Monday, June 09, 2008

You say you got a real solution, Well, you know, We'd all love to see the plan

I heard David Sirota speak Monday night about his new book, Uprising, at an event sponsored by Brave New Films & Robert Greenwald at their west side offices.

According to David, there have been 3 populist uprisings in the last 100 years: 1932, with the rise of FDR and the New Deal, 1964 and the official acceptance that Civil Rights was a new issue, and 1980, when dissatisfaction led to the awful Reagan years. He explains more in a column he wrote:
The uprising against liberalism during the late 1970s became the conservative movement of the 1980s, which deregulated the economy and fed the military-industrial complex.

It is that rebellion three decades ago that tells us we are indeed experiencing another uprising.

Just like the late 1970s, America currently faces the telltale signs of all insurrections: an economic emergency, a financial meltdown, an energy crisis and a national security quagmire.

Political analysts say this is bad news for the Right because George W. Bush sits atop today's mess, and conservatives have responded by running away from the president and by attempting to channel the outrage into their old anti-tax, anti-immigrant, anti-government agenda. But that misunderstands what has changed.

According to Gallup's survey data, the public has not only lost confidence in the political system as it did in the late 1970s, but also in corporations.. In 1979, one in three Americans told Gallup's pollsters they had confidence in big business.

By 2007, a little less than one in five expressed the same confidence. In 1979, almost two out of three citizens said they had faith in banks. Today, only two out of five say the same thing.

This is the real problem for a conservative movement that has become a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America. Unlike 1980, when Ronald Reagan rode the conservative uprising to a landslide victory, the country is not looking for a movement that gets the government to back off big business, nor are we looking for politicians who pretend the Enrons and Bear Stearnses are victims. This uprising is searching for a movement that gets big business back under control and leaders who are serious about aiming "law and order" rhetoric not at dark-skinned people, but at the royalists whose greed is driving the economy into the ground.

The uprising against liberalism during the late 1970s became the conservative movement of the 1980s, which deregulated the economy and fed the military-industrial complex.

It is that rebellion three decades ago that tells us we are indeed experiencing another uprising.

Just like the late 1970s, America currently faces the telltale signs of all insurrections: an economic emergency, a financial meltdown, an energy crisis and a national security quagmire.

Political analysts say this is bad news for the Right because George W. Bush sits atop today's mess, and conservatives have responded by running away from the president and by attempting to channel the outrage into their old anti-tax, anti-immigrant, anti-government agenda. But that misunderstands what has changed.

According to Gallup's survey data, the public has not only lost confidence in the political system as it did in the late 1970s, but also in corporations.. In 1979, one in three Americans told Gallup's pollsters they had confidence in big business.

By 2007, a little less than one in five expressed the same confidence. In 1979, almost two out of three citizens said they had faith in banks. Today, only two out of five say the same thing.

This is the real problem for a conservative movement that has become a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America. Unlike 1980, when Ronald Reagan rode the conservative uprising to a landslide victory, the country is not looking for a movement that gets the government to back off big business, nor are we looking for politicians who pretend the Enrons and Bear Stearnses are victims. This uprising is searching for a movement that gets big business back under control and leaders who are serious about aiming "law and order" rhetoric not at dark-skinned people, but at the royalists whose greed is driving the economy into the ground.

My copy of the book just arrived today, I'm going to start reading it right away. David is a really smart guy, even if he is just 32. Almost every guitar I own is older than him, but none writes as well as he does.

Update: "The Uprising" made the NYTimes' best seller list today. Congratulations, David.