Tuesday, April 08, 2014

To the 99 percent: When will enough be enough?

I hear the call for mass action growing louder and louder every day. Frustration is building to a critical level over the complete disconnect of the 99 percent from what is supposed to be their government, the arrogant and criminal conduct of the elites who control the economy and the unconstitutional activities of the ever expanding surveillance state. We the people are clearly no longer in control of this country, and our inability to exercise any needed changes in the way things are done in Washington, D.C. is creating a deepening layer of angry, desperate Americans.

The Supreme Court is reducing elections to bidding wars between billionaires for the most obedient lackey. Congress is an ineffective joke. The economy is stagnant, and over half the American public is living at or near poverty. Republicans at the state and national level are successfully enacting policies to undermine women’s rights and cut the remaining threads of America’s safety net. The surveillance state is out of control and there is no one courageous enough or strong enough to rein it in. Our drones routinely kill innocent citizens in foreign countries. The majority of Americans do not support any of this, but no one is listening.

The need to make our voices heard is reaching a critical point. We must stop imagining that what’s going on in our country right now is abstract and only affects the other guy. It’s very real and personal for me. I have three boys and I know that the self-serving, cynical decisions made in Washington today are going to result in a very bleak future for them. If nothing changes, at the end of my life I am going to leave this country in much, much worse shape than it was when I was born, and that saddens me deeply. I can’t blame my children for looking at me some day and asking, “How did you let this happen?”

Non-violent protests in the past have been effective. In the 1960s they forced the government to establish laws making centuries-old racial discrimination illegal. Massive protests eventually ended our disastrous war in Vietnam. We need to rekindle that righteous anger today. In fact, I would argue that the crossroads we are at today could be the most crucial juncture in our country’s history since the civil war. Somehow, some way, we must make our voices heard.

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