8:43 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry
CrossPost from IfLizWereQueen
Thinking about Leaders . . .
With his upcoming birthday, I’ve been remembering Martin Luther King this morning. Dr. King’s speech was titled “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”. Over 200,000 attended that rally. Now, almost 50 years later, we still have the same issues on the forefront of Main Street American’s minds: jobs and freedom. And we still have citizens occupying Washington.
Over the past 20 years in particular, under the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, we have seen our job markets crumble to dust and our freedoms eroded almost to the point that the USA more resembles a totalitarian government than a Democracy with the passage of such legislation as “The Patriot Act” and more recently, the passage of the $662 billion “National Defense Authorization Act ” which allows the military greater authority to detain and interrogate U.S. citizens and non-citizens and deny them legal rights protected by the Constitution.
Our nation is not broken. The lawmakers in Washington are broken and they have been broken for at least 20 years, if not longer–both Democrats and Republicans. They sold out to special interests years ago. And yet we continue to re-elect the same crooks election after election.
So why do we keep re-electing these sorry incumbents from both parties as our leaders?
It may be because of our own low self-esteem as a people. Perhaps we don’t believe in true premise of Democracy–that the people, ordinary people just like us can effectively run the government. Thus we look to a “leader”, a powerful figure. We are a country who loves our leaders and no one puts them on a higher pedestal, at least initially, than Americans. We may put them there because we also love to knock them off that pedestal, thus giving us the illusionary belief in our own power. But, in case you haven’t noticed, these leaders we select as our President and as members of Congress are replaced with clones of the one before them–regardless the party.
Isn’t it time that we tried something new and entirely different? Perhaps then we might obtain different results. And no, I’m not speaking of candidates like Ron Paul. He is the hypocrite’s hypocrite–a Washington insider for 15 years who has cleverly honed his image as that of an outsider. Paul votes against trade agreements and rails against the War on Drugs while behind his wizard’s curtain he reaps millions in his investments from trade agreements and the War on Drugs. Paul is not “something new and entirely different.” Paul is more of the same in a different package. You cannot have the bulk of your investments in foreign mining companies whose management hire thugs to murder workers who want living wages and safe working conditions and tell me “that’s the American way.”
If we want to re-establish democracy, we are going to have to elect people to represent us who are more representative of the majority–not millionaire Wall Street investors who come back to their districts now and then. We are going to have to elect candidates who do not hold fund raisers in ski resorts such as Park City Utah like my U.S. Congressman, Pete Sessions. Over 200,000 children in Pete Sessions 32nd district subsist at or below poverty level. Do you think any of their parents will be going to Park City to hobnob and catch their representative’s attention to tell him what they need? Dream on baby. That honor is reserved for Sessions’ millionaire contributors. It’s not about what Pete can do for the majority of his constituents. It’s about how much money a few–not even from his districts–can give to Pete. That’s the game they all play–Democrats and Republicans alike.
And as for Main Street? Well, all you have to do is drive around the downtown of your own Main Street with its empty store fronts to see how well the current members of Congress are representing you. If you need more proof you can drive around the residential area of your district and look at all the “For Sale” signs.
Until we elect people who are not millionaires who have made their fortunes from their Wall Street investments don’t expect anything but more of the same. We are going to have to remove at least 44% of both houses of our current Congress because that’s the percentage who are Wall Street invested multimillionaires.
How much longer before we overcome our own resistence to real change?
[Library of Congress - Public Domain]