By the grace of democratic capitalism, the elections are nearly here. Opposites in principle, writing those two words next to each other reminds me of forcing two repulsing magnets together when I was a kid. It’s the special night where all around the world corporate and religious lobbyists hold their breath and count their gold coins. Well they don’t really count gold coins, not since they stopped using them a hundred years ago – instead they count all the souls they’ve captured, but I bet some still count gold too. The souls of course are those of our elected officials.
Jokes put aside for a moment, I truly have this feeling of dread tugging at the back of my mind. My mind flips through the recent events like an insomniac watching cable television at two in the mornin. Snapshots of shame and anger at the steady degradation of American political thought … Bush winning by unpopular vote in 2001 … Only the second time ever in American history. The first is regarded as a disgrace in American democracy. Then I remember September 11th, not that I was really was affected by the attack, but I was certainly was affected by our government afterwards and in no good way. We were all more free six years ago than we are today. I feel like I just found out I had a fatal illness. I’m not just complaining or ranting about evil conspiracies either. Without consulting any religious, political or literary source, I know by sheer will of thought and power of heart that something is wrong in our world today with America. Torture is wrong. Holding people without a fair trial is wrong. Finding ways around the habeas corpus in general violates a fundamental American belief that set a standard for the world to follow for the last 200 years. The world follows it now, but we do not. Opening mail, electronic monitoring, tapping phone conversations… all done without public notification or judicial approval. Oh and let’s not forget Iraq and for those who are confused there are no direct or relative links between September 11th and Saddam. It’s a war for something, but certainly not for U.S. safety or for democracy – at best we could say we paved the road to hell with good intentions.
Ben Franklin told our people at the signing of the Constitution, “You have a republic as long as you can keep it.” The Romans lost it, the Greeks lost it, and America too is losing it. True democratic governments are few and far in between in our 6,000 years of human history. They are spawned by great strides in revolutionary thought but burn quickly in the minds of their people until one day a generation forgets the meaning of the word “freedom.” Today the word “freedom” is more often than not used in a military war plan or to justify just about any atrocity. Our political leaders use the word “freedom” to justify their own agenda just like the Catholic Church used “Jesus Christ” to motivate some of the world’s most horrid moments in history.
Congress is expected to work 100 days this year. Ever heard the term lame duck? Well the origin of that term comes from Eisenhower referring to a Congress that worked more days than ours does today. The power of our executive branch is stronger than ever before. The Bush administration makes no secret of the fact it desires to expand the power of the executive; in fact it’s policy.
I hate to rant and rave and to be honest I haven’t. Feel free to check any source available to you, in fact I sincerely hope everyone does, but then again if people cared enough to check what people actually say then we probably wouldn’t have all the issues we do today. The world is heading for hard time – perhaps the most difficult obstacles to civilization lay before us in the next 50 years. Global warming, corporate and religious influence, ecological destruction, waning resources and energy, booming global population, terrorism and the rights of an individual will be redefined in our lifetime; all of these are crashing down on us. Vote for change. America needs good leaders and we need them now.