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I’ve heard from many people since I wrote my last two articles which were “We are all Accountable” and “The U.S. is at a Precipice”. I was astonished at the feedback that I received, not only from “liberal/progressives” but from those that support the “tea-party movement”. In thinking about the things I have been told by others, I’m convinced that Americans of all political persuasions are seeing beyond what the media reports and what our government wants us to believe. It’s extremely difficult to compare the rhetoric of President Obama and most members of Congress and the reality in today’s America.
I could write multiple books by describing what has been said and comparing it to what has been done. From George H.W. Bush and his “Shining city on a hill” and his “New World Order”, to Obama and his “Healthcare for All”, what we see is not what we get. The last nail in our coffin to date is a health care bill that has been gutted by corporate interests that seem to have all the control they need to influence the people we have elected to work for “the people”. The people were nowhere in sight when this final bill rammed down the throats of liberals and conservatives alike. On the progressive side there is no universal coverage or even a viable public option. On the conservative side, government interference into the health care of families and taxes on “The Cadillac” health care plans that unions have managed to acquire for their members. This, the Democrats contend, is just the beginning. From what I have seen done in the name of trying to insure all Americans, I see a health care bill that only enriches those that offer health care insurance, the huge pharmaceutical industries and the health care insurers.
Still, in my opinion, healthcare is only a side issue to distract us from what is really important in this nation. Our right to live our lives without governmental interference, our right to send e-mails and talk on the telephone without worrying about “warrantless electronic eavesdropping”, our free speech under the First Amendment and the right to bear arms under the Second, “preventive detention”, the scrapping of “Posse Comitatus”, are all under attack.
The issues of lesbian and gay marriage, immigration, abortion and the like are in reality issues that can and should be dealt with by the individual States. These are the same issues thrown out year after year to divide us and to turn us away from the things that many Americans are truly concerned with. Some of these issues are the out-sourcing of American jobs overseas, our dwindling manufacturing base, massive bail-outs to predatory financial institutions and our endless wars overseas and our ballooning defense budget that has now topped the spending we did at the height of the “Cold War”. With the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the 700+ military bases we have overseas along with the funding of 14 different defense spy agencies we will spend about 1.4 Trillion dollars this year on our defense budget. We account for 47% of the entire world’s defense spending while Russia and China spend about 6% each. What does the average American receive from all of this spending on defense? The answer is nothing.
There are other concerns many of us have like the median income of the Middle Class falling by $2,000.00 each year. Heads of household’s working two part-time jobs with no benefits to replace the full-time jobs that they lost. Young people saddled with debt in order to obtain a degree or shut out of the educational system altogether.
Many average Americans don’t understand how this all came about, but many Americans are coming to the realization that the people that are supposedly representing us in government are not placing their constituents first. Our political system (The Democrats and Republicans) relies on corporate campaign contributions to keep their seats in government. I have always maintained that campaign finance reform is “The reform that enables any type of real reform”. As long as it is the corporate world that finances the campaigns of our elected officials, then it will be the corporations that they will be responsible to.
No matter how you slice it, we have entered in a kind of “Corporacracy” with the corporations in tandem with our elected officials that run this government. There is another word for “Corporatism”, a definition that was given by none other than Benito Mussolini; he called it “Fascism”. Another definition of fascism is when the elite of a society run the government. This is what we have in America today. No more, and certainly no less.
As I said earlier, I could write volumes on the things that are bothering the American people. From the left to the right, from the liberal to the conservative; our rights, our financial well-being and most of all our future is what is of concern to all of us. There are now more issues that should pull us together than issues that should drive us apart. Selling this nation’s future away to the highest bidder is something that no sane American wants. They fill our heads with myths like the myth of “American Exceptionalism”, as if there is a divine presence that makes America somehow different than all the empires before. That we can continue to live beyond our means and watch the government squander away our wealth and treasure and have no repercussions’ from this behavior. That because we are somehow “exceptional” we can ignore basic economics, and continually expect other nations to accept fiat money and U.S. Treasury notes for all of our imports. Sooner or later this “ride” we all seem to be on will end. We can’t continue to consume more than we produce, or spend more than we have.
There is really only one way out of this predicament we all find ourselves in, and that is to take back the power we have given to our elected representatives. The answer is a revolution. This revolution can be achieved by force, or it can be achieved through peaceful means. I can say with much certainty that most of us in America would rather see a peaceful revolution. Only a fool would want a violent revolution and only a fool could say with any certainty what kind of government would surface after the fighting was over.
America needs to return to basic respect of the law as it was written before the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the Re-Vamped Fisa Act. To do this people must start to tear away from the box in the living room and start to read. Not Sarah Palins’s book, but books like “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” that shows how the IMF and World Bank really work to suck the life out of developing countries. We can’t afford to sit in front of the “boob tube” and swallow the major media’s government view of the world.
I am a liberal democratic socialist. I know that that is anathema to the people in the Tea Party and those on the right. Yet I’m going to put a link in this article from “Truthout” that makes my case against American Capitalism. You would be wise to read the nine simple statements in this article to get a real handle on where we are compared to the rest of the world. It’s here: Nine Myths about Socialism in the US By Bill Quigley. I believe it will open your eyes.
I could go on. I’d like to end this by saying that the ”Tea Partiers” were not the first people to see our government going to the corporate and financial moneymen. We on the left have been decrying this for years. I guess it took a Black Democrat to make the majority of brainwashed Republicans understand that the government is dismantling the Constitution step by step. Good for you, at least you woke up. One other thing, it has often been said that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Just remember the Republicans are in collusion with the Democrats. They have a lock on the political life in America and won’t let anyone who doesn’t fit their template in.
Sinclair Lewis said “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross”. It looks like there are many out there that believe that that would be just the ticket. John Burke also said “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”. Think about that.