Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Idea Long Gone

As Congressional Republicans revel in their ability to shut down government over their inability to stop people from getting affordable health care, read the words of LBJ, announcing his plans for "The Great Society." It's about as far from the teabagger vision as a thing can get, and, thanks to their nonstop and highly effective propaganda apparatus otherwise known as Fox "news" and right-wing radio, we'll never see it again. The quote is from an article by my man Charles P. Pierce:

"For a century, we labored to settle and to subdue a continent. For half-a-century we called upon unbounded invention and untiring industry to create an order of plenty for all our people. The challenge of the next half-century is whether we have the wisdom to use our wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization. Your imagination, your initiative, and your indignation, will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth... 
For in your time we have the opportunity to move forward not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to The Great Society...There are those timid souls who say this battle cannot be won, that we are condemned to a soulless wealth. I do not agree. We have the power to shape the civilization that we want. But we will need your labor, your hearts, if we are to build that kind of society." 
 "The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are all totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning. The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents...It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community... 
But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor." 

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