Hello. My name is Marc Ginsburg and I’d like to talk a little about what America means to me and what the Democratic and Republican Parties mean to me. I grew up in an America that was a lot better than the one we live in now. So many things were available to you, a good education, a chance at a really good life, the choice to be whoever you wanted to be if you were willing to work hard for it. I learned that these things didn’t just come by themselves. People had fought many times over to make them possible. They had fought a war to defend everyone’s right to be free in every way, politically and economically. They had fought another war to defend that right for not just some but for all. But most important, when a big economic depression hit our land and millions of people lost their jobs, they united and rallied together around a government that was dedicated to helping lift them out of their dire poverty and not only restore a thriving economy but ensure that protections were in place for all Americans so that they would never again lose all and the economy grind to a complete halt. That is the reason that when I was growing up, there was so much freedom, freedom of spirit, freedom to be who you wanted to be, lots of choices before you, a general sense of happiness.
What happened? How did that all disappear? In 1980, many Americans had come of age who had forgotten what hard times were like. They took for granted the free air of the great society that America was at the time. At that time, a very charismatic man by the name of Ronald Reagan was running for President. He was able to deceive enough people that the source of all their problems was government and that the solution to all their problems lay in private businesses, that if left alone, without regulation protecting you and every other American from the abuses of financial power, these private businesses would, through economic activity, ensure everyone’s happiness and prosperity. So they elected him President. It was the first election I voted in and I was proud to cast my first vote for democracy by voting against a Republican. I have voted that way ever since, proudly. I have always put the ideals of what America means and I certainly never allowed myself, no matter how hopeless our government seemed, let that get in the way of what I have believed in about America, the land of freedom, and have put my ideals above reality into practice by going out and voting Democratic in every election.
At first everything seemed good during President Reagan’s tenure in office. The economy was booming, people were happy and we were not at war. But within a mere ten years, more and more Americans were being put out of work and not for anything they did wrong. By 1992, they were fed up and desperate and they kicked out the Republicans. And the economy started to get better again.
But it was already too late. The Republicans—under Ronald Reagan—had already deregulated the media and large corporations bought out almost all the existing media chains and news coverage changed from the impartial and honest news coverage that I had known as a child to a news coverage that was slanted in favor of very wealthy and powerful people who have always had a vested interest in keeping a very unequal economy so that they could increase their power to obscene levels. And the best weapon they had was very powerful news stations to give you a very distorted picture of what is really going on.
And it has worked. With the exception of a few short years a few years ago, when Americans got so fed up that they kicked out the Republicans from both houses, and we were saved from what would have become a major depression, this media has successfully deceived so many Americans into fear, anger and a horrible mood is now gripping our country, at a time when what we need more than ever is a stubborn virulent optimism, the kind that kept our founders and pioneers going in the early and very trying days of our nation.
Over the past six years, the Republicans have cried the mantra of austerity, of not spending—all this at a time when so many of us desperately needed help. This is not at all what America is about.
America is about looking out for each other and working together so that everyone can win in society and thereby contribute to a thriving economy. But the Republicans have said no to this for decades. The name of our country is the United States of America. That means we achieve our strength by uniting together and working together for everyone’s good. Because when everyone has food on the table, a good education, freedom of spirit and enough money to live well, that is when our economy grows. Private companies will never ensure that. They have no legal obligation to do so. They are not in business for you. They are in business for themselves. Only a strong people, united together in governing each other—a government of the people, a government by the people and a government for the people—only such a people’s government will ensure the wellbeing and economic prosperity of everyone. This is what the Democratic Party stands for. This is the opposite of what the Republican Party stands for. The Republican Party, owned and run by private corporations and not be the people, wants to cut you loose and leave you to fend for yourself. They have no interest in your betterment. And from the past four years of their pushing a very hateful agenda as well as the eight years of a very badly run administration, they continually prove that not only are they dedicated to the opposite of the very ideals which America stands for but they are very bad at it too, even while they shout epithets at their opponents for being bad at governing.
But the more important issue is that if you stay home and don’t vote at all, you are giving away your power, your freedom, to other people, who won’t work on your behalf. By not voting, you are helping destroy everything this country was founded to protect each other against. The best way to bring back one-man rule, dictatorship, whether political or economic, is to give away your freedom by not participating in governing. We have seen that when people came out in 2006, in 2008 and in 2012, Democrats won a big victory for all of us. But when people stayed home in 2010, Republicans of the worst kind got into our government and pretty much wrecked it since. Now is the time to stop that train wreck. The Republicans have stolen their seats in government by fostering the deception that government is evil. Government is the one thing we have to stand in our corner if we keep an eye on it and make sure the right people get in. Now is not the time to give our only hope of true freedom away. Now is the time to get out and fight ten times harder to keep what’s left of it and to strengthen it every day—to take our government back so that democracy, both with a big and small D, can survive another day.What America Means To Me