What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Could Hill Win a General without Liberal Elite Snobs?

I wonder how all the "liberal elite snobs in San Fransisco" feel about Hillary's debasing them last week??? She's already bashed and alienated young people and African Americans, soccer moms, and men, why not go after the money base of the party... That makes perfect sense.

I'm trying to figure out how you bring the country together when you continually attack portions of your own coalition!

Now, I don't consider myself a liberal elite snob. I'm pretty sure not many people do, but I do go to liberal fundraisers (although I can rarely afford to give) and I do have some friends who may intentionally fall into that category. I'm guessing though that the people at that party in San Fransisco are pretty insulted right now that she characterized their attempt at participation in the political process as some shady back room closed party in San Fransisco.

First of all, liberals come in all economic levels. We are the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. The poor most often participate by voting and speaking out when they can, the middle class most often participates by voting, volunteering their time and when they can donating small amounts of money that add up in large quantities, and the rich most often participate by voting and holding small parties and giving a lot of money so everyone else can get the work done that needs to be done. That doesn't mean the poor don't give, or that the rich don't or shouldn't volunteer, but eachperson in our society gives back to our society in the way they feel they can be most effective and that fits best with their means.

In our society, the liberal movement would not be able to function without the generosity of wealthy liberals and belittling their contributions is no way to run a campaign.

Second, divide and conquer is a republican strategy not a liberal one. Class warfare is what got this country in this mess in the first place and it has NO place in the liberal realm. What is she thinking????

Third, yeah, Obama's comments if taken absolutely literally and out of context do seem a bit odd. Conceptually and in context, though I totally get what he was saying and he's right.

When Howard Dean railed about people voting on three issues that absolutely did not affect their daily lives he called it the "God, Guns and Gays Agenda". Get people so riled up about meaningless (I mean this is in that these are not political issues, these are social issues that have no context in the political realm and we all have individual freedoms that "shall not be infringed" in a governmental context so it's a false political debate on straw man issues) social issues that they forget that they don't know how they will feed their kids or pay their rent or mortgage, or that their job was outsourced, and they forget who's responsible for the reason they have no food or shelter.

Let me give an example. Poor people in this country of nearly all races have heard over and over that the immigrants are taking their jobs. This is just NOT the case. Corporations, especially under Bush, have destroyed unions in this country and the work still needs to be done, but they don't want to pay the wages it would take, deal with OSHA safety standards, and pay social security/medicare taxes, health insurance, and vacations, etc... to get an American to take that job. Not that Americans shouldn't demand fair jobs.

Corporations just don't want to hire Americans because they come at a higher cost, but the work still needs to get done, so they hire undocumented workers. Even go so far as to spirit them into the country and encourage the workflow. Now they have a ready workforce of people who will take whatever jobs they can get to try to stay here.

They pay them much more than the same companies pay the workers in their home countries, but also pay them under the table because legally they don't exist, so no SS taxes, no health insurance, insane hours, no vacations or sick days, and most importantly they have a workforce that perceives itself outside the justice system. They feel as if they cannot organize, they cannot complain about workplace safety abuses, they cannot go to EEOC or any other government organization for justice, they cannot even go to the police, because to do so would risk someone finding out about their immigration status and them being sent back. Corporations in this country have been finding ways to introduce and reinstate slavery since it was founded. This is just a form of slavery that we haven't seen since the early 20th century when immigrants were greeted with the exact same welcome from poor America they are receiving today. Then, all those workplace protections were put in place, now they get around them by getting the poorest in our communities to divide themselves from a coalition of the poor and immigrants which would really change things for both groups in this country.

Let me give you an example. There is a meat packing plant in Iowa that used to be union and the starting wage 15 years ago was about $20-25/hour. That was a family supporting income (still is...) and most of the people in the towns surrounding the plant went to work there. Then the Reagan revolution railed against unions as "unfair to the workers" and the union was finally voted out of there about 10 years ago. Today, almost none of that plants workers are American. Nearly the entire plant is staffed by primarily part time (no benefits necessary) undocumented immigrant labor with a starting wage right around $7-9/hour. So let's look a little deeper. When people had a union, the plant was forced by the people to pay a decent wage and good benefits. They could afford meat and meat was affordable and available. When the people got rid of the union because it was "unfair" to them, they all lost their jobs (no more just cause, they could just be fired for no reason), their jobs were taken by a slave labor force paid poverty wages and the meat factory is still running, but the owners have a ton more money in their pockets, except that no one can afford the meat anymore except them. Health benefits for the new labor force are gone so they go to emergency rooms, that makes taxes rise and people cannot afford their homes anymore...

What do the conservative politicians offer for relief? A rant against the powerless immigrants themselves! and the people buy it because they have no other answer. This one is just too long for a sound bite on CNN... Lou Dobbs just isn't smart enough to figure this out...

What they should do is help the people in the meat packing plant to organize a union, force wages to American standards again, punish the corporations who encourage new undocumented workers into their plants (not the workers, they literally are innocent pawns in all of this) and get their jobs back. Then set up a path to citizenship so the undocumented can come out of the shadows and under the protection of our labor standards making them a less desirable labor force for the corps. It's such a simple answer... and yet so complicated to explain...

One other thing would help. Most people don't leave their families, children, wives, lives and homes because they want to leave them to be abused in another country. They leave because they don't have any other option in their own country and the jobs there are so much worse.

Until NAFTA and all the other so called labor "free trade" agreements are revised to require that companies doing business with us comply with international labor, environmental and safety standards, this will be an ongoing problem. As long as American companies are allowed to abuse people, safety and the environment abroad, they will choose that. Make them be good citizens around the world and you solve the problem all together for billions of people including Americans. And I'm a bit off track lol!

It was clear that Obama was getting to that message of "You are being distracted so you don't fight for real things that would make your life better.", but mispoke and she definitely knew that and blew it all out of proportion. Shameless to attack the eventual nominee of our party with ugly rhetoric that is unnecessary and ridiculous.

I just hope beyond hope that Pennsylvannians make a decision. A real decision to end this once in for all and vote in a 20% margin for Obama! PA has the opportunity to save the Democratic Party's chances in November if they just put an end to this so-called primary.

As a dem with deep ties in Pittsburgh, PLEASE END THIS NOW!

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