(October 4, 2010)- Ever since I could vote I’ve looked toward November with an impending sense of dread. Americans from all walks of life (and levels of sanity) converge on churches and schools to cast their votes for the next set of leaders. Except for a rare few exceptions, Americans invariably pick the wrong candidates/ party to lead the country. Winston Churchill remarked “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they’ve tried everything else.” Next month voters will be presented with a clear choice: Do the right thing, or go back to doing everything else.
The problem with that choice, however, is some Americans are confused about which party represents which choice. All across Texas seats are up for grabs. Republicans have been crystal clear. They feel millionaires and billionaires deserve tax breaks at the expense of 90%+ of the country and at least 20% of the annual education budget. They want to make it possible for insurance companies to once again deny coverage to sick children. Democrats have largely been silent. Worse still, a number of democrats (especially here in blood-red Texas) have tried their best to run away from the historic accomplishments of the Democratic Party. Since so many have tucked tail and ran before they could properly introduce what a progressive agenda entails, it is up to me to elaborate and exhibit an example before the elections.
The democrats are the party of Lincoln. Seriously. This president went against big business (slavery was/is the big business) for the lofty American idea of equal justice for all humans. Lincoln was a republican like Olympia Snowe is republican, or like Ben Nelson is a democrat or water is dry. Medicare and Social Security keeps some of my neighbors alive today who, in their youth, assailed these programs as socialist government takeovers. Unemployment insurance is keeping a second depression away from Houston now. Women’s Suffrage ironically gave dullards like Sarah Palin platforms to spew rhetoric that threatens to steal these very freedoms. I could go on and on with healthcare, financial reform, you name it.
Large national issues typically begin very local. Houston state Representative Scott Hochberg (district 137) is one progressive who isn’t afraid to wave the democratic flag. Hochberg serves as vice-chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. In Houston this position sits on the front lines of the war republicans locally and nationwide have declared on our generation’s definitive civil rights struggle. Hochberg deals with a Governor who hates education and slashes funding anytime he can. Whether taking on TEA or TAKS, Hochberg is the blueprint for democratic governance. Below is the blueprint for explaining it to Texans.
Imagine government as food, and the entire nation as one body. Republican ideas are like candy. Promises of lower taxes and better lives don’t make any sense; however, no matter how unrealistic they are, those simple ideas sure do sound instantly gratifying. I hear “tax cut”, immediately I think “more money for me!” But just like when filling up on candy, our body pays the price. We get stomach aches and pains (recessions; bubbles) that basically shut our “body” down.
Now we are incapacitated. Democratic policies are like home cooked meals nursing the body back. They help the body grow and strengthen. The problem (and reason Texas democrats are running scared) is they take longer to prepare. While the meal is cooking, recession weakened America gets anxious and impatient. The soup (stimulus) helped but now it’s digested. So when it comes time for America to decide what to “eat” this November, some are afraid that Americans will revert back to the quick “fix” of candy tax incentives instead of holding on for the more sustainable, nourishing meals.
America is in a worldwide race. I don’t have to explain what happens to the kid who loads up on junk food before a big race. This November we get to decide who we are as a nation. Will it be the laugh now, cry later policies of republicans local and nationwide?
NO.We will finish the good fight and move forward confidently, knowing that our best yesterdays still pale in comparison to our worst tomorrows.
Winston Churchill. QuoteDB
Rick Casey. Hochberg unmasks TEA’s Controversial Rule. Chron.com