Archive for August, 2010

This isn’t 19th-century Russia. It feels a whole lot more depressing than that. Just look around. But still, it’s apt: What is to be done? From Paul Krugman:

The lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead.

We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions — essential services that have been provided for generations — are no longer affordable. And it’s true that state and local governments, hit hard by the recession, are cash-strapped. But they wouldn’t be quite as cash-strapped if their politicians were willing to consider at least some tax increases.”

People like Rachel Maddow and Ezra Klein and Digby have succinctly and eloquently highlighted what is happening.

But I don’t think blogging or talking about it is enough. Huge segments of the population don’t think the President was born in our country. People are freaking out about mosques and the 14th Amendment. This is absolutely, utterly, maddeningly bat-shit insane.

Talking amongst ourselves is all well and good, but the fact is that large swathes of our population are not being remotely adequately informed about issues, and yet are organizing and protesting. I think it’s high time we middle-and-upper-class liberals realize we have to get up and walk out of our homes and engage the public and try to peacefully get attention. We need to be protesting the deadlock in the Senate, we need to be out in front of Goldman Sachs and pointing to why so many Americans are suffering. Our technology is disconnecting us from activism. People didn’t get the eight-hour work day (how I miss it) by blogging and chatting up fellow believers at dinner parties. They did it by striking and protesting and risking their lives against a System which considered them worthless. But slowly, slowly, slowly change came.

We are rapidly, rapidly, rapidly moving backward. We had enough problems where we were. How can we peacefully help stop what is happening and regain control of the narrative?


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