Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Seven Will Get You Twelve

Some in this country believe that our leaders lead. They do not. Some in this country would have us believe that our elected representatives represent. They do not. Our government and political system are much more akin to a high stakes game of chance then to any management or service organization. In this context it is clear that big money and special interest groups are the bank, and the American people are the chips, the thoroughbreds on the track, or the dice tossed in an alley. Our politicians function like chronic, degenerate gamblers forever hedging their bets. Thus, a prolife platform is supported by the pharmaceutical companies that make birth control preparations and the surgical supplies companies that create the tools to perform abortions. Accordingly, an anti-immigration candidate is funded by business people who count on the labor of undocumented workers, used shamefully and forced to toil for next to nothing. Gay bashing right wingers will take money from the Log Cabin Republicans if they can get it. While Conservadems intent upon undermining a woman’s right to a safe clinical abortion will accept campaign donations from prochoice feminist groups stupid enough to contribute.

None of this is about the American People. To paraphrase the words of an old Bob Dylan song, when will we ever learn? We are like children fed donuts by diseased parents who spend money for good food on the games. But, we are not children. We don’t have to accept sugar in place of nutrition – lies and propaganda in place of a functioning government. We don’t have to accept parents who sink deeper and deeper into addiction. The next time someone promises change we need to demand the kind of change we want. The word change is not a magical mantra. It isn’t magic that we need. It is common sense. We can start by demanding real, meaningful and enforceable campaign finance reform. Let’s get the big money out of politics so the little guy has a chance to have an ethical government. Let’s demand that our leaders stop their compulsive gambling and earn their keep.

Because money buys power at the heart of this stupidity is greed. Some people think that greed is a disease, like gambling. I think that greed is a character flaw parallel to deceit, arrogance, bigotry, hatred, manipulation and egotism. This Blog was inspired by Kitty Hunt’s work on Blogger at Kittisplace. Her most recent Blog is about spending Veteran’s Day, called Armistice Day then, with her father. Kitty’s dad seems to me to have been a man of great character and decency, the kind of character and decency that got this country through WWII. The Blog that follows is about the internment of the Japanese people during that same war. This is truly a black spot on our national soul, driven by the character flaw of bigotry. While reading these Blogs I started thinking about what I remember of the American character years ago. It was different. I recall a character with flaws. Today we suffer flaws with no character.

We must change this if we want to survive as a society. We must reclaim our soul that has been covered in lies, twisted to serve arrogance, battered with bigotry, harassed with hatred, nearly murdered by manipulation, and eaten alive by egotism. We must reclaim our character by demanding an end to the partisan propaganda, the viciousness, the cruelty, and the ugly slander hidden under the First Amendment. We aren’t starving children dying for the sins of our parents. We are We the People.

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