I’ll Wait For You

By David Glenn Cox

Years ago I was in a terrible car crash. It was a beautiful, sunny

spring day and we were headed for Panama City, Florida. My friend had

just replaced his four thousand-pound Ford with a new MGB convertible.

The back tire, the driving wheel, got into the gravel and lost

traction. The car swerved and he jerked the wheel to correct, but it

wasn’t a four thousand-pound Ford, just an eighteen hundred-pound

sports car. All of my life compressed into one instant of stopped and

frozen time and a realization that even today haunts my nights. One

fleeting thought passed through my mind, not with fear, for it was far

too quick for fear to catch hold of its coattails. My thought was,

“We’re not going to get out of this.”

I have watched with lively

interest as the media has described our economic crisis as the sub

prime mortgage mess. Back then the theory was decoupling, all the while

denying that we were in a recession. The unemployment numbers grew and

economic statistics declined as our former President described the

millions losing their homes as “poor consumers.” The President began a

program, arm in arm with the lenders, the same lenders that made the

bad loans in the first place. And what did he offer to the borrowers?

The same package that he offered New Orleans in the days after Katrina.


admit openly to being cynical, but why shouldn’t I be? I’ve seen my

industry devastated with the associated plant closings and suicides. I

started two businesses myself; isn’t that what they told us we should

try to do? I’ve shuttered them both and because of that when I see a

vacant storefront I don’t just see an empty building, I see a

devastated dream. The dream of people who tried to do better for

themselves, who took out loans and sold off property on a gamble.

People hounded night and day by bill collectors while the banks that

gave them loans are bailed out.

But it occurred to me, as they

were discussing limiting executive compensation, I thought to myself,

“Wait a damn minute here! If they’re going to take federal money then

we need to send those executives to Urine University for a whiz quiz.”

After all, everyone from high school athletes to tens of millions of

Americans merely seeking employment are forced to submit to a urine

test for drug screening. It is a search without probable cause, and

it’s not the test I mind but the idea of the test. But these executives

have failed; they have crashed their industry, and if we whiz quiz bus

drivers, involved in fender benders, why not the banking executives?


private physicians, no you go to the doc in the box just like everyone

else and have the orderly stand next to you while you pee. I mention

this because it illustrates the two-tiered system. Banks get bailed

out, bankers get bailed out, insurance companies get bailed out. But

when the issue is brought to the fore to rescue workers or the big

three, immediately the issue becomes over-paid union auto workers and

Americans that will just have to settle for less. Well, I’ve got two

words for them, Fuck You!

I hope that won’t be edited because as

Mark Twain once said, “Sometimes profanity offers a release denied even

to prayer.” It is this heads I win, tails you lose society that I have

just have grown sick of. This blizzard of propaganda until we can’t see

the forest for the trees. The national network media operates as a

private club, offering unquestioned opinion against the stimulus

package. Google FDR’s New Deal and you’ll see opinion article after

article defaming the New Deal and Roosevelt as prolonging the

depression and making it worse, but what you won’t find is any viable


The sufferings of the man on the street are

ignored, but zoo XYZ just got a new panda cub! The thousands lined up

at a food pantry in Detroit, that’s not news in America; if you want to

read about that, try Europe. Just this morning I heard it described

again as a crisis of confidence. The Pollyanna /Phil Graham notion that

if we think it is all right then it is all right school of economics.

As the debate continues about the dangers of government intervention

interfering with the free market, I scream, “Don’t you get it? We’re

not going to get out of this!”

I supported President Obama’s

campaign and I think he is a very intelligent man. But he is a captain

without radar picket ships. Does he honestly believe that he’s going to

get anywhere by talking sweetly to Republicans? You can’t fight pit

bulls with “nice doggie.” The stimulus package is a patch for a flat

tire when what we need is a new tire or maybe even a new vehicle.


thirty-year Republican revolution of Ronald Reagan has cost us our

manufacturing base and brought us declining wages for all but the top

20%. It’s given us the most expensive health care system in the world,

which enriches the corporations at the expense of the poorest among us.

Bill Clinton tried to buck the system but found out very quickly that

it puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose. Only when he

co-operated was he able to pass legislation such as NAFTA and Welfare

Reform, and thanks a lot for that.

This revolution of

deregulation and redistribution of wealth has brought us to the brink

of financial ruin, and “We’re not going to get out of this!” We are not

going to negotiate our way out of this or barter our way out of this.

This debate going on right now in Congress is telling. It is telling of

an impotent system that no longer works in the interests of the people

of this country. We have a confederacy of legislators fighting for

local corporate interests with no national vision save to exempt the

wealthy from tax increases.

We went to war because of 2,752

deaths in the World Trade Center, accompanied by the siren song of

media potentates. There are two million American families who have

already been thrown out onto the road and there are two million more

who will be thrown out onto the road. We’ve spent $594,103,393,531 on

the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what are we going to do to assist

the American workers and their families? They don’t know yet, they’re

still thinking about it. They question if we have enough money in the

budget or if it might not hurt long-term growth.

I grow weary of

this system, a system where others profit off of my labor or my loss or

my illness or my age, and even by my death. We’re no different than the

cattle in the stockyard, waiting for the herdsman. A system of

parasites, we are the United States of Bernie Madoff. If so, what then

is our future? This debate is not about the stimulus package; this

debate pulls the masks from our antagonists. The real debate will come

soon because “We’re not going to get out of this!”

Only a

counter-revolution can save us from a status of permanent underclass.

This is a revolution, which we cannot lose, either we put the

capitalist system back in its box or we do away with the capitalist

model altogether. As jobless numbers reach a 26-year high the stock

market responds by climbing two hundred points. Somebody sees this as

good news. What system could be any worse than living at the capricious

whims of the greedy and corrupt? But perhaps you still disagree, and

that is fine with me. I’ll wait for you.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.