A Simple Explanation, In Three Parts
Part Three: What to Do?
We’ve seen from the DEBIT MAP who basically runs our government. We understand the dynamics of the Myths of Liberalism and the Cult of Conservatism that keep the corporatocracy in power. It’s a daunting situation facing the Americans who want some real democracy in their government.
The bottom line is hope for real change and progress lies with “we the people”. If we don't do it, no one else will do it for us.
Work needs to be done to elevate the public consciousness and conscience. This can be done. Over the years Americans have slowly become more aware of environmental issues and grew to accept re-cycling, and energy conservation. They are learning more about global climate change. Especially since the Bush Administration’s muzzle on climate science has been removed.
American citizens are becoming less enthused about our endless wars and occupation. We can still have the most powerful military in the world, even with a massive shift of funding to education and health care.
Education must be accompanied by motivation for the people to understand their part in the process of democracy. Along with math and science, Americans need to learn more history and civics. Instead of posting the Ten Commandments in city halls and courthouses, let’s put the Constitution there instead. If conservatives insist on a pledge of allegiance to the flag, maybe we should insist on a pledge to the Bill of Rights, especially from public officials.
The public must be made aware that their vital interest in government lies in their Constitutional rights. They need to know they are entitled to their general welfare clearly stated in the “We the people” introduction. Also, section 8 of the Constitution provides Congress the power to “collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States”. How can there be general welfare without education, employment, and health care, along with the protections of the entire Bill of Rights? Next time you see a tea bagger griping about taxes, ask them if there‘s a Constitutional basis for all that oppressive taxation they suffer. They likely won’t know, of course. Then you can inform them, and ask why they hate the Constitution of the United States of America.
Democracy is not given to us. We need to fight for it, take it and hold it. Americans have been lulled by corporate media and the Cult of Conservatism into an unconsciousness of this need for the maintenance of democracy. Voting for one corporate candidate over another corporate candidate does not make a democracy.
This brings us to a scary word. But there’s no real reason for anyone to fear this word. Due to the Cult’s lies and deception, many Americans tremble in anger and trepidation over the very word socialism. The Cult’s demonization of socialism must be challenged as the propaganda it is.
They freely interchange socialism with communism to the point where the Cultists think they are the same thing. They are not. Remember, communism is a system of single party rule. You know, like we had under Bush. Democrats are too diverse to rule with the lockstep ruthlessness of the Republicans.
Millions of people are living happily in socialistic democracies. Every socialized program in the US is wanted by the public.
We have a socialized military, socialized law enforcement agencies, and socialized fire departments. The V.A. is socialized medicine vital to the well-being of veterans. Medicare is socialized medicine. Our interstate highways and bridges are a socialized transportation infrastructure. The Postal Service is socialized mail delivery. Why should we be afraid of the mailman? Why should we be afraid of Social Security?
In fact, everything run by government is socialistic. That means the public has ownership. Imagine if every government service was privatized, the taxpayers would have zero input and control. Who would be the first to receive police, fire and health care protection? Well, the “free market would decide” on that. And we all know the market decides in favor of the wealthiest, first and foremost and always.
Americans need to understand democracy can exist and even prosper under socialism; it cannot exist under unregulated corporatism.
Democratic socialism allows civil liberties and freedoms intolerable under the fascistic trajectory of a corporatist national security state. The Bush/Cheney Cartel built the foundation of a police state. Their violations of law must face judgment and their deeds undone. To the degree the rule of law does not apply to its leaders, the US Government is a rogue regime.
We must have an educated and active public that participates in the process of democracy. As Thomas Jefferson said, “No country and no people can be free and ignorant at the same time. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
It can’t be made any clearer than what old Tom said. The lessons and consequences of ignorance and apathy, not to mention the antiquated Electoral College, were made quite clear by the Bush years.
We know how to reverse the DEBIT MAP corporate lock on power. Democracy’s requirements are not secrets. Well, not yet, anyway. There are some ways to promote democracy without radical change. Having proportional representation, hard copy ballots, and instant runoff elections would help. And dumping the Electoral Collage would be an improvement to the situation. But, there are deeper issues.
To restore the process of democracy, we need to take four crucial corrective measures:
1. No more legal corporate personhood. A corporation is not a human being.
2. No more "too big to fail" financial institutions. They are toxic to our economy.
3. No more media monopolies. More voices and views, not fewer, are needed.
4. No more corporate money, and no more union money, going to federal election campaigns. We need publicly financed federal elections...NOW.
These four big issues are beginning to get more attention than ever. Here’s one example. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced new legislation in just two pages called the "Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act". It calls for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to "submit to Congress a list of all commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that the Secretary believes are too big to fail."
It then says, one year after the law is enacted, the Treasury Secretary would be required to "break up entities included on the Too Big To Fail List, so that their failure would no longer cause a catastrophic effect on the United States or global economy without a taxpayer bailout."
This is the beginning of a good idea, and word of this idea needs to be spread.
The Cult of Conservatism has been spreading misinformation and outright lies for a long time. It’s time to join the battle for truth.
The corporate media monoliths can be countered with a reinstituted, corporate-free, truly Public NPR/PBS style journalism. So we don’t have to rely on just the “internets”. The surviving print media needs to hear from us.
Progressive talk radio is finally becoming more established. They should reach out more to find common cause with those conservatives who may agree to some dialog other than dueling sound bites. This can be done. Thom Hartmann often has conservatives on his show.
New legislation on corporate personhood and public finance of federal election campaigns can be accomplished if enough people push the politicians hard enough. The people just need to participate in the process.
It’s time to bring to the public discourse the urgent need for real democracy. It’s time to identify, promote and elect representatives who understand the need for these measures. And it’s time to remove the corporatist politicians.
What can we ordinary citizens do to make a difference?
First of all, vote. We can still vote, and the more of us that do vote the better.
Second, be informed.
Follow the corporate money that buys their politicians’ services at opensecrets.org.
Follow the politicians’ misbehavior and help hold them accountable with the watchdogs at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
There are organizations of free thinkers and real optimists out there who work hard for the cause of democracy. Two important filters of truth and fiction in the swirling media madness are Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting and Media Matters for America.
Besides the more well known Daily Kos and Huffington Post, good sources of vital information and thoughtful progressive views are offered by Buzz Flash, Common Dreams, Democracy Now, TPM (Talking Points Memo), and Truthout.org.
Support them and share their information.
And here’s what I think is very important. As long as I have a nickel to spare I will contribute to the ACLU. Their tireless defense of our Bill of Rights needs all the help we can afford to give. They are doing what is most important. We all owe a debt to the ACLU for bringing to light the torture and warrantless surveillance crimes of the Bush Administration. It would take far more than this Simple Explanation to discuss all they do for us. Please help them. Remember, freedom can’t defend itself.
And third, be active.
We need citizen participation in a strong social and political movement for democracy in America. Don’t tell me there’s nothing progressives can do outside the system. Let’s remember when Beck called Obama a racist. It was not the reaction of his fan base that pulled the advertisers by the dozens out of his hour. Let’s remember Lou Dobbs. He and/or his bosses felt the heat from progressives and now he’s off to spew his anger in radical right wing radio or Fox.
Advertisers listen to the public and corporate media listens to advertisers.
We need to unite and motivate American citizens to call, write, e-mail, call again, and face their politicians. They won’t do anything until we rattle their cages and let them know we’re mad as hell and sick of corporatism. We want our Bill of Rights back. Even educated traditional conservatives do.
I know this may sound futile and even foolish to the more cynical types.
Since third parties cannot gain sufficient access at the federal level, and democracy is not a spectator sport, we need to infiltrate and reclaim the Democratic Party. Ordinary people need to rise to the challenge. There is no other way to gain representation of the public interest. The republican wing of the Democratic Party needs to be purged. We cannot survive with both parties owned entirely by Big Money.
Check out Democracy for America. They are promoting progressive values and politicians who share those values within the Democratic Party.
People can actively work to restore American Democracy. Left to themselves, politicians will, at their best, do nothing to change the status quo; and at their worst, they facilitate more corporatism. We the people need to remind them they are supposed work for us. We pay their salaries. And we need to push them to do their real job and represent the people’s interests.
Let’s turn the focus from the corporate tea bagging shills and stooges. If they get all the attention, we deserve to be shut out. There are plenty of Americans other than the Foxsuckers cheering republican obstructionism. In fact, we are a larger group than they are. We just don’t get the corporate money to bus in the masses to a rally. The Anti-war rallies in 2003 were far larger than any Tea Parties, but they were ignored because they were not corporate sponsored and media fed.
We are not helpless and doomed to slide into the subclass of corporate servitude. We have the numbers to support our cause. What we lack is organization, communication and coordination of purpose.
As I said we need a vast shift of consciousness. This is happening. Even conservatives are starting to think something is wrong. Their problem is they are listening to Republicans. Liberals have voted Democrats into a majority. Yet, they know something is still wrong. Their problem is they are listening to Democrats.
Liberals need to talk with conservatives and reach the realization that this is not about Left versus Right. This is not capitalism versus socialism. This is corporatism versus democracy. Some conservatives are waking up to the fact that the Republican Party is not working in their interests. Liberals are waking up to the fact that the Democratic Party is not working in their interests.
Remember, there are traditional conservatives out there who want the Bill of Rights to stand. There are conservatives who opposed the Neocons’ war agenda and the Bush/Cheney surveillance state. Not all conservatives are of the Cult.
Just recently some of these conservatives addressed the trial of Gitmo detainees in New York City. The Cult is screaming as if a bloody Armageddon of terror will sweep over us if we dare bring the terrorists into our country for trial. Former congressman and presidential candidate Bob Barr, American Conservative Union chairman David Keen, and Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist are actually supporting the administration's decision to try and imprison terrorists in the U.S., and even wrote, "The scaremongering about these issues should stop."
We liberals need to tell these non-Cult conservatives we are with them on some important issues. This will require civil and diplomatic relations between camps. Someone has to be the first to advance this alliance. It may as well be us. We need them to understand we are on THEIR side, not Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, and Beck’s. The multi-millionaire media Cult leaders are proven liars. We have the truth on our side and the truth can set them free from their Cult.
It’s time working class conservatives and liberals realize they have many common concerns and agree that both parties work for Big Money. If liberals and enough non-indoctrinated conservatives come to understand they have both been betrayed by the two parties’ corporatist ways, maybe they can cooperate in efforts toward democracy.
Where there’s unity for democracy there’s real hope.
Yes, this notion can be called nothing more than a dream. It may always be just a dream. But, it’s not just my dream. Some dreams come true. Some dreams grow into greater human consciousness and eventually into a movement.
Think of democracy as a supply and demand commodity. There will be no supply unless we demand it.
If enough of us work together and educate and motivate enough of the public, we can still nurture the American Dream. And just what is the American Dream? Is it about acquiring as much wealth and power as we possibly can? I don’t think so. That would be corporatism.
One of the few great Republicans told us what the American Dream is. “That this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Now this sounds like the American Dream our founders fought and died for. This is what we must struggle for in our time, and in our lives. It’s the American thing to do. It’s the patriotic thing to do if we love freedom.
We have to believe it’s not too late to accomplish these things without a civil war and reconstruction; without systemic collapse and restructuring. It could very well be past the point of no return for American Democracy if we fail to actively participate in revitalizing what’s left of our democratic process. Democracy won’t happen on its own accord. It is up to we the people.
While it is true much of America’s struggle for freedom has been through armed conflict, America’s greatness cannot be measured only by victories in wars.
It is measured by how we preserve and protect freedom and democracy. War should be only the last resort for this purpose. Much is also done through the determination and commitment of citizens to follow the moral imperative that our cause of liberty demands here at home.
It is for all freedom loving Americans to rise to the struggle, and devote our efforts to advance, preserve and protect freedom and democracy.
Our history has been a long fight for freedom. We are a part of this history. And we are part of the future. We carry on the fight for freedom, for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, for our nation, and for our future.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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Dave - That was a magnificent piece of summing up, I can tell it's something you have really thought about and it is something we should all think about, and do something about. I am going to have to read it again and re-read it, for it to really sink in. It's only way I can really absorb things is to immerse myself in it. Thanks for all your work. Happy Thanksgiving.
Happy Turkey Day, Dave!
It's painful for me to watch how right wingers play right into the hands of the global corporations. It's painful to see tea baggers shilling for the healthcare industry.
It's sad people still think of "socialism" as this Great Satan even while they cash their social security checks and rely on Medicare.
Mike Malloy often says we need to socialize five industries in this country and I agree: Banking, Energy, Healthcare, Military, and Education. I would also add our roads and bridges should remain public though a concerted effort is underway to sell off our roads.
And spot on about "too big to fail" monopolies. It's really un-American to have corporations that rival the American Government in power and wealth.
If we only had the guts to trust bust and break up these monopolies. But that would be government intrusion and Sarah Palin no likey and Glenn Beck would call it Democratic Socialist Fascism Socialism Communism and any other ism he could fit in there to scare people.
I needed to organize and put down my thoughts on these matters just so I could step back and see it more clearly. These are confusing times and we need some understandable "simple explanation".
Thanks, and I hope you and your family have a great holiday season.
You are exactly right. Whenever I am asked, I say I am a small "d" democratic socialist. Democratic socialism is the ONLY alternative to Republican/Democratic Party Corporatism. We need to re-embrace the concepts of democracy, liberalism and socialism.
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