Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finding agreement with those of whom you strongly disagree

Often times, you see something profound and marvel at how has said it and how much of it you actually agree.
If people cast aside personal feelings about the author and actually WATCHED Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Live Story,” now out on DVD, you’d be SHOCKED at the number of times you found yourself nodding your head in agreement – regardless of party affiliation.
On this topic, even conservatives will find themselves agreeing with his basic premise – Wall Street and big banks have corrupted the capitalistic system of THIS country and the 2008 Bush-led bank/Wall Street bailout was nothing more than open robbery of the American taxpayer.
Hell, Moore sounds more “Tea Party” than any Tea Party activists around! While he DOES add the ingredient SO lacking with the Tea Party members (mainly, humor; they substitute personal insults and all too often racist imagery for wit), his words are biting and direct. Wall Street robbed the public blind and has helped to severely damage this nation.
One of the highlights comes toward the movie’s conclusion when Moore displays archival film from FDR and what became known as the Second Bill of Rights. As he explains, THIS was the premise by which the United States employed to re-write new constitutions in the defeated and destroyed Japan and Germany. They prospered, they recovered and they began to out-maneuver our nation in the area of industrial manufacturing (cars, steel production, etc.) – and did so with the influence of labor unions and bettering the living standards of its citizens with FDR’s blueprint.
This is from President Roosevelt’s January 11, 1944 message to the Congress of the United States on the State of the Union:
“It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people – whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth – is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights – among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however – as our indus-trial economy expanded –these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free men.’ People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day, these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all – regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
* The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
* The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
* The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
* The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
* The right of every family to a decent home;
* The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
* The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;
* The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won, we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.”
I would strongly suggest everyone see this film – do NOT dismiss offhand because you don’t care for Moore’s personality or his politics. As a twin feature, you should see “Sicko,” his prior work about the American health care system and the debate about the quality of life in those countries who DO offer it to their people.
Again, you’ll be surprised how often you find yourself in agreement.

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