Monday, November 21, 2016

Obama obit (political)

This is why I got out of politics -- the never-ending backtrack. In politics you've got to go back to go back, and you do, over and over and over again, when the right-wing 'conservatives' replace the left-wing progressives and dismantle all their good work to make their countries and the world a healthier, happier, safer place.

Here in New Zealand, when the RW John Key and party replaced the LW Helen Clark and party in 2009, her poignant words on election night were: 'I hope all that we've achieved won't be undone.'

It was, or much of it.

One of the first things Key did in office was repeal Labour's Healthy Food in School's policy that had funded the removal of fatty junk food from school canteens, a critical policy to turning around the child -- and so adult -- obesity burden in poorer communities.

The second was to increase the cost of food by raising GST by another 2.5%, a flat tax increase that hit the poor disproportionately and forced those struggling to feed their children to rely all the more on cheap junk food. This rise he had also promised the electorate he would not implement. Honesty means nothing to the wrong-wing.

Then, with the gains to the govt coffers, he cut taxes on the very rich at a time when we were in the thick of a recession caused by the recklessness and corruption of the very rich and in the process, reversed the progressive taxation policies introduced by Clark's government.

Our only public broadcaster, Radio New Zealand, has had no funding increase since the wrong wing came to office and is on the verge of having to close its Auckland office and studio that it has run successfully for many decades. It is the most listened to radio channel in the country by a long margin.

And so the fear is that the US right-wing will do as the NZ right-wing did and dismantle the progressive policies brought in by Obama over his eight years in office. And they will, because that's what they do. It's just a question of how fast and how much progress will be undone in the first four years.

With the world watching more so than ever it's also a question of how much this political corruption that is getting more brazen and shameless by the day can be challenged and exposed as fundamentally wrong and harmful to everyone in the long run -- even all the little Trump juniors.

So we the good have our mission for the next four years. To speak out about the harm Obama's replacement is doing and so honour Obama's legacy and honour ourselves and our children. He's already appointed an all-white all-male cabinet which is the first brazen leap back to the dark ages of institutionalised racist chauvinism.

And on that note, bravo to the cast of Hamilton for shaming Pence when he attended one of their shows on Broadway, calling him out when he got up to leave after the show with the challenge: "We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights."

Do not cower, do not fear, the time for action is here!

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