Why Not You?

Pretext: This Facebook moment got me good and fired up tonight, and I cannot sleep.

(WECK 1230) — I’ve had many reasons to contemplate my future lately, some of which I’m even able to speak of right now, but I’ve realized my normal concerns and worries about the city I live extend much further than the boundaries of Erie and Niagara County. The strongest opinion taking hold of what remains of my brain isn’t one that anyone likes to read, even if they agree with it.

A lot of us are wimps.

This isn’t necessarily in the Ed Rendell sense, though I do think it’s ridiculous that a snowstorm can cancel a football game between all those super-tough, mostly-American males. No, we’re wimps in that the majority of us are allowing ourselves to be sucked in by one loud lout of a dissenting opinion rather than being buoyed by the many quieter folks who want to see some common sense prevail every now and again.

We’re caught up in a crapstorm of political correctness and the hidden evil of dismissive behavior. Take the idea of The Tea Party, for example. Yes, they may be funded by two of the world’s richest men and spurred onward by the some of the most annoying voices in national media, but rather than taking advantage of a political climate that is allowing such a group to make some noise in the political realm, what does the middle and the left do? Smug and arrogant dismissal. Why investigate the concept of moving forward outside the two-party system when we can laugh at Bill Maher’s pubescent smirking “Teabaggers” nickname? I thought the artificial rage stemming from Ian Murphy’s prank call to Scott Walker was borderline useless, but at least the guy is putting his actions where his anger is by running for the vacant NY-26 seat.

It’s popular for sports teams to adopt the “Why Not Us?” slogan when things start even a slight turn in their direction. I think it’s time for us to start dancing with the person who brought us: ourselves. DO SOMETHING. Join a town council or go to their mostly boring meetings. Stop waiting for a “Local Restaurant Week” to skip Chiles for El Canelo.

It is indeed time for the “Rise of the Center.” Rush Limbaugh has this super-crappy-but-effective way of making sure everybody buys his opinion: He tells them to “become the one of their group of friends that is informed.” He subsequently tells them he’s the only one who can inform them, but you get the idea. Stop representing a party line and start looking at what could make this country work. Stop abiding by easy outs like, “Poor people are ruining my paycheck by getting welfare” or “Everyone who votes Republican wants to kill every minority!”

So while I’d like to tell you to organize or register to vote, I can’t order you around. I can try to inspire every now and again, but who can trust in that? But how could would it be if instead of worrying whether an issue is going to give political sway to a LETTER OF THE ALPHABET (R or D), what if we answered questions with intelligence and compassion. For example — and this is an issue I have to say I am “Left” on — do you think a 4-year-old child should rot from a disease because her mom or dad doesn’t have a job? Does it matter why they don’t have a job or if they spend their welfare check on televisions or drugs?

There are issues like this on both sides. Common things that should be afforded to the people of what is an incredible nation. I know I don’t want to live anywhere else (though I’m coming to visit). I can I also tell you another thing I know: I’m a wimp. I wimped out in this very space by deleting two incendiary comments, one about Pro-Life death penalty supporters and another about Pro-Choice vegans. I was just trying to get a rise out of people, but I wimped out.

By the way, you can tell me to “stick to sports” and it’s not going to affect a single thing. Swell idea. Turns out the biggest stories in sports right now are:

1) Capitalists vs. unions (NFL labor unrest)

2) Whether the little guy belongs at the big guy’s party (Mid-majors in the Final Four of the NCAA tourney)

Oh, brother.

Email: nickonweck@gmail.com

3 Responses to Why Not You?

  1. No, we’re wimps in that the majority of us are allowing ourselves to be sucked in by one loud lout of a dissenting opinion rather than being buoyed by the many quieter folks who want to see some common sense prevail every now and again.
    Is this posted on WNYMedia? Yep. And Chris Smith isn’t being an asshat towards you. Centrism abound, let’s all educate ourselves with some Keynesian literature.

    Stop abiding by easy outs like, “Poor people are ruining my paycheck by getting welfare” or “Everyone who votes Republican wants to kill every minority!”
    Did you spend a day doing investigative work in the Langfield Projects like I suggested yet? It’s only like a minute away from work.

    By the way, you can tell me to “stick to sports” and it’s not going to affect a single thing.
    I never thought I’d be happy to hear Suzyn Waldman again.

  2. Keep the politics coming Nick!

    First off and almost completely an aside ““Poor people are ruining my paycheck by getting welfare” or “Everyone who votes Republican wants to kill every minority!”” Right wingers do say that about the poor, lefties don’t honestly say that about Republicans.

    Secondly I lean left. To a tea partier though I might look like a commie. I think there is a problem with people in the media like Rush that have been pushing the debate further to the right making the center look left. I blame Clinton, a pro corporate consolidation, free trade Democrat. He signed laws allowing for media consolidation. If Republicans truly had their eyes open they would have loved Clinton. It’s the anti-regulation, pro-greed Republicans that hated him and spread ideas that he was a leftist.

    I’m more convinced now than ever that Republicans in congress WANT to return us to the Gilded Age or 1920, all wealth and power in the hands of the very few. They complain about wealth redistribution while simultaneously lowering taxes on the most wealthy amongst us and cutting social programs and laws meant to protect workers from abuse. The sad part is that corporate media is complicit in the robbery. Corporate media doesn’t have an interest in reporting unbiased news, they want ratings which equal profits. Plain and simple. Republicans claim to want to balance the deficit but when they’re in power they have shown time and again they want no such thing! Perfect example: right now they want to cut spending but military spending is off the table. How else are all those munitions manufacturers and private security firms supposed to make unfettered profits on death and destruction?

    I am sick and goddamn tired of the lies spread in our media where middle class workers and union members are disparaged by billionaires or people speaking on their behalf (knowingly and unknowingly). Do you know how high a 1 billion dollar stack of cash would be? Over a mile high if it was a stack of $100 bills! And these are the people lobbying congress for lower taxes, offshore tax havens, free trade and bank bailouts! They fire workers by the thousands and increase profits and still get multi-million dollar bonuses when their companies fail. It’s infuriating.

    I do not dismiss the Tea Party. I think they are dangerous in two ways. 1. They are wildly misinformed people being whipped into a frenzy and a lot of them own guns. 2. They vote.

    Everyone is so damn greedy and concerned about what programs poor people can access they don’t see the profits of their hard work swallowed by corporate executives. And if I hear one more person say that our corporate taxes are too high I might vomit: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html

    Another bit that might cause me to retch: lower taxes = higher jobs. Not true. A company making profits having to pay less taxes means more profits for shareholders, not more jobs. 10 years of the Bush Tax cuts have shown us this. “Tax cuts may comfort the comfortable, to quote consultant Robert Shrum, but there’s not a convincing case that they result in new jobs.” http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/blog/macro-view/extending-the-bush-tax-cuts-would-they-create-more-jobs-or-just-comfort-the-comfortable/2298/

    They claim to be supply and demanders but if that’s true the market sets demand and demand requires jobs, in spite of taxes. Greed and no tariffs will send the jobs to the places where corporations and pay people the least. Do we want to compete with workers in China or Vietnam on a level playing field?