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When Will the Contented Classes Rise Up in Rebellion?

When Will the Contented Classes Rise Up in Rebellion?

Ralph Nader

For all the rhetoric and all the charities regarding America’s children, the U.S. stands at the very bottom of western nations and some other countries as well, in terms of youth well-being. The U.S.’s exceptionalism is clearest in its cruelty to children. The U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate of comparable OECD countries.


It ain’t gonna happen Ralph…I told the other day that even the fight for our Republic was theater…fight for us who have nothing? It ain’t gonna happen, they have theirs and that is all that matters, skies the limit it’s a hot economy, those at the bottom? who gives a _ _ _ _?


Well, I tried Ralph, as in Nader 2000. Some chastised me for my idealism, you might say I’m a dreamer…


One way to get citizens to unfurl the flag of rebellion would be for people like Ralph to stop writing articles that describe the problem without providing possible solutions (other than plugging his book).

Ralph is aware of one such possible solution- One Demand. Citizens (contented or not) can register at www.onedemand.org that in 2020 they will only vote for small donor candidates to create and demonstrate demand for small donor candidates.

In the fall of 2018 I managed to get through when Ralph was on Washington Journal and informed him about this idea to organize citizens to work together against the big money interests and how I had been following Ralph’s advice on how to get someone like Ralph to address this issue through his Radio Hour and CSRL since 2015.

He said my idea deserved to be heard and that I should send him more information and he would have me on the Radio Hour to discuss it.

I did. He didn’t.

If citizens think that Ralph writing articles encouraging citizens to get involved while at the same time not informing people about citizens that are trying to get involved is not a good way to inspire involvement, they can contact Ralph through the Radio Hour, CSRL and sign the petition at Change.org for Ralph to address One Demand.

Despite all the good that Ralph has done, it’s time for Ralph to practice what he preaches on this issue and live up to his commitment he made on Washington Journal to discuss this issue on the Radio Hour.

Then his 1% of citizens can mobilize many of the 80% of citizens that want the big money out of politics to take this action now ratter than wait years for promised legislation that will allegedly solve the problem sometime in the future.

And citizens can demand that the candidate take action now by running small donor campaigns to earn citizen’s votes before we vote rather than secure the votes with empty promises of legislation in the future.


Perhaps when Spam and Tender Vittles become a Saturday Night Treat, the 95 to 97% of the voting electorate that has enabled our demise via the Duopoly, will wake up and say to themselves, “WTF have I done?”

Perhaps not.


…You’re not the only one…

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…and you’re not the only one.

I voted for Ralph in 1996.

I even got through to him on Washington Journal during the 2000 campaign with the precursor to One Demand, the Hundred Dollar Party, a third party run only on small contributions.

He also asked for more info then, but did not respond.

But if at first you don’t succeed- try, try again.

19 years is pretty trying, but there really is no other choice than to give up.

And that is not a choice in my opinion.


If I didn’t type so slow you might not have beat me to that.

The new fascists have learned a valuable lesson from the old WWII era ones. They have learned that, you cannot establish an authoritarian fascist regime at the point of a gun over a period of months. It must be done at the point of a pen, and completed over decades.
Starting with the Powell memo and the post Watergate/Vietnam era, personal freedoms have been eroded slowly (ironically, under the guise of libertarianism). The media that helped bring down Nixon has been purchased and made impotent. Free trade has gradually moved the jobs that created the mighty American middle class overseas, all but eliminating their once considerable sociopolitical power. Government services have been slowly privatized, or eliminated. And in the face of shrinking wages, disappearing benefits, and political marginalization, the American working classes have bought into the Reagan libertarian model and simply worked harder and borrowed money in order to maintain their perceived middle class lifestyles, in essence making themselves debt slaves.
Unlike other times in human history when, ever so briefly, the masses rose up against an oppressive oligarchy, our modern society is coming at this current crisis from a completely different direction. Unlike the French and Russian revolutions that featured literally starving feudal serfs that had never possessed anything or exercised any political power, the American working classes were fairly comfortable. Unlike the serfs, we had the option of working more and borrowing more in order to continue our lifestyles. While we don’t have what we used to, we are still not starving. However, like in France and Russia, we may now be one economic crisis away from a situation where tens of millions, perhaps a couple hundred million if us, begin wondering where their next meal is coming from. A situation similar to that, combined with the continuing face of one climate driven disaster after another, will create a perfect storm (pun intended) where wealthy people and their political enablers are dragged into the streets and set ablaze.
In short, Americans just aren’t hungry enough yet. But when they are, a populace of desperate, hungry, nationalist, racist people will take to the streets, many of them armed to the teeth. The revolution will not be televised, and it will not be orderly. Revolutions never are.


Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

-Frederick Douglass


Another quote that may be more prescient than that one.

“I could pay half the poor people to kill the other half.”

Jay Gould said that at a time Americans weren’t armed to the teeth.
There may be some interesting times ahead.


Come to think of it, I did that as well as 2000. Hard not to vote for someone who knows what’s what.

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I love Ralph Nader, he IS a true American patriot.


Considering that the seemingly contented (they seem to have nice houses, pickup trucks, 4 wheelers, home theater-TV, etc…) middle classes of small-town and rural america (I just got back from Beckley WV, which is clearly booming compared to even just a year ago) are clearly rising up in their Trump fascism, I’d say that the rebellion has already begun.

It’s just not a rebellion in the drection we wanted though…


Excellent observations and spelled out in easy to understand language. One thing I might add is that our politicians and our now political process is Balkanizing our country breaking it up into the north-south paradigm again, which doesn’t help the process at all just makes it worse.

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I know a lot of prius driving, vegan, petition signing “progressives” that I believe will not rise up until their 401 k’s, pensions or stock investments either plunge significantly or disappear.
There is a massive disconnect between the values they claim to espouse and the facts (that they refuse to look at) behind their “portfolios”. Most don’t have a clue the evil that keeps their stocks plumped up or what banks are involved in their 401 K’s.


You’re talking about well-heeled types if you’re slamming “progressives” with Priuses, abundant dietary choice, and investment/retirement portfolios. This shrinking “contented class” will never rise up (the “opium” is too sweet). It considers the atomized, dog-eat-dog, competitive-consumerist, individualism forming the base of American culture, compares this individualism to the sacrifice it would entail to enact its claimed “progressive values,” and then foregoes sacrifice in favor of illusory contentment. Of course, these aren’t really progressives at all; they’re politically correct, closet neoliberals and they will never “rise up.” Their closets are too nice: wi-fi, i-Phones, vegan cuisine, hybrid cars, eco-tourism, health care, Amazon Prime, and a great, big, high horse keeping them above the hoi polloi who struggle to afford any closet at all.

Which is all to say I know a lot of these fakes, too. They live sanguine yet rapacious neoliberal lives while passively voting progressive to salve their consciences (if they have one). When you call them out, they get pretty mean.


Nader sez:
“(Chump) claimed he would take on the drug companies and their price gouging. The hyper-profiteering pharmaceutical goliaths are quietly laughing at him.”

They’re laughing at his voters. They’re laughing with Chump.

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Participating in Democratic Party caucuses during the past two decades it is apparent that the dyed in the wool Democrats supporting DNC candidates like the Clintons are mostly “contented” while the rest of us support what I would label legacy candidates who stick to the pre-Raygun/DLC era Party agenda.


If folks want to vote for a third party candidate, vote for Bernie. Bernie being pragmatic understands that he needs all the democrat votes plus a lot of independent votes. There would not be enough votes if he ran as an independent to win.
If he wins we will have a president that is, or closely resembles a third party progressive. It’s time to set the party politics aside and just vote for the best candidate, that can win.

I know it’s difficult for some of us, but Bernie is NOT a lesser of two evils candidate.