The super rich have never had it so good. At least not since the late 19th Century, a reprehensible period in American history known as the Guilded Age when wealthy robber barons in mansions and plantations treated the working class like farm animals, and government did next to nothing to help common people. In other words, unbridled capitalism and conservatism at its unapologetic worst.
It took the mass collectivization of workers and the formation of labor unions to mobilize enough power and pressure to achieve an unprecedented series of bold landmark legislative victories, several of which were enacted by President Theodore Roosevelt, the last true Republican progressive to embrace the working class. By today’s standards, “TR” would be Bernie Sanders. The 40-hour work week, mandatory overtime pay, the elimination of child labor, food and drug standards, workplace safety, and the right to unionize and bargain for fair wages and benefits without reprisals were but a few of the monumental triumphs that would never have come about without labor union activism and progressive politics.
In 1963, an elected public official named George Wallace openly defies federal law, denying equality.
Justice over bigotry shall ultimately prevail in Kentucky.
But let us not forget the disgraced bigot who openly stood in defiance, blocking a public doorway, thwarting the U.S. Constitution, and obstructing the basic freedoms of others. Moreover, let us remember all those repugnant voices who joined in on the spectacle and openly defended such bigotry under the false pretenses of “religious freedom” and “states rights.”
Presumably the land of liberty and equality, America has witnessed this shameful moment before.
And it revealed an immoral ugliness that even its most ardent protagonist later went to great lengths to apologize for, trying their best to make amends for clearly being on the wrong side of history.
The so-called advocates of “law and order” have become champions of unlawful disorder.
A Kentucky woman named Kim Davis, a self-described “Christian,” opposes marriage between same-sex couples. Fair enough. As a free citizen, she’s got that right (to protest). In fact, any liberal on the other side of the issue (myself included) would defend her individual rights as a citizen to the fullest to speak out on behalf of her beliefs, no matter how wrong we think they are.
The most worthwhile journeys almost always take unforeseen detours.
While the quickest route to any destination is always a straight line, such uncompromising intransigence also tends to be boring. Taking the path of least resistance ultimately provides few rewards and little, if any, satisfaction — except for lower life forms.
I tend to be skeptical of those who never change their opinions. Someone who insists that his or her mind can’t be changed isn’t a person I usually like to be around. I’m even more suspicious of someone who was born into a defined set of religious beliefs or a certain political philosophy, and never challenges those basic assumptions over the course of an entire lifetime. The straight line approach certainly doesn’t require any additional time or effort, so it’s the easiest path to follow. That’s why it’s so common everywhere. Yet those who take such a predictable path without considering alternatives usually don’t offer much in the way of critical thinking, creativity, originality, nor innovation.