Duck! and Gather

People Are Choosing Sides

Posted on: August 21, 2009

A comment that Matt submitted to my last post got me thinking. Matt wrote:

Here is your biggest problem Peter – you are so totally enamored now that your ‘team’ has taken the ‘lead’(and you are a ‘team’ type person) that you have submerged your critical thinking abilities so far down that they practically no longer exist.

Matt’s idea that I’m “on a team” and spouting team ideology piqued my interest. Because I think there’s a grain of truth in there. Not the precise truth that Matt thought he noticed. But rather something that I’ve been writing about since 2003.

That is, the “team” I’m “writing for” is not political Left as against political Right. Rather, it’s People, as against Corporations.

As I’m watching the health care debates unfold this summer, it seems obvious to me that this is the first unambiguous People vs. Corporations struggle being waged on a public stage.That is, the struggle matters to and is understood by individual people (as contrasted with the bank bailouts), and the struggle is being led by a strong leader (Obama, as compared to Bush who didn’t say a word when the Corporations stole America under his “watch”).

The health Corporations would love nothing better than to defeat Obama here, and at least neuter Obama’s attempts at reform.

IMHO, this dynamic is an obvious one, if one cares to look.

Now, in addition to the health Corporations, there is the Right wing in America which is lining up with the health Corporations, trying desperately to rip the halo off the head of Obama.

Is the Right wing in America married to the Corporations? Yes and no, I believe. That is, I think a great deal of the Right wing opposition to Obama on health care is political opportunism, plain and simple.

But still, together with the Democratic “Blue Dogs”, the Republican Party receives the greatest amount of lobbying money from the health Corporations. Google it if you don’t believe me.

So with health care, we have People vs. Corporations, fighting it out, via the proxy combatants of Left vs. Right.

For John Mackey, founder/CEO of Whole Foods, to come out on this struggle on the side of the health Corporations, and do so in the Corporate rag WSJ, was shocking to many of us. Here was a Man of the People, with a 25-year record of humanism, revealing himself, upon the first reports of gunfire at Fort Sumpter, to be an agent for the other side. Hence the widespread feeling of betrayal and treason.

But although the People vs. Corporations struggle is obvious to me, it’s still not openly discussed in the major media as a cultural meme. So I think pundits and most people miss it.

What are they left with? Right vs. Left. So outrage at Mackey and Whole Foods is mis-characterized simply as an effete “hissy fit” of the Left.

Look closer, people. Yeah, the health care debate seems to be yet another episode of the Culture Wars between Left and Right in America. And yeah, Obama’s health care proposals do seem to fall in line with expansion of the national debt beyond all imagination.

I can see all that. But what I think this debate will be remembered for in history is the struggle between the People, led by Obama, and the health care Corporations. Sitting where I am, in August of 2009, this first skirmish looks like a 50/50 struggle.

Maybe it would be better for the People to lose this one. Just so long as the hand of the Corporations on the knife stuck in the back of the People becomes obvious to everyone in this nation still who is living in the fog of the past.

Finally, I’ll conclude with something I’ve been reading. Namely, even Drudge admits that polling shows 2/3 to 3/4 of Americans supporting the “public option” in health care reform. If those polling numbers are correct, then that would be dispositive evidence for what I’m saying here. That is, this struggle is about People vs. Corporations, not Left vs. Right. And 2/3 to 3/4 of Americans lining up with the People sounds about right to me.

Because if this was just about Left versus Right, there’s no way that 66% to 75% of Americans would poll as lining up with Daily Kos and MoveOn.

QED

for the money has gone too far

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