Progressives and Evolution

August 2nd, 2017

I’m a progressive who 17 years ago was a social liberal, fiscal conservative. Or more to the point, I was wrong. It took two recessions and real-life experiences to truly understand the macro-economics at play.

The best way to understand capitalism is to first understand “capital.” Let’s imagine capital as a pile of baseball bats. Don’t laugh. We used to back money with gold bricks. Why gold? Because it was shiny?

So there is a large pile of baseball bats, and whomever controls access to the “capital” (the bats) uses the bats to keep others away from the capital. They literally club them with the bats. (They force them to live with splinters of bats, which doesn’t allow them enough wood to fight for education or economic opportunity.) Actually, the people with the bats give small pieces of the bats to people who dream of greater access, and will fight on behalf of the bat owners with the hope that one day they will have greater access. Ultimately though, one needs to believe in the bats. One must believe that if they work hard enough, the people with the bats will allow them access. And of course, if you live long enough, you realize that seldom ever happens.

To that point, Tomi Lahren, a popular FOX and Blaze GOP proselytizer, is like many young people today; liberal when it comes to social issues, but seduced by the romanticism of the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” propaganda. She believes that bats are available to everyone. I understand her dilemma. Ironically, her belief that people are inherently good is at the heart of the progressive movement.

I loathe Trump and the hate-filled vitriol he peddles to the millions of disillusioned Americans. I remember some of the same xenophobic responses from 1980 when the Young Republicans flirted with racism as they portrayed welfare recipients as lazy and unmotivated. They were wrong and and time has proven so. But if we are to bring justice and equality to those in need, we need to encourage young people like Ms. Lahren with affirmation, not ridicule. She’s smart, and has recently showed signs of self-deprecation and the confidence that accompanies that kind of maturation.

Chip Franklin

Franklin is a 25 year veteran of talk radio, beginning his career in Washington DC during Clinton’s first term. He currently hosts the afternoon show at KGO radio, San Francisco. In addition, Chip is an award-winning filmmaker, comedian, and scribe, garnering seven Edward R Murrow awards, including the National Murrow award for writing. He’s also won The New York Festival honors for his unconventional coverage of The Democratic and Republican conventions, as well as more than 30 AP awards for broadcasting, and numerous appearances on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and CNN. He has appeared at over 500 colleges and universities and more than a hundred Fortune 1000 companies as a speaker, comedian, and media consultant. Marc Fisher, senior editor at the Washington Post says, “Chip adds irony to a medium that rarely trusts its audience to get the joke.” He is however, a mediocre dancer.
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