While they were still able, certain perspicacious Jews left
Germany in the 1930s because they understood what the ultimate outcome of
rising fascism would mean.
Tyranny in George Bush�s United States today is so close to
consolidation that we progressives -- tomorrow�s certain scapegoats -- might
consider booking one-way flights to safety in foreign lands.
To do so, however, would be a craven abdication of a cliched
but nonetheless profound truth: �Now is the time for all good men (and women)
to come to the aid of their country.�
What happened to Cindy Sheehan at the State of the Union
Address must galvanize us all into impassioned action -- our blood boiling with
the transfused spirit of Jefferson and Paine.
Invited to attend by a member of Congress, Ms. Sheehan was
swatted down like a fly in the �people�s house� as a �protester� for wearing a
T-shirt emblazoned with the number of U.S. troops lost in Iraq.
Dragged off and arrested, her entirely peaceful,
constitutionally protected right to make a compelling point about a
controversial war in which her own son was killed . . . was obscenely seen not
as an act completely consistent with our storied freedom, but as a dangerous
threat against it!
During that address, gangster Bush defiantly declared he
would continue illegal, warrantless, NSA spying on American citizens, as
officials gathered before him gave a standing ovation.
Within the space of a few minutes, as the whole world
watched, people who absurdly imagine themselves exemplary American patriots
thereby displayed utter contempt for both the First and Fourth Amendments of
our hallowed Bill of Rights.
That strange, whirring resonance you heard in the background
was Patrick Henry spinning in his grave!
If we don�t rise up angry at this key juncture in our
jeopardized history to fight like hell to preserve the democratic ideals
embodied in �Give me liberty or give me death� and �Don�t tread on me,� then --
yes -- we should take the next plane or boat to sanctuary abroad.
For we wouldn�t be worthy of being called Americans . . .
I�m convinced, however, that an unprecedented surge of
popular militancy will soon redeem us, and save our beloved nation.
Limousine liberals divorced from curbside reality have
become shamefully defeatist. They don�t see the rebellion brewing in numerous
places in our heartland.
One such manifestation of embittered defiance could come
raging out of Flint, Michigan, like a fierce tornado.
Auto parts maker Delphi is in bankruptcy, a victim of
capitalism�s anarchic market contradictions.
The company is demanding unacceptable concessions from its
workers. Things like an exact halving of employee wages, plus benefit
evisceration on an unholy scale.
Outraged rank-and-filers, with their backs and living
standards against the wall, are remembering that Flint was the site of the
historic Sitdown Strike of 1937, which spurred mass unionization in American
industry, giving this country�s toilers something better than perpetual
Should a Delphi strike occur, carmakers like GM would have
to quickly shut down their operations. Tens of thousands of U.S. workers
would be idled.
It�d make the New York City transit situation of Christmas
past look like a church picnic in comparison.
What�s more -- given seething worker resentment over forced
shutdowns, cutbacks and take-aways all across America -- a wave of solidarity
actions could occur in the auto industry . . . and beyond.
Keep your eyes and ears out for developments, and start
demanding justice for Delphi�s thoroughly shafted workforce!
The Tipping Point
�The worse, the better,� an old acquaintance is fond of
He feels that the more oppressive and exploitative U.S.
capitalist rule becomes -- via the Bush/Alito profits-before-people
agenda -- the more quickly and completely everyday Americans will become
radicalized into self-preserving action.
He sees gays being necessarily forced back into
Women returning to inspiring, irresistible feminism.
Labor replicating the Jimmy Higgins outlook that originally
built our industrial unions.
Ghetto residents joining a new Black Panthers in huge numbers.
Angry �tree huggers� leading popularly-supported, mass
marches demanding an end to global warming.
A gigantic peace movement filling the streets to restrain
Students and seniors both fighting ferociously to keep from
Christians taking back their faith from evangelical
And, wonder of wonders, a Democratic Party that�ll be forced
by external and internal, leftward pressure to emerge as a real battler for
public welfare and the common good, or be supplanted by an upstart, grassroots
formation -- a kind of super coalition that would finally emerge as a
full-blown replacement party -- to give the entire, Enron-corrupt status quo a
one way kick into the trash bin.
Idealistic nonsense, you say? Think about it from this
perspective: There�s probably as intense and widespread basis for mass
discontent in the United States today as there was in either France or Russia
before their great revolutions. And substantially more than existed in the
Thirteen Colonies in another King George�s time.
Isn�t it foolish to imagine that some sort of neutered
American exceptionalism will keep us contentedly gobbling crap forever?
Won�t a worsening debacle in Iraq, illegal government
surveillance, the Abramoff plea bargain, and assorted Republican sleaze
scandals engender pervasive resentment?
Don�t Plamegate�s incendiary outcome, rising gasoline and
heating fuel prices, Medicare�s Part D travesty, administration culpability in
murderous mine disasters and Katrina�s profoundly radicalizing aftermath
clearly portend the same?
Despite what was so outrageously done to her the other
night, Cindy Sheehan is right back in the battle.
She knows where the ultimate power lies, and to whom victory
will finally belong.
Capitulationism has no valid place in our thoughts.
Let�s make 2006 the most electrifying year in American politics and general
society since 1968.
Check to see what actions are slated for your area as part
of the internationally coordinated peace rallies organized for March 18-19.
See you at the massive street protests . . . soon!
Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing for various progressive
outlets since the �60s. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.