I see a nation that could be great, filled with people who all know better and yet are failing to act upon what they know. Be your neighbor’s keeper; leave the world a better place for your children; spend your time and your money, and above all else, cast your vote in ways that build upon your beliefs rather than betray them.
We live in a country whose number one export is death. We have killed millions in Vietnam, Serbia, Iraq and now Syria and Yemen. We are the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons, and they were intentionally used against civilian targets. We knowingly enforced sanctions on Iraq that killed half a million children (from the most painful of possible means) under the administration of Bill Clinton, and his Secretary of State Madeline Albright, went on record saying it was worth it. I surely wish someone would ask Hillary if she agrees — not to pillory her with the actions of her husband’s administration but rather to see whether she feels anything at all from their horrific deaths, if she thinks it was worth it.
We create sovereign currency in unending streams for weapons and ammunition, for intelligence and propaganda and yet our own people are starving and dying from lack of health care. We prop up some of the world’s most despotic regimes and rain down untold devastation upon others based on some vague economic calculus which determines the “American Interest” at stake. All along, the focus is nothing other than the monetary damage to the giants of industry to whom we are but the basest of whores.
When it becomes time to exercise our franchise, what men and women dreamt of, fought and died for, we seem to forget that “We the People” are the writers of the social compact. We are the ones who decide what is just and what is fair. We are the ones who decide which powers government should have, and which rights to consider unalienable. We are the ones who decide when it is imperative for one people to dissolve the political bonds that hold them to another. We are the ones who can decide the way things should be (rather than continue the way they always have been) and we are the only ones that can make those things come to pass.
The entire concept of “natural rights” is a fallacy. Rights are the terms we alone set in our Constitution, written law, and legal precedent. Morality is actually objective rather than subjective. Thus the evolution of legal recognition of gay rights (or any other issue) can be seen as a logical reflection of the changing opinions of society itself. The high courts should be sensitive to such changing winds (unless, of course you believe the equally fallacious ‘strict constructionism’), but should not shy away from controversy. It is impossible to progress as a society, to paraphrase Frank Zappa, without significant deviation from the norm. The disastrous Proposition 8 in California, for example, drew a national reaction that eventually led to the changing of the tides for LGBTQ rights.
It is the people who have the power. All the power. All the time. The people just don’t realize it, or refuse to step up to the plate and demand their at-bat, or more to the point, have been rendered unable to participate due to what eventually boils down to wage slavery.
When Greenspan blew the lid on the supposed legitimacy of leveraging income insecurity of the workforce to keep wages low, he admitted that the economy is rigged against us. This is why the fight for a living wage (of which #FightFor15 is but a first step) is of critical importance to a healthy democracy. Everyone should have ample time to take charge of the issues critical to their own communities. Everyone should have the ability to cast informed votes on referendums and for representatives. Everyone should have the right to recall corrupt officials and redress their governments for grievances. The entire country is a free speech zone, irrespective of the opinions of recent Democrats and Republicans.
The establishment has resorted to propaganda, lullabies, and now outright psychological warfare in order to keep the voting populace under control. It’s not some covert conspiracy: it’s simply good business. You only make money on the market if you know which direction it’s going to go, and where the breaking points will be long before they happen. Media treats us all as targets for their campaigns and are very effective at using psychology to amplify the emotional impact of their products to maximize viewership rates. Politics is just another product and, as could be seen in the Democratic Primary in California, one they can manipulate to their own favor.
The people, however, have convinced themselves that they are powerless. The people have convinced themselves that there is somehow a greater division between two average people than between either of them and the moneyed aristocracy. They have swallowed the poison pill. They cause their own political impotence, and propagate it from generation to generation.
We can make a better place. We can create a more equitable social compact. Modern Monetary Theory tells us how it is possible to make sure the economy works in the public interest rather than the private. Federal government deficit spending is a surplus for main street, a surplus desperately needed in times of recession. Taxes do not actually pay for spending at the Federal level, they are merely deleted from the balance sheet. Federal spending creates new money every time, and therefore a sovereign issuer of currency can never go bankrupt to China or any other country. This doesn’t mean we print money until we run out of cotton, but rather that we are not restricted in our ability to do so when necessary, and we ultimately make the call on when that is and isn’t the case.
We can accomplish single-payer healthcare, guaranteed basic income, universally available quality childcare, and free colleges and trade schools. We can fund research into sustainable energy through subsidy instead of wasting it on the hydrocarbon industry that uses it to spew more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We can build a new economy that is more symbiotic than parasitic with the environment and its vital ecosystems. We can do all of these things sustainably and maintain security.
All we have to do is decide to make them priorities and refuse to take no for an answer. All we have to do is to put the interests of future generations above the convenience of ours. All we have to do is throw ourselves against the ‘gears of the machine’ and bring it all to a halt until our demands are heard and understood to be an ultimatum.
All of that starts with voting your ideals instead of your fears. It all starts with the realization that “We the People” are the ones responsible for the actions of our government. We have a moral obligation to ensure that the government heeds the will of the people. We are responsible for the casualties from wars fought in our name are just as if we pull the trigger ourselves. When American-made bombs hit funerals killing hundreds of people, it doesn’t actually matter who pushed the button. We get the blowback; it’s to our roost that the chickens will eventually come home.
It should be abundantly clear that the Democratic Party is no longer a home for people who cannot stomach war. The presence of Leon Panetta in a position of honor at the 2016 Democratic National Convention should tell you of the closeness between the Clintons and the Military Industrial Complex. If that doesn’t, perhaps the parade of neoconservatives endorsing her campaign will. If you vote for Clinton or Trump, you have granted consent for their actions in advance. Either choice will likely lead to significant military action whether intended or blundered into.
The Green Party platform is the only logical choice if you care about ending imperialism and war. All of the hand-wringing over the false dichotomy between Trump and Clinton is a distraction from the main issue that neither party has any interest whatsoever in stopping the carnage. Clinton, in particular, seems hell-bent on pushing Russia into a corner it has no intention of staying in. There are other choices. There are always other choices. You must simply take a stand and choose them whatever the consequences. Be the deviation from the norm. Be the presage of the changing of the tides. If you won’t, who will?