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The Bogus Take Back America Conference

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Message Charles Sullivan
A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend the Take Back America conference held in the nation's capital this week. It was a star-studded gala with some of the Democratic Party's most prominent luminaries, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. What struck me funny about the invitation, in a pathetic kind of way, was that both Clinton and John Kerry were touted as progressives. I had to laugh aloud at this news. But then it dawned on me that the people behind this campaign were serious. Silly me! I chose not to attend, on the excuse that I was donating all of my organs to science this week.

If I understand the premise of the Take Back America Conference, their agenda is to wrest control of the government from the hands of the Republicans and to place power in the hands of the Democrats. The assumption is, quite erroneous, I think, that America will be a better place under the control of Hillary Clinton and her corporate pay masters than the Bush cowboys and their corporate cow patties. Given that the Democrats only strategy seems to be capitulation, I fail to understand how this is supposed to work.

The premise of the conference should have been to wrest power from the hands of the capitalists and putting it in the hands of the people where it belongs. But what am I thinking? Plutocrats do not believe in the wisdom or the right of the people to govern themselves or to work for the collective good. These are socialist ideologies that place the welfare of the working people above the greed of the corporations. We will not be having any of that at this conference, or in this country, thank you.

There were many things wrong with the Take Back America Conference. Like most of the participants, Hillary Clinton was a major supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, as was John Kerry. As is his habit, flip-flop Kerry has since reversed his earlier stance and now speaks out against the criminal war. I am not sure if this should be to Kerry's credit or not. John Kerry's original stance as a presidential candidate was to send more troops into harms way and to throw more gasoline onto the fire. Sounds like a good way to get your beard singed to me! On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has never possessed the wisdom, humility, or the character to betray the ruling class to which she belongs. Perhaps all those meetings with the corporate media mogul, Ruppert Murdoch, are taking their toll.

But no matter; Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, as part of the political mainstream (ruling class) of this country, and both of them Plutocrats, are part of the problem, not the solution. Both of them believe in and support Pax Americana, which is the core of neoconservative thinking that got us into Iraq in the first place. You could count the Democrats who vociferously oppose Pax America on one hand, even if you lost several fingers in a table saw accident.

Hillary Clinton is so in line with the Bush agenda of war without end, including class warfare at home, that she could be mistaken for the emperor's shadow. She may even be more like Bush than Bush himself, like the lining of a reversible jacket that is cut from one cloth. Now, that's a scary thought, isn't it? Perhaps Hillary is one of the pod people from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Her shameless lust for power is both lamentable and pathetic. It is also shallow and self serving. If this is supposed to pass for opposition in America we are on our way to hell and there will be no saving graces. Fire up the barbeque, Lucifer; we're on our way!

Lurking ever so slightly to the left of neoconservative extremism does not a progressive make. By design, the terms liberal and progressive are bandied about much too carelessly in the corporate media. Progressivism stems from social values that serve the welfare of the people, rather than the interest of the ruling class and the corporations. By now it should be abundantly clear whose interest the Republicrats serve. Hint: It is not ours'.

By portraying politicos like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry as liberals the corporate media is successfully moving the debate farther to the right, as real progressives such as Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich find ever fewer avenues for the expression of ideas that fall outside of the political mainstream. Thus, we find ourselves in a vice that is continuously tightened around our vitals. Our eyes must be popping out of our heads by now under the excruciating pressure.

There is precious little counter-veiling force to push things to the left of the extreme right, back toward the center of the political spectrum, let alone to the left of center. There is so little visionary thinking, so little real debate.

All of this underscores the futility of political reform because all of the viable players are under the supreme jurisdiction of capital. Capital decides who the viable players will be and capital decides the outcome of elections. Money controls every aspect of the process and thus assures a result that is favorable to business and detrimental to the commonwealth.

Predictably, the ugly head of censorship was also present at the conference. Former Alaska Senator, Mike Gravel, a Democratic presidential candidate in the upcoming 2008 elections, was denied permission to speak. Why? Gravel challenged Richard Nixon over the Pentagon Papers, the draft, and took on the Carlyle Group. Smells like Socialism to me. Loose cannons (reds) will not be tolerated by those who frame the message and finance the elections. Capital will not allow viable opposition to emerge. Talk about pre-emptive war!

The final insult came when only pre-screened reporters representing the nation's largest corporate newspapers were permitted to conduct interviews with the attendees, by decree of the conference organizers. By God, nothing revolutionary or radical is going to come out of this dog and pony show! Consider the message framed! Consider the result preordained!

Aside from its noble sounding title (PR hype), the Take Back America Conference was long on rhetoric but short on substance. And substance always transcends style. A Republicrat is still a Republicrat, however it is framed. A Plutocrat is still a Plutocrat and nothing of consequence changes. Capital is what capital does. Let us see it for what it is.

One final note: If the Democrats were serious about taking back America why do they show so little fight? Where was the opposition during the Bush years? Where was the support for John Conyers and Murtha?

Author's note: Owing to a low gag threshold, I did not actually attend the Take Back America Conference. First hand reports were obtained from Wayne Madsen's Website and live coverage on satellite radio.
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Charles Sullivan is a photographer, social activist and free lance writer residing in the hinterland of West Virgina.
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