Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tag, you're it!

From Thom Hartmann's "Rebooting the American Dream,"
The Biggest Lesson of History

As challenging as the task may seem, we’re facing nothing compared with what the Founders took on; and Franklin Roosevelt famously told us that while great wealth may hate him, “I welcome their hatred.” Presidents can lead on behalf of the people, but only when the people demand that they do so.

That’s the biggest lesson of history. It took the excesses of the Tea Act of 1773—cutting to virtually nothing the taxes the East India Company paid on tea so that it could destroy its small colonial competitors—to provoke the colonists to commit the act of anti-corporate vandalism known as the Boston Tea Party.

It took the excesses of the robber barons to provoke Teddy Roosevelt to challenge them. It took the nationwide economic destruction of the Republican Great Depression to motivate the people enough to support and encourage Franklin D. Roosevelt to institute—over three (and a fraction) presidential terms—the New Deal.

Our economy is in tatters, the result of more than 30 years of Reaganomics and Clintonomics. Our democracy is hanging by a thread, the result of 40 years of radical Supreme Court decisions steadily advancing the powers of corporations and suppressing the rights of individuals and their government. And our environment is trembling under the combined assault of the Industrial Revolution and nearly 7 billion bundles of human flesh.

It’s the perfect time. We are clearly at a nexus, a threshold, a tipping point. If the past is any indicator, things will get worse before they get better, but in that tragedy will be both the catalyst and the seeds for a very positive future.

Now is the most important time for us all to be paying attention, to show up, and to wake up our friends, family, and neighbors. Because this nation is on the edge of a radical restart, a reboot.

Tag, you’re it.

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