Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
Since I wrote Disgusted? It’s time to organize a year ago, our state’s swirl down the drain has accelerated, and the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives is working hard for military-industrial complex– while ignoring the needs of the American people.
Liberals, who were only disgusted last year, are either: 1) angry about the destruction of our country by greedy corporatists and ready to take to the streets to protest capitalist dictators or 2) resigned to the destruction of our country and preparing for total economic collapse by buying some chickens, planting a garden, installing rainwater harvesting and solar panels, and living “off the grid”.
Before you buy those chickens, try organizing. Trust me, right-wing Tea Partiers are not the only people who are fed up with business-as-usual government in Washington, DC and Phoenix.
On Monday, February 21, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) will hold an organizing meeting in Tucson.
Political commentator Jim Hightower and Congressman Raul Grijalva will be the guest speakers at the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Tucson PDA chapter. If you listen to KXCI, you have heard Hightower’s sometimes-caustic but always poignant political commentaries.
From his website, here’s a taste of Hightower’s tell-it-like-it-is style.
Corporate America’s idea of Patriotism
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
More than an old adage, that’s a crucial operating principle of presidential leadership. Indeed, it’s a mark of political character, defining whether a president will stand up for the many, or be pushed around by the arrogant few.
In the past, when over-privileged corporate barons selfishly feathered their already-luxurious nests at the expense of America’s national interests, some U.S. Presidents had the moxie to get in their royal faces. Using what Theodore Roosevelt called the “bully pulpit” of the presidency, those White House champions of the common good confronted the greed of the corporate elite, rallying the larger public to bring them down to earth.
Barack Obama does not seem to have such presidential fortitude. Corporate America has been given a wealth of tax breaks, regulatory favors, and absurd levels of subsidies in recent years, amassing a stash of cash that now tops $2 trillion. But they adamantly refuse to invest that in American jobs and communities. Yet, in a recent meeting with these arrogant powers, Obama showed neither anger nor strength. Rather, he essentially begged them to consider “what you can do for America.” Pretty please. With sugar on it. “I want to encourage you to get in the game” of job creation, he pleaded.
Encourage? Why not demand?
And what did he buy with this genteel appeal to corporate patriotism? He got the corporate thumb jabbed in his eye. “Bottom line,” barked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s chief lobbyist after Obama’s plea, “The most patriotic thing a company can do is to ensure it is in business.”
What a perfect expression of today’s prevailing corporate ethic. It’s a perverse twist on John Kennedy’s appeal: Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what you can do for yourself. Why should any President want any part of that?
What: Organizing meeting for Progressive Democrats of America
When: Monday, February 21, 7:00pm (Registration begins 6:30)
Where: Tucson YWCA, 525 N. Bonita (just south of St. Mary’s Road, half mile west of I-10)
Suggested Donation: $5 at the door.