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Ike and Me. Why I Pledge My Life to American Reform

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This election has been one of the most negative, non-issues, back-biting elections that I have seen in my 55 (56 tomorrow) years. Of course I don't remember anything before 1958, but I do remember the Eisenhower-Stevenson Presidential race. I wanted Adlai to win. Even back then, at eight years old, I was a Democrat. In retrospect, I'm glad that Eisenhower won, just so he could give that "Beware the Military-Industrial Complex" speech. Ever wonder why a Republican, who used to be a General (A 5-star at that) would give a speech like that one to Americans as his last message? It must have been very important to him. We can see in our everyday lives right now in 2006, just how prophetic and wise Eisenhower was. Even though he was a Republican, he was an American first. He was, like me, a career military man. I wish we had someone like Ike now, to stand up against this rabid Administration that Ike wouldn't even recognize as Republican.

The 2006 campaigns, all of them, will probably go down in American history as the meanest elections we have ever witnessed. Besides the meanness of all of it, the thing that concerns me the most is that the elections were almost devoid of any real issues of importance to average Americans. I was surprised about how little the Democrats touched on how our constitutional rights have been usurped by the far-right. I heard nothing but Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, but I didn't see much about how the President lied to us about why we went into Iraq in the first place. Why?

I also didn't see much about what plans the politicians have for fixing what's wrong with our political system. I heard a lot of bitching and moaning about how the Republicans have failed to pass any meaningful legislation (which is true). I heard about how the Democrats had no alternatives for the War in Iraq (which is also true). Still, I don't believe that it was incumbent on the Democrats to put out alternatives on what we should do in Iraq. Bush started this war, if anyone has the burden of fixing this mess, it is the Administration. The Democrats didn't start it, the Republicans did. Why were the Democrats looked to for answers? They would be fools to wade into a problem caused by Bush and Co. Irregardless of who controls Congress; it is still Bush's responsibility to fix.

I heard nothing on National Health Care, saving Social Security, real stands on illegal Immigration, the tremendous military budget that is squandering our country's wealth. In fact, I heard very little about what would interest Corporate America the most. These things are anathema to a politician. Mention cutting the defense budget and you will see that candidate's donations drop like a rock. Mention National Healthcare and you will see that candidate's donations sink like a stone. Talk about stopping illegal immigration and cheap "South of the Border" labor, and you will see campaign offices close and board up faster than K-Marts. There are really good reasons why they don't mention these things. It's just not an "error" of omission.

It's called campaign financing. It's something that most Americans don't give too much thought about. Please bear with me, I know this is pretty dry stuff; I'm trying to make it as interesting as possible so that you will continue to read this article. Our entire Democracy depends on people like you getting this information. Do you know that this election has cost over 2.8 Billion Dollars? That's $2,800,000,000.00. In real terms, that is $297.20 for every man woman and child in the United States, assuming we have 300 million people in this country. Did you donate $297.20 to the RNC or the DNC or any other political party? I didn't. Did your 3 year old? Did your 67 year old Grandmother? Give me a break. Did your millionaire friends make up the difference? I doubt it. They don't even like to pay their present taxes.

Then who paid all of this money? Who paid to finance the TV spots and radio spots, and offices, and tour buses, and stadium rentals and yard signs and all the rest of this stuff? It was the American and the not so American "Corporacracy". You're Lockheed-Martins, Raytheons, Honeywells, Halliburtons, Exxon-Mobils, Chevrons, BP's, 3M's, Advance America's, Prudential's, Bank of America's, Citicorp's, The American Medical association, The American Association of Trial Lawyers, and all the rest of the corporations. I'm not done.

We also have the special interest 527's, the PAC's (Political Action Committees), and the Right Wing Tax-exempt Churches that are non-denominational but who also endorse and fund political candidates while not paying a dime in taxes to our country for the right to put their "choices" in office. The whole thing stinks like dead corpses, which just happens to be the by-products of many of these military contractors. Do these things boggle your mind? Do you know that Politics is the #1 Business in this country today? They have "privatized" most of the military. "Privatized" most of the prison system in many States. We have even "privatized" many of the people we send to fight the insurgents in Iraq! We have almost as many private corporation soldiers than we have US military. They don't even have to obey the rule of law or international statutes. This is all true, and I can document all of it.

Does this make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Aren't you glad you cast your vote today for the best Corporate Lackey they could put up for election? Let me tell you the truth. Don't believe any of these in-your-face flag wavers and propaganda people, the only thing, THE ONLY THING THE POLITICAL PARTIES NEED YOU FOR... IS TO PULL THE LEVER ON THE VOTING MACHINES. That is the simple truth. Unadulterated and not affiliated with any political party or organization.

When I mentioned Eisenhower's last speech; "Beware the Military-Industrial Complex, I had my reason for doing so. You have read it. It has come to pass. Now...What are we going to do about it? I pledge this, I swear that I will devote the rest of my life to making sure that Campaign Reform becomes an issue. I was born a free man, and I will die a free man...or die trying. This is your Country too. Are you going to sell it out to the Corporations? I don't know about you, but the corporations have never done too much for me. I have to pay for anything I want. I don't want to sell them my Country. This is the last time they buy my vote.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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