November 9, 2021
When I posted What Phil Ochs Taught Me in 1966 Remains a Lesson for Today on Sunday little did I know that the New York Times was going to come in right behind me on this topic.
This morning’s Opinion Today, written by Binyamin Applebaum, showed us how states with Democrats fully in control of their State governments fail to enact policies they claim they support. In fact, on many of the critical elements of creating the fairer systems they say they favor these states perform worse than Republican-controlled states.
“More than 40 percent of Americans live in states, including Washington, where Democrats have the power to pass whatever laws they care to pass — to carry out policy without regard to Republican opposition. But the laws in those states pass often don’t look much like the Democratic Party’s campaign platforms. In Washington, for example, the distribution of state and local taxation is more regressive than in any other state. Not even Texas, which sits in second place, taxes the poor at such disproportionately punitive rates. It is in blue states that affordable housing is generally hardest to find, that disparities in education funding yawn widest — and that economic inequality is increasing most rapidly.”
Attached to this op-ed is a disturbing video that provides case examples of how this plays out in reality: housing policy in California and progressive tax systems in Washington.
We can decry the emptiness of Republican thinking, and the lack of any substance in their thinking. We can rail against the evil of their most extreme voices which want to put their heads in the sand, ignore the train coming down the tracks right at us and fight just to maintain their own privilege. But these are just whines and deflections when we will not act when we actually can act.
The barrier to progress, to the humane, fair nation we say we desire, is us. It is the unwillingness of “liberals” to act. All the arguments for practical politics, for another compromise, fall away in light of the reality that too many will not act when they can act.
For “liberals” the enemy is us.