
They think your Employer should decide your Healthcare. They they have a "Right" not to pay you fairly. That they have a "Right" not to serve you if you're Black, or Gay, or look Black or Gay. That they have a right not to Employ You if you're Gay, or for that matter Black, or Hispanic, or Female.
The only rights they believe in a Property Rights.Owner Rights. And Gun Rights. Not Human Rights, unless it's the Right of a Zygote-American to cause their mother's injury or death in child birth after she's been raped - by a parent.
The rest of the Amendments to the Constitution are a Blur. A non sequitur. "Equal Protection?" - what's that, it's not originalist, therefore it's doesn't count unless they think they can take advantage of it for themselves.
They call Government acting on behalf of the public, when there is no reasonable way they can protected themselves from greater monied interests - "Un-American". They call it Socialist. They call it Communist. It's neither.
They think, as Clint Eastwood stated in a Pro-Romney ad and as Ann Coulter stated that it will be "The End of America" if insurance companies have to actually honor the claims of their policy holders despite any "pre-existing condition", and if credit card companies have to actually tell you what you're paying for in English, and if Wall Street can't trick people into investing in stocks they know are worthless, while they clean up betting against their own advice like megamillionair flim-flam artists.
Just as our Government is founded on three pillars, Executive, Legislative and Judiciary each balanced to prevent either of the others from becoming individually abusive so is our overall society balanced between the three pillars of Government (Police/Regulators), Corporations (Business/Industry) and Individuals (Workers/Consumers).
It's not that any of these elements is inherently better or worse than any of the others. Each has their benefits, each has their flaws, and each can become dangerous if given too much power without any checks or balances. If Government takes all Power it becomes Totalitarian. If people take all power it becomes Anarchy. If Corporations take all power it becomes an Oligarchy. Any of them can be efficient, any of them can be wasteful. All three have to remain strong to keep the others in check.
We are fighting not to take over, but to prevent the distortion of the balance toward creating A New Age of Corporate Fuedalism. Where Government is dismantled. Where there are no public services, everything is for sale to the highest bidder. Fire Departments, Police and Education completely private and Profitized. You get all the social services you can pay for and if you can't well too bad because clearly as Paul Ryan states - You must have a "character problem".
These guys would shred the social safety net with broad sword, and not even blink while doing it. They don't believe in it.
They want to Repeal the New Deal. They want to Repeal the 20th Century.
Today we stop them. And we keep stopping them until their cowardly cultish horde finally dwindles into electoral irrelevance.
Four Years Ago we started the Change Toward a Better Brighter America, now we have to Continue and Extend that Change and bring us close to realizing the Hope.