It is almost six months to go before the next presidential election… and that seems to be the paramount thing most Americans are focused upon. Well, if you don’t believe me, then check out the media. Oh, so some of you out there realize that the mainstream (corporate) media is controlled and manipulated by the same fraction of a % point that rules this empire. Good for you! Question is, what about the overwhelming majority of Americans who still fail to understand that?
It seems wherever we turn nowadays, we get bombarded with the propaganda that our nation is “at war”. Read my lips: We are not at war and have never been at war since WW2! Vietnam was a devious manipulation to justify our coming to the aid of the South Vietnamese government in their civil war with the North Vietnamese. Study history and find out how it was mainly the United States that reneged on the promise for a general election in Vietnam in 1954. We knew who would win a popular vote (Uncle Ho, who by the way cherished our Declaration of Independence) and made damn sure that it never took place. “It’s one two three, who are we fighting for?” Fast forwarding to the 21st century, what was done regarding Iraq and Afghanistan were illegal and immoral invasions and occupations… plain and simple! So, do not allow the rhetoric to get in the way of the facts. We’re an empire folks, and start putting that word together with the word imperialist and you have it all in a nutshell. If we really and truly cared about American soldiers at all, we would get them the hell out of all those countries! Period!
So, you drive around my town and all you see are For Sale signs or boarded up Mom and Pop businesses. Oh, you have beautiful new malls with many new shops (mostly chains or franchises). Yet, I ask myself the question: How in the hell can most of us afford to do so much shopping? Well, I know the answer, if you factor out the small percentage of us who are still above water financially. The rest of us, excluding the need for purchasing essentials, go shopping as almost a learned experience, instead of staying home and saving the few dollars they can. America is the worst of all the industrialized nations in percentage of earnings saved. Why? Well, the mega corporate advertising complex has so inundated us with “Buy, Buy, Buy” that it is all most of us think about…if we are not already narcotized by sports, 24/7.
So, my 83 year old activist buddy and I stand, week after week, outside the local library with our protest signs calling for 25% cuts in military spending, ending the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and bringing all our soldiers home… from 800+ bases worldwide. We want to use the savings, which will be in mega billions of dollars, to balance our city and state budgets and provide needed human (and humane) services. As this election year moves closer to completion, we notice a strange thing. It seems more and more of those who view our signs simply avoid them and us completely. I mean, they won’t, in many instances, even walk by us. Those who do come by and engage us in conversation will usually vibrate towards the theme of “Who are you going to vote for?” Sadly, most of these people still believe that the whole sphere of democracy spins (great word, yes?) around the Republican vs. Democrat sun. Few, if any, realize that our protest cannot find sympathy from either party, because both parties are enabling this militaristic, imperialistic empire to function.
When the smoke clears and the votes are counted on November 6th, it really won’t matter what party wins. Many out there will still be saluting and shopping and keeping their mouths (and minds) shut!
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on the fine Dandelion Salad site), an environmental products sales rep and an activist. Since 2010, Philip is a spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.