Anyone who blindly believes that there isn't a class war is fooling themselves. The growing ill-will toward the poor, underpaid and uneducated is rapidly building just as much as the distrust and anger at the Bernard Madoffs of the world.
War against the mounting poor and/or unemployed plays out in the grocery store checkout line, as a wealthy conservative mocks a hungry and needy family spending their meager food stamp allotment. It belches up in hateful neo-conservative GOP remarks of "too many taxes," who needs schools, roads and "entitlement" programs; or when Limbaugh barks socialism when what he really is is anti-middle-class.
And this vicious distaste for the lower-class is bubbling through the cracks now in local newspapers, like this letter published in the March 13th issue of The Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) recently ever-so-slightly gave us a glimpse of how his party really views corporate bailouts. In public, in front of "mad as hell constituents," Republicans fight the good fight; they agree with angry Americans; and they're "appalled" by high-and-mighty executive bonuses, taxpayer-funded excursions and more spending. But, they smilingly assure us, bank bailouts are needed to shore-up lending; not just to line fat-cat wallets.
But now as President Barack Obama attempts to tame wild executive compensation, those same Republicans are saying woooaah... now hold on a minute!
My limited experience with animals has taught me one thing: scare one and you scare them all. Spook one horse and the others run; cause one dog to bark and you'll rouse the whole pack. In many ways, the government knows that people hold this "pack mentality" of fear too. If the powers-that-be are trying not to spook us, the economic crisis could be much worse than we realize.
Job losses and unemployment are mounting. Every day we hear about more job cuts. In 2008 alone 2 million jobs were shed in the United States. That's incredible considering only a decade earlier we enjoyed one of the biggest economic expansions in history! More startling, the market crashed in 2008, so as the economy worsens that number could, could double this year.
The numbers don't tell the whole story either. Government unemployment figures ignore "for-cash" jobs, independent contractors, "illegal" migrant workers or black-market income such as illegal drug activity. These transactions effect our economy too.
We've all heard the anti-union argument before: automakers in right-to-work states are still thriving during tough economic times because they are union free. Congressional Republicans laid heavy on this argument as Democrats tried to save thousands of auto-worker jobs last year. But that old argument is losing ground as we learn today that Toyota is considering lay offs in the United States.
Toyota, though union-free, still isn't immune from job cuts during tough economic times. But that's a slap-in-the-face to lawmakers like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Sen. John Boehner (R-Oh) who support the idea that union-free is better. They claim companies like Toyota, not restricted by union wages and benefits, can thrive and grow when unionized corporations cannot. Yet, Toyota (though not as worse) is flopping around like unionized GM and Chrysler -- especially in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
By now, most have seen the Redstate.com "Army" and their strike force shield -- vowing to fight for torture, domestic spying, trickle down economics, fruitless wars, hate, ill-will and anything else grotesquely far-right.
The first time I saw it, I got a chuckle! But then I started thinking about America's fight for change, for social and economic equality, for better health and better pay, for liberty from greed and excess. And I realized, the Redstate shield stands for the complete opposite of all those things. It represents winner-take-all, old ideas, failed policies and fear and greed. It symbolizes everything the majority of Americans said goodbye to on January 20th, 2009.
So with that in mind I created an opposing shield, the Yang to Redstate's Yin. Colored in blue, the hand of Liberty carries her torch in the upper left-hand portion of the shield; with the words "Unity and Equality" down below. At the bottom-right, a sword demonstrates our willingness and ability to continue our organized fight for that unity and equality -- our fight against old failed ideas.