Do you want to be entertained, or informed? Do you prefer C-Span or "American Idol"? Did you VOTE for a contestant on "American Idol"?
Do you feel a disconnect between what you believe to be true, and what you're told is true? If so, you're in the netherland between mainstream media and the truth.
Not everyone feels this disconnect, the majority of Americans simply don't want to know. These are the ones who vote for "American Idol", and ferverently pray for their favorites. As though it matters. Many people I know simply do not want to feel the outrage. They don't want to live their lives that way; simpler to go to work, take care of what's important to them, and assume everything will work itself out. This is America, what could go wrong?
Here's the danger: The top half of one percent, the corporate elite, are counting on this apathy. How else to explain the first order of business for the Bush administration after his theft of the White House? The estate tax, cutting the uber rich's taxes to virtually nothing. We, the people these parasites live off of, are being raped in ways that only they and their financial managers can imagine. Obscure rules wrapped in benign sounding laws have a profound affect on us.
Perhaps the people in the trance are the sensible ones. Why make yourself crazy about something you can't change? They're right, we can't change it unless we identify it. We live in a capitalistic society, greed is admired and envied. This is America. Maybe someday you'll be that rich, and get all those benefits.
But in the Capitol they're milling around, discussing bills and laws that by and large are only remotely connected to our lives. George Bush is not stupid, he's clever, manipulative and cruel. And he belongs to the donor class, which donates to both parties, albeit more to the Republicans. This is the class that uses all of the infrastructure that this country has to offer, it's freedom, what used to be clean air and water, the integrity that was the U.S.A. Bush is giving them our national parks to mine their resources, allowing them to pollute OUR air and water, while contributing nothing except campaign money.
It always comes down to this: we can no longer allow our government to be funded by and at the bidding of these self-centered, out-of-touch parasites. Their great-great grandfather may have invented Gillette razors, or paper clips, whatever their fortune is based on it most certainly was not taxed. We must have public financing of elections, or not bother to vote at all. We must re-instate the equal time provision, that mandated both sides (all sides?) be aired on television. Reagan decided that cable television obviated the need for equal time.
When we continually hear that Hillary Clinton will absolutely win if she runs, because she has more money in her campaign fund than anyone else, we shouldn't feel a little unease. We should be outraged. When money trumps the issues that matter, when money is no longer tacitly accepted but overtly required as the measure of a candidate's potential success, we're not even close to being a democracy anymore.
Let's keep it simple. To break the trance, repeat the mantra "Public Financing of Campaigns". Campaign Finance Reform, as a phrase puts people to sleep. Putting limits on what can be spent, time limits on the campaign itself, and neutralizing the invisible bloodsuckers isn't as complicated as they would have us believe.
They need us, we don't need them.
Written by Leslie Brundige, (Send Her Email) who is a researcher and contributing writer at www.populistamerica.com