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Distraction.  We all  know, intellectually at least, how the corporate media uses the endless circus of sensationalism to distract “low-information voters”, the ignorant, and the uneducated from noticing how their lives and livelihoods are systematically plundered by the moneyed classes.  But yet for the last three days, while negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” have quietly continued in Washington, this bastion of progressive politics has indulged in a collective shouting match about what?  About yet another sensational batch-murder by a solitary social misfit.  Distraction.  Look at all the blood!

First, I expect to be accused of cold-heartedness and support for the murder of small children.  So I’ll admit the charges right up front.  I don’t really like small children, and I’ve been inclined to murder a few myself at times although I’ve never given into the impulse.  And as a borderline autistic spectrum personality with severe social phobias, I have a knack for emotionally “shutting down” when the stress gets too intense.  It can make me a cold-hearted bitch in a crisis, although I can also break into tears over a dying mouse or a fish gasping its last on the dock.  None of which has any bearing on what I’m trying to say:  look at yourselves.  Look at the political situation.  Ask yourselves if this fortuitous opportunity to discuss the burning issue of gun control in America hasn’t suddenly pushed serious conversation over issues which will result in far more death and heartbreak in the long run to the sidelines.

This week, Our Fearless Leaders In Washington are busy cobbling together a compromise which may fix a nonexistent crisis (The Deficit) by destroying the economic security of 50% of our population.  Cuts to pensions and health care for the elderly, health care for the poor, basic food support, road repairs, and education are all on the table.  The Republicans have begun to dangle every possible inducement on President Obama’s wishlist before his eyes on the condition that he allow them to begin dismantling the essential protections of our social safety net.  At the same time, important restraints to our overblown and vastly overspent military/security apparatus are all but certain to be eliminated.

This is a time when the progressive community needs to remain focused and active on the essentials. Yes, cold little bodies lying on the ground in Connecticut are heartbreaking.  But they are a symptom, not a cause.  In a nation where the rich daily grow progressively richer, the poor become progressively poorer, and the young are kicked to the rear of an increasingly crowded, dirty, and out-of-control bus, breakdowns are going to happen.  Most of them don’t make the headlines.  Most of them only kill the immediate victims.  And yes, the damage could be limited by better gun control.  The question is, do you put a band-aid on the stubbed toe, or a tourniquet on the spurting artery?

It’s time to get priorities straight.  The dead are dead.  When you’re in the middle of a firefight, you don’t stop to bury them.  First you have to win the battle.  Later, if you’re tough and lucky and do your job, there’ll be time for tears.  And if there isn’t, chances are that you’ll be dead yourself.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    MRobDC
  •  I would never resort (5+ / 0-)

    to the kind of name-calling that you suggest.

    I would, however, recommend that you delete this Diary and re-think your approach.

    I suspect this will not end well otherwise.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:28:19 AM PST

    •  Oh yeah .... Fellow Kossacks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRobDC

      Please remember that when the Tip Jar disappears, that my comment is not the place for your morning pastry!

      Thanks :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:29:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, it's possible. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm also quite serious and rather concerned.  We have a major budget issue going on.  It's likely to go much worse for our interests (and the interests of the people of this country) if we can't get our minds off of Connecticut and onto political survival.

      Veering off onto the tangent of gun-control is the wrong issue at the wrong time.  It actually bolsters the appeal of Republicans to their base and keeps working-class and rural citizens who otherwise have serious concerns about their economic policies on-board.  Meanwhile, we ALL bleed, as the vampire squids continue to suck us dry.

      This community has indulged in a paroxysm of grief for the last couple of days.  The emotion is vastly disproportionate to the stimulus, which again suggests emotional displacement of personal grief and passion due to the heavy pressure almost everyone is under after four years of austerity and crisis.  We need to channel those emotions to productive work on the real problems that CAUSE problems like this, not fritter away our energies on displacement activities.

      •  The tangent of gun control? (0+ / 0-)

        20 children are dead. How many more people have to die before its the right time to talk about gun control? Every fucking person in this country should be looking at Connecticut right now and demanding that changes be made. Immediately. It doesn't matter two fucks what your taxes are if you get mowed down by a nutjob with a AK.

        •  Death by medical neglect (0+ / 0-)

          and insurance fraud remains much more common and usually more lengthy and painful than death by mass-murder.  So does death by despair/suicide, which is the origin of at least half these highly-publicized bloodbaths.  Any human will break under sufficient pressure.  You are trying to keep the fragments of broken men from harming others, a noble purpose.  I want to turn the pressure-cooker off, and yes, I'll ignore the flying fragments for a while in pursuit of that goal.  I don't swat at mosquitoes when I'm painting roof-trim on top of a thirty-foot ladder.

  •  If progressives don't pounce (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR

    especially after Obama's speech last night, it will be the biggest wasted opportunity and failure of the progressive movement WRT gun-control.  "The best is often the enemy of the good."

  •  I trust that the President as well as members (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cynndara

    of congress can, as it were, "walk and chew gum at the same time," even if our media can't seem to pull themselves away from a tragedy feeding frenzy.  

    "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

    by AnnieR on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:47:04 AM PST

    •  Thank-you (0+ / 0-)

      for attending to the real meaning of the diary.  Yes, I'm sure that Our Leaders will indeed continue negotiations without our help.  I am not, however, convinced that our interests lie in perfect tandem with theirs, and would prefer if the progressive community was actively riding herd on them rather than chasing after a bloody rag on a stick.

  •  Your lack of empathy is frightening. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:58:42 AM PST

    •  My empathy (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      MRobDC

      was overloaded past the breaking point before I turned twelve.  If you want to be frightened, be my guest.  I'm one of those people who shoots first and shoots to kill when they perceive a real threat, and yes, I do still own one rifle out of the dozen I inherited when my father died.  You might however consider that having learned to shoot and kill before I was nine, I have spent the forty-five years since then learning to not be so afraid that I do so.  Reality-testing and a cool head have their purposes.

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