America’s Jeanne d’Arc

Elizabeth_Warren_Nov_2_2012joanIt’s easy to be cynical in today’s America. The stomach-turning revelations of CIA torture… The unpunished slaughter of unarmed black men by white cops… The vast and widening income gap between the rich and the rest of us… The Republican triumph in the midterm elections… The lackluster voter turnout…

At such a time, idealism might seem somewhat silly. When things get this bad, you are tempted to go with whatever works. Why stick your neck out? Nobody will appreciate it.

I can understand why President Obama and Harry Reid would hold their noses and push for the rotten spending bill that’s before the Senate. When they say the good in the bill outweighs the bad, I can see where they’re coming from. Congress hasn’t passed a budget in years, and the government needs money to keep operating. The alternative to compromise could be chaos.

And then you see Elizabeth Warren (photo top right),  standing up for what’s right, speaking truth to power, mincing no words, accepting no compromise.

And, surely, your cynical pragmatism is replaced by a call to arms.

You might recall (as I did) the story of Jeanne d”Arc (illustration bottom right), the 15th-century French martyr who called out the flaccid Dauphin and rallied France against the English invaders.

For, make no mistake, the Wall Street elite are every bit as dangerous to America as the English soldiers were to France. It is no exaggeration to call these financial manipulators enemies of the state.

The President and leaders of both political parties were lobbying Congress to approve the 1,600-page bill with its toxic last-minute rider giving Wall Street dangerous access to the nation’s savings, pension funds and taxes.

Senator Warren would have none of it.

No, she declared, Americans would not want their representatives to hand over the keys of the Treasury to the Wall Street barons. “Instead of passing laws that create new bailout opportunities for too-big-to-fail banks, let’s pass…something…that would help break up these giant banks.”

The Warren speech was a clarion call for action to cure the blight infecting America.

And it has hit a nerve.

TV pundits and the Internet hailed the speech as one of the most memorable in America’s history. And the Huffington Post called it:

The speech that could make Elizabeth Warren the next President of the United States.

Is America ready for Elizabeth Warren? Stay tuned.

Click for more on Senator Warren’s speech.

Click for more on the spending bill.

Click for more on Jeanne d’Arc.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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