Thursday, April 14, 2005

Life As We Knew It

Recently we at the American Liberalism Project have been running quite a few articles in eMedia about the end of life as we know it in America. Sometimes we laughingly refer to these as "Chicken Little" or "the sky is falling" stories, but make no mistake, we are deadly serious and earnest about the importance of these news and opinion pieces. For one thing, we see environmentalism as a major component of traditional Liberalism and of traditional Progressivism. We are going to keep up the pace on these stories, partly because we are headed pell mell into a new climate epoch—global warming—and partly because there are still some things we can do as persons and as political groups to ameliorate the consequences to our earth, our country, and ourselves. We cannot stop it now; it is way too late, but we can do things to make it survivable.

Also recently we have been running eMedia articles about the impending collapse—slow or sudden, it matters not which—of the American and then the world economies. We are going to keep up the pace on these articles, too, because we must be solvent to act as environmentalists, as citizens, consumers, and voters. At some point, though, the so-called "tipping point" is reached and thereafter the systems spill out of control for an undefined while—decades, centuries, perhaps millenia for the climate—bitter years and generations for the economy.

The most distressing thing about the economic news is that the damage is being cooked up purposefully by an administration committed to neocon "kill the beast" voodoo economics. They mean to set up the conditions wherein the federal government cannot spend, except for defense and for corporate welfare.

And, for frosting on this cake there is a very vocal minority from the lunatic fringe—with access to the very highest seats of power—who believe that these are the "end times" prophecied by novelists and religious cranks and that God will soon relieve us of our Biblical responsibility to care for the world's resources, its vegetation, animals, and the fish of the sea.

The candles on this insane cake are the moguls, the captains of industry who have been given special privileges, tax breaks, so that they can insulate themselves from hardship when the economic decline does come ... oh, and come it will like the return of the tide, the swallows to Capistrano, and the boom-and-bust business cycle, which this time around will include with the U.S. and the E.U. new players in Japan, Taiwan, China, India, Indonesia, and some of oil-rich Muslim countries. The CEOs and their families will survive on the Riviera, but working men and women and their children will not. We will have bread lines until the breadbasket is baked to a desert crisp by global warming and soup lines will last as long as there's fresh, clean water to make it—not very long!

The Bush Administration does not believe in global warming, of course, because it has little faith in science. Why? Because the lunatics from the religious fringes are so psychologically weak and culturally bereft they cannot trust in the permanent provisionality of science (yet they have plasma televisions and computers and take so-called wonder drugs)! To stabilize their defective personalities they need rock-certain "truth" and, as we know, only dogma can provide that. As a result of this Republican intransigence on global warming the most powerful, the most consuming economy on the planet is not even party to the single pitiful remedy that humanity has ventured—the Kyoto Treaty. It is a tragedy and a farce!

But wait! The Bush Administration does believe it can control the economy through the action of corporations, the motives of which are plainly understandable, of course, but the power of which to act for a common good is non-existent. The result will be that corporation after corporation will be swallowed into the gaping maw of the world-wide recession that is being fueled by Bush's insane fiscal and monetary policies, by our ponderous imbalance of trade and our unprecedented national debt. These mental midgets and savages from the radical right have set us up for disaster, believing all the while they are saving us from ourselves.

The American Liberalism Project team is not trying to frighten you into conservative posturing or into neocon plutocratic denial. We are trying to get past the pall of obedience in the press, the oppression of wills in the media. We are trying to keep the faith with you as reasonable people and to encourage you to act before it really is too late.

How to act, you may reasonably ask? The first thing to do is this: Get your U.S. Representative's and Senator's phone numbers into your cell "phone book." It's a ten minute project you can do today. Then you can call them whenever you have the chance (like during mid-morning or mid-afternoon breaks). The person who answers the phone will usually be a staffer fully qualified to tally your opinion. Just tell this person you want to register an opinion. They expect to hear your name and city, but basically all they will record is your postal code (ZIP) and your position: for or against whatever it is. Do it once and it will be a little disconcerting; do it twice and it becomes familiar; do it often and you will be quite pleased with yourself and your personal connection to government, to participatory democracy. It is the new way! You may help save the world!