Monday, February 16, 2015
They called him Theordore Rex sometimes
It might be good to note, as this meme from Bernie Sanders makes its way around, that TR was speaking of the ancient republics of Greece, Italy, and Flanders as examples of this type of bad outcome. In the very next breath, he says this of Americans:
"The reason why our future is assured lies in the fact that our people are genuinely skilled in and fitted for self-government and therefore will spurn the leadership of those who seek to excite this ferocious and foolish class antagonism. The average American knows not only that he himself intends to do what is right, but that his average fellow countryman has the same intention and the same power to make his intention effective. He knows, whether he be business man, professional man, farmer, mechanic, employer, or wage-worker, that the welfare of each of these men is bound up with the welfare of all the others; that each is neighbor to the other, is actuated by the same hopes and fears, has fundamentally the same ideals, and that all alike have much the same virtues and the same faults. Our average fellow citizen is a sane and healthy man who believes in decency and has a wholesome mind..."
So it is easy to blame the oligarchs - and believe me, I do - but I think we also have to wonder how many of us, at least in the public discourse, present as sane and healthy and decent and wholesome of mind. Do we still think that that the welfare of each of us is bound up with the welfare of all of us? How skilled in and fitted for self-government are we really?
The answers to those questions might be what scare me more that the 1%.