Imagine you’re in a lifeboat that’s sinking. And you only have a tiny cup to bail out the water that’s quickly pouring in. What do you do? Michael Moore’s answer to his proposed hypothetical situation: most of us would start bailing like mad because of the very slight chance that our efforts could prevent us from drowning.
And so it is with the our capitalistic economic system. America, our life boat has sprung a deregulated derivative credit default swap leak, and it looks like we’re going down. Quick! Where’s that teacup?
Last weekend, MoveOn.org sponsored a nationwide House Party (i.e. tossed us a teacup) event to watch Moore’s most recent film, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” I just happened to have the film at the top of my Netflix queue, so I signed up to host a gathering. Even with my last minute plan, my event (lifeboat?) quickly filled to capacity.
The message in Moore’s latest film was not news to the folks who were watching with me. Since the advent of its spokes model Ronald Reagan, corporations have enjoyed the benefits of the systematic deregulation of the financial industry and their gradual takeover of the U.S. Department of Treasury.
All the corporate money that’s poured into the pockets of U.S. Congressional representatives has kept our legislators loyal to their corporate sponsors. The January 2010 Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns simply put the cherry on top of this thickly iced cake. Just in time for the next round of Tea Parties!
What now? Well, if you’re not too busy figuring out how to survive or planning your suicide, you could help organize a Town Hall Meeting that MoveOn is planning for the first week of May.
MoveOn organizers wrote: “This is an opportunity to show that Americans everywhere are demanding bold action from Washington to make our economy and our democracy work for Main Street–not just for Wall Street. We need people who can help to make this happen here in our area.”
Looks like we have to organize our own Main Street Bail Out because too-big-to-fail banks aren’t going to do it and our legislators are caught between a rock and a campaign contribution. If the Tea Baggers can be whipped into a state of hysteria with nonsensical, imaginary threats and corporate/GOP propaganda, how can we infuse some steam into a more rational, better informed progressive left-wing?
Let’s get together at a Town Hall Meeting in May and find out. The group of “strangers” who turned up at my house agreed that if our gathering achieved nothing else, we the people were encouraged to see each other and to be reminded that we are not in this lifeboat alone.