All of us in this country are finally starting to realize that George W. Bush and his right wing, corporate controlled, allies with their grandiose view of military dominance but not backed up by any actual military experience has brought this nation to what can only be described as the lowest point in our history. At no other time since we became an independent nation have we been so reviled by the people of the world. Americans themselves are ashamed of their own country except for the quarter of our population that believe America can do no wrong, if for no other reason than that we are America. This is the 25% that are ethno-centric, or people that don’t bother to actually read anything besides their local paper and have their televisions permanently pegged to FOX News. My country right or wrong, my country, is the mantra of these people. They can be found in China, Russia, Germany, England, Iraq, Iran …any country. Sometimes they are called patriots, sometimes extremists; it all depends on who is doing the reporting.
I am hopefully writing to the 75% of the people that understand what is happening right now. There are some among you that want nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. You people are sick of the tired promises that never seem to be fulfilled and look at politicians as people that govern for their own nefarious purposes. I sympathize with you and agree with you. There are other people that believe that the socialists or the Greens or the Libertarians are going to deliver us into the Promised Land. With you, I also commensurate. If we lived in a perfect world the people with the most altruistic ideas would be listened to. Sadly, that is not the case.
Then there are those that believe that a great Democrat or Republican will be found among the reeds in a tiny cradle and deliver us from the satanic neo-cons and bring forth another era of good government from the people, by the people, and for the people. These people unfortunately make up today’s majority. The trouble with this view is, that unless we change the way our nation elects its leaders, it will never happen. It will never happen because every politician that wages a successful political campaign must, by the very nature of the system, have millions and millions of dollars. In order to get those millions upon millions of dollars, they need to get corporate donations. The only way to get the corporate world to fund your campaign is to support the corporations that support you. In other words, our leaders are bought and paid for before they even get to the point where they are well known enough to get donations from the common people. Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and Mike Gravel fall into this category. Unless something extraordinary happens, they will remain tier 3 candidates because corporate donations will not come their way, and private donations will never give them the “face” time to compete with the Hillary Clintons and the Mitt Romney’s and the John Edwards and Barak Obama’s. The very best we can hope for is a “moderate corporatist” which according to Benito Mussolini’s definition of a fascist, will indeed be something of a fascist. Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger.
Meanwhile, Bush has damaged the US Constitution so badly that our basic freedoms and rights have been gutted. Habeas Corpus, State Control of the law enforcement capabilities of the National Guard have been usurped by the Federal Government by the Insurrection Acts and the bolstering of the powers of the National Guard in direct contradiction of Posse Comitatus which was expressly written to stop this very act is ignored. The President has signed a Presidential Directive that basically says in the event of another attack on our soil or a national emergency he can take direct control of all three branches of the Federal Government, setting himself up not as a virtual, but a very real dictator. We have allowed torture, eavesdropping on American citizens, kidnapping people off the streets of the world including in the United States by the CIA and delivering them to countries that have never signed the Geneva Conventions, so that they may be tortured and held indefinitely. We have started a war in another country under false pretenses and taken control of 75% of their oil wealth and given it to the gigantic Multi-national Oil Cartels. The list of egregious acts goes on and on.
The mainstream media in our country no longer reports the real news, skimming over world events but reports in detail about vague diseases and coming pandemics. Then we have the celebrity news that takes the place of the things that affect us directly. We have a “War on Drugs” a “War on Terror” that has morphed into a “Global War on Terror” that is constantly assailing our eardrums and hyping-up the fear of things beyond our control, real and imaginary to keep the population in a constant state of insecurity and worry. We have become a nation of people living in fear. The bird flu, terrorist attacks, you name it, even though in the last four years more people have died in accidents in their bathtubs than in terrorist attacks on our nation!
So what as a nation are we to do? We can’t possibly change all of the State and Federal Laws to get corporations out of picking and supporting our political candidates in the year and a half before the Presidential elections. The only thing we can do as a nation right now is to get the best person running into the White House and into the Congress and keep demonstrating until we end this War in Iraq, have Clean Elections with corporations out of the mix, repeal the Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act of 2006, The Insurrection Act, and all of the other laws limiting the peoples freedom.
Fighting amongst ourselves will get us nowhere. To drop out of the political system because it is not perfect gives your vote to those that would take your freedom. To walk away in disgust and to never look back says to the opposition that you quit, you are beaten and that the powers that be have won. This will be a reflection on who you are and what you believe. Walking away because the opposition doesn’t play fair is no excuse at all. Staying and fighting those that would take our freedom is a responsibility that comes with the citizenship you hold.
Working within the system does not necessarily mean working for the system. Supporting a politician that has a chance of winning does not mean that we actually trust that individual and accept the message that the candidate is promoting. It only means that we are supporting him or her because they can win. In doing so, we must hold that person to a higher set of standards. We must be “totally engaged”. In that I mean from our local town council, to the State Government, to the Federal Government. We must choose the pool of leaders that the future will draw from to produce leaders at the national level. If George W. Bush had never been elected at the State level, it would have been unlikely that he would have been elected at the National level.
We as Americans, have a tremendous job in front of us. This “New World Order” that has actually emerged from the shadows and proved itself to be a real and tangible threat to our system of representative Democracy comes wrapped in names like “The Project for a New American Century” and the “Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies”, “Centre for Policy Studies” and the “American Enterprise Institute” to name a few, are the reason that the right wing can influence so many trusting citizens to their ultra right causes, while we on the progressive left usually work independently, favoring independent thought over “groupthink” dogma.
The basic principle that we must all learn to embrace is that there are shades of difference on the left and to learn to live with that difference. We must unite in a solid front and look at the larger, more important issues that are facing us. These issues, the gutting of the Constitution, pre-emptive war, the new imperialism, the class war between the haves and have-nots, the racism and the hatred of alternative lifestyles by the right, the weakening of Roe Vs. Wade, the actuality of the people in our nation with no health insurance, the turning of backs on New Orleans, these are the things we should be fighting for.
We are living in a nation that is in crisis. We cannot afford at this juncture to become side-tracked by minor differences of opinion. At this particular point the Democrats have a real chance to seize power from the right. No other party has that power at this particular moment. We all would like to find that perfect candidate that will be a true humanitarian, a person with a sense of vision, and a track record that bears that out. The trouble with this scenario is that there isn’t anyone like that who could win the nomination, or if they ran as an independent could get the monetary backing and the public support to win the Presidency. I believe that today, this is fact. It might not be fact in the future, but today it is fact.
So what are we to do to counter what has taken place in the time that the ultra right captured the White House and brought us to where we are today? The only choice we have is to support those people in Congress and in the Senate that oppose this President. In the near future, all we can do is to support the person that you believe will undo what the ultra right has done, and who can get enough support to be elected. We must also work to get those of a progressive bent into Congress as Representatives and Senators. We must rebuke all of those people that enabled the right to bring us where we are today. That doesn’t mean fighting with other progressives and liberals on minor issues, it means standing together in a united front.
As I see things, this is our only choice. This is not something we are going to achieve in two years; it will take a long time to put this nation back o0n track. When we have stopped this march toward corporate dictatorship, and put the nation on a firm course of real representation for all Americans, then we can argue the finer points. Until then, we must stand together and destroy the beast that the right has turned loose upon the world.