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The American "Helplessness Syndrome" and How to Defeat It

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I could go on, and I'm sure that anyone reading this could recant similar stories or experiences. Is there anything we can do or is this just life? Do these examples show as some of our leaders have insinuated that somehow these people didn't work hard enough or plan ahead for unexpected misfortune? Are the wealthiest amongst us really smarter and better prepared to face any challenges that life places before us? Is it, or should it be, an ethos of survival of the fittest here in America, or should the government have an obligation to look out for the welfare of its citizens? 

The hard-liners in the Republican Party say that it isn't the government's job to coddle people that can't make it in today's society. They have nurtured and reinforced the meme that everyone in America has an equal chance at grabbing that big brass ring, and if they can't, then it is their own fault, any other reason that is given is just an excuse.

The sad part about this is that a majority of Americans have bought into this notion. It's easy to understand why. The media portrays most of our heroes as having come up through poverty or adverse situations to triumph over their enemies and their environment. But that is what makes up a successful story, book or movie. If it were the norm, it wouldn't interest people. It's the fact that it very rarely happens; that's what fascinates people! Still, some Republicans and Democrats would have you believe that everyone who tries will eventually make it into the upper echelons of the economic class. The worst thing about this is that many Americans believe it!

They did until they lost their shirts in this great recession. Some still believe it, but many are feeling powerless and helpless. What can we do? Well for one thing, we can stop believing in fairy tales! We are all not going to make it to Beverly Hills and shop on Fifth Avenue and vacation in Mali or Costa Rica every winter. Sometimes no matter how hard we work, no matter how hard we plan, it's just not going to happen.

A Solution to Helplessness

We as a people must make smarter and better decisions on how to survive in the future. One of the first and foremost things we must remember is that we are living in a nation that has the greatest economy on Earth! How does that help the average citizen?

Now we get back to politics. No, I'm not talking about stripping the rich of their wealth. (Maybe some of it). It would be nice for a while, but after their money is gone, what do we do then? No, the key is to stop spending money on perishable things like the 53% of our discretionary spending on war machines and ordinance. Stop spending money on maintaining almost 1,000 overseas military bases. Stop spending money trying to secretly overthrow governments we don't like or fighting real and proxy wars in places most people couldn't point out on a map.

There are hundreds of other ways, like fixing the infrastructure, that would add 10's or 100's of thousands of jobs so that people could buy things that would spur the economy. Ideas like this are only common-sense. But how do we do it? The government shows neither the will nor the way to make any of this happen. We can't change the government because we can't change the way elections are run, and they are run by people and organizations with very big pockets. It appears that no one not controlled by money can even run in an election with any chance of winning.

There is a way to circumvent the current political system

There is a way, but the time must be right and I think the time is right now. I'm not talking about revolution or violence. That will get us nowhere but destruction, loss of life and even more unemployment and economic chaos than we have now. I'm talking about people working together to change things through the system we have now by replacing all of the corrupt people that control the two major political parties.

In order to accomplish this, we first of all must render these two political parties obsolete. The first way to do this is to understand how they have managed to keep us tame and docile with respect to their interests. They have done this by fomenting division. We are a divided people. We label each other. We don't look at each other as people in the political arena anymore. We are liberal or conservative, right or left, pro-life or pro-choice and so on and so on. We have progressive Democrats and tea-party Republicans and blue-dog Democrats along with centrists (whatever they are).

We have issues that affect maybe just a small minority of us that they use to fan the flames of dissent to keep us firmly in their grasp. They keep us divided so that we will never unite, even when it is apparent that in some way we are all being locked out of the benefits of living in the richest nation on Earth. We must, above all else, throw out this label mentality. We are liberal in some beliefs and conservative in other beliefs and that includes all of us. Nobody is all liberal or all conservative. As far as left or right, what does that really mean when you think about it? They keep us fighting with each other so we don't see the big picture, and that picture shows a rapidly disappearing middle-class that is being replaced with the working poor.

If the Egyptians can overthrow a military dictatorship that had been in place for decades, without resorting to full scale violence, why can't we get people into office that aren't bought and paid for by special interests? Furthermore, how did they do it?

They did it by using their heads and using social media. That's the same way we can win elections against multi-million dollar budgets and media control by the duopoly. The way we overcome the media is to circumvent it. Just because a candidate spends millions on ads doesn't mean he wins. People can only take so much of that anyway.

What we need are candidates that will put in the time to tour the Districts and the States that they seek election in, sharing their twitter feed and their campaign webpage with everyone that they talk to. The candidate needs to garner each supporter's e-mail address by having a tablet where people can enter it. Attached to that tablet needs to be a square reader so that the campaign can take donations on the spot.

Precinct and block captains need to be recruited and talked to a regular basis. Staffers can work out of their homes. The key to a successful grassroots campaign however isn't just the logistics. The key to a successful campaign is to transform it into a movement and include everyone that participates so that it also becomes a fellowship that binds people to something greater than what they experience on a day to day basis. People need to feel like they are a part of something and that they are changing history instead of just watching talking heads on TV through incessant political ads (nausea).

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http://liberalpro.blogspot.com

Former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America, Tim is a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina. A regular contributor to OpEdNews, he is the author of Kimchee Days (or Stoned Cold Warriors).

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We can't do that...it will never happen...people d... by Timothy Gatto on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 8:32:08 PM
Whiners pass up opportunities by the dozen and the... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2:36:35 PM
Taking the path of least resistance is part of the... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3:36:43 PM
"We need only look at those other parts of the wor... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 4:43:41 PM
You go against author's claim that not all America... by BFalcon on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 9:33:06 PM
From your statement it can be assumed you are in s... by Stanislaus Wojnowski on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 8:10:22 PM
I agree that what you are suggesting here could tu... by dorothy przystas on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 9:55:28 PM
Ah yes, blame the media, blame the process, blame ... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2:58:29 PM
come together as a country. Yes I blame the corpor... by dorothy przystas on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 10:04:00 PM
"When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is ... by Doc McCoy on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10:54:09 PM
I think that you make a very good point Doc!... by Amy Schreiner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 12:22:44 AM
... they're sick and tired of certain "shameless p... by Hooker Jay on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 1:24:08 PM
I really appreciated your article.  But I thi... by Amy Schreiner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 12:18:58 AM
Any documentation about the voting irregularities ... by Don Smith on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 7:00:50 PM
...takes direct oversight of vote-counting, on pap... by Jill Herendeen on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 3:10:15 PM
When the time comes, the shift in power will be fa... by Rob Kall on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 6:22:37 AM
It amazes me that so many people exoect so much "p... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3:12:05 PM
is like a conductor without an orchestra.... A gr... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3:50:14 PM
Anyone care to join me? I am sitting in my living ... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 4:32:06 PM
Get off your smug derriere and work with people th... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:08:12 PM
If you can't understand what I have been saying al... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:54:26 PM
You also said that you are doing nothing and that ... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:19:30 PM
    "No one is either completely li... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:26:45 AM
we have to unite as a nation.This country is so di... by dorothy przystas on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 10:34:49 PM
I was actually anticipating some very negative and... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 9:02:48 AM
You write, "There is a huge undercurrent of resent... by Don Smith on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 10:12:14 AM
If change was possible across the country, every s... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3:20:06 PM
Since the moderator didn't put a "worthless" butto... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3:39:41 PM
Your win might be something. I would like to help... by BFalcon on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 9:40:09 PM
 People are too complaisant  or stressed... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 7:30:30 AM
Interesting article, but the conclusion was unsati... by Don Smith on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 9:57:01 AM
The best example of a hierarchical government that... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:01:15 PM
Singapore indeed does have a very active military:... by Doc McCoy on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 9:02:43 PM
It's wonderful what can be accomplished with rigge... by Jill Herendeen on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 3:16:18 PM
There are a few good politicians who recognize the... by Keith Brilhart on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 10:08:26 AM
interesting approach. Media awareness is the key. ... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 7:33:08 AM
I wanted to expand on ways to implement bottom-up ... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 10:33:17 AM
"Labels, political parties, and paradigms absolute... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:19:55 PM
Having read this article and being able to add mor... by Patricia Gray on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 11:24:23 AM
Are you a majority of voters in your district, cou... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:39:36 PM
YES!! I stand with the majority of the voters in ... by Patricia Gray on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 4:03:08 PM
I too will not vote for anyone who does not repres... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 12:02:01 AM
Hardly!  Americans have accepted that they sh... by Patricia Gray on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 4:21:27 PM
Lots of insight in this article. I agree that both... by Patrick Walker on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 11:29:47 AM
Still I'm not a Democrat. Anyway, they have had lo... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 12:27:12 PM
You said hours ago that you went on too long, and ... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 6:04:18 PM
...when you think we may be getting somewhere, Oba... by Ginger McClemons on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2:06:11 PM
I will not pay money for you to publish my comment... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2:16:09 PM
If you are so inclined to have your views known, w... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3:24:31 PM
I have written articles--even books. If you check ... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 4:06:30 PM
The above was in response to OEN's warning that my... by James Bruner on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 6:09:30 PM
Then it's longer than 90% of the articles we publi... by Rob Kall on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 12:56:23 AM
How do you kill the two headed snake when you can ... by Robert Smith on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:41:37 PM
The media will be a small part of the campaign. I ... by Timothy Gatto on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:29:37 PM
There's a song called How Many? and there are two ... by E. J. N. on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 6:52:14 PM
When you have a point to make even a legal one, th... by Andrew Ess on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 9:03:01 PM
Frank Bruni says it best in America The Clueless,i... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 8:10:04 AM
"The idea that 'God helps those who help themselve... by E. J. N. on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 1:52:44 PM
Thoughtful and hopeful post. I'm almost 63. If I d... by Andrew Schettino on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 9:01:00 AM
Timothy, thank you for  continuing to  k... by Dr. Tom Baldwin on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 11:18:00 AM