Rally up the Middle

Posted by By at 29 October, at 08 : 08 AM Print

Life in the radical middle is not so noisy as living on the right or left.
We don’t do as much hyperbole, for instance.
From time to time, our label-makers get rusty — because we can’t figure whether the ideas on the nightly news are conservative or progressive. Our strongest reactions are probably some variation of “WTF?”
Because WTF is all you can say to a wing nut peddling a partial truth, when there is a balancing fact or two waiting to be heard. We the People prefer the whole truth. (That was the real value of the late Fairness Doctrine in broadcast news. It ensured that more truth could be heard, if not necessarily listened to.)
So as a public service, we are totally supporting the Daily Show’s Rally to Restore Sanity on Saturday, Oct. 30, in Washington, D.C.
As Jon Stewart, said, “We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard.”
RockTheCapital will be there. We urge you to go and to add your voice to a reasonable, national conversation on stuff that is too important to be left to MoveOn.org and Glenn Beck.
Like what?
Like the continuous whining about taxes. The United States of America has one of the lowest tax rates in the world, and the highest income per hour. The average household in Pennsylvania ranks at the top 1 percent of world incomes. Yes, the average family in this state is wealthier than 99 percent of the people in the world.
To sum up: as a nation, we make more money than anyone else in the world and pay less in taxes. It gets better all the time. Tax rates in America now are lower than when Eisenhower was president.
If you want to dispute what those taxes pay for, I’m with you. I wish we could designate a use, like with United Way. For example, I want my taxes to go for libraries and bridges and restaurant health inspections, and not for legislative lunches or the invasion of sovereign nations on a pretext.
But the idea that there is nothing better than lower taxes? Honestly, I can’t get there. It’s bogus, it’s greedy. It’s a rich-people, upper-class thing that I don’t comprehend, a psychological need that no amount of cash can satisfy.
What else?
Okay, the Bailout. The intrinsically evil $700 billion Bailout that started by saving Wall Street, went on to rescue General Motors and generally kept the economy intact and unemployment below worst-case projections.
Actually, it cost less than 10 percent of the $700 billion. Most of the money has been paid back. TARP may wind up as a profitable investment once the AIG plan shakes out.
TARP ended at the beginning of October with few final reckonings. Only the protestors screaming “Socialism” were likely to be heard.
It’s the screaming that is the problem.
It’s the problem with the lovely folks at the Westboro Baptist Church who picket military funerals with signs urging God to kill more American soldiers. To me, that’s treason. Even Jane Fonda never did that. Yet as a whole the Christian community tolerates the Westboro traitors.
Scripturally, they fit in with the legendary Pat Robertson and his take on New Orleans – that Hurricane Katrina was a punishment from God for being bad. The difference here is that Mr. Robertson doesn’t scream his hateful ideals. He pushes them onto the airwaves with oily precision and a smile. I can live with that.
The Westboro folks remind me of the guy on Market Square with a bullhorn blasting his version of Jesus the Avenger at the poor people standing around waiting for the bus. It seems less like reasoned discourse and more like disturbing the peace.
Let’s talk about it. Join us at the rally on Oct. 30.


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Pat Carroll has worked as a writer and editor for newspapers and television for three decades. His checkered career path also included gigs as a personal chef, iron pourer, dishwasher and commercial real estate appraiser. He writes now only to finance his golf addiction. - Email Patt Carroll

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