I watched tonight. The speech contained all the expected elements, with reasons backing up the prescription for what ails the US economy, and telegraphing our foreign policy stance for the remainder of the Presidency. I think he did a good job.
What I was disturbed by was the absence of a voice from the Left. President Obama is a Centrist. He believes that Corporate America and Wall Street ultimately would be the force behind getting our Economy out of the ditch, with the help, of course, of the Citizens. There was a cursory mention of the poor, and building ladders to create a new and strong middle class.
I saw Marco Rubio parroting the same lines the Republicans always say. Less Government. Less Entitlements. More breaks so “Business” will create jobs. Right now, “Business” appears to be involved in the strategy of continued terror campaigns against its employees in the form of random layoffs. The scared worker is a productive worker. The terrified unemployed person is a cheap resource. The saved wages, as employers never split that savings from the layoffs, or reimburse the terrified left with a heavier workload as they should be “grateful to still have jobs,” go into the hands of the shareholders and the executives, busy swinging the axe and wiping the blood and sweat from their brows. They should be amply rewarded for their skills? Really?
I could not be bothered with the Tea Party or their response, as frankly, they are just Republicans who rather than slowly burning the ladders to prosperity, want to quickly burn all of them so the spoils at the top of the ladder can be distributed amongst the “worthy few.” I’ll check in on NPR tomorrow for the synopsis. Same on Rubio. After 3 lies, I change the channel. I changed the channel about 2 minutes into Rubio’s speech.
What was missing for me was the Left. Where was the voice arguing for Peace? Not an end to occupation. Not a change of strategy from boots on the ground to remote controlled death in the skies. Peace. We have fucked up our planet and it is taking defensive measures to get us gone. The planet is a living organism. Some cultures believe it has a spirit able to articulate to us if we’d only listen. If we’d only notice the cascade effect hatched on the polar ice caps. If we’d only notice the severity of the storms and droughts hitting all around the planet. If we were only aware of the food riots in other countries that seldom make US news, but are enough to make a few despots throw gold from their towers in hopes that they can survive another day.
What would happen if all the Defense contractors were told, your new mission is to create clean energy? A means of disposal of radioactive materials so we could actually build reactors and not have poisons sitting in nondescript barrels in remote sections of the planet? A means of harnessing ocean currents or wind power, or geothermal? What if all the subsidies we are using to prop up the banks and the petroleum and coal industries went into research and development of drought-resistant crops? Of ways to clean oil spills with bacteria designed to eat petroleum?
What if we spent money on Railroads as a way to cut the number of trucks we have on our roads and our dependence on foreign oil? What if we spent more of those subsidies on reliable public transportation? On free education and job training for anyone who wants to go back to school?
Sounds like bleeding heart liberal stuff, doesn’t it?
We have the money for all of that stuff if we could figure out how to stop being so terrified of everyone else on the planet that about a third of our population in this country feels a need to own a gun, and about a third of that subset thinks military assault rifles are something everyone should have the right to own. Even violent people. Even folks who really should be on medication, but can’t afford it because of the elephant in the room that got zero attention in the President’s speech: Big Pharma. We should be able to negotiate cheaper pricing on prescription drugs. We should be able to buy drugs from Canada and Mexico, as they are made in the US anyway, but Canada and Mexico’s Goverment have negotiated price breaks with the drug companies.
So, next year, if the Tea Party gets a chance to speak, someone like Bernie Sanders really should get a chance to rebut. If not him, some Liberal voice able to articulate the needs of those in poverty, those drowning in Student Loan Debt, those currently working the jobs of 5 people and waiting for the axe to find them in their sweaty panic, those currently pounding the street looking for a job, and looking at the smirking a$$h*le offering less than half of what the job is actually worth.