Dec. 20, 2010
The compromise tax-cut deal that President Obama signed into law on Friday has angered many of his supporters. In his new book, Death of the Liberal Class, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges argues that the failure of President Obama to represent the interests of his supporters is just another example of a quickly dying liberal class. In the book, Hedges explains how the five pillars of the liberal class—the press, universities, unions, liberal churches and the Democratic Party—have become corrupt. [includes rush transcript]
AMY GOODMAN:—Pentagon Papers whistleblower; Ray McGovern, who was the briefer for George H.W. Bush for years, worked at the Central Intelligence Agency; many veterans. We played some clips last week, at the same time that this tax bill was passed, which will increase taxes on the working poor and decrease, of course, at the highest level, the wealthiest Americans. Link the war with—spending on the war with what we’re spending on people at home and dealing with poverty here.
CHRIS HEDGES: Well, you know, this was—became a very prominent theme that Martin Luther King beat home, especially in the last years of his life during the Vietnam War, that—especially because we’re going into debt. I mean, we’re building a kind of debt peonage system, which is used then as an excuse to go after wage earners, to go after systems like Social Security. I mean, one of the most pernicious things that Obama did in this tax bill was reduce contributions to Social Security, because of course that’s next on the target, as well as raise the deficit by $900—$700 and $900 billion.
And what’s terrifying about movements like the Tea Party is that they provide a kind of emotional consistency. And, of course, that undercurrent of racism towards undocumented workers, towards Muslims, is very much a part of the language of that pernicious right wing. But it embraces all things military, as if somehow the military is not part of government. It’s an irrational political policy. You know, nobody—they want to get government off their backs, but nobody—everybody wants to extend unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicare, and of course not touch the big—you know, the force that is draining the—hollowing the country out from the inside, which is the military-industrial complex—50 percent of all discretionary spending. And so, as these deficits—we’ve now racked up the largest deficits in human history, and as these deficits are ratcheted upwards, and there is an inability to question the self-destructive quality of the armament industry, then it’s taken out on the backs of the working class—and our working class is already in tremendous financial straits—and in the middle class.
mediagrrl9 on Dec 20, 2010
Chris Hedges: Obama is a “Poster Child for the Death of the Liberal Class”
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Death of the Liberal Class, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).
- Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail by Chris Hedges (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Chris Hedges: The Road to Modern Feudalism (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Chris Hedges: Death of the Liberal Class (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Chris Hedges: Hope is an Action (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)