Do you want to be entertained, or informed? Do you prefer C-Span or "American Idol"? Did you VOTE for a contestant on "American Idol"?
Do you feel a disconnect between what you believe to be true, and what you're told is true? If so, you're in the netherland between mainstream media and the truth.
Not everyone feels this disconnect, the majority of Americans simply don't want to know. These are the ones who vote for "American Idol", and ferverently pray for their favorites. As though it matters. Many people I know simply do not want to feel the outrage. They don't want to live their lives that way; simpler to go to work, take care of what's important to them, and assume everything will work itself out. This is America, what could go wrong?
It isn't a matter of intelligence or education. It often is a matter of political party, but I'll discuss that later. Smart people don't necessarily feel a need to speak truth to power, research the source of the facts they're presented with, or even catch the discrepencies that cause some of us to experience cognitive dissonance. For whatever reasons, their life experiences have led them to a place where going along to get along is normal. Why experience turmoil if you don't have to?
Here's the danger: The top half of one percent, the corporate elite, are counting on this apathy. How else to explain the first order of business for the Bush administration after his theft of the White House? The estate tax, cutting the uber rich's taxes to virtually nothing. We, the people these parasites live off of, are being raped in ways that only they and their financial managers can imagine. Obscure rules wrapped in benign sounding laws have a profound affect on us.
Perhaps the people in the trance are the sensible ones. Why make yourself crazy about something you can't change? They're right, we can't change it unless we identify it. We live in a capitalistic society, greed is admired and envied. This is America. Maybe someday you'll be that rich, and get all those benefits.
The people who control us are the people who pay for our "representatives" to get elected. Why else would the burning issues be how much of our tax money we should give to Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Whatever? Our "representatives" are representing their corporate donors. If they were representing us, they would be discussing our quality of life issues, like affordable health care, the homelessness that sprang to life under the Reagan administration (and we've come to accept as normal), why both parents have to work to maintain a household, what's happening to children raised by strangers or raising themselves. If they represented us they wouldn't have allowed usury, while making it more difficult to file for bankruptcy and make a fresh start. Can debtor's prisons be far behind? Do you see the pattern here? No health insurance, or only "catastrophic" coverage. Get hurt on the job or anywhere, miss a few weeks of paychecks, use credit cards for living expenses, or to keep your car on the road, interest rates on your cards go up, you owe medical bills that realistically you couldn't pay off in five lifetimes. . .
But in the Capitol they're milling around, discussing bills and laws that by and large are only remotely connected to our lives. George Bush is not stupid, he's clever, manipulative and cruel. And he belongs to the donor class, which donates to both parties, albeit more to the Republicans. This is the class that uses all of the infrastructure that this country has to offer, it's freedom, what used to be clean air and water, the integrity that was the U.S.A. Bush is giving them our national parks to mine their resources, allowing them to pollute OUR air and water, while contributing nothing except campaign money.
It always comes down to this: we can no longer allow our government to be funded by and at the bidding of these self-centered, out-of-touch parasites. Their great-great grandfather may have invented Gillette razors, or paper clips, whatever their fortune is based on it most certainly was not taxed. We must have public financing of elections, or not bother to vote at all. We must re-instate the equal time provision, that mandated both sides (all sides?) be aired on television. Reagan decided that cable television obviated the need for equal time.
When we continually hear that Hillary Clinton will absolutely win if she runs, because she has more money in her campaign fund than anyone else, we shouldn't feel a little unease. We should be outraged. When money trumps the issues that matter, when money is no longer tacitly accepted but overtly required as the measure of a candidate's potential success, we're not even close to being a democracy anymore.
Let's keep it simple. To break the trance, repeat the mantra "Public Financing of Campaigns". Campaign Finance Reform, as a phrase puts people to sleep. Putting limits on what can be spent, time limits on the campaign itself, and neutralizing the invisible bloodsuckers isn't as complicated as they would have us believe.
They need us, we don't need them.
Written by Leslie Brundige, (Send Her Email) who is a researcher and contributing writer at www.populistamerica.com