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Commentary :: Politics
But We Need Something Better
14 Aug 2012
We are without a doubt a great nation and as an American myself, I can honestly say there is nowhere else I would rather live. We have so much to be thankful for and to feel blessed for. We have the abundance of the necessities at the ready (or at least enough of them) for most of us, allowing us to focus on the things we want, whether material possessions, lifestyle or developing our own individual points of view and identities. We have sufficient resources so that we feel fortunate enough to want to be able to empower those without such opportunities to seek these things also if they so choose - though we don't always take the smartest steps with regards to that.
Feeling fortunate makes us feel as though we need to guard and protect the gift of liberty, freedom and the ability to participate in our government more than ever. It's our duty to those that came before us, those that will come after us, those that don't have it but want it and to ourselves.

In terms of the availability of material possessions we are not wanting. Aside from down economic periods like the one we are currently going through, there are ways to get those things and accumulate at a modest level if we want them. Of course relative to our nation it isn't wealth, as only a tiny few ever accumulate that, just as in most other nations.

But our political system is something we have all been concerned about whether left, right or center leaning, for a long time and the economic downturn and the dual wars we are just emerging from really showed us that we are being taken advantage of. It is being done by corporations looking to corrupt our political system for their own gain, and by elected officials and other government employees that cave to such pressures and exploit the opportunity of service they've been given to serve themselves instead.

We've watched the circus of elections, and for many years really believed there were differences - big differences - between the two parties. We even became comfortable that for over one hundred years we only had two parties, though nothing in the law or constitution says that has to be so. In fact, many of our founding fathers seemed to prefer the idea of having choice within the system, and providing room in the constitution for differing views as opposed to the increasingly homogenizing two party system we currently have. It is a system that has become typified by two supposedly different parties becoming farther apart in what they say publicly, but much closer in what they do once the election season is over.

This has been exemplified by every administration since Reagan and the move to deregulate with regards to rules and laws concerning the private sector and to allow private industry more and more sway over political decisions. Reagan began steering massive amounts of money to the defense industry and deregulating the financial industry.

Huge public debts began to build as this happened, and we stepped into bigger and bigger problems ramping up the saber rattling with the former Soviet Union and spending, spending, spending to do so. We struck quiet currency manipulation deals with nations we believed to be in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union - mostly neighboring countries to the former USSR. We were afraid our ideology of anyone getting rich just didn't match up emotionally to the ideology that said all will be equals, and this was proving to be the case - especially for impoverished nations that saw their communist neighbor become the behemoth it had and the propaganda they spread making it seem all the more real.

We began striking deals that would allow goods manufactured in those nations that we already had under our sphere of influence - like Japan and South Korea - to be made there and sold cheaply here at a sizable profit for the corporations that owned the factories. Of course, it was government connected American corporations that set up many of the factories and ran them. They profited from these deals and received tax breaks etc. Soon regulations on these "foreign" products were loosening even more through the presidencies of George HW Bush and Clinton until the American

manufacturing jobs that built the American middle class had become all but a footnote in history.
We were funding our own financial demise as the jobs left and we helped foot the bill. This lead to what we have seen over the last eleven or so years where the American middle class has seen itself become poorer financially. The wealthy of course have become much wealthier. ( How has this helped us as a nation?

We also used tax revenue to make corporations wealthy in other ways like ramping up the foreign bases overseas. This meant ramping up defense spending. The idea initially was to check Soviet, Chinese and North Korean influence, but soon, as the amount of foreign based American factories grew, corporations saw it as an opportunity to increase their profit margins, and the phenomena morphed changing its face. The more factories there were, the more they needed to be protected from harm as this was our marketing tool. We made them wealthier and increased their standard of living and they saw tangible benefits to what they thought was a free market system. But there is nothing free about currency manipulation by governments and scaring off competitors and what might be freely elected officials in those nations that might not support our view, with the use of the military. That's not capitalism - that's something different.

That never stopped from Reagan, straight through to today and the fact the defense industry is bigger than ever, more influential than ever and more involved in everything from grunt work in foreign wars to the most sensitive intelligence work for our government all while being employed by foreign governments also, makes it even more scary and shady. It's done through numerous mechanisms like the all too sweeping CIA Act of 1949 allowing the intelligence and defense communities within our government to loot any non related government agency for money and list it as classified so we never know where it's going or who it's going to - including the many former government employees running those private defense and intelligence industries and working for them.

It's no wonder we're concerned with what we're seeing. Deregulation never stopped either, and though the ball got started with Reagan, the financial industry never could have created the massive scheme that made them so wealthy at taxpayer expense starting with the 2008 TARP bailout were it not for legislation signed off on at the advice of administration experts by former President Bill Clinton. The same goes for the breakdown of unions and sending jobs outside of our borders.

With President Obama, the message of "hope and change" during the 2008 election season quickly morphed into "nope I've changed" after the election. From that point on it was pretty much just continuing the policies of the Bush administration. This isn't to pick on either of the two branches of what is basically a divided single party. Were he to be elected - though the orchestration of it does not favor that outcome - Mitt Romney would be no different. Oh he'll call Obama this and Obama will call him that. He'll say Obama was wrong for this and Obama will say he's wrong for that. It will be the stuff every good soap opera is made of, but in the end, even if Romney were elected you wouldn't see a Romney administration in behavior - you'd see an Obomney administration, just as now we have what you could call an Obusha style of governing coming out of the White House.

The focus is on pleasing the voters during election season and pleasing wealthy corporations once in office. Our concern can only be addressed by electing people from new parties and independents in significant numbers to Congress to check the massive buyout of our political system. It's not out of our hands and there are things we can do. The ballot is where our power rests - not this year's or next, but hopefully over the next ten to twenty we can get new blood, life and ideals at least partially running the show that favor the majority of us as it's mostly our taxes footing the corruption like massive bailouts, corporate welfare and out of control defense spending. Let's get stability and bring that money back home where it can be put to use for our benefit - whether in our bank accounts or in our own communities.

Wanting to change the system for the better is a traditional American thing, and those with the love it or leave it attitude regarding wanting to improve things, are for the most part intellectual cowards. America is great, but when it comes to the current state of our political system we need something better. People responsible for making things better that choose instead to focus on their own interests are neither our friends nor our heroes. They can't be and it's by their own choosing.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to
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