Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Good Fight

"I know you might roll your eyes at this but I'm so glad that you exist"

-The Weakerthans - The Reasons

Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Keith Olbermann
Rachel Maddow
Dylan Ratigan
Brian Williams
David Gregory
Anderson Cooper
Anthony Weiner
Dennis Kucinich
Russ Feingold
Matt Stone and Trey Parker
Seth MacFarlane
Lewis Black
Patton Oswalt
Radiohead
Michael Moore
AlterNet
Thrice
System of a Down
Strike Anywhere
Propagandhi
Harvest of Hope
Billy Bragg

In a world where everyone seems to be solely out for themselves, it's comforting to know there are people like them. Out there fighting the good fight and standing up for what's right. Calling out greedy, deceitful scumbags and shining a bright light of comedy or music or just plain outrage on the dark corners of shameless exploitation--the shameful, unspeakable places whose perpetrators bend over backwards to hide from the narrow, lazy, out-of-focus gaze of the general public. A world dominated by a dizzying, dastardly, Russian doll situation where everyone is in someone's pocket who's in someone else's pocket who's in someone else's. The media is bought and paid for and their scripts are written by people like Rupert Murdoch. Politicians are bought and paid for and their scripts are written by people like Karl Rove. They all just recite the lies they're told to incite the fear and loathing that fuel the fires of the few, the fat, the affluent, the influential, the fanciest fascist regime of movers, shakers, and money makers--no, money takers (no, undertakers). The last thing they want is an informed public--such a thing would stand firmly in the path of their agenda. So instead of inform, they coach, they condition, they incite, they excuse, and they pander. They use every trick in the bible. They make martyrs out of greedy corporate fatcats and demons out of oppressed minorities screaming for justice over the white noise of oppression. "Why are you screaming?" they insist, "Why are you so angry? America is free and America is just. If you can't make it here, it's your own damned fault. The scales of justice are level and balanced," they say with a thumb pressed down on one side. Republicans keep talking about a "sense of entitlement" created by government intervention on behalf of the less fortunate. What about the sense of entitlement that less government regulation creates for the rich--or, specifically, for the morally bankrupt who will do anything and exploit anyone to get to the top. Conservative economic policy seems to be built on two naive--or, more likely, dishonest--assertions: 1. The richest 2% got where they are because they worked the hardest, 2. massive corporations and Wall Street investment bankers don't need to be regulated because they would NEVER do anything dishonest and, therefore, government regulation does more harm than good (if it even does any good at all). Both of these are huge fallacies perpetuated by dishonest conservatives of influence (politicians, pundits, and anyone else people listen to) to the naive masses that listen to them and distrust all others--probably because others tell them things they don't want to hear. The truth of the matter is that government intervention and regulation does only good and no harm to everyone but that richest 2%, who still make a very healthy profit and will still be exceedingly rich but are unable to maximize that profit to its fullest, most outrageous extent--which is why it's in their best interest to spread the lies to the rest of us that can help them push back against all the government regulation that would have the audacity to transform them from the super-duper-ultra-mega-obscenely-gratuitously rich to merely the super-duper rich. Medicare. Medicaid. Universal Health Care. Unemployment Insurance. Welfare. Food Stamps. Labor Laws. Repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts. Cap and Trade. Conservatives call it entitlement. We call it social justice.