When I first started with Forwardlookout, we brought you the stories of how Sunny Schubert writes a local column disguised as public interest, in the Herald-Independent when in fact she is actually a paid hack of the far right wing extremist organization WPRI.
As if that was not bad enough, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also gave Schubert a form under “Purple Wisconsin“. All of this of course does not stop Schubert from pushing her right wing propaganda upon the folks of Monona/Cottage Grove.
At their cores, what most of my gripes are about is the diminishment of power of the average citizen. It is an issue of human rights, social justice, and sustainability when people’s ability to participate fully in their own governance is infringed upon or muted. We should have elected officials who are beholden to us, not beholden to Super PAC donors, corporations, or the Grover Norquists of the world.
Will America’s citizens have the willingness to make change? Do we have what it takes for a good revolution?
I turn for inspiration to Robert M. La Follette, who struggled repeatedly against a political machine until finally becoming Wisconsin’s governor. He led an era of progressive reform that helped give Wisconsin its reputation for clean governance.
Said La Follette, “We are slow to realize that democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle. It is only as those of every generation who love democracy resist with all their might the encroachments of its enemies that the ideals of representative government can even be nearly approximated.”
So, if we love democracy, it is time to fix it. If we want our government to remain one that derives its powers “from the consent of the governed,” the governed had better get to work.
I dutifully kept my big mouth shut about all matters political in this column for the past three months. But Heather Gates’ “The Natural Step” column last week in the Herald-Independent demands a response.
Gates usually spends her ink exhorting us to live in 300-square-foot homes, eat nothing but brown rice that we buy in bulk and organic vegetables that we grow ourselves with chicken-poop fertilizer from our own (illegal) backyard chicken coops, while confining ourselves to weekly two-minute showers using solar-heated rainwater.
But even though I don’t agree with her, I read her. This is unlike many of Gates’ fellow liberals, who seldom seem to read anything or anyone they might disagree with.
First she starts out with a straw man argument that she knows just isnt true, trying to make her target seem out of touch. I have searched and searched and have not found a single column of heather Gates where she has said that we should live in a 300 Sq Ft house and eat brown rice. Also a quick FYI to Sunny, liberals like myself and others are perpetually reading columns etc… that we disagree with. So a quick two lies to start out her point(not entirely unexpected). Then there is more:
For instance, in Gates’ column last week, she called for a “good” revolution in which, presumably, the good liberals will overpower the bad conservatives by somehow overturning the “harmful” Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
As an example of the evils of Citizens United, she mentioned that “billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson… can donate tens of millions of dollars” to support conservative/Republican candidates and causes.
In case you know Adelson only as a rich Republican donor, you might be interested to learn that he is the son of poor Jewish immigrants who came to the United States in the 1930s. His Lithuanian-born father was a taxi driver; his British-born mother ran a knitting shop. “Like most Jews around the country, being Democrat was part of our identity, as much a feature of our collective personality as our religion,” he wrote in a moving piece in the Wall Street Journal titled “I didn’t leave the Democrats; the Democrats left me.”
One of the factors that prompted Adelson to become Republican, he writes, is the Democrats’ waning support for Israel. “There is now a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats,” he says.
Another factor is Democrats moving away from traditional values like charity and neighborliness, he says, and toward government dependency. Adelson notes that “states that vote Republican are now far more generous to charities than those voting Democratic. In 2008, the seven least-generous states all voted for President Obama.”
While Adelson acknowledges that government does have a role to play in aiding the poor, he quotes political scientist Walter Russell Mead in describing what over-reliance on government has done to the Democratic stronghold of Illinois:
“Illinois politicians, including the present president of the United States, have wrecked one of the country’s potentially most prosperous and dynamic states, condemned millions of poor children to substandard education, failed to maintain vital infrastructure, choked business development and growth through unsustainable tax and regulatory policies—and still failed to appease the demands of the public sector unions and fee-seeking Wall Street crony capitalists who make billions off the state’s distress.”
Adelson goes on, but I won’t, because you can read it for yourself – if you’re remotely interested in what motivates conservatives. (Hint: It’s not racism, sexism or homophobia.)
Oh, and by the way, the great irony here is that, after two years of whining by the hard-core Left about the evils of the Citizens United decision, their guy won anyway.
Adelson spent something like $53 million supporting Republicans, and got bupkis. Or, as Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt, authors of “Freakonomics” put it so bluntly: “Money does not buy elections.” You can read that, too.
Do we still need that “good” revolution?
Well for starters, Sheldon Adelson donated $150,000,000 to make sure the republicans won. Also a quick 30 seconds on Google, and we see Mr. Adelson might not be quite so pure of heart as Sunny made him out to be.
Adelson does most of his business in Macao, where he made his fortune and also has been caught up in a Prostitution Scandal. This prompted investigation into his casinos by Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It turns out, outside of the republican/WPRI bubble that the main reason Adelson switched allegiances from democrat to republican had nothing to do with any of the reasons Sunny made up above. The reasons were strictly personal:
The top reason Adelson gave for backing Romney and opposing President Barack Obama is “self defense,” as Allen put it, referencing the probe into Las Vegas Sands Corp. “Adelson said a second Obama term would bring government ‘vilification of people that were against him.’ He thinks he would be at the top of that list and contends that he already has been targeted for his political activity,” Allen wrote.
Adelson’s casino empire, the bulk of which is based in Asia, is being investigated for bribery and money laundering. He told Allen that Justice Department officials have been disparaging him in the press. “When I see what’s happening to me and this company, about accusations that are unfounded — that kind of behavior … has to stop,” he told Allen.
In other words, Adelson is spending millions of dollars to curry political favor in the United States, hoping to fend off charges that he spent millions of dollars to curry political favor in Asia.
What a peach of a guy that Sheldon is!
It would be helpful to all involved if Sunny at least tried to bring some facts into her column.
For the record, I think I can safely speak for Ms. Gates when I say that we don’t want an individual donor spending $150 million dollars to get our candidates elected. Let’s get money OUT of politics.
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