Digby for Prez!

a long excerpt from digby's Saturday posts:

And then there is the crippling debt load, a situation which people are conditioned to accept as a normal part of life, necessary to their happiness and a decent, middle class way of life. Which it is. Lucky young people today start out life with a burden that forces them to sell their souls very early, do not pass go, do not take that year long trip to Europe or write that novel or start that small business you and your pals thought up in junior year. Better join the firm and get that debt paid down before you even have a chance to think. Get in there and start getting your training to be a Corporate American. Before long, you'll have forgotten all about that other stuff. Go out and buy yourself something pretty. It'll make you feel better. Put it on the card.

For everybody else, those who work paycheck to paycheck in restaurant jobs or toil in retail or struggle in one of those elusive manufacturing jobs, it's just pure fear of being out of work that keeps you in line. If you are lucky enough to have health insurance you will do almost anything to keep it. If you have a sick family member you are as good as a slave.

I know this is depressing. But being enslaved is depressing and our economic system is slowly but surely turning into a system of involuntary servitude in which people are trapped in jobs they cannot leave or so panicked by the idea of being left holding the huge bag of debt or illness that they are paralyzed with fear. It's not like you can just check out and reinvent yourself, or "go west young man." There is no escape in the 21st century surveillance society. If that's freedom, then we need a new word to describe "the power to determine the course of one's own destiny."

None of this exactly new, of course. The Republicans have always said they wanted to go back to the 50's, and they meant it, at least in terms of insisting on a conformist culture that turns humans into robots.

The cure is quite simple. Make sure this radical right wing experiment is thoroughly and finally discredited in the public's mind and replaced with something very simple --- a normal western democracy that has a decent safety net for all its citizens, a commitment to making the middle class accessible to those on the bottom and a sense of responsibility among those who have thrived and become wealthy. It's not that complicated and it doesn't require a wholesale reworking of our society. It simply requires a return to the ...ahem ... traditional American values that undergirded the New Deal, and a healthy respect for that old truism, "there but for the grace of God go I."

The other side will shriek and hold their breath until they turn blue, but this is the weakest they've been in a quarter century. The time is now to make the argument.

Read it all


The Docile American:
The Nexus of God, Labor, Health Care and the Fear to Strike

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