In Francis Ford Coppola’s second Godfather film we see Michael Corleone, head of the most powerful Mafia family in the country, having a ‘ tete de tete’ with Nevada Senator Pat Geary. The Senator, as crooked as the Corleones, is attempting to shake down Don Corleone over a Las Vegas casino license. When Don Corleone balks, Senator Geary gives him the old ‘ I’ll do business with you but I despise what you stand for’ speech. Michael Corleone then sums it all up for the audience: “Senator, we’re both part of the same hypocrisy.” In Ron Perlstein’s blockbuster book Reaganland he relates a little anecdote about that ‘ Great Statesman’ the book title refers to. Perlstein mentions how in 1948 then ‘ Liberal’ Ronald Reagan campaigned for Harry Truman. He actually stated that ” The profits of the corporations have doubled while workers’ wages have increased by only one quarter. In other words, profits have gone up FOUR TIMES as much as wages… High prices have NOT been caused by high wages, but by bigger and bigger Profits!” Of course, once he got himself on the campaign trail for the presidency, Reagan continued, as he had done as California governor, to push for more and more aid to the Super Rich at the expense of the 99+ % of us. Cutting the top bracket from 70% down to 28% after he took office in 1981 was in direct contradiction to what Reagan alleged in 1948. Michael Corleone could have easily said to him ” Mr. President, we are BOTH part of the same hypocrisy”.
Listen, I have NO choice, due to living in the key ‘ Swing State ‘ of Florida, but to cast my votes for ALL Democrats on the ballot. Why? As stated in previous columns, and in agreement with wise thinkers like Prof. Cornell West, this threat of the rising Fascist and even Neo Nazi culture in my dear country is as real as the pandemic. It is downright scary! It is more than just White Supremacy. That is the ‘ tip of the iceberg melting on our doorstep’. This far right wing movement, financed by the Super Rich, wants to use millions of dupes, especially those ‘ Trump thumpers’, to then control everyone who is part of the 99+ %. They cleverly use millionaire or near millionaire media and elected officials to ram through this agenda: No strong unions or none at all; eliminating a woman’s right to choose’ and gay marriage; corporations to continue to strangle and then eliminate more and more Mom and Pop small businesses; the privatization of more and more government run services, all ‘ For Profit’; Big Pharma, Big Insurance and Big Tech increasing their hold on our pocketbooks ( especially in health care ); obscene amounts of taxpayer money going down the rabbit hole of military spending; allowing private absentee landlords to run roughshod over the tens of millions who have to pay rent… with NO accountability; and as we should all see in this latest ‘ Two Party/One Party election con job’, the co opting or outright exile of third party movements.
If we are fortunate, and enough citizens out there vote this terrible and criminal administration out of office ( without too much Repugnantan suppression), then we on the ‘ Real Left’ have our work cut out for us. It may take one full year for many who still hold the illusion that the Democrats can be reformed to ‘ wake up’. If enough of us walk away from them while challenging their leadership on KEY ISSUES, perhaps….