Friday, February 28, 2014

Public good always front and center

GUEST: Blair Horner, Legislative Director of NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group), talks about his career in this student run organization trying to make government work for the people.

Blair came to our studio, a nice way to do an interview. He has a great voice for radio, and is as articulate on the air as he is in person. 

I was impressed by the operation of NYPIRG. Like all of Nader's organizations, it has a bit of genius in its design. College students fundraise for NYPIRG, form its oversight board, and end up choosing what Blair works on during any given year. He gives them a detailed analysis of many issues and the student board makes the final selection. The process is a two way street, with students learning about the realities of their state government, and in tern democratically choosing what is most important to them.

Of course, this democratic process is how the real state and federal governments are supposed to work. They just don't because corporate money has almost completely corrupted our political process. Blair talked about the "window of opportunity" that some progressive issues must take advantage of. In a real democracy, the corporations would have to search for that window of opportunity, and issues that fostered the public good would always be front and center. 

Blair was dispassionate and highly effective in his presentation, as he always is on NPR. But I noticed him becoming emotionally involved when he talked about the woman who faced a massive healthcare bill for an operation that should have been covered. He was angry about it, and his passion for social justice was right below the surface. What if we had politicians like that, who said the right things and really meant it? 

That fraud, Obama, worked for a Public Interest Research Group after he graduated from college. With him, it must have been all surface. He still says all the right things, but has no passion for social justice. The perfect sellout, talking about peace while he wages war. Talking about inequality while he does Wall Street's work. 

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