"It's time to face the elephant -- and the donkey -- in the living room. Both political parties are ultimately controlled by the out-of-control power of money." -- Swami Beyondananda
No matter which issue is closest to your heart (or, if it is particularly infuriating, your liver or spleen), EVERY political issue boils down to just one:
Who's in charge of who's in charge?
The founders of the United States of America addressed this issue directly in the Declaration of Independence, putting forth the profoundly radical notion that the legitimacy of government rests on the consent of the governed. Furthermore, they declared that every free individual is sovereign (i.e., has the same rights as a king) with the same natural right to thrive as the grass has to grow.
In creating the Bill of Rights and the Constitution a dozen years later, our country's founders designed a republic (from the Latin res publica meaning "thing of the people") as the structure that would serve as an alternative to rule by monarchy and oligarchy. However, the forces the American patriots fought in the Revolutionary War have retrenched and re-grouped. Instead of one multinational corporation (The British East India Company) backed by the power of the military, there are now many. And because these entities have access to so much wealth and resource, they have been able to overrule the rule of law. In some cases, they simply factor in any financial penalty as "the cost of doing business," and go on perpetrating their sociopathic behavior. More often, they do the easier thing. They "invest" in government, and by paying legislators directly (why pay taxes when you can avoid the middle man and go direct?) they can simply buy new laws, or negate old ones. Oh, and when they need to, they can -- thanks to the military industrial complex that really rules America -- employ the U.S. military as well.
Now while some
might see this as a cynical assessment, I see it as just the opposite. Cynicism is a rationalization of
powerlessness, an excuse for apathy, a reason to go back to sleep. I view the stark assessment above as
the first truth-telling step on the road to recovery. Despite our nation's unique legacy, we the people have
become addicted to powerlessness and dependence on a ruling elite whom we hope
will trickle some wealth down onto us "pee-ons." But, as the Swami says, "the ruling class has flunked ruling
class. They get an F."
Whether that "F" stands for freedom or fascism is up to us and no one else.
We Have A Deeply-United Body Politic
No, that's not a misprint. While the mainstream media would have us focus on our differences, here is a very important point. Ready? Awakening individuals on all sides of the political divide -- from Coffee Party progressives to Tea Party conservatives -- overwhelmingly agree that our country is being turned into a third world nation by the unchecked power of money. I am not just speculating here. The work that my friend and associate Joseph McCormick has been doing in large cities and small towns has proved this again and again.
The dysfunctional function of the media has been to prevent civil discourse between the red and blue tribes. Think about it. Where, on mainstream radio or TV, can we find a real forum? All we have are "againstums." Those who are turned off by "mass-debating" and "detestimonials," turn off their TV, and then what? They fall back into cynicism and apathy, which further entrenches the powers in power. Or, they redouble their activist efforts on behalf of the thousands of worthy issues related to peace, personal freedom, economic justice, ecological sanity, etc., etc., etc. Each of these worthy organizations and causes are like single cell organisms competing with one another for a dwindling "food" (i.e., cash) supply.
Because this well-intentioned activism is going off in all directions at once, it is actually dissipating our energy. Go ahead. Pick the concern that is most important to you:
-- Uncontrolled power of the military industrial complex,
and the mind-boggling (and secret) budget for war and weaponry
-- Loss of civil liberties
-- Power of lobbyists to buy and own legislators-- Choices limited to two pre-selected candidates, and very limited parameters of debate and discussion
-- Growing gap between rich and poor, with the middle class becoming a vanishing species
-- "Health care" where individuals are forced to purchase insurance from a "company store" monopoly