Forget all the classic confidence games and scams you’ve read about… the 3 card monte and letters from Africa and other investment schemes. I wish to address the greatest and most long standing con job of all: The Two Party Electoral System . How many good , decent Americans have been sucked into this scam? As Ralph Nader succinctly commented: ‘ You can vote for candidate Tweedle Dee vs. candidate Tweedle Dum ‘. No matter the outcome, we working stiffs lose out…. Every time!
The energy and the money that these electoral campaign seasons generate is remarkable. Thursday I was on my way to support my dear pal Walt, an 80 something lifetime activist. He decided to begin a weekly street corner protest in New Smyrna Beach against America’s War Empire. Both political parties have wasted trillions of our tax dollars on phony invasions and occupations in Iraq & Afghanistan along with 800 military bases in over 100 countries. Wow! Our cities are broke, good jobs scarce, unemployment is rampant as we lay off needed teachers, first providers and city service workers. The housing bubble burst, due to criminal investment houses, has millions either in foreclosure or under water with their mortgage. We send our young kids to become caretakers of this empire , at risk to themselves and the people they occupy. You know the drill…. You don’t need me to remind you. Yet, where is the outrage against spending 48 cents of every tax dollar on military contracts rather than saving our cities? The sad irony is that both major parties continually vote for more and more money to what Eisenhower warned us about: The Military Industrial Complex.
So, here I was, on my way to stand with Walt, and I decided to stop by the New Smyrna Beach Library to return a few books. As I pulled into the parking lot, I could see scores of campaign workers and a myriad of signs. I had forgotten that the library was conducting early voting. Some of these folks advanced upon me like locusts .’ Going in to vote? ‘ No, I said, only going to the library. I could see some familiar faces from the local Democratic club I had joined years ago when I too was ‘ sucked in ‘ . They had this frenzied look upon their faces that told me how much ( to them, once again ) November’s election seemed a matter of ‘ Life or death ‘ . As far as the Republican and Tea Party campaign volunteers , what more need I say? These folks preach and lecture us about Big Totalitarian Government and then support the very elements that rape our treasury for phony bank bailouts and the aforementioned bloated military budgets. They shout ‘ I don’t want the government controlling my health ‘ and then support huge rip-off artist insurers who actually block our path to healing ( high premiums, high deductibles, pre-existing condition denials, refusing to cover alternative care i.e.: acupuncture, massage and counseling ) . Bottom line: whether Republican or Democrat, this whole Horse race mindset becomes one of Horse**** if one sticks to the core issues and not the rhetoric.
I met up with Walt on the street corner ( five minutes from the library ) and stood next to him, our signs in hand. Our dear friend Donna ( who had been in the library parking lot helping a progressive school board candidate ) drove over and joined us. Walt’s neighbor, Carl, too ill to stand , came down and sat on a bench nearby holding a sign. That was it. Four of us. When will the good people from that library parking lot, and the hundreds of drivers who passed us by, finally get it, before we all turn into horse meat?
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. He is an activist leader and free lance columnist. Since the 2000 elections, he has written over 200 columns, many posted on various sites worldwide. Recently, he is finding a home at www.dandelionsalad.wordpress.com, or at his own blog at www.opensalon.com. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.