I am driving through a construction zone on Interstate 40 west of Kingman, Arizona, and am reminded of the lead-in song to the Sean Hannity radio show, “Let Freedom Ring.”
Hannity uses the song to attract the naive grassroots elements in America. “Let Freedom Ring.” That’s something everyone can believe in, right? But the sneaky Hannity is not really interested in grassroots America except for the fact grassroots America can vote and easily be steered to adopt his conservative causes.
No, Hannity’s “Let Freedom Ring” is more about de-regulating Big Business, the giant corporations that pay his salary, those giant corporations that have sent jobs overseas and who want to enslave the American worker in a capsule of poor wages and no benefits. All while those free and unregulated corporations are piling up huge profits, paying themselves extraordinary bonuses and lobbying Congress for tax breaks. Tax breaks, that is, for corporations that have not yet developed magical accounting methods to pay no taxes at all. Like General Electric.
So there I am tooling down I-40 amid road work as the numbers on speed limit signs decrease from the standard 75 mph to 45.
I am following a silver pickup which is also obeying the law. In Arizona, there is also a law that allows for double fines for speeding in a construction zone. And yet, zooming around our two vehicles is a steady swoosh of “violators,” some of whom I estimate are going 60, even as a sign shows the road merging ahead into one lane from two.
The speeders, in my mind, are like the corporations in this country who flaunt the law. And why do they speed? Because they know there is no enforcement, that their chances of getting caught are next to nil. It is only when they see flashing red lights ahead do the speeders begin to let up on the accelerator. And once the red is out of sight, it’s step on the gas again.
When at last we pass two Highway Patrol cars with red lights ablaze, we see they are not manned at all. They are just setting there as reminders of what a toothless law says. In essence the empty patrol cars are saying, “We’re not going to stop you. This is just a warning to cover our asses.”
I liken the empty Highway Patrol cars to the SEC, the Securities Exchange Commission that turned its head on regulating the big banks that brought on the recent financial crisis. Let freedom ring, baby.
So, I say to Hannity, you’re right, we don’t need more laws placed on businesses. What we need is a government that has the guts to enforce regulations already on the books. A government that hasn’t had the guts to say “no” for decades.
But we all know how that goes. We know who runs America, who pays the politicians, who pays Sean Hannity to blare out the mantra, “Let Freedom Ring.” It is of course the villains of this country, Corporate America.
Corporations, like highway speeders, will not police themselves. They care little for America. And they care even less for Americans other themselves. Their goal is profits no matter where or how they can be made. So they break the speed limit without fear.
Any dummy driving our nation’s highways should be able to see that and know it’s not good for America.