Tag Archives: FDR

Lies Liberal Tell, Part 6

Lies Liberals Tell, Part 6

Copyright Joseph Urban 2017,2018,2019

Lie # 6. Inevitability of Progress.

One of the lies liberals tell themselves is that we always move forward toward a better, more tolerant society. Two steps forward, one step backward. But always moving forward in the end.

Yet, the facts speak otherwise. For example, average worker incomes, adjusted for inflation, have  barely budged since the 1960s. And for lower wage workers the increases have sometimes not kept pace with inflation. In the 1970s tuition costs were approximately 7% of the median male income. By 2015 the tuition costs were 25% of the median male income.

What does this mean? A higher education is the path for the working poor to a better life. Always has been. That is how we train teachers, scientists, engineers, etc. As tuition rises, relative to income, it does two things. First, it prevents many children of the working poor to achieve a higher  education and therefore better paying careers. Second, for those who do borrow (the only way to finance the education) they start their adult life burdened with massive debt. The opposite of progress.

Take the healthcare system. Since the time of FDR we have known we need some permanent health care solution for everyone. FDR could not get it done, though he tried. Along came Medicare and Medicaid. Slow progress that guaranteed the poorest of the poor and the elderly would have access to basic care. But not the younger working poor. They were left out. Until the ACA. Which is now under attack and being cut slowly but surely. The opposite of progress.

We can look at the end of the EPA, the Department of Education, the National Parks, the Consumer Protection Agency. All being gutted . All under the control of people who want to turn back the clock on basic human progress.  Major steps backward.

We see the same thing with the unrelenting attacks on women’s basic health services. The Supreme Court rules that a company (Hobby Lobby) can deny basic coverage to their employees if that coverage somehow does not fit the beliefs of the owners of the company. The mentality that the business owner owns not only your labor, but your health care. The Supreme Court majority, which calls itself “strict constructionists” finds in the Constitution the right of a corporation to have “religious beliefs”. And to impose those beliefs on its workers. Of course, there is not a single mention of the term “corporation” in the Constitution.  The Bill of Rights, envisioned to protect individual citizens from the government, is turned on its head and used to deprive citizens of rights.

We see that new voter suppression techniques are being used to deny some people the franchise. In 2019 the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives proposed their first bill, HR 1. That bill would guarantee people the right to vote and provide resources for  that purpose. The conservative in charge of the Senate refused to bring it to a vote . He called it a “power grab” by the Democrats. The American people voting, according to the far right, is a liberal “power grab”. Progress is a power grab. Democracy is a “power grab”.

Liberals need to learn that progress is not automatic or inevitable. The reactionary forces are strong and currently hold power. And they are stripping the safeguards that took so long to develop. In the end, they want to privatize and deregulate everything.

Progress is not inevitable. 

 

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Constitution, Democrat, GOP, government, Politics, Religion, Society, Supreme Court, United States

Lies Liberals Tell, Part 3

Lies Liberal Tell, Part 3 of 7

Copyright 2017,2018,2019 Joseph Urban

Lie # 3:  These People Mean Well

Liberals tend to be trusting. No doubt. If you want to cheat someone, find a liberal. So, even when it comes to political opponents liberals tend to think the best of people. We tend to believe that people who have honest disagreements with us nevertheless have the best interests of the nation at heart.

We are wrong. It is a liberal lie we tell ourselves. And because of that lie we are not tough enough in dealing with people who are just plain nasty. The far right understands this weakness much better than we do. Because we think the best of people we accept the nastiness and political criminal class as just folks who have  a different worldview but have essentially the same goals. A better society. We are wrong.

Take a look at our healthcare system. When FDR was president he tried to institute a national health care system that would help all Americans achieve some level  of insurance. He failed. As did Bill Clinton. It was only in the 21st century that the US finally came close to a system that provided some coverage for almost all Americans.

This happened only because for a brief 2 year period the Democrats, liberals and moderate, held slim majorities in Congress and were able to pass a complex Affordable Care Act. Despite being based on the Republican plan in Massachusetts developed by Mitt Romney and despite including a number of GOP ideas, some from the Heritage Foundation, not a single member of the Republican, right wing party voted to pass this law.

The law was not a government “takeover” of healthcare. It was simply an extension of Medicare to poor working families and a clearinghouse in which citizens could compare private health insurance plans in their states. And it provided help for those who, in the past, could not afford decent health insurance. Over 20,000,000 Americans benefited.

What has been the right wing response to this plan. Vote after vote after vote to repeal it. With nothing in place to help the 20,000,000 who would lose insurance for their families. No concern for people with pre-existing conditions who could not get insurance in the past. No concern for the working poor who, because of the conservative Republican Congress refusals to tie minimum wage increases to inflation, are not able to afford basic medical care. The right wing response is not a solution to any problem, it is simply nasty.

Then we have the GOP led state governments. Even though the federal government agreed to pick up the tab for the working poor in states like Georgia and Mississippi so the working poor could get on Medicaid, the state governments refused. They intentionally denied health care to their own citizens. Health care that they could have gotten with no increase in state budgets. Just plain nasty.

Seventeen states, all of them with GOP governors, rejected expanding health care for their own working poor.  Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. In three more states the governor actually wanted to expand Medicaid, but the GOP controlled legislatures rejected their own governor. Those states would be North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. And one state, Louisiana, implemented the plan over the objection of the GOP governor, Bobby Jindal.

So, millions of the working poor and their families still do not have adequate health insurance for no other reason than the governors and legislatures of those states did not like Mr Obama. Nastiness, plain and simple. These are not people on welfare. People gaming the system. These are people working for wages so low they cannot provide their children and families with basic health insurance.

We can look at other areas like raising the minimum wage and see the same mentality.

Liberals have to stop accepting the lie that “these people mean well”. They don’t . These right wing leaders of state governments do not mean well. The majority leader of the Senate does not “mean well”. The so-called “Freedom Caucus” does not “mean well”. They systematically and knowingly keep their own citizens from acquiring basic medical coverage. They reject minimum wage proposals that would give hard working citizens a few more bucks in their pocket. They cut social service funding to those who need birth control or medicine or decent housing or better schools..

The liberal lie that “these people mean well” is naive. We attribute to these folks a level of decency that they have never exhibited. We simply cannot make ourselves believe that these government “leaders” at the state and national level are intentionally nasty. They are . Their actions speak for their intentions.  No matter how they try to rationalize their actions it is clear. They do not care about their fellow citizens. At least not the ones who we identify as the working poor.

It is time for liberals to accept the fact. Many of our fellow citizens are just plain nasty. They do NOT mean well. They do not see themselves as constitutionally responsible for the “common welfare”. They control and use government to feather their own nests and provide for their own economic well being. The working poor be damned.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Constitution, government, neoconservatives, Politics, Republicans, Society, United States

YIKES! It’s an Emergency

President Trump had an hour long speech explaining why he was calling for a national emergency on the US -Mexico border. While it did not have any new data or information, it was a stunner. He talked about …well… everything except the border.

Now some of the leftist socialist communists criticized his speech. Just because he talked about China. How great the economy is. How he singlehandedly ended the Korea nuke threat. How popular he is. How he will win the election in 2020. How so many women are tied up and gagged and brought over the border where there is no wall.  How the people love him. How he listens to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. How, now that he has declared a national emergency he will be going to play golf at Mar-A-Lago.

The leftist communists criticized him because he did not really make a case for the declaration and instead talked about other stuff.

So, I did some research into other national emergencies and how the presidents in the past handled them. I discovered that Mr Trump is indeed no different from other presidents in this regard. I give you two examples.

Abe Lincoln, April 19, 1861.

“My fellow Americans. As you know, I am the tallest president ever. Taller than Washington. So far my administration has been fantastic. The best. Just last week Momma has bought new curtains for the White House. Nice satin ones.

I took a long trip to get here. All the way from Illinois. I call it “Illinoise” because of all the talk back home. Good joke. Nice train ride. Me and Momma had a great train ride. I got to sit with the engineer and make that horn thing sound. Tooot..Tooot. I can’t do it as good as Tab. Well.

Anyhoo. Here’s the deal. A bunch of rebels have attacked Fort Sumter so I am signing a national emergency thingy and blockading the ports of the rebel states. Just sayin.

Do you like my new hat. It makes me look even taller, don’t you think? I wanted a red one but Mamma said I should go black. So I did. I tend to do what the little lady wants. Ha ha ha. Now I am off to Virginia to play some bowls on the new bowling green we just built.”

Then there was the FDR national emergency of December , 1941. I found this transcript in the archives.

FDR

“My fellow Americans. As you know, I won the last election in a landslide. God the people do love me. Did you all see the inaugural parade. Fantastic. Lots of bands. Now some people say I am in a wheelchair.

Fake news.I can stand up as well as any man. In fact, when I stand I am the tallest president ever. Taller than Lincoln. By far. Notice how I got us out of the Great Depression? Anybody. And now you all have Social Security. Best system ever.

I do not have a girlfriend. That is a lie. Fake news.

By the way. Yesterday the Japanese made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. A day that will live in infamy. So, we need to declare war on the Japanese and the Germans.

Have any of you even seen the new Bentley that I ride in? I mean, talk about a smooth ride. Wow. I am going to take a few days off for a nice ride in the beautiful New Jersey countryside. Beautiful New Jersey, is that an  oxymoron or what? See you all later.”

So, those who minimize the national emergency speech of President Trump. Take that. A little history lesson for the communists who criticize our man.

5 Comments

Filed under civil war, government, immigrants, Politics, POTUS, president, Republicans, Secession, Society, Trump, United States

The New Old GOP

Just for fun I decided to check out the NY Times archives to see what was happening on the day I was born . The archives, called the “Times Machine” is supposed to have every newspaper ever published by the Times. Since I have a digital subscription to the NYT , I get it for free. Not sure if it is available to all.

I found the paper from my date of birth in 1950 and perused the stories. The USA had just recognized the Bao Dai government of Viet Nam while the Soviet Union was recognizing Ho Chi Minh. I guess we know how that played out.

J. Edgar Hoover, that good old cross dressing head of the FBI was asking Congress more more money for more agents to fight the 54,000 “card carrying” communists and millions of “fellow travelers”. He was received with open arms. We know how that played out.

Labor disputes in the coal industry. A strike on hold in the telephone industry.  (Remember when you simply had a black phone and didn’t need a law or economics degree to figure out the contracts?). The courts ruled that the NY City transit authority would  have to give back pay to workers, upon which the transit authority said they would have to raise fares.

Stuck deep in the paper, on page 18, above the half page Ballantine beer ad and next to the new Magnavox 16″ TV offer (a whopping $299.50 , a heck of a lot of money in those days when the average family income was $3,300) was an article titled:

RETREAT ON RIGHTS CHARGED TO GOP, Democratic Congress Leaders Assail 1950 Statement of Party Principles.

To summarize, the article told how the Dems had forced a civil rights agenda into their platform over the opposition of the Dixiecrats. (In a few years it would be the Southern Dems who would walk out of the Democratic party and form their own Dixiecrat Party and then subsequently join the GOP years later). This article related how the GOP, along with the southern Dems, were blocking a vote on  the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). This commission had been created by Executive Order 8802 by FDR and and supported by Truman.It simply stated that there can be no  discrimination in hiring in the defense industry or government based on race, color, creed or national origin. This order was expanded by Truman to include the military by Executive Order 9981.

In combination with the southern Dems the GOP in the Senate was allowing a filibuster so the law could never come up for a vote. They refused to support the north Dems in invoking cloture and shutting down the southern filibuster. Some suggested the GOP represented “liberty against socialism” although a number of northern GOPers supported civil rights  and were not happy about the position of the leadership. After all, the GOP platform SUPPORTED civil rights.

What stuck me the most, however , about this article on the day I was born were the words of Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. He stated that the Republican position was a retreat from their own party platform which supported civil  rights.

The article further states:

“The Senator declared that the Republican statement used “the kind of language that the Dixiecrats would have accepted for the 1948 Democratic plank”

“This may be the FIRST STEP in the LEGAL LOVE-MAKING between Senate Republicans and southern Democrats on the civil rights issue”, he added. “They have engaged in illicit love, as indicated in voting, for  about a year-and-a quarter”. (Capitals mine)

So, the attempt to make fair labor practices the  permanent law of the land failed in 1950 due to the combined efforts of Dixiecrats and the GOP leadership.

Perhaps the “new” GOP of is not so “new” after all. Was this the “first step” in moving the GOP and southern Dems closer together? The basis for the “Southern Strategy” of Nixon? The beginning of the conscious attempt by the GOP to attract racists to the party rather than join in the fight against racism? Was Humphrey correct in his analysis?

To review. Two Democratic presidents use executive orders to expand rights for certain categories of Americans. The GOP fights them every step of the way and refuses to even consider legislation granting rights. Some GOPers claim it is a battle between “Liberty versus socialism”.

Sound familiar?

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_8802

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_9981

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Employment_Practice_Committee

http://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1950/02/08/issue.html

1 Comment

Filed under african-american, blacks, Congress, Democrat, GOP, government, liberals, neoconservatives, NYC, Politics, president, Republicans, Senate, socialism, workers