Friday, February 1, 2008

Quote from Joe Conason

This is a worth-while quote that I would like to include on my blog. I read it first a few years ago and have referred to it several times since. It's from the introduction of the book, Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth, by Joe Conason, Published 2003.

"If Americans have a common fault, however it's our tendency to suffer from historical amnesia. Too many of us have forgotten, or never learned, what kind of country America was under the conservative rule that preceded the century of liberal reform. And too many of us have no idea whose ideas and energy brought about the reforms we now take for granted."
"If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a forty-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights - you can thank liberals. If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable - you can thank liberals. If your parents are eligible for Medicare and Social Security, so they can grow old in dignity without bankrupting your family - you can thank liberals. If our rivers are getting cleaner and our air isn't black with pollution; if our wilderness is protected and our countryside is still green - you can thank liberals. If people of all races can share the same public facilities; if everyone has the right to vote; if couples fall in love and marry regardless of race; if we have finally begun to transcend a segregated society - you can thank liberals. Progressive innovations like those and so many others were achieved by long difficult struggles against entrenched power. What defined conservatism, and conservatives, was their oppositon to every one of those advances." Pages 3 and 4

Thanks, Joe, for that timely reminder. For people who used to have those "progressive innovations" such as the option of union membership and have lost it, or if your air is now more polluted than it used to be - you can thank the conservative Reagan and Bush Administrations who have been trying deserately to take those rights away from you and reduce the qualilty of your life. To be honest some of the blame also goes to the Clinton Administration which was also too conservative much of the time.

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