Like the massive catastrophic disaster in the Gulf, how much longer will we citizens of these United States maintain our complete disconnect from reality and facts? How much longer will we buy into the continued corporate greed machine that dominates our elections and our airwaves?
Whatever happened to truth, justice and the American Way? We gave it away. We said good bye to it when we stopped investing in ourselves and our society. We walked away from our nation when we thought it was better to be a flag-waving corporation and that taxes were the end of the freedom train. No New Taxes is the cry of simple-minded people who don't invest in their nation.
This past week, I've spent time talking to people about the value of establishing full public funding of elections. I've spoken with right-wing racist Fox News-watching angry people, conservative religious high school students coked up on dogma of the corporate faithful, and frustrated libertarians who have never even registered to vote.
I watched The California's Fair Elections Act go down in flames on the ballot (Prop 15) for reasons everyone expected—the fear it would raise taxes. Of course, that was a lie, but all the same, Political Consultants who put out fake paid endorsement fliers looking like they came from the Democratic Party all said “Vote NO,” even though the Democratic Party endorsed Prop 15. The Republican mailers did the same—the opposition’s money was well spent, for 83% of the population either didn't show up to the polls or voted against it all because they don't want to invest in a more trustworthy democracy. That's right, that's what fair elections are, voter-owned elections. Forget-about-it.
This all comes from the insanity and hypocrisy of Conservative Libertarian beliefs, which are as baseless as any form of religion that envisions a man in the sky holding sway over the entire Universe. Sam Harris rightly stated that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Now don't take my personal opinion on religious belief as an attack on your beliefs, I'm just making a point. Libertarianism in its purest sense is anarchy, and their hypocrisy and selfishness abounds in a society that does not even care about its future, just what it can buy right now with a credit card and screw others in the process. Who cares about the future?
Well, back to my conversations with the true believers in capitalistic greed. Imagine having the sense to provide these conservative ideologues with enough rope to hang themselves by their own foolish dogma based on lies and racial innuendo that they scrape up from Rush, Savage, and the Murdoch machine gone insane—a la Beck. Frankly, it is just too easy. They want corporate freedom, no taxes, no regulation and free trade—but they want you to fight their wars and not pay for it, close the boarders to illegals yet eat at restaurants and run businesses that hire them for low wages. They don't want to pay taxes but want to drive on public roads, fly in government-controlled skies, and have police, fire and emergency services. They just don't want to pay for them.
These folks come from a place of fantasy as if their world is all-consuming, swarming with pseudo-truth and faked facts made up out of thin air and spilled onto them for profit and the sales of gold and advertising dollars. Their reality is now our reality—birthers, homophobes, chicken hawks all—sending innocents to kill other innocents in far-off lands for corporate oil under their soil and seas. Bloodsuckers fooling suckers now born every minute.
On the other side, I've spoken to so many Democrats who have no clue how they are played by their party and have little sense of what is on a ballot or what affect it may have on their lives. Most Democrats didn't even come out to vote! Shame on their house and this party! The California Democratic Party didn't even spend a penny to send out endorsement fliers for the Propositions that clearly the party had positions on and now the damage is done.
While Conservatives scramble for survival, they see everyone as their enemy, especially if they aren't white. The Right Wing congregate mostly with their white kind, and one can only assume anyone and everyone who doesn't sniff the behinds of their hero liars is clearly a socialist or worse, Nazi communist. That's right, they don't even have the facts of history on their side, but they are gamed and cajoled to hate and fear by people who have alternative goals for their stupidity, that being profit and power.
The disconnect is astounding. I almost don't know where to begin, but they and their money have the loudest megaphones, and they use them. Tea Party? Check your history, folks. It was about dumping a corporate tea monopoly, just like we have now with our oil, medical, insurance, and military machines—but these folks think those are the good guys! PLEASE!
They hate Corporate Obamacare (while they love the overcharging monopolistic Health Insurance Corporations) but say don't take away their Medicare, thinking it isn't government health care. Astounding! They want to stop gays from marrying yet they themselves are the worst at keeping healthy families together and support politicos who screw around in every way imaginable but are forgiven easily for their sins. Unbelievable!
Their fear of immigrants drives them to pass crazy unconstitutional laws against immigrants yet they fail to notice that the workers are here to take jobs at low pay because they won't go after the criminal employers and raise pay for jobs to a living wage. They hate unions, which built the middle class, and don't realize it is their declining incomes and debts from the destruction of unions that now leaves us all without the basis of a sustainable economy.
My friend Mark Pash, says it well, if you don't have good customers, you won't have a viable business. We don't even make anything anymore; we just consume ourselves into debt! Is this a great country or what? We must be so proud!
Our elections are counted on machines without audit trails owned by corporate entities that can be hacked nine ways to midnight, and often less than half of us turn out to vote at best—which side is the smarter side, the ones who vote or the ones who don't? People don't even care to find out what is really going on with issues or with candidates and what they stand for. You know what? They think politicians only care about getting into office and then getting re-elected within a party incumbent system ideology, especially on the Democratic side.
People think the Pledge of Allegiance and the flag is more important than that piece of paper called the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, you know, those communist documents. It is all so simple that way.
The Tea Bag Astroturf nation in all its forms is the creation of powerful right wing politicos whose wealth and power brought us the eight destructive years of Cheney/Bush. They use the conservative radio talk show airwaves and Fox News propaganda networks they built for decades to drum up the inherent fear of a nation now run by a black man and white woman from California by labeling them with anything disrespectful. The people buy it and the Democrats just cower and pretend they want to just get along! In my talks with these conservatives I heard terms I won't even mention here because you would need to take a shower and not sleep well for weeks. The hate is infused in this nation’s blood, and it is only going to boil and burst as this cancer eats this nation to death.
My, we love to hate, don't we?
It is anything but respectful dialog, far from fact, far from truth, far from reality. It is a complete and total disconnect, and it surely will destroy what was left of our democracy, because even Democrats like Obama have shown their true colors in failing to stand up. They are Crony corporate clowns themselves, fearful of speaking truth to power for the powerful own us all. What a joke this has all become.
The leadership of the Democrats just says, “What can we do?” They keep filibustering. The only thing we can do is shut the government down because we can't stop the filibuster. Well, Harry, if you can't get anything done, let the people know why and shut it down, go on the offensive and kick some conservative ass with our Progressive agenda! You are just turning us all off failing to do what you are doing now.
You see, the RNC has been hijacked by the Tea Baggers (hardly, they have always been there, fostered by racial fear, hypocrisy, and stupidity), and the DNC has been hijacked by the powerful corporate greed merchants who brought them the tons of money to keep them fighting wars, dishing out weak pseudo healthcare reform and a tremendous lack of backbone to set our nations ship right by standing up for the Progressive masses who came out to put them back in power in 2006 and 2008.
The Democrats are nothing more than an incumbent reinstallation machine no longer based on ideology, jobs, and the people’s well-being. They are now a “get reelected at all costs” machine, no longer with a basis for followers. Wake up people! Democrats are Blue Dog's who are really Republicans, weak-kneed moderates who think standing up for people against the powerful is the best way to lose their jobs. Now we know how Senator Bernie Sanders feels everyday! The Progressive politicos are told to stay in line or lose our support, and that is what they do, with their tails between their legs. ENOUGH!
So where does that leave us? Sadly, behind these drivers with their hands on the wheel of a bus filled with people who have disconnected from reality, heading over a cliff with no hope of stopping. Stupidity has solidified; the bus’s glass windows are painted with the advertising decals of a beautiful scene that bears no resemblance to reality.
Okay, now for those still awake and frustrated by all this insanity, you are not alone. Yet the fact is, the vast majority of Americans have checked out, given up, closed their eyes, and decided there is nothing that can be done. They just don't care anymore.
With the Supreme Court majority appointed by the Bush weasels, we will likely lose the last chance to grab the wheel away, bringing the complete corporate takeover of our nation, that last chance being the voluntary process of full public funding of elections.
People, you are toast and there is nothing left you can do. This is the price of checking out long ago. The chickens have come home to roost, just like climate change’s fast-approaching the point of no return. So sorry, we're on the edge and too few are paying attention. Our nation’s mind is so completely and perhaps now rightfully defined by the Right Wing dogma of “government being the problem” (that it has come true) and only crony capitalism is left as the ruling force. The people are just going to let it happen, for it is just easier than asking questions, evaluating facts, and investigating and demanding the truth. Later Dude, you say, you are just going to text something of irrelevance to fill the time while you watch TV and play video games. What more do you want? How about an active brain?
Oh, there are the few of us who search out the voices in the wilderness like Olbermann, Maddow, Krugman, and Ratigan, but they are but echoes of a once great nation of thinkers ala Edward R. Murrow and what was once a questioning media. Not even the Internet, now too diverse to hold a focus will reach the apathetic or ignorant minds of a disconnected public.
The corporate greed machines won, our culture has collapsed, the people have lost by their own choice, the wealthy and powerful have figured out how to destroy a once great nation. Yet like their own devious heritage, they too will soon turn against themselves. Like Madoff sucking his rich clients wealth, BP and Goldman et al., will do the same until they all are the only ones left standing, and then continue to eat each other alive for the last polluted morsel left. Leaving us all without even air to breathe or water to drink, at least none without a very high price to be paid.
It will be all our fault.
There is only one thing you can do. Live your life as you wish to see the world become. Talk openly and honestly about your truth based on facts and reason. Stop buying into the corporate greed machine, invest in greening your life and your surroundings, for it surely couldn't hurt and it will make you feel better at least trying to be a part of the solution rather than an irresponsible party to the destruction yet to come. Be true to yourself and kind to others no, matter how foolish you know they are. See them all for the bloodsuckers of crony capitalism—Democrats and Republicans alike.
Am I upset? You think? Oh well, so it goes. This was not the great nation I thought it was. It is a corporate dream machine of unconscious idiots, but how do I really feel? Just plain angry, that's how! I've given my all by playing by the rules, working with the system only to find out the rules rig the game against the people and the people don't give a damn.
So, "let it be, let it be, there will be an answer, let it be, let it be?"
Tell you what I've got in mind on the outside chance the Democrats can wake up. I suggest Progressive activists and bloggers do the same - that being, let us have a Summer of Silence. Let us not support the Democrats even with our outrage at their incompetence. Stop the talking, the complaining, the organizing, the blogging. A Summer of Silence, that makes them fear the fall—wondering if we will be there in the end with them in November. For there is no difference between "do nothing compromising corporate Democrats" and nutty “just say no” Republicants. Let us let them wonder if they really need to worry by winter if they will have their jobs because they didn't give us a reason to stand and support them.
Until they get money out of politics, stop the wars, hold corporations, banks, polluters accountable, set regulations to stop the destruction of this nation and the planet, invest in our people, our infrastructure, education and our environment we will not raise a finger or our voices. Let them know we mean it by our silence!
We will watch, we will think, we will consider and if necessary we will come together and organize for their Progressive actions or against them by letting them LOSE. After all, we Progressives are 30-40% of the Democratic Party right now, and we're tired of being taken for granted. That's a big number, and you can't win elections without us. SO Democratic Politicos, you better get to work, we will be watching!
In physics, they say all force is opposed by equal and opposite force to keep bodies in place. Progressives, it is time to stop pushing back, its judo time. I'm stepping out of the way, let the chips fall where they may. Let the real Democratic Party stand up or collapse. For there is little difference between them and the Republicans in truth, now is there?
I'm off to watch John Stewart's The Daily Show, because if the Democrats won't stand up and get to work for the Progressives who brought them to power, I might as well laugh while we burn.
What will you do?
Wayne Williams is a board member of VDU and Secretary/Treasurer of the California Clean Money Action Fund, the 501c(4) who worked to pass the California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot.
Reprinted with permission from the Valley Democrats United newsletter, Margie Murray, Editor, where the article first appeared.