I happened to come upon three headlines recently that at first seemed totally out of sync with each other. Upon further consideration, I find they are actually all quite in tune with American thinking right now; government is bad. Be it liberal or conservative media, the news stories people are reading all lean toward government serving corporate interest rather than the peoples and that if it’s good for business, then it’s good for everybody.
The articles could not have been more different. One alerted me to the fact that residents along the Gulf Coast are worried that the oil industry will leave if new regulations regarding drilling are imposed. The second explained that Glenn Beck is going to hold a Tea Party rally on Aug 28th this year on the Mall in Washington D.C. The same day that Martin Luther King delivered his famous, ” I Have a Dream,” speech on exactly the same spot. And finally the last headline, noted that Tater Tots aren’t vegetables and that the author had a problem with providing them in school lunch programs defined as so.
All three of these headlines are about selling something and right now, we as Americans are buying what they are selling lock, stock and barrel. The Gulf residents are afraid they could loose their livelihoods because of regulations but what is really being sold here is that government is bad. Shock jock Glenn Beck is selling the same story. His only side note is that this particular government and administration is bad. He had no problem with the last one, since they supported less and less government, which is what he likes. Veggies versus fried chicken parts are as well: bad government. For if the government food programs to assist school lunch programs are willing to accept nuggets as veggies, somewhere some pretty heavy corporate welfare must be going down or we really need to check the curriculums of schools training dieticians.
The idea that safety regulations are enacted to protect us all should be a no brainer. But when those regulations affect the corporate earnings and everyday livelihoods of us all, then government suddenly finds itself getting the cold shoulder from those affected. Clean air and water acts that endanger incomes are never popular but that is the price you pay for them.
Yet it is hard to argue with people being upset about new regulations given the fact that apparently government inspectors and the laws they were supposed to be enforcing were laxly enforced because the inspectors were cozy with the inspected. You can have the strongest laws on the books but, if there is no enforcement, what good are they? What are we to do here? The Beck’s in the world support throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Beck’s job is to come up with ideas to get ratings. One should never forget that. The crazier it might sound the bigger the audience. His proposal to start taking America back with this rally near the Washington monument on the anniversary of the, “I Have a Dream Speech,” is set to do just that. Like watching NASCAR and waiting to see the wrecks, people will be flocking to the Washington Mall. Unfortunately it’s a recipe for bringing people of various political, economical and philosophical backgrounds together as well as an effort to show how divided this country still is racially. Sadly the reflecting pond that day will reflect an America of days gone by; ugly days at that.