By Michael Emero
May 3, 2016
We focus way too much on the symptoms of problems, instead of the problems themselves. It's easy to argue about the minutia of health care, cost of college, minimum wage, even marijuana legalization, but they are just symptoms of an overall bigger problem. The American people, by and large, live in thinly disguised poverty. Despite our modern technological conveniences, the inability to save and one short paycheck is enough to throw half the country out on the street. The last time we had income inequality this large was before the Great Depression. Remember reading about that in your history books? Times and technology may have changed, but we're facing it again. People with full-time jobs now don't have enough for both food and rent, let alone medicine, savings, or quality of life. And before you say "that's just the way things are" and dismiss it as a sad but inevitable fact of life, let's examine that bit of programming.
The biggest corporations, like Walmart, pay workers so little they actually have to receive public assistance just to survive. 40+ hours a week and still on welfare just so they don't end up starving or dead. Not because the big corporations can't afford it- they hand out millions in bonuses to already-billionaire top executives and CEO's. So what do the rich do with more money than they could ever spend in twenty lifetimes? If it's not sitting in some tax-dodging offshore account, it's being reinvested.... into our political system. Our laws have gotten more and more beneficial to big business, often (if not usually) at the detriment of the people. Pieces of happy-sounding legislature like the Patriot Act and Citizens United have killed our right to privacy, and made campaign corruption legal. Repeal of Glass-Steagall let banks gamble with our money, causing the economy to crash in 2008; millions of Americans lost their homes, while the banks got bailed out with our tax dollars. As the rich get richer, smaller corporations and smaller banks get sold and consolidated, creating "too-big-to-fail" behemoths that eventually own nearly everything we see, hear, read, and believe. In a very real way, slavery is back, hidden behind cell phones, internet memes, and constant media astroturfing to guide us back into manageability and acceptance of our increasingly impossible lives.
To be honest, they don't even do a very good job. We've just grown lazy, stupid, and apathetic. As a people, we'd rather complain than enforce a positive change. Whistleblowers that expose our government's corruption and human rights violations are forced to hide in Europe (who out of humanitarian and fairness reasons refuse to extradite them back); does that sound like the government represent us, or themselves? We easily forget that we didn't used to live this way. Our government tells us who we're bombing next, with empty rallying words like Freedom and War on Terror, yet more and more leaked documents show it as just orchestrated dishonest madness based on the political and financial agendas of those in charge- and their sponsors. We have become so jaded and hopeless that choosing our leaders has become a disheartening game show contest of sponsored slander and media-hyped zingers. Politicians are now masters of spin that say what we want to hear, even if it's the exact opposite of what they said a year or two ago. We KNOW that we're often lied to, and for some reason accept that too, as though We The People somehow don't deserve integrity from those in charge. A President is supposed to be the representative of the people, a civil servant to carry out the majority consensus' needs with wisdom and integrity. Shouldn't we want the best of us to lead, not just the rich ones who are funded by the banks and corporations that got us here to this mess? Supposedly we're a modern, democratic, wonderful country. If that's true, why are we suffering? If that's true, why do things keep getting worse for the majority, no matter who we 'elect'? Oh, right... both candidates and parties are now corporate-backed. The election process is largely a farce, another billionaire sporting event for the people that results in our corporate owners winning again and again at our expense- while we ignorantly smile and cheer on the ones ruining our lives, happy that 'our party' won over those 'other guys'.
The laws are already severely bent in their favor, and they're not even close to done. You might think things can't get worse, but they can. T.P.P.- a disgusting masterpiece of corporate feudalism. (More) Social Security cuts. Raising the retirement age (again). No cost of living wage increases. The richest people pay the least taxes- sometimes none at all- and that's LEGAL. Tell me how that benefits our constantly growing homeless population, or takes care of (what's left of) our Vets when they ship home from the endless wars-by-another-name. When the system is for-profit, who can successfully advocate for anyone but the rich? The big corporations are paying starvation wages, yet "earn" the majority of wealth (from us). Drug companies charge us more than anyone else in the world, consistently resulting in death when the poor can't pay, yet make billions in profits- legally- quite literally over our dead bodies. This is unchecked greedy capitalism, with a side of f*ck you thrown in; most people are so poor, they must continue to support and use these companies (such as Walmart) even if they know what they're doing, and loathe them. In today's America, you really only get to have a voice, choices or act on your principles if you're not poor.
That is, until now.
Imagine a man from neither party, who still considers himself a Civil Servant, not a politician. Someone who got elected to offices on merit, not paid promotion or exploitation. Imagine a man who's been fighting for civil rights, equality, living wages, education, and getting money out of politics. Imagine a man who doesn't lie, has no private or hidden agenda, and has been consistently and provably been on OUR side- the side of the people- his entire lifelong career. Imagine he is daring enough to publicly call out the players in this corrupt game when no one else will, and vows to do all he can to restore our freedoms, incomes, health care, and education. Imagine his campaign was paid for not by big business, banks, or millionaires, but by millions of people like you and me, at about $27 each.
Now stop imagining, because that man is U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. And he's calling for us all to join this desperately needed political revolution, before it's too late. We need to wake up. We need to start the process of taking our government back. America was always supposed to be FOR the people, BY the people. The founding fathers themselves warned and worried about political parties and government becoming a corporate tool to exploit us as a voiceless slave labor force, fed propaganda as our rights and opportunities crumble. It seems they were right again. That can only change by seeing the bigger picture and voting with your conscience. Bernie would really like to make sure kids and grand-kids (his, yours, and mine) have a fair opportunity to succeed, not just work two+ jobs in exhausted misery their whole lives so corrupt bureaucrats can buy another yacht. The best thing is, you don't have to believe a word I say. Watch his 30+ years of footage, and his consistency is obvious. Read his campaign dialogue, and study his suggested programs to start undoing the damage caused to us and our country. It's all fair, logical, honest, and responsible. He still refuses to use negative campaign ads or take corporate money- even if it means losing. His principles are not for sale. And we're hoping yours aren't either, because there's a lot of paid slander and sponsored trolls going around to scare you from daring to form your own opinion. All we ask is that you THINK. Not about buzzwords or media narratives or who can bullsh*t smoothest. Think about the real issues, and the symptoms that have followed. Research diligently, but always consider the source- some of the biggest campaign contributors and lobbyists are unfortunately the very media you consume daily. Ask questions, use logic, please give this decision the gravity it deserves.
The rich have stayed rich and in charge by keeping us fighting over the symptoms, and how best to mitigate them slightly as the floor drops out on us. They've stayed rich and in charge by dividing all Americans using race, war, party lines, gun control, and anything else that makes us squabble distractedly among ourselves instead of solving the real overall problem. This is the chance to take our system back, and finally TRULY make the changes we need. This is not just another election. This is a question for all of the American people; will you vote for a democracy, or an oligarchy? Do you want YOUR government to represent YOU, or for-profit immoral corporate interests? By vote or by write-in, I'm for Bernie Sanders, a man our founding fathers would have most heartily endorsed.
#Solidarity #BernieOrBust #PoliticalRevolution