Monday, December 16, 2013

What does "Far Left" mean?

It always befuddles me as to the why the media pundits on cable TV news shows like Fox and CNN likes to refer to some members in the Democratic Party as "far left". Even Senator Bernie Sanders (who refers to himself as a Socialist) sounds more like FDR than Joseph Stalin. And he's nothing at all like a Communist either (say, Chairman Mao).

So when I hear media pundits say "far left" (not even "left", but "far left"), I wonder if they've ever visited the Progressive Caucus website, or ever read any of their budget proposals. I didn't see anything that looked in the least bit as "radical" in any way --- especially when compared to the "no government" or "smaller government" mantra of the anti-government Tea Party (who are really more like anarchists than anything else) and could also be considered much farther to the right than the Nationalist Party of the 1930's --- who had "very big government".

So what does "far left" really mean? Are most of us supposed to be evil Satanists (or Atheists) now, just because we want more income equality (among other things)? Because we (progressives) are more pro-worker and less pro-multinational corporations? Because we believe in causes that benefit "real" people, and not legal entities (such as the corporate media like Fox and CNN)?

Yes, real people work for corporations, but the people who run those corporations aren't necessarily working to benefit their employees, but only themselves. Progressives advocate for the employees of these corporations, whereas, too many "moderate" Democrats (and most Republicans) advocate for the employees' bosses.

It still perplexes me as to why so many in the voting population (especially those of the 95% that earn less than the Social Security tax cap of $113,700 a year), might be less concerned with their own financial well-being and not vote in their own best interests, and would rather vote for someone who wants to ban abortions or make gay marriages illegal.

Why should someone give a damn as to whether or not two men got married, or what they do in the privacy of their own homes, so long as they weren't engaged in these "immoral" activities on the schoolyard's playground?

Or abortions: If someone's moral and/or religious beliefs prevents THEM (or their partner) from having an abortion (or using a condom), why would they vote for someone to outlaw the practice if it also means subjecting themselves to low wages without any means of supporting themselves when they get too old or sick to work any longer? Even if abortions were illegal, women will still get pregnant, and then unwanted pregnancies will be dealt with like they were in "the good old days" --- in back allies with clothes hangers, or in doctor's office South of the border (remember, that could be your daughter).

While I can certainly understand the more conservative values of those that live in small towns all across our nation in the more rural areas of our country, as opposed to the larger metropolitan areas and major urban centers (where "tolerance" and diversity" tends to be much more prevalent due to much larger population bases); but even if gay marriages and abortions were legal all across the land, people in those small towns would still tend be more reluctant to "come out" gay, and they would still be much more "hush-hush" and discrete when getting an abortion (and worry about what the neighbors might say) --- both for fear of social rejection and/or reprisals. (My great-grandfather was a stowaway from Germany and immigrated to a small town in the South to be farmer, just after the end of the Civil War. My father was raised on a farm in that small town before joining the military.)

On gun background checks. Who cares? So long as you're not mentally disturbed and/or have a history of violence, nobody is trying to take away your hunting rifles or pistols (or your fishing poles). Besides, the military and SWAT teams will always be able to outgun you, no matter how many firearms you own --- even if they DID try to take away your guns --- whether you lived in the big city or in a remote cabin somewhere in the woods.

The Republicans have been very successful in using these "wedge issues" to divide and conquer the workers so that they could successfully protect the interests of their bosses (those who rake in millions every year while paying you minimum wages). And lately, besides just using the usual wedge issues, the GOP has also resorted to using "generational warfare" to pit the young against the old (such as on the issue of Social Security, even though we all get old).

If more people ceded their moral high ground (and practiced what they preached), instead of trying to force their values onto others, they would still be able to live their lives as they so choose --- while others could also have the freedoms to live out their lives as they so pleased. Conflicting moral issues don't necessarily have to conflict with social and public values. Nobody is advocating for rape, bestiality, murder, incest, pedophilia and robbery.

Progressives advocate for "progress", and as humans and civilizations, we have to always move forward, not backwards. Conservatives want to "conserve" old ideas that didn't work in the past, even if those ideas have become antiquated, out-of-date and old fashion. (Listening to an old Beatle album and reminiscing about an old girlfriend is about as conservative as I want to be. Nostalgia is one thing, but rejecting modern science is quite another.) I sometimes wonder how many conservatives prefer that slavery was still legal, as were sweatshops and child labor --- and a host of other things that demoralized people and caused human suffering.

How far back in time do the conservatives want to go? The 1950s, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was our President? What about the Salem witch burnings? What about Manifest Destiny? Or the Japanese intern camps during World War II? Or when the Pilgrims first landed? I ask the conservatives --- what time in American history do you want to conserve? To the 1920's when income inequality was as high as it is today? Before civil rights; before Medicare and Social Security; before the Civil War? (Because time machines haven't been invented yet).

Why would anyone vote for any Republican politician when history shows us that for decades the GOP has financially oppressed Republican voters just as much as Democratic voters, no matter what color they are --- because money is color-blind --- and the GOP advocates for those that already controls the money supply, not for those want a more fair and equitable distribution (with hard work) of our nation's resources.

The defining issue of our time isn't a war of black vs. white, gay vs. straight, young vs. old, employed vs. jobless, or conservative vs. liberal --- it's about all of us --- the working-class (the 95% earning less than $113,700 a year) vs. the ruling class (the top 0.01%).

If I want to be paid a fair and living wage, while also taxing multi-billionaires earning capital gains with their stocks at the same tax rate as myself earning regular wages with my labor (despite whatever the abortion, gay rights and guns laws might be) --- then if that makes me a "far left loon", then I confess --- I'm guilty as charged.


  1. Conned by Republicans as Democrats cede --- Republicans never worry about deficits if they are attributed to tax cuts or corporate welfare. Deficits only matter when related to the social safety net (Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.)

  2. After over a decade, Republican Rep. Jo Bonner resigned from Alabama's Mobile-area Congressional seat to take a job with the University of Alabama. The vacant seat will be filled by a lawyer, Republican Bradley Byrne.

    Evidently, the people in Alabama's 1st Congressional District didn't want to correct income inequality, save Social Security, protect worker's rights, tax the rich their fair share, protect women's rights or earn a better wage --- because they didn't vote for the Democrat, Burton LeFlore.

    The people in Mobile Alabama must have been more concerned that their neighbor might have an abortion, or that some man on the other side of town might be able to legally marry. The people in Mobile Alabama must have been much LESS concerned about feeding their families or having a means of supporting themselves when they became too old or sick to work.

    The South shall rise again...or not.