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A seething anger, a growing sense of betrayal brewing in America

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The people of America wanted real change; they aren't getting it. They wanted a president that would finally turn America away from its march to perpetual war; that was wishful thinking. Real change of any substance has not come to America and we are a nation that has become entangled in military conflicts all over the world. Millions of Americans invested great hope in the belief that things would truly change, but our return on that investment, to date, is zero.

The American Dream seems to have morphed into a nightmare. The economy is bleeding, there is no job creation, our infrastructure is crumbing and we have a government in Washington that is owned by "Corporate America." And while our nation reels and people struggle to survive, our military is engaged in unjustifiable, very costly wars and occupations that are bringing this country ever closer to bankruptcy.

How did we ever get to this point? How could we have allowed ourselves to regress to this level; one of the lowest in our history? We have put far too much faith in our elected representatives and have not been vigilant and demanding in monitoring their behavior and performance. This Congress, clearly one of the worst in history, has not only failed us, they have betrayed us. And our president watches in muted silence, without any vision as to how to return stability to our nation.

While we certainly don't need government running our lives, we do need it to function as intended by our founders and under the U.S. Constitution; to enact meaningful, necessary legislation, to promote commerce and, in doing so, to establish appropriate reforms and regulations to prevent predatory abuse by those in positions of power. But, sad to say, that is no longer happening in this Congress. Our government seems to be caught up in a massive gridlock, and from the president on down, they have succumbed to the power and influence of Corporate America; the interests of the American electorate are no longer relevant to their agenda.

Health care reform polls now show that most Americans no longer support health care reform. The majority of Americans actually want an overhaul of our health care system but not the convoluted kind that is a gift to the insurance industry and an insult to America. The combination of a U.S. Senate that has been corrupted by corporate money, the deadly, outmoded filibuster rule, the deceitful, hate filled Republican Party, and a president whose performance on this critical issue has been weak, lackluster and completely mystifying, has stripped the heart out of this legislation.

People want to work, they must work to survive but jobs are continuing to disappear. Transnational corporations have disseminated the American workforce and have pledged allegiance to foreign nations and their workers. Congress and this president do not understand that, unless we begin immediately to restore our manufacturing base, the American economy cannot be restored. Mr. Obama and his economic advisers have this flawed concept that continuously applying band aids and patches to an economy bleeding profusely is going to work it won't.

Our major trading partners, primarily China, South Korea and Japan have in place trade protection policies that put limitations on importation of American products while they flood our nation with exports that are not subject to U.S. tariffs or other restrictions. What are we, the greatest fools in the world that are afraid to use the same trade practices that other nations are using on us? Our trade policies are destroying our economy but are sending the profits of U.S. transnational corporations through the roof.

What about the banking industry and the Wall Street robber barons who have used every deceitful, scheming tactic in their arsenal to rip off investors and then rip off American taxpayers who, with no voice in the matter, were forced to bail them out of their self-imposed crisis? These swindlers will stop at nothing to acquire more wealth. They have absolutely no sense of ethics and honesty in business.

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The people of America are war weary; they are getting very angry as they watch hundreds of billions of dollars going into our misguided, ill-conceived wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, while our economy is near total collapse. To continue to pour the wealth of America into these mammoth black holes instead of pumping it into America's infrastructure, education, job creation, health care and other critical needs is a recipe for disaster.

And what of President Barack Obama? Does he not get it? Does he not understand that the people of America are very angry, disillusioned and feel that they have been betrayed? He, obviously, must be fully aware of the frustration in America but he has decided to stay the course, let the wars continue and escalate, let Wall Street continue to devise new ways to get around laws and regulations; he merely looks on as foreign nations continue to strip America of its manufacturing foundation.

Yes, we Americans are very angry, we feel disillusioned and betrayed by our elected leaders but what we must do is channel our anger into positive action. We can do these things to begin the process: If you believe that the following financial entities were primarily responsible for the economic crisis, as I certainly do, just stop doing any business with them: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Countrywide and Wells Fargo. Give your business to community banks.

We need to target those senators in Congress who put the interests of the insurance industry above those of the American people; Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, and Mary Landrieu, and mobilize our efforts to throw them out of office. They have betrayed their constituents, an unforgivable act.

We need to join in every possible peaceful protest against the wars that are taking our nation on the road to ruin. Join one or more of the many internet based organizations that are organizing movements to bring these wars to an end. Start talking to friends, family, neighbors and anyone else about what is happening in America. Silence is no longer acceptable.

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If the people of this nation with a population of over 300 million are going to allow the rogue elements in our government, Corporate America and the thieving bankers to take over our nation, if we Americans let ourselves be pacified without a fight or even a whimper, then we will deserve exactly what we will get.

Michael Payne


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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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