Remember Who Sold You Out
As wars rage around the world for oil, natural gas and lithium among other things we sit at home wondering why all the lives and money is wasted while the economy forcefully widens the chasm between America's rich and poor. As protests spread from state to state and go global we hear the all too familiar three words from politicians “I get it.” They are among the first signs from certain politicians and their parties proving the exact opposite is true. As jobs become harder to find, politicians launch and extend conflicts meant to enrich wealthy corporations overseas all the while bringing us stagnation and regression back home. Oh that's what they meant by change.
Traditions can be good things giving an anchor in life providing a measure of social and communal stability. They may be occasions for immediate and extended family to come together and bond over history, familial creed and ethos. They can be a time for larger groupings of people, however spread out they may be, to remember what they have in common. They can even inform us a bit as to our place in the world, where we fit in and maybe who we are.
Of course, they aren't always exactly what we need all the time to help us find our way. Traditions can wear themselves out and become counterproductive. At such times things once counted on to be one way can morph before we realize it. As we return to comfortable traditions we may find ourselves confronted with the reality of a situation now useful to forces no longer aligned with our best interests.
There are political parties, for example, traditionally associated with certain issues and causes, that change their allegiances and sense of direction over time. It may be an abrupt obvious change, but more often than not it happens gradually, subtly and just underneath our noses. It isn't always calculated and part of a meticulous strategy, and sometimes it is. At times it's a mix of one with a pinch of the other.
Over recent decades here in America one party in particular has been associated with fighting for the rights of everyday Americans. They championed the plight of the working class and of blue collar America. They claimed to be the political party that would scrap in the streets to help save the middle-class and downtrodden if necessary. They claimed they would be there when the only other political party available abandoned working people to the wealthy and well connected.
They did for a time. They genuinely tried and for a spell helped forge a nation more focused on people than it's biggest bank accounts. They injected care for the everyday hardworking American into the legislative and even judicial workings of the country. We became a people thoroughly focused on closing the gap between the haves and the have nots, and on increasing the prosperity of as many of us as possible. We didn't want to make us all the same, just to make things less like a third world dictatorship with regards to income disparity.
We were founded on the premise of being a free society with the right to pursue justice and better conditions for ourselves among so many other things if wanted. Instead of divisiveness we wanted inclusiveness. In the sixties and seventies Americans took to the streets, courtrooms, voting booths and legislative bodies of the country to inject some of the new enlightened consciousness spreading across the land into our law books and enforcement agencies regarding the new form of thinking making its way across the country. What started with labor unions in the 1930's was born again in the movements of the sixties against big government and big business corrupting our country and hijacking the legislative and judicial systems just for the privileged few.
We needed balance and equal footing and worked hard to achieve it. Once there we were happy, content and fell back into a sort of lull. As a nation we were also tired of the fighting, the government shooting students, the assassinations of leaders, the tensions, the anger and wanted respite. It's stressful to be confronted with the ugliness hidden deep in things we treasure lovingly. It's hard to think about people we considered mostly on our side turning out to have developed ulterior motives like a slowly spreading cancer. It's difficult to admit we were fooled. Gains were lost a little and some achievements rolled back.
But in many ways the one political party tasked with being one hundred percent on the side of the working man, minorities and the voiceless has over time gravitated into the pocket of wealthy corporations, just like the party they once stood against or on the other side of. They still use the same populist rhetoric and perhaps wish they were still like that. Perhaps they don't even realize how far they've degenerated from the position we lifted them to. Perhaps it was unfair of us to project our hopes and dreams for change and equality onto them – to lift them onto that pedestal.
Whatever the case, over time we have seen this party slowly help to cut out the many gains put in place to protect the American worker. They helped make it easier to send jobs overseas. They gutted the very things that built up so many from nothing to owning a piece of the American dream. They made it easier for unions to be cut to rusting scrap.
They helped draft currency manipulation deals with other nations making it easy for certain countries to sell goods manufactured there on our market more cheaply than Americans companies could – yes administrations of that party too. In the process they made wealthy American corporations even wealthier by all but setting them up overseas to manufacture those goods to be sold here cheaply. Those wealthy corporations and their owners were the only Americans to benefit while we got cheaper goods we would now need as we were becoming increasingly poorer.
They forced us to pay for military bases overseas through taxes in those overseas countries to point guns at anyone trying to muscle in on wealthy American corporations. They got cheaper labor and free private security via the US Military all worked out in part by the party supposed to be watching our backs. We lost jobs, got hustled on subprime loans waiting to balloon after fixed periods and were even forced to bailout institutions that gave out those loans to the once middle class and already poor Americans. The companies knew the holders of the loans would be unable to afford the payments once they ballooned, and these Americans that were taken advantage of along with the rest of the nation were even forced to cover the bets the institutions that held the loans had placed against those loans being paid off. The president largely responsible for signing those two pieces of legislation into action was a member of the party claiming to be fighting for the little guy. A certain red faced finger wagging president signed NAFTA and the laws allowing, among other things, credit default swaps.
The days of them fighting for the little guy obviously passed a long time ago and we all know what that president was busying himself with in the meantime. Thanks for that guy. There's something to celebrate.
Famous actors, athletes and musicians all have no problem celebrating them as though they will do something for us. But which party had the chance to hold Wall Street accountable and did not? Which one had the chance to provide jobs instead of bailouts and did not? Which one had the window to pass legislation cutting out tax loopholes and corporate welfare for wealthy corporations and failed to? Where were they when unions were being gutted? I don't mean at the local level, but national level well known party reps – where were they? They stayed away as though it were a disease. They even cop to the idea jobs will never come back - the jobs their party enabled to fly away.
It's important to forgive, but also not to forget. We know the other party wouldn't, but they don't hide it. Certain wealthy celebrities caught up in their own worlds feel that is the cool party, and that's alright we like our entertainment. But, for people becoming ever poorer - cool just doesn't help everyday Americans. Losing your house, job, education for your kids isn't cool. We're hurting and we're taking to the streets and not to be cool. This isn't about fashion, ice, Bentley's, high interest credit cards marketed towards urban youth and your own line of liquor.
This is about the unglamorous reality of paying bills, having white collar billionaires that stole millions and billions being held accountable using the same measuring stick as a ten dollar purse snatcher or two hundred and fifty dollar crack dealer, as pedestrian as that may sound. Campaign strategists try to calculate that as we boil over into the streets. This time we need to force people to come to us and they need to change through meaningful action previous to the elections, not the typical token actions preceding every election, but wood cracking balls hit out of the park.
If they won't come to us, we need to develop our own alternatives representing the majority of us. Let the bankers have their party and stars have theirs. But who represents us? Who represents the majority; the 99%? If no one will, why should they get our votes? They may not have noticed to their consternation, but times change. Don't forget who sold you out.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.