Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post Election Blues

The image from this election that sticks with me is both major party candidates endorsing a $700,000,000,000.00 bankers' bailout that was overwhelmingly unpopular among the rank and file of both parties. I understand mail to Congress was running 9 to 1 against the bailout, but our leaders were bullied from the top down into accepting this massively stupid measure. Overpaid executives lobbied for fewer regulations, then ran their businesses into the ground with unwise business practices. Why should our great-grandchildren be expected to foot the bill for their ineptitude? We could just say "sorry; you lose." It's not like these guys are going to be in a soup line if they stop getting exorbitant salaries. Gee, they may have to sell the guesthouse. My heart bleeds.

But in reflection, this isn't the first time the major party candidates have agreed on something unpopular. Like war, for example. Overwhelming numbers of Americans are opposed to foreign military adventures that kill innocent people who have never been a threat to us. But election after election, the candidates who dare to speak truth to power - like Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul - are marginalized, while those who toe the line for the war machine are promoted. When will we cry out "Enough!"?

What does it mean when both parties are cooperatively steering us away from popular will? Our country has the best politicians that money can buy. They've sold us down the river to please their bosses from the most profitable industries ever blessed by favorable governing - munitions, pharmaceuticals, prisons, insurance - and let ethics be damned. Who pays the piper calls the tune and an increasingly narrow group of capitalists control the means to buy government. Nobody is steering the ship of state as short term profits for campaign contributors become the driving value.

So what are you going to do about it? Well first you'd better reach out to your closest neighbors, especially those of the other party. Listen to their concerns, encourage them to share their most inspired visions, and decide what positive actions you can agree to take together. Recognize that your community is not split between two political poles. You are not just conservatives or liberals. You have a broad diversity of opinions, and there is strength in diversity. Celebrate your differences.

This country will survive when we get past the squabbling over contentious hot button issues and focus on building a system that adheres to our shared values. We will not be divided and conquered by the two faces of the Central Party. We will build a sustainable multiparty democracy from the grassroots up. Please contact me if you're not sure how to advance our common cause today.

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