On The Street
One thing should be obviously apparent to everyone; the Republicans don't stand a chance of defeating Obama, no matter who the eventual nominee is. If the GOP ends up with a brokered convention and becomes deadlocked, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jeb Bush drafted. That is probably the Democrats worst nightmare. I know it's mine.
Still, it really doesn't matter to most of us which corporate-run party wins the election, not in the long run. I understand that Obama played the hand he was dealt impressively. If you believe that we are really coming out of this economic recession. Otherwise he folded on health care, widened the war in Afghanistan the same day he received the Nobel Peace Prize (and what was that about?), signed more legislation that further eroded the Bill of Rights, failed to close Guantanamo, and refused to order Attorney General Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate war crimes and torture under the Bush-Cheney regime. Altogether, it was not quite a sterling performance by a so-called constitutional scholar.
Once Obama wins re-election, I can see war with Iran, construction of the Keystone pipeline and more legislation to take more rights away from the American people. Of course he will be better than a Republican, but only barely. It seems that Americans seem to be satisfied with someone who is barely the lessor of two evils.
There is a bright spot on the horizon however, and that is the Occupy movement. I can see protests in New York, Washington DC and out west in Oakland and other cities that will only become larger. If we can keep our wits about us, we could have an "American Awakening" this spring or summer. The movement is alive and well despite the death notices in the major media.
The primary reason for the Occupy movement in my humble opinion, is to address the disparity between the haves and have not's. One other reason for the movement is to address the way in which we as a nation have become a "security state" that is giving up our freedom for temporary security in the words of Benjamin Franklin. I'm not trying to be sanctimonious here, but in my case I didn't spend almost 21 years in this nation's military to see our government's encroachment upon our liberties that were specifically written into the constitution under the Bill of Rights.
Recently, two Democratic Senators (Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Mark Udall (D-Colorado) have written a letter to Attorney General Holder. In this letter they claim "Americans know that the government will sometimes conduct secret operations, but they don't think that government officials should be writing secret laws." As an American citizen I don't believe that they should be doing this either.
I have seen our government break the nation's laws time and time again. I could write a laundry list of the government's we have overthrown, the Iran-Contra scandal, COINTEL, and most importantly 9/11. I say most importantly because if the government wasn't actually behind 9/11, it was criminally negligent in stopping it. Having worked in the Army Air Defense Command for over 12 years as a radar operator, I know for a fact that any airplane with their transponder turned off could be identified in seconds. This warrants another investigation into the events of 9/11, as this was the watershed moment when we as a people began to surrender our rights as Americans.
Unless we as a people remain vigilant and fight to keep our fundamental liberties of which there are very few left, we can only look forward to an eventual police state if we don't have one already. We are completely clueless of what or where information of a personal nature ends up. I don't believe that this situation we find ourselves in would have been acceptable to any of our founding fathers. The recent passage and signing of the NDAA authorizing the military to consider the U.S. a "battle zone" and allowing them to put American citizens in military custody without any civilian representation and allowing them to be held until a crisis is over, in this case "The war on terror", which like "The war on drugs" will never be over is an abomination.
President Obama will run his campaign without mentioning restoring any of the civil liberties we have lost. He will use his oratory skills and seem to be the champion of the middle class. One thing I know is that he can be extremely effective at this. I myself have found myself succumbing to his oratory. Don't be deceived. One must look at the history of his administration. The only advice I have is to take what he says with a grain of salt. Americans need only look at his foreign policy to understand that his agenda is "full-spectrum dominance" in military jargon.
Unless we as a nation stand up and reject the military ambitions of those that now control Washington (or those that wish to), we may well find ourselves embroiled in the kind of war we don't want. The repeated threats against China and Russia, along with the military encirclement of these nations is something that can only lead to ramifications that most of us do not desire. What are our options? Sadly, there aren't many.
There was a time that we could express our wishes through the ballot box. Those days have come and gone. One bright light in this direction is the people's revolt that is happening in Wisconsin. There, the people are readily aware of the intentions of Governor Scott Walker to break the back of the Unions that support public workers. The rest of the nation should use Wisconsin as a template. Theirs is a struggle that should be happening all across this nation. As individuals there is not much we can do, but united we can change the world.
This brings us back to the Occupy movement. I live in South Carolina. As in many red states, our Governor Nikki Haley, has seen fit to require State ID In order to stop "voter fraud" that has never been proven. This is just a GOP trick to intimidate low-income minorities from voting. It is amazing to live in a state where the people vote against their best interests. One only has to see who represents one of the poorest states in the Union to see why this is so. We have Jim DeMint and Lindsay Graham representing us in the Senate, yet the Occupy movement here in South Carolina is alive and well and growing.
As the Occupy movement grows and matures, teach-ins and media coverage grow also. This is a bottom-up movement that can educate and present fresh ideas to a constituency that gets most of its political direction from the pulpit. The importance of the movement cannot be overlooked. It is at the very core of potential change that this nation so desperately needs if we are to survive as a representative democracy (if we ever were). This is our chance. A citizen need not be rich and well-connected to be a part of this movement. There is no political affiliation needed. All that is needed is the desire to regain our civil liberties and to change this nation's primary goal which is endless war and global domination.
The only thing we need in Washington is for our elected representatives to look out for the people they represent instead of the people that pay for their elections. We are desperately in need of campaign finance reform, regulation of the financial industry, and corrupt cronyism to end. Sometimes change requires a degree of sacrifice. What would you sacrifice to recover The Bill of Rights or honest representation in Washington? This is something that you must answer for yourself.