Monday, December 13, 2004

Revolutionary Change

Those of you who know me know I am still disgusted with the results of the recent national elections, disgusted and amazed that so many otherwise reasonable people can vote to return the idiot to office for another four years. I have been stewing for weeks over what to do. I am beginning to realize that we are near the need for some kind of revolutionary shift in the status quo. Our current voting system is illegitimate from the get go. Before the first votes are casts or counted the guy on the street is screwed. Why do I say that? To begin you have to have an actual democratic environment before the possibility of a democratic government becomes real. We currently have a system where big business/money are the targets of all the positive political activity. They get the all the tax breaks and all the value from weakening environmental laws. They reap the profits and benefits, with none of the costs, of the current war(s) and other military actions around the globe. Who do you think is pocketing all of the profits resulting from the purchase of everything from bullets to helicopters? Who do you think is smiling as Halliburton and ilk pocket boatloads of our taxes? Who, if we are successful, will, in the end, wind up with all of the profits and resulting power from Iraqi oil. For that matter, who is probably going to wind up with most of the money from the record opium production in Afghanistan? Finally, who do you think is going to gather the windfall of money generated by the latest scheme to rob the treasury by “privatizing” social security? Who will wind up having to bear the burden of the trillion or so dollars of debt created on this unnecessary con game?
Next, you have to have a system that is meant to energize and maximize political participation and competition rather than restrict it. The electoral college, gerrymandering, and campaign financing systematically discourage participation and encourage a sense of “my vote doesn’t count”.
Lastly, you need checks and balances on corruption and waste. We need to identify and prevent government giving out contracts to corporations who in turn make political contributions to those who vote for the contracts.
All of the above is necessary and it is not going to happen within the current system. You cannot win the vote when the opposition controls the vote and the counting of ballots.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the in the Declaration of Independence:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes . . . But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security,"

While Jefferson was advocating the necessity of our separation from the British Empire, I think the concept applies in these times as well. I am afraid that the next four years of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their gang of cronies and oil merchants will give a full measure of what the yoke of despotism and yes even fascism are truly like.

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