I have also, always wanted to be a writer. This is something that I have managed to achieve. I can't make a living at it, but I have had things published and made some money from writing, so I can say that my other dream has borne some fruit. My articles have appeared on web sites all over the world and in print also. I am still working on this dream; I have a few years to actually make a living at it. In fact I have become a political writer, so two of my aspirations have been combined.
In 2005 I tried to start a new political party. I realized that there was very little difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. I had been a Democrat all of my life, and I have always looked up to FDR, and Harry Truman, and John F. and Bobby Kennedy (despite some of their faults). I have always believed that the Democrats stood up for the middle class, blue collar Americans. My father was a mechanic that owned an auto shop. All of my family were blue-collar workers. I grew up in a very affluent town on Long Island that was also a very liberal town. I knew wealthy Democrats and middle class Democrats. I saw the Democrats spearhead the Civil-Rights movement. I also saw the South go from being a Democratic stronghold to a Republican stronghold. To this day I believe it is because of the Democrats involvement in the civil rights movement. This is something that is known, but not talked about openly. This is the Real 800 pound gorilla in the living room.
I also saw the Democrats inherit an involvement in Southeast Asia and expand on it. I remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident. I was 13 years old. I knew it meant war when I saw the "Special Report" on TV and listened to LBJ tell Americans how our destroyers were "attacked" by patrol ships from North Vietnam. Even then I wondered how patrol boats could attack destroyers. Of course, it was all a lie. LBJ ratcheted up the war and found himself neck deep in death. I remember people chanting; "LBJ, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?" I saw him go gray in under a year and saw how old he looked when he announced he would not run for a second term... I saw Nixon get elected by saying he would "end the war with honor" and as soon as he was President, send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to Vietnam. I lived through Kent State, The Democratic Convention Riots, MLK getting shot right after I had finished basic training and found myself in Columbia South Carolina with an M-14 and no bullets. I saw Watergate and Nixon's resignation after he lied continuously to the American people for years. People say it was Watergate that brought him down, but it was really the war in Vietnam. We lost 58,000 soldiers over there for nothing. I was in from '68 to the end of the war. I know how the government lied to the people.
I lost my taste for politics. I saw Reagan start this phony "War on Drugs". That turned out to be the longest privatization of law enforcement in the history of the US. It is a self perpetuating program that lives off the confiscated wealth of the drug trade. It has made police, politicians and criminals rich. The war on drugs produced the largest number of incarcerated people than any nation on the face of the Earth. Even during the Cold War, we had more people in prison than Russia or Red China. We still have the largest prison population on the planet. The number one industry in Florida, Texas and Michigan is their prison system. It produces more jobs and brings in more money to those states than tourism, oil or automobile production. It still has not stopped the drug trade. The War on Drugs is one of the largest employers of Law Enforcement people in the country. I believe that the Department of Homeland Defense has become the largest employer. There are people in prison in New York for possession of one joint of marijuana under the old Rockefeller laws. It goes on and on and on.
When 9/11 happened, I volunteered to go to Afghanistan to hunt for Osama Bin Laden. I was put on a list and I received a call from the Army. I was never sent. I wanted to be back in the military and shoot at the people that were involved in taking down the World Trade Center. In 2003 I saw President Bush start his march to war in Iraq. That's when I started to become politicized again. I remember sitting on my couch listening to Secretary of State Powell show diagrams of Chemical Warfare Labs on trucks. I remember Bush declaring that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The part that really set me off was when the government started to proclaim that Saddam Hussein had provided Al-Qaeda with money and support and information. I knew that what they were saying was suspect. I knew that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were not on good terms I had read that Saddam Hussein was running a secular state that was against everything Bin Laden stood for. I remember getting so angry and telling my wife, who also remembered Vietnam, that we were being lied to again, and we were.
I remember when the Senate voted to give this President Authorization for the Use of Force. What really got me angry, were the Democrats that voted for it. There were 21 Democrats and 1 Republicans and one Independent that voted against the measure. There were 29 Democrats that voted for it. If all the Democrats had voted for it, it would have been defeated 49-52. If the Democrats had stood together, even if Lieberman had bolted, we wouldn't be in Iraq right now.
I saw the Democrats help the Republicans pass the Patriot Act. I saw Jack Abramoff get caught giving politicians trips, and boats and cash. Democrats and Republican alike. Some are still in congress! I saw McCain and Russ Feingold push for campaign reform and it contained hardly anything of worth. I started looking up the contributors in political races and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw who was financing who. I came across the Center for Responsive Politics and saw in detail how much was being spent on the Presidential and Senatorial and Congressional races I was absolutely stunned. I couldn't believe how many organizations and corporations finance our politicians. It was mind boggling who took how much from whom. That's when I decided that there was no difference between a Republican and a Democrat. That was the day I started The Liberal Party of America.
It grew pretty fast. I had a person join that lived in California, and he made a great web site. Between the members, we came up with a great platform with principles that can still be seen at http://liberalpa,blogspot.com. There are a few that we didn't put on the blog, which were only on the website, but they are not lost. We were I thought, a good option for people that wanted a change. We were not against owning weapons, except for assault type weapons, we were for a woman's right to choose, we were for environmental responsibility, we were against the war and all pre-emptive wars and against all war unless for self defense. We were pro-union but not for Union abuses. We were for Campaign Reform. That was the last thing we were working on. The Party eventually died a slow death when campaigning for the 2006 elections started, and also when some people in the party thought we should change our name because the word "liberal" had a bad connotation from people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Rielly and other so-called "pundits" which are really just NeoCon pawns. I was sorry to see the party fold, but it couldn't survive. I wondered why these people had joined the "Liberal" party.
One of the first things we got involved with was a petition against the "Patriot Act". As you can see, we made absolutely no headway. Our symbol was a mustang and our motto was "Liberal Values are American Values". The reason I'm writing this article is because I am thinking of restarting the Party. I can not in good conscience support any party that I see out there now. The Democrats are just another front for the corporacracy that has been running this country for years. The Republicans...well you know. The Greens are ineffective; they have been around a long time but seem to get lost in the crowd. I'll never, ever forgive Ralph Nader for giving us George Bush. The Libertarians are hard to figure out. Some are very right of center, some are left of center. I know what they stand for and I agree in principle, but you can't run an organization where everyone is on a different sheet of music.
I have been told that this country can't be saved. I don't believe that, at least I don't WANT to believe that. I have too much invested in this country to move somewhere else or to just stay out of politics and watch everything crumble. The entire world is being globalized by transnational corporations, that's a fact. Somewhere though, business and government, like church and state should be separated. I can see where government can be conducive to business, just as it was with religion, but I don't believe the government should be run by business, or religion. I've seen the results of that.
These are the thoughts that I have on my mind. This is why I was going to put this in the diary section. At the last minute I changed my mind and made it an article. I would really like to hear what other people have to say about a new party and whether or not it is a viable solution. I personally think it's the Only solution. You can't tell rich people to stop taking money from other rich people. Even if a party was started just to change the way campaigns are funded. Just don't tell me to get involved with the Democrats and try to change it from within. It can't be done. They are addicted to the corporate tit and will NEVER give up that corporate and special interest money. I believe that we need unions to actively support a third party. I believe that Wal-Mart, Costco, and Sam's Club and all of the big box retailers should be unionized. I am an old liberal (in some ways conservative-no label fits all) and I believe what the old Democrats stood for. All of these New Democrats that have no spine are making me ill. I guess at this point in my life, I need something to believe in. Something to work for. In the Army they called me "Battlin". Even at 56, I can't stop.