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Commentary :: Human Rights
They Never Were
23 Feb 2013
During the 2008 and 2010 elections, all we heard from candidates on different sides of the isle was how things were going to change. There were so many different pledges and promises, too many to count. “We will do this differently, we will do that differently,” yet when they get in, how much of that becomes reality? And when they do push on something, how serious are they? How often are they really just lying to us in order to get us to vote for them, and should we be giving out passes for that?
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Isn't there a point at which we should say, "enough!" and hand out consequences for actions not moved on? Isn't there a time when the level of "oh did I say that" b.s. gets cut? How long can kick the can radio personalities and pundits, no matter how incensed they seem or angry they sound, go on convincing us we need to try it again. Just one more time with the same system? How long must we be let down?

Democrats promised real change. They promised to do things like investigate the fabrications and lies that went into the lead up to our entering into the Iraq War, they promised to prosecute the people at the very top of the corporations responsible for the recession, they promised no more no-bid contracts, they promised to walk the picket lines with unions and they promised to roll back restrictions on civil liberties among other things. Why?

They didn't do it because of some deep down feeling that just burned within, compelling them to run, compelling them to fight for what was right or pushing them to balance the scales in favor of the majority of Americans. No, at least not for most of them. For most of them it was another election and the goal was to get re-elected. They knew it was what we wanted.

So they went on the news shows and bared their teeth. They called Bush all kinds of names, most of which he earned and then some. They called Cheney all kinds of names, those that he deserved and... well... uuhhh... Well the truth was the GOP and the Democrats were calling them all sorts of names and pointing fingers in all kinds of angles. "There will be hell to pay and a new America based on the kind our founding fathers envisioned will be what we vote for when we take that step inside that voting booth on Election Day!" That was the message.

It was loud, confident and filled with hope. For most of us we had never heard anything like it in our lifetimes. It was something thick and electric. The feeling was good.

When it was over, however, and the elected representatives had their butts in their chairs, things were very different. Iraq would follow the Bush/Cheney timeline, the investigations into the cause of the recession are only just beginning and it's highly unlikely anything more than token gestures will be made, Halliburton was given another no-bid contract, this time by the Obama Administration, unions were left with belts that further rusted and they actually took away more civil liberties by the end of their first term.

So people that voted for Hope and Change in 2008, like myself, got shafted. It was the same old people trying to tell us this time they were something new. When they weren't, they were just something old. In 2010 it was a movement from the right, and the idea was Libertarianism would steer us away from reckless spending. But the political establishment had other plans. They wanted things in two boxes, one Democrat and the other Republican, and those two parties wanted to remain the only game in town - "us or them." So the GOP set out to pretend to be Libertarians for an election cycle, then try and crush them and co-opt them when it was over.

No more government bailouts, no further revenue increases and spending cuts. People were to keep more of their money and if the states or local governments decided to have more or less powers it would be at that level and stay at that level. Hands off corporations and corporations were to be hands off when it came to taking government dollars. "There will be hell to pay and a new America based on the kind our founding fathers envisioned will be what we vote for when we take that step inside that voting booth on election day!" Once again, that was the message.

It was a movement that started with Libertarians and one the GOP became afraid of and in awe of simultaneously. It wasn't hope they used, but fear of big government intrusion and anger at the thought of having the things big government provided taken away simultaneously. Oh, and not to mention, anger at big government and fear derived from the thought of the security blanket provided by big government being taken away... or something.

They promised, among other things to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act in Congress, and at the State level to not take a dime from the federal government with regards to it. They also promised no new stimulus money. Yet in December of 2010 they passed a backdoor stimulus plan along with the Democrats, and did so while pointing to the, measly in comparison, tax breaks for the wealthy issue. Few people in the media ever mentioned it. In terms of the healthcare act, well they were in again, and nothing changed on the Hill.

At the state level some of the most ardent opponents suddenly were taking all the healthcare money they could. The people that said they were the ones you could rely on, cut from a different cloth Libertarians. They were brewed from the same strength Tea Leaves you were (cue the fife and drum music). Once it was time to say "I cannot tell a lie," they were like "Cherry tree? Me? Coooome ooooon, guys. Does that sound like something I'd say? That's such a cliché."

An example is Gov. Rick Scott from Florida. Boy that guy went around the country and shot every interviewer down with his point blank absolutely not, I don't believe in it answers. Everything out of his mouth said, a new kind of candidate working for the same old party. But, the time for him to show and prove was just recently, and did he ever make a reversal. I guess he's not really a Tea Party, Libertarian small government kind of man after all, he's just good at playing one on TV.

Recently, Democrats had one of their own, Elizabeth Warren, call them out in a roundabout way. She took to task the heads of numerous government regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies regarding actions taken against Wall Street honchos for their pats in the events leading up to the recession. Sure, she was raking mostly people appointed by the Bush Administration and that served under them. However, there were also people in those agencies, head honchos or not from the Clinton era. Moreover, she was by almost by default pointing out the fact her own party did nothing their entire first term on it, and just now, as we head into what is sure to be a helluva circus leading into the next elections as they do a puppet show on the taxpayers dime, to say, "see we told you we would," and to keep the Green Party from becoming too popular, as they are slowly becoming the alternative to the Democratic party people feel in their minds when people say to themselves, "surely there must be a better way."

Americans are beginning to realize we don't have to just do it because it always was. They are beginning to realize that change can be a good thing. They are beginning to realize it does not have to be radical or unconstitutional. Right now there are more people not affiliated with any party than there are those that consider themselves either Democrat or Republican. I'm one. Yet where are the parties that represent us? We're not all Left or Right. Some of us may be more in line with an ideology that is regionally centered than nationally.

The founding fathers of this great nation surely had people that said, "give the monarchy a little more time. Go with what is and what has been, people it is what will get you through the tough times as it has since really we can remember. It might not be perfect, but it is better than the alternative. Think of all that could go wrong." Had they listened, we never would have become what we are. We had our growing pains when our training wheels came off, just as Israel's and Palestine's will have once we finally take their American tax dollar funded training wheels off, but we grew strong. Two parties is not what the founding fathers had in mind, just a function of fear and laziness. Surely we can do better.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to
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