Just Get Rid Of Government?

Today my local newspaper’ subjects me to this right-wing propaganda comic strip (click to enlarge):


Today the cartoon’s message is: Get rid of public schools, then we don’t have to pay property taxes, and everyone can pick out for themselves what education their kids get. At least today we get to see the pure, honest message of the Right without the usual disguises — today’s cartoon is not even offering the usual pretense of vouchers.
The larger exchange offered is clear: just get rid of government and the taxes it requires, and leave everyone to fend for themselves.

This exchange extends beyond just schools — it’s about parks, water systems, sewer systems, roads, bridges, highways, public transportation, public health systems, hospitals, Social Security, Medicare and everything else that we as a people, a community, have decided to gather together and provide for the people of this country. The Right dismisses all of this as “collectivism.”
I’ll just make a couple of points here. If you get rid of schools only the richest will be able to get any education at all. This is the way things used to be. But in America every town got together to build a school and hire a teacher, and this is how public education grew. Everyone understood (learned the hard way) that more education for everyone ends up being better for everyone. If the kids in poor neighborhoods are provided with an education, the community is a better, safer and more prosperous place.
And, likewise, if you get rid of public health systems, the rich are still just as susceptible to catching diseases as everyone else. If we as a collective group don’t work to keep the poorest among us from catching TB, then we ALL are at risk of catching TB.
Democracy is about one-person-one-vote and not about one-dollar-one-vote. History has proven that systems based on the Right’s dream of one-dollar-one-vote just do not work. But we don’t hear this side – the pro-democracy side – of the argument anymore. The increasing concentration of our sources of information into just a few corporate hands means that we even have to be subjected to this kind of far-right propaganda in our Sunday comics. (And when was the last time you saw someone on TV advocating that workers form unions?)
But the reason we are constantly subjected to far-right propaganda like this without hearing counter-messaging is not just because of this concentration of media. It is also because the counter-messaging just isn’t being produced and distributed. The Right has a vast messaging machine pumping out propaganda designed to systematically attack the institutions of democracy. But Progressives — the forces of democracy and community — aren’t doing much to counter it.
We need to build organizations designed to reach the general public with messages that explain and reinforce the values of democracy and community, to counter the Right’s incessant messaging.

2 thoughts on “Just Get Rid Of Government?

  1. I’ve been trying to get the word out that they are really close because we couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Read the comments I left at Alternate Brain, then follow all the links and remember that I get snail mail that is not on the net. I need you on this now Dave, we ALL need you and everybody else on this now, please:
    Alternate Brain – Truth from Coast to Coast
    I guess we’re training them there so we can fight them here after all.
    Nina | Homepage | 13.08.06 – 14:51 | #
    The ‘central front’ is the whole fuckin’ world. Bush’s War is simply the biggest mistake in modern history, linked to GWOT for political and economic gain for a few and misery for the many.
    Gordon | Homepage | 13.08.06 – 15:41 | #
    BTW, if we fight ’em here we can beat ’em. It’s being done elsewhere so as not to inconvenience the comfortable and make them question things, but they’re starting to anyway.
    Gordon | Homepage | 13.08.06 – 15:53 | #
    If there wasn’t a problem, they would have to manufacture one or eighty-one, because we are being had in a really bad way. These sadistic little shitheads are far more clever than we ever gave them credit for being.
    They are almost at the endgate and we are making fun of shampoo dumping. I think that I can put one link per post to explain what I see, but let me take you back a few days when Nathan Newman was crowing at TPM because Grover said the Dems would not cave in to privatizing Social Security.
    We need to look at what else he said because it is important, from CSM based on the American Prospect interview:
    “Go to steal people’s guns, they will leave. Raise taxes, you will break the Republican coalition. [By contrast, high spending] is nobody’s vote-moving issue. What I am trying to figure out is, how do you turn it into a vote-moving issue and, therefore … put it on the ballot [as a referendum question].”
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/08…03s01- usmb.html
    ” … put it on the ballot [as a referendum question].”
    grannyinsanity | Homepage | 13.08.06 – 16:16 | #
    Gravatar We have all these Tabor style initiatives simultaneously popping up in Oregon, Montana, Maine, Oklahoma… that are mysterioisly funded by Grover’s “Libertarian” developer friend:
    http://www.hartwilliams.com/blog…-simple- or.html
    Tabor almost buried Colorado, their education, healthcare and social services fell apart, and so did ttheir roads. Not to worry because Congress passed a law last year that allows them to sell our roads off as toll booths:
    http://www.cosmiciguana.com/ 2006…rstates_bu.html
    grannyinsanity | Homepage | 13.08.06 – 16:24 | #
    Gravatar I don’t remember where he said it, but Grover flat out stated that he didn’t believe in public education, and:
    “Go to steal people’s guns, they will leave. Raise taxes, you will break the Republican coalition. [By contrast, high spending] is nobody’s vote-moving issue. What I am trying to figure out is, how do you turn it into a vote-moving issue and, therefore … put it on the ballot [as a referendum question].”
    He’s moving votes to get 60 then bye bye Social Security!
    Meanwhile we will be paying tolls to drive on our own damn roadways, but the Mexican truckers get to drive free on the new super highway we are building for them:
    http://www.preemptivekarma.com/ a…naftainduc.html
    grannyinsanity | Homepage | 13.08.06 – 16:30 | #
    Gravatar No schools, roads, Social Security, safety net and the right to be secretly charged with a secret law, locked in Gitmo, tortured and killed!
    grannyinsanity | Homepage | 13.08.06 – 16:33 | #

  2. I also wanted to tell you that the Republican challenger in Whitefish has unequivocally said that he wants to abolish the public school system–on record!
    We are hearing said flat out, and it is being said more often in more forums. It is a matter of getting people used to it, like torturing innocent people.
    We don’t like it, but they are doing it and we are talking about Lieberman and confiscated toothpaste.

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