Caution: US Bus Swerves Right

The metaphor below illustrates the current state of political partisanship that is harming our ability as a self-governing democracy to effectively solve common challenges. Although I generally vote Democratic, I always think Independently, and believe the best government at all levels is not Democrat or Republican, but All-of-We. Republicans do not have a monopoly on wisdom, but they currently control the Presidency, both houses of Congress, and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of Texas government.

At the national and state levels, the American bus currently driven by Donald Trump, with support of Republican majorities in Congress (and Texas executive and legislative branches), appears to have a steering mechanism that allows it only to steer right — straining clockwise going down the road toward an unknown destination. All this doesn’t seem to bother the driver or his supporters — as long as Republicans “win.” Shouldn’t all we other Americans on the bus worry that the bus is going off the road, and that real hazards lie in the fields to the right.

Is a viable solution only political, only legal, only rational, or only moral — or some other mix of these factors? All-of-We Americans are in this bus together, and should insist that our elected representatives, senators, and chief executive officers — including the President — stop playing partisan games and listen to and utilize all the resources on the bus.

What exactly does the all-important “steering mechanism” refer to. I believe it refers to the balance all of us should demand in our elected public officials — the innate mix of moral, rational, legal and political thinking that controls their sense of responsibility toward all their constituents.

If that sense of responsibility includes All-of-We, the steering mechanism will allow the bus to move left, right, or straight down the road, and achieve a number of goals. We should demand our elected officials include moral, rational and legal considerations in all their decisions. If the mix is such that only political results are considered, then the bus will eventually run off the road — right or left.

So, in the end, the quality of the public individuals we elect is much more important than their specific partisan affiliation. High quality elected public officials — at all levels — will result in the American bus achieving the lofty goals set out in our Constitution — they are the steering mechanism that keeps the American bus on the road.

All-of-We Americans have the individual responsibility of studying the issues, encouraging high quality individuals to run for public office, voting for them, and then monitoring their performance to keep the bus on the road.

Pat Powers, Utopia, Texas

Do You Remember Blue Skies?

It was September 1936 and Dr. Clarence Rungee and I were on a coast to coast trip. On arising one morning we were impressed with a huge mountain directly ahead. We hadn’t noticed it the night before, probably because, we were driving late and it was dark. In a sort of a game we played to add interest to our trip the “Doc” said, “How far do you think that mountain is?” I ventured, “About 35 miles, the distance from New Haven to Hartford,” thinking what it would be if we were in Connecticut. Well we drove all day long and it seemed no closer. In fact it took another half day to finally reach the Eastern edge of the Rockies. So clear was the air. I risk saying none of you have ever experienced such a clear atmosphere. …

To further emphasize, I told of watching the thunder heads of the summer storms when I was a youth. Recently, as I rode the same area and looking west couldn’t see half way to the Bethany Ridge, so polluted has our air become …

The importance of air pollution didn’t really become of such concern until our ventures into space made the Earth’s entirety completely visible and of major importance. Thus James Hansen, an astrophysicist with NASA, realized just how serious the importance of doing something quickly was. The auto, coal and every industry dependent for its existence on fossil fuel fought every effort to replace those fossil fuels with photovoltaic and other means of providing clean energy. A perfect example of how Reagan’s election stymied Carter’s efforts to lead the change was his removing the photovoltaic panels from the White House, curtailing the move to clean energy 36 years ago.

What I have tried to do is impress on you how clean our air was and can be. When I was young you could see the stars so clear they almost seemed within reach.

Alton Eliason, Northford, Conn.

Trump’s Changing Stories

Donald Trump has now said that the meeting with Russian representatives came to nothing. He continues to say there is nothing going on.

We all remember that six months ago the Trump people were saying there were no contacts at all. Then it came out that there were contacts all over the place. A number of people had to amend their previous sworn statements to the contrary. Then Trump said there was no discussion of the campaign. Now it comes out that Donald Trump Jr., was a party to discussions and that they did in fact involve the campaign. Also, a Russian counterintelligence member was involved, a fact which was omitted previously.

The latest statement from Trump is that there was no actual coordination. We already know that the Trump campaign was tipped off before [Hillary Clinton campaign chairman] John Podesta’s e-mails were released last fall. The present statements have no credibility, since the previous ones were shown to be false.

And where is Russia in all this? Did Putin put out the information to show President Trump the dangers of not cooperating with him? Now that Russian-American negotiations are taking place, it is easy to conclude that Putin was putting pressure on (i.e., blackmailing) Trump to get him to agree to whatever Putin wants. And Trump will have to go along or face disclosure of even more embarrassing (or even illegal) contacts.

The only way the Trump team can get out of this is by telling the American people fully and accurately about all its contacts with Russian representatives. Any other course, or any incomplete or misleading disclosures, will only add to the fire when they eventually come out. A big hurt now is better than an even bigger one later.

Frank L. Schneider, Chicago, Ill.

Confederate Statues

A controversy is brewing in many former Confederate states: Do we hold on to our shameful legacy of slavery and its consequences or relinquish it? As history, the contested statues are a reminder of our nation’s contemptible and sordid past. We must not forget this history. However, some citizens (the KKK and others) want to maintain the accompanying culture of repression for future generations.

There is a solution to this problem: First, find a vacant lot somewhere in the areas of controversy and relocate the statues there, where they’d be segregated according to the traditions they represent. Then, do not use taxpayer moneys to maintain the areas — again, according to longstanding traditions of withholding support for oppressed populations. Lastly, leave the maintenance of these “Confederate Parks” to those who are interested in continuing their social legacy. This way the history is preserved in the disintegrating statues but the culture they represent is gradually extinguished (we hope). Lying in ruins, the statues will teach future generations about the futility of trying to keep a corrupt culture alive. The Confederate Parks would devolve into graveyards.

Barbara J. Richardson, Bensalem, PA

Be Skeptical of Anti-Russian Propaganda

Norman Solomon hit the nail on the head with his excellent “Dangerous Discourse: When Progressives Sound Like Demagogues” [7/1-15/17 TPP]. Solomon’s mention of Consortiumnews.com editor Robert Parry debunking the Russian hacking claim is noteworthy. Other examples of objective analysis include Ray McGovern, Paul Craig Roberts and numerous voices given venue at CounterPunch.org. Roberts and Solomon properly articulate caution that anti-Russian propaganda fueling the warfare state could eventually lead to nuclear war.

Oliver Stone has taken much erroneous criticism for The Putin Interviews. NATO has encroached on Russia, contrary to promises made at the end of the Cold War. The legitimate president of the Ukraine was overthrown in a February 2014 US-backed coup. Yet the media parrots tales of Russian aggression and interference in our 2016 presidential election.

Without truth, we have nothing. US foreign policy is always misrepresented domestically. Julian Assange, a man of integrity, stated that Russia was not involved in the release of DNC emails; that this was a leak not a hack.

Debbie Lusignan’s Sane Progressive YouTube series is a gem. Lusignan’s interview with former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is but one example of getting to reality as opposed to façade. Lusignan reported on election fraud in the Democratic primary. When presented with evidence in state after state that he and his supporters were being cheated, Bernie Sanders was unconcerned.

Seth Sandronsky’s piece on the California Democratic Party Chair election was also a breath of fresh air, as was Ted Rall’s commentary on military spending.

Bernard Dalsey, Whitewater, Wis.

Jeff Sessions, Back to the Future

The new attorney general’s first announcement of future policy for the Justice Department was to return us to harsh prosecution of minor drug offenses, something well known as a way to achieve mass incarceration of mainly black men.

Now he wants to turn us back again, this time with increased asset forfeiture, a policy that has been exposed as a great way for law enforcement to steal from often innocent citizens.

What’s next, Mr. Sessions—surely not lynchings, or am I being too optimistic?

Lee Knohl, Evanston Ill.

Trump’s Willing to Kill Americans!

It is official now. By advocating for simply repealing the “Obamacare” legislation right now, Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers have demonstrated that they are willing to literally KILL over half a million US citizens in order to please their corporate sponsors!

Christopher C. Currie, Pascoag, R.I.

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2017


Blog | Current Issue | Back Issues | Essays | Links

About the Progressive Populist | How to Subscribe | How to Contact Us

Copyright © 2017 The Progressive Populist

PO Box 819, Manchaca TX 78652