Thursday, October 12, 2006


I've grown to respect CNN's Lou Dobbs, and I enjoy his weekly commentaries. This week's writing should be required reading for every working class American...Democrat, Republican, or Independent. It lashes out at both major political parties for basically screwing the middle class over time, thanks to the culture of big money lobbyists who throw campaign contributions and influence while in many cases actually writing the laws and regulations.

Dobbs makes a great point here:

But as I discuss in my new book, "War on the Middle Class," what if we all resolved that we would not permit either the Republicans or Democrats to waste their time and ours with wedge issues? Both parties love to excite their bases by focusing on wedge issues like gay marriage, the pledge of allegiance, school prayer, judicial appointments, gun control, stem cell research and welfare reform.

Each of these wedge issues is important in varying degrees to large numbers of us, but none of them rises to the level of urgency or the requirement of immediate change in public policy.

These issues are raised by both political parties to distract and divert public attention from the profound issues -- like educating our youth, economic inequality and the war against radical Islamic terrorists -- that affect our daily lives and the American way of life. Imagine the consternation in Washington if both parties had to contend with a national electorate whose political affiliation had dramatically changed within a matter of weeks or months.

I'm certainly not suggesting --- as Dobbs seems to imply --- that working class Americans switch their political affiliations en masse to NPA (No Party Affiliation). But we do have a right and responsibility to raise our voices en masse and demand that our representatives at all levels act with the best interest of the working class majority at the forefront of their conscience and, if not, act appropriately in the voting booth.

As Dobbs writes:

Our middle class has suffered in silence for far too long, and it cannot afford to suffer or be silent much longer. Hardworking Americans have not spoken out about their increasingly marginalized role in this society, and as a consequence they've all but lost their voice.

Without that strong, clear and vibrant voice, all the major decisions about America and our future will be made by the elites of government, big business and the dominant special interests. Those elites treasure your silence, as it enables them to claim America's future for their own.

I sincerely hope that we will find the resolve to face these challenges to our way of life, and we do so soon. George Bernard Shaw said, "It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid."

I'm stupid enough to be absolutely sincere in the hope that middle-class America will awake soon and take action.


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