Is the Tide Turning

However they are ruled, people can only be pushed so far before they burst the bonds. I needn't cite the plethora of supportive data that goes back at least to Spartacus's rebellion against Roman tyranny, and that includes the American, French, and Russian revolutions among immeasurable others. For the past 40 years, the American working public has been taking it on the chin from the ruling rich. The average wage of non-supervisory workers today is $8. 77 an hour - not remotely near a living wage. The cost of college has increased 250 percent over the past 30 years and the average graduate debt is $35,000. Since the alleged "recovery" from the '08 crash, 1 percent of the population captured 95 percent of the new income. And this only scratches the surface of the historic and increasing wealth gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of Americans. Articles regularly appear by reputable economists documenting the increasing impossibility of any upward mobility on the part of the majority.

How much longer will people take it? Apparently not much, if recent events are any indication.

Ten years ago the American people for the most part supported George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, however deceitfully he disguised his real intent to control Iraqi oil. Today, when President Obama called for military action in Syria, these same people unilaterally rejected it.

Obama, who wanted to appoint Larry Summers as head of the Federal Reserve, was defeated by progressive senators on the banking committee (Brown, Markley, Warren and Tester) who, truly representing their constituencies, saw Summers for what he was: a Wall Streeter who helped feed the banks hundreds of billions of dollars of the people's money through the '08 bailout and a sexist who, as President of Harvard, declared women less capable than men of the rigors of science and math.

The right-wing Republicans in Congress - who have become legendary for their unprecedented thwarting of legislative process are being backed against the wall because they would rather shut down the government than acquiesce to poor uninsured people having affordable medical coverage - a piece of blackmail Obama has sworn not to submit to. Long-entrenched right-wing legislators such as Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are facing stiff opposition at the polls because working people are seeing that the interests of the elite rather than their own are being represented.

Anyone who's been alert to what's been happening over the past few years should not be surprised by this turn of events. The Occupy Wall Street movement, dismissed by the ill-informed as a forum for kooks, was a cry by the 99 percent against the inequitable rule of the rich - a reign having grown tighter each day since Ronald Reagan's 1980 election as the champion of laissez-faire capitalism with its "trickle down" myth. The people's 2010 occupation of the Wisconsin capitol building in response to governor Scott Walker's attack on municipal workers was another harbinger of rebellion which can only grow as inequity increases.

There needn't be - nor will there be - violent revolutions in democratic societies.

Power is always in the hands of the people, and democratic process is all they need today to implement it. It just naturally takes some time for them to see through the mist of ruling-class propaganda before they assert their own interests.

This could be happening now, as more and more people realize that their and their children's livelihoods, security, and well being are steadily being stolen by an insatiable minority.

Don't listen for gunshots but for the voice of the people that the right wing is trying desperately to silence by suppressing even the right to vote.

Andrew Torre lives in Landgrove.


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