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What Will It Take To Restore The Deteriorating Foundations of America?

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rebuilding America's foundations by

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A strong nation must be supported by strong foundations and many of America's most important ones are in a state of deterioration. This should not be happening in the wealthiest country in the world but it most certainly is because this government has done a terrible job of arranging its national priorities in line with the most important needs of this nation.

Of greatest concern, our democracy is bleeding, it is under attack from various divisive elements that in their quest for power and dominion, are determined to eliminate the "government of, by and for the people", the cornerstone of our national being. They want to exclude the people of America from the process of governing this nation, which is their Constitutional right. And so far, they are succeeding because of their immense power and control that has turned the American people into little more than bystanders rather than involved activists.

We the people have to find the ways to reverse this process. While there are 313 million of us in this country, right now we, collectively, are seemingly powerless to stand up to those who have no use for democracy and are determined to set priorities that benefit their own interests rather than those of the American people. These divisive elements have been hard at work in establishing control over our election process, our judicial system, our regulatory systems, and our national intelligence agencies (think NSA) as well as other critical areas of our government and society.

America has now arrived at a point in its history when it must undergo a somewhat radical change in its national priorities:

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First of all nothing will change until the monumental power that Corporatism holds over this government and the election process is removed. Just as there should always be a separation between church and state the same should hold true for the separation between the government and invasive corporate influences. Every one of America's most critical problems can be solved by using logic, reason and rationality but not a one of them can be solved when those who wield the legislative power to do so take their orders from Corporate America.

When the voices of the American people have been silenced, when our elected representatives no longer listen to them, then our democracy is dying. Somehow, some way the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United Case, which gives corporations the same rights of "free speech" as that of its citizens must be reversed; and that can happen, as remote as it may seem. Whether that is done by the judicial process, a Constitutional Amendment, or some other way, it must be done.

One way that might force this pathetic Congress to divorce itself from the power and control of Corporatism would involve the buildup of a massive movement, something like a giant Occupy Movement that would bring very intense and unrelenting pressure on the members of both houses of Congress to create the legislation that would ban corporations from having the capability to use their immense power to influence the decision-making process in the government. Strict rules and restrictions must be put on the activities of corporate lobbyists.

I hear the voices of more and more angry and frustrated Americans who are so fed up that they are more than ready to initiate some kind of revolution to turn this country around. That's a great idea and that's what we should do. But it should be a totally non-violent revolution that would unleash the immense power of the people of on the Congress so that its members could not withstand the full fury coming at them from a constant barrage of letters, emails, phone calls, messages on the social media, direct confrontations in the halls of Congress, on the streets of Washington, in town hall meetings and virtually any place where they dare to show their faces in public. If they have to be hounded and turned into national pariahs to make them come to their senses, if that's what it takes, then so be it.

This can happen; the people can make it happen if they truly want to be a part of a revolution to change America. But there is no way that it will if the people cannot and will not rise to the occasion and if they are not led by fearless, dedicated leaders who will step forward and motivate the American people to take back control of their government. But let's be positive and say that we will make it happen; when we do then here is what America might look like in the future:

The very first task in this agenda of change would be to totally set new national priorities and allocate taxpayer funds according to this nation's most pressing needs. And the top priority, in my estimation, would be to transfer a sizable portion of the mega-billion dollar funding from the military/security complex, currently running at about $1.2 trillion annually, to the vast domestic needs of this country. This would be an absolute necessity, critically important; without such a transfer of funds, nothing else can or will happen. And not to worry for America would still possess the strongest military force in the world, by a long shot.

Next comes our system of education; what could be of more importance for the future of America? It has been allowed to fall into a state of deterioration to the point that America no longer leads but now follows many of the nations of the world in academic rankings. The system urgently needs to be overhauled by a combination of government funding, agency assistance and, of most importance, leadership from state education agencies. If our system of education would be given the same priority as was given to sending a man to the moon, it would be a tremendous success and this nation would, have planted the seeds of creation and innovation so badly needed in America.

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Our manufacturing sector, the engine that once fueled a growing economy needs to be revitalized and restored to world class status. With lawmakers no longer under the control of the masters of Corporatism they could very easily find effective ways by which corporations, as a requirement to do business in America, would be mandated by law to employ a certain minimum % of American workers. And for those who think that this would be grossly unfair and unreasonable, then they should be reminded that this is a revolution we're talking about and conventional thinking can no longer be allowed to restrict our options. Making this a reality would be a tremendous boon to our lethargic economy.

Congressional action is needed to take back its Constitutional powers of determining when this country needs to go to war. We need to see the agenda of perpetual war and the expansion of the military empire come to an end. America would still retain a powerful presence in the world but it would de-emphasize military force and, instead, use the power of diplomacy and negotiations to settle its disputes with other nations. In the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

Without question, removing the shackles of Corporate America from around the necks of our legislators could allow them make significant changes in the rules and regulations that Wall Street should be made to follow. Senators like Elizabeth Warren, MA, could lead the effort to create new legislation such as the Glass-Steagall Act, that before it was repealed, prevented the mixing of commercial and investment banks functions that allowed banks to risk depositors' money in questionable financial practices . We could see the end of the "Too big to fail" syndrome in the banking industry.

Yes, all these initiatives that would return a great amount of stability to America are entirely feasible. The American people most certainly possess the power to make it a reality if that power can be harnessed. This could be the revolution for which so many Americans are waiting. The biggest problem, and the one we must dispel, is the fact that we the people have been far too passive and lethargic to confront this government and the massive corporate interests that control it.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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