Friday, October 22, 2010

OPINION: Fairweather on Elections: Vote Despite Disillusionment 

Can We Talk?
By Jack fairweather

There is a short time left now before Americans engage in a secular ritual in which they will, little doubt, ensure continuation of a system that keeps them barely conscious of the manner in which they are manipulated and kept subservient to a national/global, political/economic elite. 
Thousands of votes will be cast for candidates that are to great extent beholden to the corporations and powerful individuals who pay their way through the campaign sewers. Men and women, young and old, will listen and read campaign propaganda cleverly structured to obscure the truth that the candidate, whether he/she claims to be right, left or centrist is, in reality, owned by a system that preaches might makes right, winner take all, war is good and, indeed, necessary, peace is only possible if it is on our terms, the “other” , those with dark skins, funny sounding names and crazy belief systems must be kept in their place. So, they cast their ballots and elect an endless parade of politicians who will continue to bless “family values” while they manipulate and conscript adolescents to fight their eternal war. To kill and die for them.
OH!  Sorry!  I’ve been ranting again.  Oh,well, so long as some of you understand that when your victorious candidate takes office he/she will, especially if he/she is new to the position, receive a definitive agenda that, in effect says, “we will tell you when, and how and why, things get done around here.”  And that will be the way it is.  The office holder will do what has to be done in order to satisfy the source that feeds an appetite for power and greed.
Well,  go vote anyway while there is still the illusion that positive change, benefiting all, is still possible.  As you do, think about the following;  the Congressional session now ending has been one of the most productive in nearly half a century.  Back in the 1960’s, with a Democrat majority, the 89th Congress passed Medicare and Medicaid and civil rights laws, despite Republican opposition.  The voters hammered them anyway, costing them 48 seats in the House and 4 in the Senate.  Medicare and Medicaid, however, became so popular that Republicans, the party that resisted it, are now trying to accuse Democrats of trying to cut the program when they proposed a slow down in its growth  in order to use the savings to provide medical care for the millions who lack health insurance. 
The right wing has  attempted to cover up the truth that the unpopular bank bailouts were actually brought about by the last Congress, before the Obama administration took over.
This session of Congress also passed two landmark acts, the overhaul of the health care system, an enormous move toward universal coverage that had eluded every president since FDR and the Wall Street accountability act.
Other significant legislation, signed into law, includes action to make college loans more affordable, Cash for Clunkers that benefited an ailing auto industry, new consumer protection for credit card users, legislation to make it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination, giving businesses tax incentives to hire unemployed workers and tax credits for first-time homeowners.
This past Congress did accomplish a lot, as did the 89th in passing Medicare and important civil rights legislation back in the 60’s.  The voters beat them up anyway. It makes one wonder if a people subjected to so much corporate and political propaganda, out right lies and appeals to prejudice, a right wing/corporate controlled media, will again act out their pettiness and mean spiritedness.

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