Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Webb - the Conservative

The Main-Stream Media characterizes James Webb, recently elected Senator from Virginia as a conservative. After all, he was a Reagan appointee (Secy. of the Navy) and was against women in the armed forces and so on.

As pointed out on dailykos.com, this is an interesting conservative :)
Read this and figure it out!

Three paragraphs from there:

"The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes."

"This ever-widening divide is too often ignored or downplayed by its beneficiaries. A sense of entitlement has set in among elites, bordering on hubris. When I raised this issue with corporate leaders during the recent political campaign, I was met repeatedly with denials, and, from some, an overt lack of concern for those who are falling behind. A troubling arrogance is in the air among the nation's most fortunate. Some shrug off large-scale economic and social dislocations as the inevitable byproducts of the "rough road of capitalism." Others claim that it's the fault of the worker or the public education system, that the average American is simply not up to the international challenge, that our education system fails us, or that our workers have become spoiled by old notions of corporate paternalism."

"The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag" while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet. But this election cycle showed an electorate that intends to hold government leaders accountable for allowing every American a fair opportunity to succeed."

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What is unusual is not the message but the messenger. Few politicians dare speak this way, because they are all beholden to the corporate money that they would be attacking by such ideas. So, a newly elected Senator speaking this way is very encouraging, one can hope there will be a debate and useful actions resulting from this.

2 comments:

Rajan P. Parrikar said...

How much of what Webb says in the first two paras could be also said of the emerging India?

Arun said...

Most of it applies to India as well, (and for that matter to China too - where the poorest are seeing their incomes actually shrinking), and unless the trends change this spells serious social unrest.