Truth and Democracy

Inviting those who live in the right-wing alternate universe to join the rest of us out here in reality.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

William A. Ferguson - poster on Randi Rhodes' Facebook Page

Consider this a guest column. I found this post on the Facebook page of Randi Rhodes and received permission from the author to reprint it in it's entirety. If you're not familiar with Randi, she may be the closest thing the left has to a Rush Limbaugh equivalent, without the daily bullshitting of course. Her show can be listened to live at each day. I met her at a weekly comedy show in NYC in 2004, while she was working with Air America Radio and I was a Press Secretary for a Congressional candidate seeking to ouster the fanatically right wing Rep. Scott Garrett, (R-NJ 5). She promptly booked my employer, Anne Wolfe (D), on her show live from the Democratic National Convention in Boston. We had something in common; she adored comedian Lewis Black and he was my former client from my Stand Up Comedy biz days. I highly recommend finding time to listen to her for the sanity of all my progressive friends (even though she was canned by AAR for getting a little too downright vicious with another of my former employers, Hillary Clinton). Please read this post. I will return to it tomorrow with some personal commentary. It's by a man named William Ferguson:

William A. Ferguson  - Right now your fate has been and always will be decided by a ten percent segment of the population that controls the wealth of the other ninety.

This segment of the population has nothing in common with you. They never have to worry about being laid off, having to choose food over medicine, wonder how they'll make next month's mortgage payment, worry about ever getting seriously ill and never have to be at the mercy of a Congress that can arbitrarily decide to cut off their unemployment insurance because they can't find a job.

When they fall on hard times they can go to the government and get a welfare check in a form of a bailout to the tune of seven hundred billion dollars.

The punchline to this god-awful joke? We created these monsters. Our labor, our sweat and our toil made them what they are today.

You'd think they would be greatful for our efforts that allow them to live their lives of comfort and ease. Sadly, this isn't the case - instead, we the American workers get the shaft every time.

They tell us that times are hard and that we all must sacrifice when they don't cut anything back for themselves.

They force us to take pay cuts and reduced benefits while they reap insane, over-the-top profits.

When they make bad decisions we suffer the consequences in the form of layoffs and outsourcing.

They get paid salaries that are three to five hundred times more than what you make in your lifetime and when they get fired, they get serverance packages in amounts that would feed several third-world nations.

In some cases, it's more lucrative for them to fail than to succeed.

Given the choice between staying in this country to make several hundred million dollars and moving the job overseas to make several hundred million and one dollars, they will opt to move that job overseas just to make that extra dollar.

They gamble with our pensions and savings and when they lose there are few if any consequences for them.

And most insulting of all: they use the wealth we created for them to buy off government legislators that gladly pass laws in their favor.

What really angers me is that most of us believe their lies and have us reciting them verbatim while we wonder how we're going to come up with enough money to get braces for our kids.

It doesn't occur to them or Congress that we wouldn't need to ask Uncle Sam for help if we had decent paying jobs.

Saturday at 7:28pm ยท

(Paul) I'd like to add a few comments to what Mr. Ferguson said:

"Socialism for the rich, free enterprise for the poor" - This is how Gore Vidal once described America's version of capitalism. It could be considered a shorter version of the above comments. There's an anger here which is more universal than many recognize. A feeling that there are powerful forces, which one has no control over, which are shaping our lives against our will. It exists among the Tea Party crowd as well, but there it is misdirected, by right wing propaganda, against the power"less" rather than the power"ful". Once upon a time, during the Great Depression, rioters threw stones as cars carrying wealthy Senators passed by in Washington, DC. Those Senators got the message and passed the New Deal programs, as much to promote their own safety as to help millions of starving Americans. Human history reveals again and again that when too much wealth and power reside in too few households, especially when a majority struggle simply to survive, first anger and ultimately violence are the result.

Yet today's angry Washington protestors are screaming at, and even spitting on, the very legislators who seek to repair the imbalance of power. They are egged on daily by right wing voices who have convinced them that the real enemy is a lower middle-class woman receiving food stamps for her family or an unemployed computer tech who has practically given up trying to find decent work to meet his skills, instead of the CEOs who are gifted with tens of millions in bonuses after moving their jobs to India. If you still cling to the idea that the "mainstream" media is horridly "liberal" or that right wing media outlets offer nothing more than harmless "balance", then how on earth can you account for the current mood of the country? If Republicans should actually regain control of both houses of congress this November, in the wake of disaster after disaster as a result of their previous agenda, will you still be able to say with a straight face that it was not as a result of right wing media's ability to rewrite American history, recast current events, and author a convenient but false narrative of the world around us, with the power to mold the opinions of a majority of Americans? I think not.

Mr. Ferguson's last line is a call to arms, so to speak. If only America could hear it above the cacophony of right wing disinformation. It should be emailed by every single American, to their Senators and Representatives. The right wing would dismiss it as a call for "socialism". It isn't. Government doesn't have to create all of those "decent paying jobs" itself. But there was a time when government did foster the economic environment and the fiscal motivations which kept a majority of our people in an enjoyable and upwardly mobile way of life. Those days are long over, replaced by a supply-side, greed-centric philosophy which has failed to make America stronger.

Thank you Mr. Ferguson, for saying what needed to be said. I just wish I could make all of America hear it for real.

Paul Roth, Jr.