We are at war!
We sit back and watch … watch our Supreme Court, the people who are supposedly to protect us against the corruption and injustice of society, transform into a de facto branch of the extremist right-wing Tea Party. We watch these alleged justices hand over our country to the super-rich and special interests with only their own interests at mind. We watch them approve and condone random police searches for virtually any minor offense, including simple jaywalking. What’s next?
We sit back and watch … watch extremist religious groups dictate our national dialogue on their way to become the self anointed morality police. We watch as they wage open war on women and their right to govern the fate of their own bodies. We watch as these zealots ostracize young gay people to the point that they can no longer endure life and put an end to it. Shame on you Michelle Bachman! Shame on you Rick Santorum. What’s next?
We sit back and watch … watch ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, attempt to control virtually every state and local government in the country in pushing their Draconian “slash and burn” bigoted policies. To ALEC, with the unapproachable support of the NRA – every citizen should be armed and on the streets ready to gun down anyone who strikes them as threatening, even if that threat is nothing other than a difference of skin color or religion. To ALEC and their supporters, Wal-Mart, ATT, Exxon, Cargill and others, our country is nothing but a another gluttonous feast which to dine on. What’s next?
We sit back and watch … watch our Congress, the Congress we elected to represent us, both Republican and Democrat, systematically eliminate our constitutionally given civil rights in the name of Homeland Security and the mis-directed “war on terror.” To them, its seems appropriate to use military detention of United States citizens based on nothing but paranoid suspicion. To them, is seems perfectly fine to shut down our internet, the life blood of our economy, not to mention our lives, because of pressure from a Hollywood whose time has come and gone. What’s next?
We sit back and watch … watch a Republican party follow rank and file like lemmings on a death march to the cliff in support of Paul Ryan’s ‘Hunger Games’ budget of “social Darwinism.” To the GOP, a “reverse Robin Hood” philosophy is in vogue … take from the poor and give to the rich. And while you’re at it, throw in the seniors – Medicare be damned. What’s next?
We are at war … and resolution will not be quick.
We have a divided government, a government where the best we can hope for is gridlock. The extremists can be kept at bay – at least on the federal level. But there is only so much a Obama re-election can accomplish. He can’t affect the Supreme Court and he can’t affect state and local governments. And we shouldn’t have the illusion that he can. And as the adage says, the institutions that create the problems … will not have the vision to solve them.
While the Occupy Movement has opened eyes worldwide to the incredible income disparities that exist in all our societies – we can’t expect miracles from them either. The powers-that-be, in their ivory towers, are “hell-bent” on putting their foot down on the throats of these passive protestors, even if it means sanctioned police brutality. We can only hope these courageous young people keep up the fight long enough for their cause to take hold with the masses, the 99%.
The closest historical comparison we have to our current dilemma is that of the civil rights movement of the ’60s. We must take lessons from the likes of Martin Luther King, John Lewis and the other brave civil rights pioneers. Their successes did not happen overnight. On the contrary, only after years of persistence and bloodshed, did our country and our political leaders come to their senses. This will also be case in “the war for the salvation of the 99%.”
We are at war … and our adversaries will not go away easy.
I hear a rallying cry from the streets and to the streets. One thing is more powerful than fear … and that thing is hope. And I believe we have the hope. But hope alone is not enough. We must not depend on our government to act on our behalf. We must take action ourselves.
We must suck the life blood from the corporations that are attempting to control our future. We must use our pocketbooks and our wallets. Rather than support Wall Street, support Main Street. Rather than Wal-Mart, support the local grocery story, the local hardware store, the local pet store. Rather than bank at Bank of America, bank at your local credit union. 45% of each dollar you spend at a locally owned business stays in your community, supporting your neighbors, and supporting you and your family. While only 15% that same dollar spent at Wal-Mart sticks around, with other 85% going into non-taxable oversees accounts and bloated CEOs pockets.
We must hold the mainstream media accountable for telling the truth, and telling the whole truth, not just repetitive “brain numbing” soundbites. Omission of information is just as negligent as outright lies. We must use our most potent weapon, social media, to bring these ‘hacks’ to their knees requiring them to do their jobs in fashion of their esteemed predecessors, Morrow, Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley. They are no match to the impact and momentum we can generate through Twitter and Facebook.
And we must participate in the political process. And by participating, I mean more than just once every four years. Local elections, elections for commissioners, for school boards – often have more of an impact on your daily life than that of the president. And it’s these elections where representatives of the 1% like ALEC are making ominous inroads, inroads that will take us down the path of modern day serfdom.
We must have the resolve to fight … to fight for our future, fight for the future of our children, and fight for the future of our grandchildren.
“It is decreed … the people have the power to redeem the work of fools! It’s decreed, the people rule!” ~ Patti Smith
“May the odds be ever in our favor” ~ The Hunger Games
I can be found on Twitter at @clayforsberg
- “I never thought it could happen!” … The People Have the Power, Part 2
- “Community 3.0” … The People Have the Power, Part 3
- “The Hunger Games … the articulation of the Occupy Movement”