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Al-Jazeera has interesting opinion pieces
This extract from an opinion piece recently posted on Al-Jazeera by Ari Paul succintly expresses what has gone wrong with social justice in the United States since the 1960's:
"Since the Reagan administration, class politics in the US has waned; the Republican Party benefits from the fact that many lower-income citizens vote against their economic interests because they oppose the social liberalism of the Democratic Party. Many vote against tax increases on the rich, because even if they themselves are not wealthy, there is a tiny chance they one day will be [this could be described as a delusion--CS]. There is also the prevailing mythology that the wealthy class earned their place and should not be punished [taxes need not be raised to 'punishing' levels--CS]."
I am adding Al-Jazeera English to my list of daily news sites that I consult, for several reasons, least of which is their complete coverage of current events in the Middle East. The most important reason is their opinion pieces, which provide points of view that we don't ordinarily get to see from our American media. Now if we could just get Al-Jazeera on TV like the rest of the world.
What follows are my thoughts on the issues raised by the point Ari Paul is making:
Clearly those lower income citizens who vote against their own best economic interests have been deceived by propaganda coming from the Republican Party and super rich conservatives like the Koch brothers. This is why we had George W Bush and Ronald Reagan for eight years apiece, and why our Supreme Court is "packed" with supporters of ultra conservative causes.
It may be in the best interests of those who love social justice to remove all the planks from their platforms that are peripheral to the one issue of economic equality and the "Promotion of the General Welfare" clause in the Preamble to our Constitution. I say this with regret, because social justice implies a certain attitude towards such issues as abortion, women's rights, and gender/sexual preference discrimination. These issues cannot be forgotten, but it may be necessary to hold our tongues when they come up in order to recruit as many poor people as possible to a party that will support their economic interests against the new "robber barons" of our society.
We know that the equal rights of people of color have been firmly established, in theory, within the minds of the general public today. This is in glaring contrast to the fact that the Tea Party has been show by opinion polls to be dominated by white racists who hate Obama because his father is from Kenya (despite their protestations to the contrary.) This indicates to what depths the Republicans have gone to recruit people to their ranks of voters.
It may be time for progressives to become equally cynical: let us abandon all other issues besides the one that is doing the people the most harm: the crippling effect on good government of obscenely low tax rates on the rich. Once this issue, which affects us all, black, white, male, female, heterosexuals, and others alike, has been at least partially addressed, then we can turn our attention to the other tyrannies of conservatism.
Will those concerned with other issues concede to this strategic unification of purpose? I don't know. I just know that we need new ideas and strategies to defeat the robber barons.