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Spring The Super Trap!

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Susan Strong       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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Right now a lot is going on in our country: the Senate "Super Committee working to find 1.2 billion in federal budget cuts by November 23rd or trigger draconian across-the-board carnage," President Obama's new "We Can't Wait" executive branch initiatives to help some of the 99%, the Canadian Tar Sands pipeline protests, and of course, Occupy Wall Street encampments all over. Growing numbers of the American public are hopping mad. That rage is ultimately about the multifaceted "Super Trap" Americans find themselves in today. But the present level of anger at our economic and political elite is nothing compared to what will come after November 23, no matter which way the bought and paid for Super Committee goes--planned cuts or forced, across-the-board cuts. Their new cuts will make the Super Trap close in even more tightly on the 99%. This Trap is the kind that kills, and we the people must find a way to spring it before it's too late. A widespread call to "Spring the Super Trap!" might help move that forward now.

We all know the Super Trap's main parts:

1. Elite money controls our political system.

2. Our "representatives" refuse to re-regulate the banking and investment industries enough to truly protect the public.

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3. Office holders fail to make the super rich pay their fair share of public costs via higher taxes.

4. Congress backs away from cutting Pentagon spending enough to help boost domestic spending.

5. Irresponsible corporations get away with making decisions that damage public health and safety.

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6. Federal jobs bills get voted down at a time when there are at least five applicants for every open job now. The list just goes on and on. But it's all part of the same big "Super Trap."

Until Occupy Wall Street, the sense of being in a trap with no way to spring it had prevented many non-Tea Party Americans from finding a way to express their rage in public, much less start looking for a way out. True, many of us had high hopes for reform during Obama's presidential campaign, quickly dashed as we saw him far too implicated in the political and economic trap we're stuck in now. But there has been a deep change in our country since August, 2011. Years ago, Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day, noted that as a people, Americans are "punch back fighters." Maybe the summer's scandalous fight about extending the debt limit was the punch that finally did it. Whatever it was, the fight back has really started now.

Thanks to Occupy Wall Street (OWS), we now have enough public protest to get the attention of our whole country and the rest of the world. OWS has attracted support from an unusually wide variety of quarters too. There's even been some grudging respect (even if lip service) from the likes of politicians like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who went from calling the OWS movement "growing mobs" to saying that the protestors are "justifiably frustrated." [1]
Over the long haul, the permanent gain from this "American Fall" is going to be the sense that we everyday Americans, the 99%, are going to have to find a way to spring the Super Trap ourselves, and that we are mad enough now to start working on it together in all kinds of ways. There will be an American Winter and an American Spring after that too, though we can't predict their form right now. It may seem quieter for a while as winter snows set in, but under the surface, down deep where the grass roots prepare for the spring to come, much will be gestating.

Springing the Super Trap may take us years, decades, or just a few election cycles. What counts is that the sleeping giant of American public rage is waking up and visibly stirring inside the Super Trap. Sooner or later, we're going to spring it. Politicians who care about their own futures better join in now, the sooner the better. Calling it by name will help: it's the "Super Trap" we're going to spring, the one we are going to get out of, because we the 99% are the real "can do," "find a new way out" Americans! So let's get busy and "Spring the Super Trap!"



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Susan C. Strong, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Metaphor Project. She is also the author of our new book, MOVE OUR MESSAGE: HOW TO GET AMERICA'S EAR, available on our website. The mission of the Metaphor Project is helping (more...)

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