Special Comment: Where Is The Outrage To Come From?

The following is an extract from a piece by Keith Olbermann, is a left-leaning American political commentator and writer. He made this speech Special Comment: The four great hypocrisies of the debt deal, in response to the US negotiations over the faux-debt ceiling crisis of 2011.

There is passion and an exhortation to defend what we know is right and wrong from a media that prefers manipulations to news, and politicians who prefer chasing and maintaining power to leading and governing, and elected officials who transfer money from the working poor and vulnerable to the ultra-rich so that the ultra-rich can continue to buy governments and laws in their favour.

Where Olbermann refers to government, imagine these things being done in a future dystopia that will be an Abbott-government. Then tell yourself you will do what you can to ensure that Tony Abbott will Never be Prime Minister.

Where is the outrage to come from?

Do you expect it to come from a corrupt and corrupted media, for whom access is of greater importance than criticizing the failure of a political party or defending those who don’t buy newspapers or can’t leap website paywalls or could not afford cable tv?

Do you expect it to come from a cynical and manipulative political structure? Do you expect it from those elected officials who no longer know anything of government or governance, but only perceive how to get elected, or how to pose in front of a camera and pretend to be leaders? Do you expect it from politicians themselves, who will merely calculate whether or not it’s right based on whether or not it will get them more contributions?

Do you expect it will come from the great middle ground of this country, with a population obsessed with entertainment, video games, social media, sports, and trivia?

Where is the outrage to come from?

From you!

It will do no good to wait for the politicians to suddenly atone for their sins. They are too busy trying to keep their jobs, to do their jobs.

It will do no good to wait for the media to suddenly remember its origins as the ‘free press,’ the watchdog of democracy envisioned by Jefferson. They are too busy trying to get exclusive details about exactly how the bank robbers emptied the public’s pockets, to give a damn about telling anybody what they looked like, or which way they went.

It will do no good to wait for the apolitical public to get a clue. They can’t hear the clue through all the chatter and scandal and diversion and delusion and illusion.

The betrayal of what this nation is supposed to be about did not begin with this deal and it surely will not end with this deal. There is a tide pushing back the rights of each of us, and it has been artificially induced by union-bashing and the sowing of hatreds and fears, and now this ever-more-institutionalized economic battering of the average American. It will continue, and it will crush us, because those who created it are organized and unified and hell-bent.

And the only response is to be organized and unified and hell-bent in return. We must find again the energy and the purpose of the 1960’s and early 1970’s and we must protest this deal and all the God damn deals to come, in the streets. We must arise, non-violently but insistently. General strikes, boycotts, protests, sit-ins, non-cooperation take-overs – but modern versions of that resistance, facilitated and amplified, by a weapon our predecessors did not have: the glory that is instantaneous communication.

It is from an old and almost clichéd motion picture that the wisdom comes: First, you’ve got to get mad.

I cannot say to you, meet there or there at this hour or that one, and we will peacefully break the back of government that now exists merely to get its functionaries re-elected. But I can say that the time is coming when the window for us to restore the control of our government to our selves will close, and we had damn well better act before then.

Because this deal is more than a tipping point in which the government goes from defending the safety net to gutting it. This is wrong, and while our government has now declared that it has given up the concept of right-and-wrong, you and I… have not, and will not, do so.

Good night, and good luck.

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