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Howard Zinn for President? Time for a “New” New Deal!

The always on-target Howard Zinn makes like a presidential candidate with a “speech” calling for an FDR-like “New” New Deal. God knows we could use an FDR right about now; can you imagine a leader who asks us to discard fear, rather than one who exploits it for a few votes?

Anyway, a few of the jewels in this must-read article:

“We can go beyond the New Deal, extending the principle of social security to health security with a totally free government-run health system. We can extend the GI Bill of Rights to a Civilian Bill of Rights, offering free higher education for all.”
“We will have trillions of dollars to pay for these programs if we do two things: if we concentrate our taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population, not only their incomes but their accumulated wealth, and if we downsize our gigantic military machine, declaring ourselves a peaceful nation.”
“We will not pay attention to those who complain that this is ‘big government.’ We have seen big government used for war and to give benefits to the wealthy. We will use big government for the people.”

Kind of brings tears to your eyes. Think about it: We’ve allowed corporate interests to dominate our social conversation to the point where “conventional wisdom” comes out the boardroom, rather than the dining room. We’ve forgotten – or willfully discarded – the notion of government AS the people for a government that’s the TOOL of the wealthy. Along the way we’ve managed to turn Democracy into some kind of radical concept.

What is it that we really want out of our lives? Should we measure our societal success based on the number of plasma TVs we can buy, or on the $500/month Lexus we can lease? Or is it time to replace the GNP with GNH – Gross National Happiness? Isn’t a successful society one that allows us to live fulfilled lives where our kids can breathe clean air, where we can trust the water that comes out of our taps, where we know that if we get sick the best care will be there for us?

How about turning our backs on consumerism: Unplug the TV, put cable news on “ignore” and start thinking for ourselves. Let’s build a society based on compassion and personal fulfillment, where we pool our resources for providing the things we need. Let’s have a New New Deal!

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March 31, 2008   |  Filed Under Political   |    Permalink

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