Spring and political warning signs

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By Rick Howell

    Is it just me, or has it been a long winter and we all feel very much ready for spring?

    Certainly, we didn’t have the major snow events we had last winter, but it just seems that there have been too many dark and dreary days, punctuated by their very short length.
    So, I’m happy to report - if you haven’t checked the calendar - that spring arrives this Sunday, March 20. This also means that major league baseball - and the local minor league versions - are just around the corner.
    As a Chicago Cubs fan, I knew about hope long before I ever voted for Barack Obama (and that’s the one thing about the prez I don’t like…he’s a White Sox fan!!).
    Of course, the hope of Cubs fans is usually spent by June 1, when we’re already dead in the water. But as I mentioned, there is minor league baseball, and that provides for evenings of warm sun, cold beer, and the game of baseball live….I’ll take it.
    But as we await spring, we can’t ignore the ominous warnings from the political world, as the conservative Republican assault on workers got a dreaded victory in Wisconsin.
    I hope working class people are paying attention, whether or not they belong to a union. The conservative agenda has been laid bare: America is to come under the complete control of multi-national corporations. Workers will ultimately have very little say in regard to wages, benefits, health care, or anything else that’s important.
    I’ve always said that if fascism ever comes to America, it will be wearing a business suit. And it will probably look a lot like Scott Walker, the young American Franco who is leading this wretched cause.
    Once conservatives destroy the public unions, then they can come after unions that represent the average worker, the ones they consider an unnecessary thorn in the side of their beloved “private sector.”
    Hitler destroyed the unions in Nazi Germany, just as Lenin, Stalin and the Bolsheviks did in Soviet Russia. If you work for a living, and you struggle and don’t make much money, you better start figuring out who your friends and your enemies are.
    Most analysts now say that we will only know the real public impact of the Wisconsin tragedy after next year’s presidential election. If the GOP can carry Wisconsin and defeat the president, plus win the Senate and control Congress, then the path to a neo-fascist, corporate state will be plain.
    Those of us who believe that workers - not “associates,” thank you - are more than a labor cost; that they’re human beings who deserve justice and fairness, including the right to a living wage, well, we still have time to win. But be clear: conservatism is and always has been about unfettered corporate power.
    Meanwhile, the Republicans “who would be king,” so to speak, are certainly off to an uncertain spring in their efforts to defeat Obama. The offering of the Baptists - Mike Huckabee - has been busy demonstrating why he’ll never be president.
    In a radio interview, Huckabee mused about Obama’s supposedly having been raised in Kenya, and how bad it is that his head must have been filled with myths about the British somehow being “imperialists.”
    No one that ignorant of the facts of history should ever be president. Yes, Mr. Huckabee, the British were the imperialists in Kenya, and in much of the rest of Africa and Asia, as well (the president was raised in Hawaii, not Kenya).
    Where, oh where, do the right-wingers find these people? Enjoy your spring…but keep paying attention.

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Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at NewCenHowell@aol.com