It’s Time For The Pendulum To Swing Back

Posted in Around The Nation, Commentary at 2:07 pm by wcnews

There were many people who started voting Republican because of Ronald Reagan. A couple of years ago my father, a life-long Democrat, told me that he voted for him in 1980. He said he voted for Reagan because he thought he was a good governor when we lived in California and that he thought, at that time, that Carter needed to go. Yes my father, in 1980 was a “Reagan Democrat”. There’s another part to what my father said, he also said it was the worst vote he ever made. Needless to say he didn’t vote for him in 1984.

The reason I bring that up is because many, many people bought into the Reagan campaign that espoused small government, low tax, Libertarian, fiscal conservative, welfare-hating, “conservatism”. Well it didn’t take long for my father to realize Reagan was just like any other Republican - for the rich and against everyone else. It’s taken most much longer to realize this and many still haven’t.

One of the newly elected Democratic Senator’s Jim Webb, the former Reagan Naval Secretary, understands that this has been a fight by the rich to steal from the poor and middle class the whole time. Don’t believe me? Then read this, Class Struggle. It’s an Op-ed by Jim Webb that was in yesterdays WSJ about what’s happened to the people, working people in the country, over the last 25 years.

The most important-and unfortunately the least debated-issue in politics today is our society’s steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America’s top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes.

Well the Republicans had their chance and they blew it. It’s time for the pendulum to swing back. Check this out to remember where we came from, an excerpt from FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech:

Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.

Jobs for those who can work.

Security for those who need it.

The ending of special privilege for the few.

The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment — The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement. As examples:

We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.

We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.

I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call. A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my budget message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be allowed to get rich out of the program, and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.

If the Congress maintains these principles the voters, putting patriotism ahead pocketbooks, will give you their applause.

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception — the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

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