Thursday, December 13, 2018
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Working Americans Getting the Short End of the Stick (My Most...

This piece has run in newspapers in my very red congressional district (VA-06). ***************************** Let me begin by citing a few facts to substantiate a statement...

Are These the Kind of People Who Should Choose Our Future?

This will be running as my weekly op/ed in the newspapers of my very Republican congressional District (VA-06). ********************** Such things are rarely displayed so blatantly,...

Real and Phony Problems with Our Trade Deals

This piece will be appearing in newspapers in my conservative congressional district (VA-06). Trump is right that there are problems with our trade deals. But...

The “Right-to-Work” Con

This piece will be appearing in newspapers in my conservative congressional district (VA-06). When I was involved in electoral politics here in Virginia, I was...

Occupy Movement at Two Months

I'm still trying to figure out whether the Occupy Wall Street movement in all its iterations is just a passing flash of citizen frustration and anger or the start of a powerful grassroots movement for needed change in the United States. I do know that I'm no longer at an age where street theater without specific goals makes sense for me, but I give OWS credit for one important achievement. At last, the debate in this country has moved from focusing solely on how much to slash the safety net for the weakest among us to the obscene accumulation of wealth and political power in the hands of a tiny oligarchy. That can't be underestimated.

OWS has punched through the wall of special interests surrounding the mainstream media and brought that realization to the forefront of our politics, but the question for me is, What's next? Just talking about the corruption of our political system and the fallacy of "free" markets that serve only the greedy and the rich doesn't bring change.

As Adam Markwood, a development finance consultant stated in the Roanoke Times, "Our broken system has become a wealth-ocracy...in which representation is based on how much money one can throw at a political campaign. Politicians and, therefore, legislation can be bought. Legislation is a product for sale to the highest bidder, and the rich have been buying it like pigs at the trough at the expense of everyone else, the 99 percent."

I do fear that the powerful message that OWS has injected into the national political debate may get muddled and lost as OWS attempts to attract as broad a coalition of supporters as possible, thus finding itself being defined by a sprinkling of anarchists, Marxists, and anti-Semites whose presence could be used to discredit the vital message of the whole group.

Last month, I attended the first organizational meeting of Occupy Roanoke. Two things struck me almost immediately.