Sunday October 21, 2012

I think human history can be viewed as a series of five major struggles. The first is for economic justice. For most of history there have been the near-starving multitudes and the greedy nobility who clearly feel they are superior and literally entitled. The American and French revolutions challenged this notion and a new model emerged. With the rise of labor, a strong middle class was finally born, as Pittsfield well knows.

Now we see an alarming slide in the opposite direction with the 1 percent controlling the 99 percent. The middle class has been under serious attack for the past 30 years. Who backs this trend and has always been on the side of the wealthy? Without out a doubt conservatives.

The second struggle is for racial justice. We ended slavery and have come a long way, but who has consistently fought at every step, integration, voting rights, biracial marriage, equal opportunity and judicial fairness? Conservatives. After all, the Constitution says that America is a white, Christian nation doesn’t it?

The third struggle is for gender equality. It’s hard to imagine that women’s suffrage did not occur until 1919. Even now, who is against equal pay for equal work? Abortion, even in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother? Contraception? Who cheers when Rush Limbaugh calls a perfectly fine Georgetown law student a slut? Conservatives -- once again on the wrong side of history, if not decency itself.


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The fourth rather new struggle is justice with regard to sexual orientation. Who opposes anti-discrimination laws, hate crime legislation, gays in the military and, of course, gay marriage? Who preaches this repulsive nonsense? Conser vatives. Cowards secretly terrified, perhaps, that even their own son or daughter might be gay.

The fifth major struggle is in regard to stewardship of the Earth itself. Who denies even the concept of global warming and climate change despite the scientific conviction of about 99 percent of world scientists? Who cares not the least to see coal smoke relentlessly spewing into the atmosphere or oil dumping into the Gulf. Who thinks the Earth is only 8,000 years old and that the creation myth is literally true? Conservatives -- once again parading their breathtaking idiocy.

All of these struggles are related back to the first above. Masquerading as Christians, these people have morphed the Golden Rule into "Come hell or high water, standing on the backs of others, build the highest pile of gold you can." That is the mantra of conservatives and unfortunately, far too many people swallow it whole hog. STEPHEN TRACY

Lee