I am an ordinary citizen, no more, no less. I have paid my taxes, served almost 21 years in your Army, and I vote during every election. I am not rich, in fact like most Americans I hardly make enough to pay my bills. You may believe that most people are enjoying a degree of prosperity, but the people I interact with on a daily basis are in a similar position as myself, just about surviving from paycheck to paycheck.. I was just wondering if all the people in Congress know how we feel about the government at this point in time. I'm not speaking for everyone, just the people that have been paying attention to what has been happening in the last decade or so. You may believe that we citizens don't understand the mechanization of government, but you would be mistaken. To believe that would put you in an elite class, and render the people ignorant, that is not the truth. The people are far from ignorant, and you, members of Congress, are far from being the "elite".
Let me start by asking Congress why, after the people suffered an attack on September 11, 2001, we have had so many of our rights usurped by the Federal government? Why have you allowed the Executive branch to propose laws that restrict ordinary American rights when we were the ones that suffered these attacks? Why have you allowed principles such as Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus to be altered at the request of the Executive branch? Why did you allow the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to be passed? Why have you allowed this President to use signing statements to avoid the intent of the law? Why have you voted time and time again to use the peoples money to invade a sovereign nation, and then after we succeeded in our stated objective, "regime change" (our first objective turned out to be based on lies from the Executive Branch), to now occupy this nation? Why have you voted for a military defense budget that is 350% higher than our nearest competitor? Why have you authorized a law that makes it mandatory for Americans to have a passport to travel to Mexico and Canada? Why would you entertain a bill that would make it mandatory for Americans to have a Federal ID card?
These are but a few instances of what the American people are asking. I have a few of my own. Many people also have these questions, and the number grows larger everyday. First of all, why do corporations, even transnational corporations, have such a large influence in Congress? Why are corporate and special interest groups allowed for example to fund 66% of The Speaker of The House's campaign funds?* I am not by any means singling Madam Speaker out because she has the highest percentage, many others in Congress have a much higher percentage. Why do our elected officials allow this? Don't you believe that it is human nature to show special consideration to those that helped members of Congress get elected, or are the members of Congress so altruistic that they would never consider doing that? Somehow, I don't believe it. These are questions that need to be addressed. You cannot use the excuse that you are not aware of what is happening, members of Congress are actively involved on this. The people of the United States are beginning to get angry, as they see that Congress is becoming less concerned about the citizens they represent, and more concerned with keeping campaign contributors happy. This state of affairs cannot go on indefinitely. The fact is that we are becoming a corporate ruled nation, and that smacks of fascism according to the definition found in the dictionary.
Do you have any idea of what people are saying about our government? I'm talking about from both the left and the right. I was going to put some examples in this letter, but then you would accuse me of "cherry picking" statements. I challenge any member of Congress to go to any political site on the internet that is not run by the major political parties and see for yourselves. You will read statements that convey the sentiment that our government is not responsive to the will of the people, that you are controlled by corporate interests, that even now, after electing a Democratic Congress, you are still rubber-stamping the Presidents policies. Some people are now calling for civil disobedience and boycotts. Other people are calling for outright revolution. Those calling for violence are small in number, but that may be because it is not in their best interests to broadcast their position on the internet.
I believe that you already know this. If I'm telling you things that you don't already know, then shame on you for not paying attention to the people. I am writing this letter, not to threaten, but to make you aware and in so doing, give you no excuse to claim you didn't know what has been transpiring. This "War on Terror" has become a war on the rights and freedom of the American people. Do your homework. Go out on the street and ask your blue collar workers how they really feel and read the blogs of your constituents. Right here in South Carolina, one of the reddest, most patriotic States in America, people are dissenting. I don't believe that I am the only one who believes what I just wrote. Do a search on my articles and read the comments and then see how many of my articles are reprinted all over the nation. The American people are slow to react, and they are slow to anger, but once they become angry they are very persistent. This dissatisfaction with the Federal government and its policies is becoming more vocal everyday. If there were ever a time to take stock of a situation it is now. The people are speaking volumes but the question is...are you listening?
* Center for Responsive Politics
Timothy V. Gatto
SSG US Army (Ret.)