Friday, February 13, 2009

It is Now the People's Time

by Jonathan Kasper

First, I would like to thank you, Dee Newman, for your clear-minded, compassionate, and thought-provoking political commentary. There can never be too many intellectually honest bloggers like you who truly care about all of America, not just the "patriotic parts". I'm glad you're here and I hope to be along with you as a regular reader and participant for many years to come.

We all have to be actively involved in today’s politics if our country is to survive as a democracy. The era of cynicism and negativity is over. It's only a new, bold age of change and initiative that will turn things around. No longer can America afford to remain a country primarily for the rich and connected. Elitism of all stripes must be tempered, and all Americans must be brought into the political mainstream in order to widen our circle of compassion and hope.

President Obama's stimulus package isn't so much about wealthy special interests, but about helping the core working classes of America sustain their standard of living. The stimulus sends a clear message to the naysayers that America respects and honors those who work and produce for the good of our economy, but who have in recent years been mostly forgotten; the police forces, firefighters, teachers, the unemployed, poor and veterans who have seen there lives drastically and negatively impacted by the economic downturn, and who have stood up to say, it's our turn to be given a chance to continue to contribute for the betterment of our communities and nation.

Serious times call for serious and innovative action, and it seems to me that Barack Obama and all those who support him recognize the urgency of a direct infusion of cash into our terribly ailing economy. Those who believe that only market-driven solutions and tax cuts for the affluent will work need to study history more closely; since the days of America’s founding, government has collaborated with private interests to energize various sectors of our economy during economic depressions, war, as well as during times of prosperity. Examples abound, including during the 19th century: the construction of numerous infrastructure projects including the Erie Canal and the transcontinental railroad and the opening of the West, as well as the Homestead Act, and the Civil War, and during the 20th century: World War I, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, the War on Poverty to name a few.

This is the dawn of the Age of Obama, and the hard right must finally bend if they don’t want to break. We are the only advanced, industrialized nation in the world that has such a large and powerful hard right that has done more to keep America behind the times in so far as progressive social policies are concerned. They’re time is up, and it is now the people’s time to move this country forward.

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