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February 22, 2019


Professor Kennedy in her blog today rightly decries Republican stonewalling on environmental issues, issues that are reaching a critical point for human survival, pointing to the trashing of the Green Revolution now under discussion by progressive members of the Congress, a discussion labeled as “pie in the sky” by Republicans anxious to serve their corporate masters. She asked for commentary, and the following, slightly edited, was mine.

Sheila’s note that the proposed Green Revolution initiative is symbolic struck a chord with me. She is right. It is symbolic, just as the New Deal in isolated context in FDR’s day was symbolic, though as fleshed out it was enormously important since it effectively saved capitalism from fascist and communist forces of the day.

I personally recall seeing Movietone News of the Day at a small town movie house in the Thirties where there were marches of men in uniform in New York City with hammers and sickles and swastikas prominently displayed on their shoulders. We always hear of the Great Depression in economic terms, but we hear little of how American democracy was teetering at the time and that communists and Nazis were angling to fill the political void. It was a narrow escape for our democracy in more ways than one, but thanks to FDR, my favorite president, we survived.

We are again faced with political takeover of our democracy from within by such as Trump and the forces of corporatism and capitalism run amok, though not as a response to economic catastrophe such as we experienced in the Thirties. This time it’s about the environment, healthcare, or anything thing else that would be a drag on corporate profits, which the powers that be apparently feel is more important than survival of humanity itself.

These conflicts in policy choices may start with symbolism to describe how we propose to deal with our problems (as with FDR’s designation of a “New Deal”), but we are well beyond that point of reference and it is time for action, starting with the end of the political careers of those of any party in the Congress who continue to pontificate for pay while humanity is at increasing risk for oblivion.

Whatever anyone says, Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an accelerating rate, and Miami (among others on every continent) is headed for a watery grave, and that requires action, not symbolism and/or propaganda, so, figuratively expressed, to the ramparts!     GERALD        E

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