Make no mistake, this is war.
I have even close friends tell me that I can be “too aggressive” at times. especially on social media. I agree I can be aggressive. However, saying too much so is very open to debate.
I have been a Progressive at different levels my entire life. I am 56 years old, so I grew up through Vietnam and the first Cold War. I’ve seen Watergate, Reagan, Honduras, Iran, Iran-Contra, the fall of the Berlin Wall (while I was in Germany), Desert Storm (when I was recalled to active duty), 17 years of Afghanistan, 15 years of Iraq, the assassination of Qaddafi… All along the way I have fought for human rights, against war, against prejudice, against income inequality.
The problem with the Progressive movement is that too many in this movement over the years have been too nice. At least, that is my take on it. Too many are too willing to compromise. Don’t use harsh words, listen to opposing views, take incremental steps. Look where that has gotten us.
The line has moved ever onward in a steady march to the right. More war, more bombs, more debt, more corporate control, fraudulent elections, more censorship, more blatant prejudice and on and on.
Here are just a few examples of how we have moved ever farther to the right in the last few years and why this is most definitely civil war with no civility at all coming from the enemy.
Job market. Right now retail and manufacturing in this country are collapsing. Auto companies, GE and numerous other companies are laying people off by tens of thousands. Retail and small businesses are closing by the thousands. Automation is eliminating tens of thousands of jobs annually. At each step, more jobs are lost. Lost jobs means lost consumers, so there will be fewer jobs in retail or manufacturing in the foreseeable future.
Stock market. The stock market has been propped up by false images brought about by stock repurchases for years. That had to come to an end at some point because it was unsustainable. Even as I write this, the collapse I have predicted for the past decade or more is happening.
Lack of medical care. Millions of Americans have no health insurance. Millions more cannot afford the premiums, deductibles and medications. As fewer and fewer can afford care, more hospitals and clinics close. That means fewer medical jobs available and decreasing pay for the ones that are left. As a nurse, I can state without reserve that burnout and apathy are now common in the medical field. So experienced medical professionals are retiring or just walking away in droves. So the quality of care declines. The end result is that millions suffer acute or chronic illness, too often with long term consequences including death.
Income inequality. Because of the conditions already mentioned and simply the greed of the rich, the poor in this country keep getting poorer and the rich have been getting richer. More wealth is concentrated in the hands of a decreasing number of rich people than any time in world history. Less money in circulation means entire economies, including ours, will soon collapse. This has begun. We see protests and riots globally. Of course, corporate media reports on very little of it because you’re not supposed to know. It may give you ideas they don’t want you to have. When they do report on it, they make the rising millions seem like lawless gangs and criminals.
Poverty. Poverty is widespread and increasing, bringing hunger, malnutrition, homelessness, illness, social anxiety, substance abuse, addiction, depression and rising suicide rates.
Censorship. People rage against Trump for banning one CNN reporter from the White House. He did not ban CNN, he banned one reporter. CNN could have sent another reporter. Yet the same people raging about this have nothing to say about RT being banned. The DNC attacks Trump and yet are suing Wikileaks for releasing the DNC emails. Great! I’m for it. Evidence discover will backfire spectacularly on them! Many people who claim to be in favor of freedom of the press hate Assange and think it’s good that Alex Jones was censored. It’s all okay with them as long as a corporation does it, even when corporations own 95% of the media. FB and Twitter remove Progressive pages while YouTube demonetizes Progressive outlets. Neoliberal zombies don’t care. They keep listening to Rachel Maddow think for them.
Election integrity. Do we really have to go over what happened in the 2016 Democratic primary again? I’m just mentioning it, I won’t recap yet again.
Russiagate. Make no mistake, Russiagate is a march to war. It can go nowhere else. Even though polls have proven absolutely that most Americans do not believe this to be an issue which is of primary concern to them. Yet you hear about it every day. No evidence, no viable motive for Russia ever presented.
Environment. Right now we have over 1300 Superfund sites in this country. Climate change is a reality, no matter what science deniers claim. Over 95% of scientists agree. The only ones that do not have profits to make by denying it.
Collapse of the dollar and other currencies. The value of the dollar is built on thin air and resources we do not own. Systems of payment for oil which we have nothing to do with. The world is slowly turning away from that system, signing the death note for the dollar at a time when the US has more debt than all other countries combined. Hence other countries are selling off US Treasury bonds, hastening our demise. Meanwhile real estate and other investments are falling rapidly around the world.
The fall of capitalism. The UN recently issued a report stating capitalism is unsustainable. It is built on the need for never ending expansion of production requiring the consumption of resources beyond the capacity of not only the global environment but beyond the capacity of the market itself. We are already beyond the tipping point and it is falling in on itself. There is no way forward for capitalism to continue uncontested and humans to survive without a massive population failure.
Ever-increasing warfare. Right this minute, there are more countries engaged in military conflicts than at any time since WWII. The US is spending more on “defense” than all other countries combined. Meanwhile, all sides of our government claim to be opposing one another while all sides are in a non-stop and ever-accelerating push to war with Russia, China, Iran and anyone else who does not bow down to our imperial design. Corporate media takes profits from the war machine and acts as the advertising wing of the same war machine. It would be impossible to name a war or military confrontation the US has engaged in for the past 40 years, perhaps ever, that our media opposed.
This is only a short list. Yet it is illustrative of the challenges we are up against. Incremental change and pragmatism are not viable responses any more. Trying to convince people using nice words is no longer an option. In no way do I endorse violence. There may come a time when violence is the only choice we have as a response to the conditions at hand. This is not that time. However, tolerating those who continue to defend the neoliberal Establishment characters and tactics cannot be done any more with polite language and pedagogy. It’s time to treat adults like adults. It is far beyond time to call BS for BS.
If we are not contradicting the status quo, debunking propaganda ferociously, then we have laid down our arms and surrendered. By default, we are culpable for the continuation of the same problems listed above and all that goes with them.
This is the battle for everything. We do not need to be friends with the enemy. We do not need to recruit spies for the other side. We need comrades in arms. Peaceful, mindful warriors for the cause of bringing down the real enemies. The warmongers, the unrestricted capitalist eating machine, the power mongers, the priests and sycophants of hatred and bigotry, the sexists.
Call me aggressive. Call me not a nice person. Call me an asshole. I’ll even agree with you at times. We cannot keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. That is the definition of stupidity. The one thing you cannot call me is stupid. Try it and I will absolutely call you on it openly.
Choose your side. Because neutrality is not an option.