“I want my country back!” The rally cry of the Tea Kettle folks, a rag tag mix of Astroturfed angry mostly retired white folks who are just to darn upset about the fact that the country they grew up in, isn’t the same as they want it to be. After all, they already got their stuff, their pensions from union wages, medicare and social security and they don’t even realize this came about as a result of liberal progressive government.
They don’t like having a black man as a President, they see communists and socialists, homosexuals, terrorists muslims and minorities taking over and they want to go back to the 1950s before the enlightenment of blindness to peoples race and sexuality started to become the norm of the 60’s and beyond.
They want the fantasy of safety and security they thought that world provided and has been lost to all the rest of us. Well, they are now a mere 29% of the population, they are, the new American minority and they want us all to leave or live under their dogmatic control. They don’t and never have played well with others. That is why we have all changed and grown and they haven’t.
They want no more government; they want all power to the right-wing corporations and fundamentalist religious institutions. They don’t want anyone telling them what to do or how to live their lives, but they are all ready and willing to dictate their beliefs and patriarchal dogma on the rest of us. You know, your body is not your own, it’s theirs because they know better.
Well, let’s see if they really want to go back... back to the days of 95% tax rates to wealthy individuals and highly taxed corporations. Those were the taxes that built our road and highways, the schools they went to and the stable middle class that allowed them to feel so secure. Ah, but they don’t want to remember that. They want to think only that blacks and minorities, women and children knew their place and listened to their oftentimes domineering elders because they new better (even though they were hypocrites then too).
They really don’t want to go back to the days of free public education where you learned more than just reading and math, where arts, crafts, shop, sports, music and civics were creating balanced lives and aware individuals who learned how to think... they want tests and strict corporal punishment rather than caring and compassion. They want private schools, vouchers, toll roads and no taxes for corporations who abuse the public and environment... they don’t want laws that protect people, they want judges only to protect the powerful. What a mess!
Okay, we Progressives are not pushovers like President Obama who wants to start from the place he thinks he’ll end up as a means of negotiating... we will negotiate with you to go back to the 50s if to begin, you are willing to work at the minimum wage of $1.25 an hour and we raise taxes to the wealthiest Americans and corporations to match that time gone by. We Progressives know that will revitalize America because the rich and businesses will take the money they would have as profits to buy up smaller companies would instead reinvest that money into their businesses, creating jobs and wealth for all. And guess what, that will create more people paying more taxes to rebuild our roads, create green jobs and educate our young people for a more positive future, and most importantly, create good customers to help grow small and large businesses which pay taxes and stabilizes our economy and government.
You remember, that was what really happened back in those days and that is why you felt so secure. Sure, you liked having the minorities in their places, but that isn’t coming back. Sorry. Not on the table. Women in the kitchen, nope, not gonna happen unless they want to. The world has changed, time for you folks to grow up and get a life.
Now, if you can’t face the truth of living in the present and come to the table rather than be the party of no and hate, the rest of us are going to move forward and do it without you.
We have no other choice.
Wayne Williams is a board member of VDU and Secretary/Treasurer of the California Clean Money Action Fund, the 501c(4) who worked to pass the California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot.
Reprinted with permission from the Valley Democrats United newsletter, Margie Murray, Editor, where the article first appeared.